THE GREEN DOOR: Wolf In The Fold

Formed in San Francisco in 2008, the band is composed of Mike Carnahan on lead vocals and guitar, Reese Abell on bass, guitarist Evan Wardell, drummer Vanessa Wolter, as well as Devin Triplett on keys. They mix up spaghetti western and psychedelic music to create their own Western Psychedelic on this new EP.

Sounding like a combination of Jefferson Airplane and Ennio Morricone on these six songs actually works really well and makes for a fun and interesting listen, one that you can go back to again and again. The riff-heavy “Wolf In The Fold” is a great opener that grabs your attention with its mix of styles and a thick sound. The acid alt-country of “Back to Houston” lays on the dirty playing and is a gritty song that has some “twang” in the guitar playing that really gives it that country feel. “You Won’t Hear That Anymore” comes closest to being a straight psychedelic track compared to the others. “Rivers” starts off with vocals that I can’t understand, almost native sounding and then goes quiet for a few seconds and then the band kicks things into gear with a twangy and peppy song that perfectly ends things off on this great EP.

A mix of styles that I never thought would work well together has just blown my expectations away and given me something thrilling to listen to, an original and unique band that will make your ears happy and make you look forward to their next release.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-green-door-wolf-in-fold.html

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ANDREW RIDGELEY: Son Of Albert

This is the first reissue for Andrew Ridgeley’s debut album Son Of Albert that was originally released in 1990, four years after the breakup of Wham! Andrew Ridgeley as one half of the 80’s Supergroup Wham! sold more than 28 million records worldwide between 1982 and 1986. This Special Expanded Edition includes the nine original album tracks from the vinyl release plus 7 related bonus tracks. This includes “Shake (Hardcore)” that was featured on the CD version of the album.

One day at the record store that I worked at, a label compilation was given to me be the rep and I took a look at it and saw that a solo song from Ridgely was on it and I was interested in hearing it. I cued it up on the old CD player and there it was, the first single, “Shake.”The song starts off with guitar and vocals, then the band kicks in with a catchy chorus and I was kind of shocked that it had nothing to do with the way that Wham! sounded. A lot more rock and not pop at all, so I was interested in hearing more from the album. For whatever reason, the album never seemed to appear in the store and I promptly forgot about it, until one day, Was in another record store and saw the CD in the used bin on sale for 3 for $10. I dug around and grabbed a couple more discs and headed home. When I put this on, was I ever surprised with what I heard! This was a hair metal CD, not a guy from Wham! I had thought that I got a mislabeled CD, until I heard “Shake” and realized that this truly was the real one. Starting off with “Red Dress,” I was shocked to hear a rocking song with more than a touch of hair metal, almost Poison-like in sound. Next was “Shake,” then “The Price Of Love” which is a more rockin’ out tune with an early Alice Cooper vocal sound. “Flame” is a dirty sounding track with ripping guitar playing. “Hangin'” is more pop-oriented, less hard rock and a ridiculously catchy chorus. “Mexico” sounds almost exactly like Poison and is really hair metal. “Big Machine,” “Kiss Me,” and “Baby Jane” all carry on the hard rock sound. I sat there and couldn’t believe that the guy who helped put out songs like “Wake Me Up,” and “Wham! Rap” was doing a metal album now! I can see why that this was not a hit because where would it have gotten air-play? Rock radio would not touch an album from a guy from Wham!, and pop radio wouldn’t play a metal album, so then what? Now, after a lot of years, we get a remastered version with bonus tracks and a chance to re-think the whole thing. This version contains a recent interview with Ridgeley and co-producer Gary Bromham, remastering from the original tapes, the single “Shake” in “Hardcore,” “Accapella,” and “Extended” mixes, second single “Red Dress” which features backing vocals by George Michael, with “12”” and an additional “Extended Mix,” and “Hangin,” with the “Extended” and “Alternative Extended Version.”

“Shake (Hardcore)” is mostly just music and effects added to it, “Acapella” really isn’t since it has a guitar in it, and “Extended” is not as dancey, more open sounding. “Red Dress (12″ Mix)” is a fairly rocking mix that sounds great, “Extended Version” is exactly that, an extended mix. “Hangin’ (Alternative Extended Version)” is more of a dancey track, and “Extended” is, even more, pop-oriented and dancey than the other mixes.

The sound is great, and listening to this again, with al the years between the first listen and today, this isn’t that bad of an album, kind of fun and definitely something that stands as his own statement. Take a chance and give it a listen for yourself.

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ANDREW REED: If All The World Were Right

The new album from Andrew Reed has thirteen tracks and is a blend of rock, Americana, and new classic rock. Musicians contributing to the album include: Trevor Walker and Rob Geisler on bass; Aaron Price on keyboards and piano; Courtney Hodges on backing vocals; Paul Babelay on percussion; Alex Bradley on trumpet; Joseph Dowdy on saxophone; Kyle Snuffer on trombone; Kara Poorbaugh on viola; Franklin Keel on cello; and Andrew Reed on guitars.

“Sailed Away” is a pleasant mellow track that reminds me of some of the acoustic British bands in the mid-‘80s with the gentle sounds and swaying beat of the music. The song has a lovely quality that makes you fall in love with it. “Cure My Mind” is another great song that has beautiful guitar playing and the organ is fantastic in the song, giving it so much depth. The band is tight, has emotion and plays so well that you will just want to listen to the songs over and over again. The album has that mid-‘80s British vibe that I miss and they really took me for a loop because I was not expecting that at all. “Life In The City,” “If All the World Were Right,” and “Open Road,” were a few more songs that really grabbed me. “Sailed Away (Reprise)” is a little different than the previous version, but still holds up as a fantastic song. It’s a little slower, more dramatic, and just fantastic. The album ends with “All the World is Right (Poem)” which is really a poem being recited with piano and strings accompanying, and it totally works as a great close to an album that just kept on giving the listener great songs.

