PROUD CREATURE: Opening Creature EP

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Todd Brozman is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer with roots in piano. He started playing piano at age 6 after convincing his mother to buy him a little demo Casio at an electronics store. At Wesleyan University, Todd had a radio show which exposed him to a lot of new electronic music and he got more involved in creating new music, fusing electronics and improvisational jazz. Proud Creature is his solo musical project, presenting ethereal and otherworldly compositions informed by jazz, ambient, electronica and psychedelic music.

The EP is mostly down-tempo and ambient, which I can really appreciate with all the noise in the world. Put this one on and you are transported to another dimension, one with muted colors and weird sights to behold, all while this amazing soundtrack is playing and blowing your mind. The EP shows what he can do when left to his own devices and really gets the layering of many sounds to flow onto one another with such ease and skill that you will want to put the headphones on and be selfish and not let anyone else into your headspace while listening to this EP.

Song after song just gets into your head and makes you want to hit replay on this EP over and over again. For his first solo recordings being so good, I can’t wait to see what he will come up with next.

https://www.facebook.com/proudcreature/

 

PTOLEMEA: Maze

Luxembourg-based female-fronted alternative rock band Ptolemea has established themselves as a live act with a melancholic, dreamy twist. With a powerful voice, tight grooves and grungy riffs, the outfit delivers their newest EP, Maze.

It’s like the early to mid-90s never went away when you hit play on this EP. While not really being what I would call grunge, more like the glut of alternative bands that came in its wake. I really found myself likening this to Linda Perry’s singing style in 4 Non Blondes. There is a lot of energy in the playing and raw emotion in the vocals that carry this EP.  Priscila Da Costa has a great voice that hits you in the gut and sticks with you. The band is very accomplished and the total package works.

This is an album to throw on and sit in your backyard and have some drinks while cranking it up loud, or hitting the road with the windows down and feeling the breeze hit you in the face…just like this album does.

https://ptolemea.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ptolemea-373927193069737/

https://ptolemea.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/finestnoisemusic

http://www.finestnoise.de/

RAINER LANDFERMANN: Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit

German vocalist and bass player Rainer Landfermann is known for his work with PAVOR, Bethlehem, and his own solo work. Featured on the album are ten dark and highly diverse songs that are pushing the boundaries of the extreme metal genre. You have dramatic low-frequency waves of bowed double basses, tenebrous choirs and somber jazz ballad parts harmoniously join blasting drums and grim avant-garde guitar riffs. The German album title translates to “My word in your darkness”. “The album is about introspection, self-awareness, and – ultimately – about beauty:” says Rainer Landfermann, “its experience, appreciation, and sometimes, the painful loss of it.”

Talk about something different! The vocals go from straight singing, growls to screaming that sounds like someone is being killed, and all in the space of every song. It kind of gets a bit much with it going on over and over again. Some parts remind me of Rammstein, some parts are pure noise, and some of it is just beautiful and sounds like something that you would find on a jazz album and some like on a horror movie. The album jumps all over the place and even has some of the jazz-punk of Black Flag in places…so much to take in and very unclassifiable. Yes, it is metal, but it is so much more too. The album is available both as download and as an elaborately designed limited art book edition, for which Rainer Landfermann teamed up with Russian ballet photographer Daria Chenikova and model Anna Grigoryan, a ballerina at the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow, who is also featured on the album cover. For each of the ten songs on the album, they created a gorgeous visualization of the theme and mood of the respective music and lyrics.

While not my cup of tea, this is an album that really takes chances and challenges the listener. I may not be a fan of most of this, but I can respect what he is doing and some of the music on here.

https://rainerlandfermann.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RainerLandfermann/

https://rainerlandfermann.bandcamp.com/

 

MATCHBOX: The Albums 1979-82

Matchbox was formed in Middlesex, in 1971 playing their rockabilly revival music and have been putting out albums and touring right up until the present. The band appeared in the 1980 film Blue Suede Shoes which detailed the revival of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll music scene at the time. Eventually, time and changing tastes meant the hits stopped coming and the various members went off to do other projects. Then, back in 1996, as the rockabilly and rock’n’roll scenes saw another surge of interest, these five guys got back together again to do a couple of shows, and now, the original band is back touring. This is a 65 track 4 CD box set rounding up all of the band’s recordings for Magnet Records between 1979 and 1982.

