WINTER CALLING: Faces

Formed in Florida in 2013, the band began as a side project between Wayne Hoefle (percussion, piano, and keys), who was composing film scores at the time, and guitarist Ian Medhurst who was touring with national recording artist John Wesley. They soon recruited Texas-bred bassist Tim Gilbreath, and finally to Los Angeles-based vocalist Chris Hodges. They have released two albums and some new videos for their latest album Faces.

This progressive metal band has a powerful sound that I couldn’t get enough of and had to listen to “Not Like You” over and over again. The song is tight, full of emotion and vocals so strong, Superman couldn’t stop them if he tried his best. Chock full of energy and a chorus that got stuck in my head, I listened to the song at least four times before continuing. “Follow Me Down” has more subtle moments in it, a quieter moment here and there, but not wimping out, just not as in your face, and is another amazing track that makes you amazed at the talent in this band and the ability to create such blistering sounds. “A New Me, A Few Me” has whispered vocals mixed in with growling, angry vocals and it adds a sense of menace to the song that carries onto the music which is played both heavy and more subtle in parts. The song has a creepiness to it that is both scary and sends the hairs on your arms on end with the beauty of it. The whole album is great with so many songs that are sure to become favorites, but these are the ones with videos out and ones that you would be able to listen to first and get an idea of the album, which is a treat to listen to.

This band just became one that I will be playing in my car over and over again, especially now that the weather is nice, I will be rolling down the windows and cranking this up loud. I suggest that you grab a copy and do the same.

http://www.wintercalling.com

https://www.facebook.com/wintercalling

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HAIRCUT ONE HUNDRED: Paint And Paint

After a massive first album, Haircut One Hundred were now without a singer, no record label, a backlash against their pop music and in dire straits. This album came out of that difficult time and was not a hit, but has become the holy grail of their music since it has never been on CD, and copies of the album were hard to find. Now we have a remastered and expanded CD that is a welcome addition to your collection.

I loved their first album, playing it on my Walkman over and over again, then waiting, and waiting for more music from them, finally reading in Smash Hits magazine that they had a new single out. I headed out to the record store over and over again in Hamilton to try to buy their music, and finally, I found the single “Prime Time,” with “Too Up Two Down” on the other side. I hurried home, removed the 12″ single from the sleeve while admiring the cool shopping bag that the single was packaged in, and put it on. I was a little bit taken aback that the songs, while good, were so different to the first album, and the singer was a bit different than Nick Heyward, but after a few listens, I was hooked and had to find the album. Well, that didn’t happen for around 5 years because no one carried it and it was not able to be ordered since it wasn’t popular. I did finally find the album on cassette and was happy to finally have it. I played it a lot and eventually hoped to find if on CD, but that wasn’t going to be happening. I was excited to see that Cherry Red was able to get the rights to it and add a second disc of bonus tracks. I put this in my stereo, turned it up and relived the songs that I knew, and enjoyed the way that the album was different than their first one, but still retaining the charm that I loved from the first album. The first disc has the 11 original album tracks plus four related bonus tracks; the 7″ remix of “Too Up Two Down,” the 12″ mix of “Prime Time (Late Night Shopping Version),” and two b-sides “Evil Smokestacking Baby,” and “After It’s All Been Said And Done.” The second disc starts with the 12″ version of “So Tired (Long Slumber Mix),” and its b-side “Fish In A Bowl (Deeper Version).” The next nine tracks were supplied by the band from their own archives. They feature working mixes taken straight from the mixing desk during the recording sessions for the band to listen to at home and work on additional arrangements and brass parts. And at the end, you get four tracks recorded at the BBC for a session on the David Jensen show. They were aired on his show on 13th May 1984.

As you can see, this is an amazing collection of tracks that give the fans an idea of where the band was going and what they were trying to accomplish. Sadly, no matter how good and poppy the album was, fans didn’t buy it and they broke up, but at least we have a collection of songs that hold up and add to the memory of a great band. The booklet has memories of the album and the recording process and was a great read. The added music, along with the remastering has made this a dream come true for fans.

https://www.facebook.com/Haircut-One-Hundred-545660278926365/

http://www.haircutonehundred.net/

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

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

DIVINE: Jungle Jezebel

Divine….really, what more needs to be said? It’s been remastered, it has remixes, a great booklet with lots of info, and it’s about time.