The album doesn’t exceed expectations, it completely blew them away and made for an experience that you will want to bring back to your ears as soon as you can. This shows that you can have heartfelt, expressive songs and not bore the listener, you astound them.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/01/andrew-reed-if-all-world-were-right.html

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SINOPTIK: Standalone Syndrome

They first formed in Donetsk, Ukraine in 2011, and almost three years ago, they were forced to leave their home city by the war and venture forth in search of a new home. They state that “it’s a new page in our music. It’s a new vision of our band.”

I don’t know what vision it is that they have, but I like where they are going with it. The mix of psych/stoner rock just grabs you as soon as you hit play. The swirling sounds, the pounding drums, the thick, but intricate bass, the excellent guitar playing and the blistering vocals made this a song that you will want to hear again and again. The song is catchy, a glorious morass that will engulf your ears and fill them with the glory of a band that is at the top of their game.

With just one song to go on, this is a fantastic journey for the band that the listener can’t help but get pulled along for the ride, and what a ride it is. Grab a bag of your fav snack food and let them take you away.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/01/sinoptik-standalone-syndrome.html

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NYDTyson: If You’re So Smart, Why Are You So Sad?

The group from Los Angeles, CA has just released their debut EP containing five songs, and their name stands for Neil Young deGrasse Tyson. The duo takes an irreverent stab at indie and never gets bogged down in anything too heavy-handed.

“Egg” reminds me of stuff that I heard on the radio back in the mid-‘90s when alternative was the big thing and weird and wacky would get attention on the video shows and airwaves. Very quirky and so much going on in it that you have to give it a few listens to drink it all in. “Neanderthal” and “What Did You Say?” are two of the songs that were heavy and more all-out garage rock and I loved them. “Who Cares” has the feel of floating and just drifting into the ether, kind of like a China Crisis song. “I Think We Both Know” is another slow song that continues the light and airy feel of the previous song and gives us a bit of a Pink Floyd sound…very cool.

If you are out to listen to something that doesn’t sound like everything else out there, you hit the jackpot here! A very interesting and delightful EP that will keep you coming back for more and wanting them to hurry up and get more music out.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/01/nydtyson-if-youre-so-smart-why-are-you.html

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STARING INTO NOTHING: Power

This progressive rock trio hails from Orange County, CA and consists of Steve Rogers (piano, keyboards, lead and backing vocals), Savannah Rogers (guitar, lead and backing vocals), and Kurt Barabas (bass and guitars). The album also features the additional musicians: Matt Chamberlain (drums), David Levita (guitars), Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards), Pop Levi (backing vocals), and Andrea Meli (backing vocals).

With political lyrics and tight musicianship, the band gives listeners an earful that makes repeated listening very easy. You get hints of ‘70s prog mixed with ‘80s and current sounds that make for a nice mixture of sounds that never gets boring. This has so many songs that stand out that it’s hard to pick one or two, it’s like a collection of the best songs or at least a band that put a lot of thought into what they recorded instead of just trying to pack a ton of songs on a release. The one-two punch of “Puritans” and “School Daze” must be one of the best starts to an album that I’ve heard in a long time. So catchy and played with conviction, I had a hard time going onto the rest of the album until I played them a few more times. “The Pendulum”, “Heads And Tails”, and the lead single “Big Brother,” are more of the standouts on the album. There is also an 18-minute opus on the record entitled “Towers” that is an amazing song that needs to be listened to with headphones on to get the full effect. With beautiful production from Mark Needham, this sounds clear, crisp and full of life.

All I can say is that if you need something new to listen to, grab this and ignore your preconceived idea of overwrought prog, this has depth and is brimming with emotion, plus lyrics that will get you thinking…how can that ever be a bad combination?

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/11/staring-into-nothing-power.html

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FRACKTURA: Oculus

This progressive rock trio from Cincinnati, OH features Karis Tucker (voice), André Machado (8-string guitar, bass), and Henry Conde (synth, piano). Guest musicians include Julio Oliveira on drums, Ander Peterson on saxophone, Soojin Kim on piano, and with lyrics by Diogo Oliveria. With 2016 being the official start of the band, this new EP continues on and expands from the first single “Reality.”

Oculus is meant to be listened to in one sitting to absorb its power and meaning with the main theme being about reconciling the individual’s outer persona with their inner self-running through the four songs on the EP. Opener “You” starts a capella and then the piano comes in to make a song that reminds me of a Depeche Mode quiet piece. “Gold Spectrum” is an avant-garde jazz piece with wailing and squawking sax and discordant sounds that bring to mind the Contortions. “The Fear Peddler” has a more straightforward sound than the previous song and adds some interesting spaciness in the sound, kind of like drifting in the sky-high above the earth. Finishing with “Identidade,” a quiet, yet powerful song that has sweet vocals and a haunting piano that grabs your ears and pulls you into the depth of the song.

A very interesting EP that will have you putting on your headphones to listen to so that you don’t miss one bit of sound that they have produced here. From beauty to quirky and back to the beauty all in under fifteen minutes, and fifteen minutes that you will no doubt be listening to again and again.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/11/fracktura-oculus.html

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