Being a lover of rockabilly and not owning any of their albums, this is a perfect way for me to get into the band with their original albums and go from there. They started off kicking and screaming right out of the gate with energy and a thrilling sound that will draw you in. Real rockabilly that quickens your heart and fills you with the desire to get up and dance. Disc one is their self-titled debut for the label which reached No. 44 in the UK chart. It contains the hit singles “Rockabilly Rebel” (No.18) and “Buzz Buzz A Diddle It’”(No.22) as well as the non-charting “Black Slacks.” These are great songs that show that they can write catchy songs that still sound great after all these years. The album now comes with four bonus tracks including two recorded under the name of Cyclone. The second disc is 1980’s Midnite Dynamos album which reached No.23 in the British charts. The title track gave the band a No.14 hit single and the album also includes the No.4 smash “When You Ask About Love.” This album continues the wild ride of the first album and you can see the band getting tighter and the writing getting better. The eight bonus cuts include the No.15 hit “Over The Rainbow/You Belong To Me” as well as two ultra-rare Japanese only singles, “I’m A Lover Man” and “Little Lonely Girl.” Disc 3 is the Flying Colours album which contained the hit singles “Babe’s In The Wood” (No.46) and “Love’s Made A Fool Of You” (No.63).  Buddy Holly’s “Love’s Made A Fool Of You” is a great cover that doesn’t mimic the original, they give it the respect it’s due, but make it their own, and then do the same to Holly’s “You’re The One.” Another winner of an album. The final disc is the 1982 LP Crossed Line, released here on CD for the first time. It features the No.63 hit single “One More Saturday Night” plus their collaboration with the late Kirsty MacColl on “I Want Out.” This album sees the band continuing their progression into one of the finest rockabilly bands around and should have got them more popular around the world since others like the Stray Cats came along and stole the spotlight away from them.

Housed in a sturdy clamshell box, each disc comes in a card wallet depicting the original LP art on the front. The 20-page booklet comes complete with in-depth liner notes plus pictures of all relevant singles sleeves and memorabilia. So, as you can see, this is not only a top-notch collection with bonus tracks and a great booklet but a great bunch of songs from a band that deserves to be heard and played over and over again. This is the kind of compilations that truly showcase a band and gives the listener a true taste of what was going on for the band back then and lets you dig deep into the great music.

http://www.rockabillyrebel.co.uk/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

MISSING PERSONS: Dreaming

Missing Persons Feat. Dale Bozzio - Dreaming

Missing Persons was such a big part of the early ’80s for me, with Dale Bozzio’s style, unique voice and the amazing songs…I was an instant fan. Of course, being a teenage boy, Dale was a big reason I loved the band…I did mention her style, right? Anyways, there is a new album out and let’s get to it.

You get twelve songs and three are originals with covers of The cars, The The, Joy Division and others. Starting off with the cover of “California Dreamin'” all I can say is wow! Her voice is amazing and the band keep the tempo down and it flows so well. New songs “Lipstick” and “Dreaming” are fantastic and I had to hit replay on them to hear them right away. So slinky, sexy and perfect. “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” made popular by The Animals is played slow and similar to the first song and is another cool version. “This Is The Day” originally by The The is a winner sounding as good as the original version and is very ’80s sounding. “Images In Heaven” by Peter Godwin is a peppy track that I really enjoyed and takes you back to the early ’80s with the sound of Missing Persons from back then. Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense and Peppermints” is another fast-paced cover that really works and sounds like it could have come out in 1982.