I first heard Divine in the early ’80s, and it was “Love Reaction” that was my introduction to his music. As soon as I heard it, I knew that this was someone I was going to have to get more music from. The obvious New Order sound, the deadpan vocals…..awesome! I taped the song off of the radio and down to the record store I went. I found a few “12 singles and took them home and loved them as well. Now I have not only those singles and their remixes in one collection, but it sounds even better than before. The songs are still terrific, “Shoot Your Shot,” “Native Love,” which I played to death when I was a DJ, and “Shake It Up.” The songs still make me want to dance and now, having the remixes remastered and on a second disc, I can get more of the music I missed and can hear them finally. This is a collection that will take you back in time and still make you jump up and dance, probably more than you might be able to do anymore…lol.

I am so happy that an album that was hard to find back in the ’80s has now been made available again, and is even better with the improved sound and the second disc of remixes. Grab a copy and make Divine proud of your impeccable taste.

https://www.facebook.com/DivineOfficialPage/

http://divineofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

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

GHOST COLOR: American Book of the Dead

This Sacramento, CA trio has released a new four song E.P. of heavy, but melodic alternative rock that has a thick shoegaze drone to it. They have released a previous E.P. and know that all bands come to an end, but they really want to get their sound and vision out before that day happens.

With soaring vocals and some distortion as the predominate sounds, this band adds so much into the mix that you get drawn in and they lift you up and then bring you back down to earth again with the slower, shoegaze effects. The songs are catchy, short enough to not overstay their presence, but long enough to give you everything that you want. The band has power, energy and more than enough talent to get into your ears and make you smile while listening to this EP over and over again. The vocals are strong and have so much emotion emanating that it grabs your attention right away, this is not some wimpy vocalist, it’s a guy that can wail and then smooth it out again. The band plays with so much power and yet adds subtle sounds into the mix effortlessly.

This was a definite treat with four tight and thrilling songs that will keep garnering them more fans and hopefully a career that will last for a long time. They say that they know that all bands come to an end, let’s hope that they stay together and keep putting out great music.

http://ghostcolormusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/GhostColor

https://ghostcolor.bandcamp.com/album/american-book-of-the-dead

Also posted on:

http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/06/ghost-color-american-book-of-dead.html

SAINT BLASPHEMER: Theotokos

This band from Santa Ana, CA is comprised of Thomas Monroe (vocals), John Castellon (guitar), Steve Shell (bass), and Steve Ybarra (drums). They’ve been playing shows since February 2016 and have two releases out now with Theotokos being the newest.

The band has a ‘90s alternative sound to them, but not enough to make them sound retro or tired, more like familiar, which is good since being a new band, having that sound, makes you think that you’ve known them a long time. They have a very sexy and cool swagger to their music, kind of walking in and knowing that they’re right and about what they’re doing, not that stupid “swag” that kids think is hip nowadays. The band is tight, the vocals are clear, crisp and full of energy and don’t overpower the music, matter of fact, everything is mixed perfectly and has more than enough juice to light up a city, not to mention your ears. The mix of alternative and metal work together far better on here than on most of the other albums that I’ve heard try to mix it up; usually, it becomes a battle of which one takes over the song/album, but these guys temper the mix perfectly. The more that I listened to this album, the more that they reminded me of Jane’s Addiction, mostly in the music, not the vocals so much, but not to the point of being copyists.

If you have a soft spot for ‘90s music, or just want to hear a band that has their shit together and can play the hell out of their instruments with feeling and conviction, then you need to grab this one. If they keep on this path, there is no doubt that people will catch on and they will become powerhouses.

http://www.saintblasphemer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saintblasphemer/

https://saintblasphemer.bandcamp.com/

Also posted on:

http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/06/saint-blasphemer-theotokos.html