All-in-all, a great return from an artist that I had hoped would put out something new after seeing her in concert last year for the first time ever. This will fit in perfectly with the earlier albums and will be one to play the hell out of. Great album, thank you for making my wish come true.

https://www.facebook.com/missingpersonsdalebozzio

https://missingpersonsdalebozzio.bandcamp.com/

http://cleorecs.com/home/

https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

THE BASEMENT PAINTINGS: Antipodes

The Basement Paintings from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan got together in the winter of 2011 and quickly got to work recording a full-length debut album which was released in March of 2013. The follow-up EP, titled Time Lapse City was released in March of 2014, and their next release was Mystic. The band has a mix of progressive rock, metal, experimental, and post-rock sound that they manage to pull off quite well.

The songs are all instrumental and at times have a touch of Tool in sound, but never enough to make them a copyist, just like adding a touch of salt to your food; it seasons it enough to make it tasty. This band has a lot of talent, they play with such precision and with feeling that you can close your eyes and just nod your head along to the tracks and drift away. Not saying that there isn’t some metal crunch, but the songs just flow so beautifully that you get into a trance-like state listening to it. All of the tracks except one, are all over eight minutes long, the last track is a whopping fifteen minutes long, so make sure that you have the time for this.

With such lengthy tracks, the band has a chance to go places with the listener that they wouldn’t if they were cut shorter in time. Grab a drink, pull up a chair and go on a long journey with these guys and see where you land.

http://www.thebasementpaintings.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Basement-Paintings/140222956134635

https://thebasementpaintings.bandcamp.com/

THE KISS THAT TOOK A TRIP: Garlands

Formed in Madrid in 2006, The Kiss That Took A Trip is the brainchild of M.D. Trello, who stands as the sole member. Since its inception, He has been regularly putting out self-made releases, with the EP Dating Aphrodite (2008) and the albums, Worst Case Scenarios (2009), The Dummy Family (2011), How The Mighty Have Fallen (2012), Electroforest (2014), Electroforest (By Night) (2015), Happiness In The Presence Of Sadness (2016), and Punk Cathedral (2017). This is a mix of experimental, shoegaze, alternative rock and post rock and works together pretty well.

“Copernicus” starts things off with a cool shoegaze sound that really was a throwback to the ‘90s when that was popular, but didn’t sound retro at all. “Whoever Hurt You Has My Sympathy” is another great track that has a woman throughout fighting against someone. The track is a mid-paced groover that really stands out. “The Hays Code” is an overlong instrumental track that could be good if restraint was implemented.

All-in-all, not too bad of a collection of songs that vary from track to track, and will definitely catch your ears. I’m looking forward to checking out more of his music in the future.

http://www.thekissthattookatrip.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thekissthattookatrip/

DELYN GREY: Battle

 

Delyn Grey from Toronto, Ontario has released a new Alternative Rock single that made her dig down deep inside herself. “This one hurt,” she says earnestly. “The craziest part was discovering how much pain I was ignoring, and how I had accepted that as a norm. I couldn’t package this one up in pop chords and upbeat shit. It had to sound how I felt.” She continues to say, “Battle is me acknowledging that I was happily drowning in my self-deprecation. It filled this twisted void that ran deeper and deeper the more I gave in to it, but there was always this voice that fought against the heaviness. I eventually let it get louder, and I fought. Fighting gave me purpose, and this song granted me control of the uncontrollable. I wrote this song in the throes of it all. It helped me process all that was happening, and still happens, up in here “she says pointing to her head. As you can see, doing a song about depression can be hard, yet beautiful as well.

With the piano leading off the track and taking it by its throat, the song just gets deeper and more melancholy, yet beautiful due to the amazing voice of Grey. You can hear the rawness of her emotions come through loud and clear. The rest of the band comes in and just pushes the song into greatness as the vocals just overwhelm you. A very deep and sombre song that the pain just gets into your soul and as beautiful as it all is, it’s just so sad at the same time that people have to go through things this tough.

A fantastic track that the more that you listen to it, the better it gets and it just draws you in and sticks with you. I can’t wait to hear more from Grey and hopefully, this will help get some of the depression sorted for her.

http://delyngreyofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/itsdelyn/

 

HOWARD JONES : One To One (Expanded Deluxe 3CD & DVD Set)

 

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Released in October 1986, One To One was produced by the legendary producer Arif  Mardin and saw a change in Howard’s writing and musical style. The album reached  No.10 in the UK Album Charts selling over 100,000 copies and achieving Gold status. It contained three tracks that were released as singles in the UK, “All I Want” peaked at No.35, “You Know I Love You… Don’t You?” at No.43 and “Little Bit Of Snow” at No.70. It also contained the single mix of “No One Is To Blame” (a song featured on his previous album Dream Into Action) with Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals. As well as achieving great success in the UK, One To One and the various singles that were taken from it, also enjoyed tremendous success internationally in such countries as USA, Canada, Australia and throughout most of Europe. Packaged in a digipack with a fully illustrated 16-page booklet containing rare photos and brand new sleevenotes and track by track annotation about ONE TO ONE by Howard Jones as told to acclaimed writer Anil Prasad. Featuring an expanded selection of previously unreleased studio and live versions plus newly remastered tracks. Includes a DVD (NTSC/Region Free) containing BBC TV appearances on Top Of The Pops, Saturday SUperstore, Wogan and The Roland Rat Show as well as promotional videos.

I was really looking forward to this album when I heard that it was coming out when I was in high school, and after hearing “You Know I Love You… Don’t You?” on the radio, and then seeing the video, I knew that I had to get it. I went out and purchased it the day it came out, rushed home and put it on. After that great track, I kind of sat there wondering what happened. I couldn’t get my head around the new sounds that he was playing on this album after the more synth-pop on the first two albums. I filed it away and hoped the next one would be better, but as I got older, I started to appreciate the album more and more. I now find that it is a great transition into a more mature artist and really stands up after all these years. The songs are tight, fun and funkier than in the past and keep your feet tapping all the way through. The addition of remixes, demos and live tracks just adds to the greatness of this album. I also really enjoyed the videos and the interview with Howard, especially him talking about the songs.

This is an album that really has impressed me and gets a lot of play in my house and car. Give the album a chance and lose yourself in the maturity and funkiness of this album.

http://www.howardjones.com/

https://www.facebook.com/howardjones/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

TANYA GALLAGHER: One Hand On My Heart

 

Tanya Gallagher leads a double life. By day, the Pensacola, Florida native who once interned for NASA practices cartography, turning geographic information into maps for Santa Rosa County, where she resides, and by night, she pens soulful, folk etched pop songs. Gallagher wrote all of the songs on One Hand On My Heart while she was pursuing a PhD in forestry in Vancouver. Heartbroken after a split with her longtime boyfriend, she nearly found the stress of academia too much to take. “Had it not been for music, I don’t think I would have made it through my PhD,” says Gallagher.

With a smoky and soulful voice, Gallagher really gives off a ton of emotion and heartbreak on this album. The songs tug at your soul, never mind your heart and you can hear just how much her pain was, but with pain, you sometimes get great art, and she did create beautiful art on this EP. The production is clear and lets the rawness of her lyrics pour out, plus the laying is exceptional. This is the kind of album that I would expect people who like Fiona Apple to love as well. I loved “Dolphin In The Snow” because it was fairly upbeat sounding and her little laugh at the beginning of the song made me smile. She compares herself to a dolphin in the snow and how she doesn’t fit in. This is such a peppy song that gives everyone who listens to it the same thought, “do I fit in?”

This is a short, amazingly personal collection of songs, but I believe that a lot of people could relate to what she is singing about. While not a fan of this kind of music usually, this is an album that really touched me and will connect with you as well.

https://www.facebook.com/tanyagallaghermusic/

http://www.tanyagallagher.com/