AMERICAN AMNESIA: Yet Here We Are

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American Amnesia is a band of teen musicians that hail from Torrington and Winsted, CT. The band is Patrick Nemaizer (19) on vocals and guitar, Sam Cesnak (17) on drums and Gus Pac (16) on bass. The band plays a mix of hard rock tinged with a bit of alternative.

The playing is tight, some nice solos that will make the air guitarists happy, pummeling drums, a thick low end of vocals that sound like a classic rock band from the late 70s, lots of emotion, clear and perfect for this band. “The One” is a fantastic song that I would have thought was a forgotten gem from the 70s. It sounds classic, has amazing guitar playing and the vocals are glorious. The band sounds like they have been playing together for a long time, nice cohesive sound and no way would I have believed that they were this young, no way! The playing and songwriting are very advanced and show that they know what they are doing. You can hear the fun that they are having and the passionate vocals are something that really stands out. “Questions in the Dark” is a dark and plodding song, but plodding in the way that Black Sabbath used to drag you down and drag you through the music, with your face down and a heavy weight on you…kind of cool.

The whole album is like this, heavy with touches of their influences, but still original enough to make it a great listen, matter of fact, I think I will throw this one in the car and crank it up with the windows down…the hell with the air conditioner.

Also posted: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/07/american-amnesia-yet-here-we-are.html

http://www.americanamnesiaband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanAmnesia/

https://www.facebook.com/ProphetMotiveRecords/

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ASTRAL CLOUD ASHES: Dear Absentee Creator

Astral Cloud Ashes is a one-man band formed in 2016 and based on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands by Antony Walker. Recently he released his second album titled Dear Absentee Creator. The album was influenced by his fascination with both Japan and cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The album has the sound and feel of late 80s indie and early to mid-90s alternative bands, mixing the sounds up and adding things into the mix that adds to the intriguing music he’s created. He musicianship is terrific, with everything sounding clear, crisp and the playing is tight. Lots of different effects in the songs that give every one a unique, but cohesive listen on the album. The vocals are a bit on the whiny/snotty pop-punk side that was and is still popular, but they are clear and are perfect for the songs. You get a nice chunk of poppy sounding songs with catchy hooks that will get you singing along to and especially on “Satoshi Nakamoto vs. Unyielding Desire for BAU,” the crunchy guitar playing is outstanding.

This album is an interesting, tuneful and great listen. It has everything that I was hoping for, hooks, fun, songs to sing along to and one that I will play a ton of times.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/06/astral-cloud-ashes-dear-absentee-creator.html

https://www.facebook.com/astralcloudashes/?fref=ts

https://astralcloudashes.bandcamp.com/

NEGATIVEHATE: Solipsis

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative, and post-metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NEGATIVEHATE

https://negativehate.bandcamp.com/

AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/aurganic-distant-echoes-close-encounters.html

https://www.aurganic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aurganic/

GROUPOEM: Dirt Church

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The band began as Mr.Science in 1983 before transforming into Groupoem in 1986. The band first released a six song 12″ EP before embarking on a North American tour in 1987. They later returned to the studio where they recorded 10 songs in the summer of 1987 that are being released now for the first time, along with some new songs. The band then went on hiatus for 25 years and has now regrouped with all the original members that ironically, all four members of the band separately had migrated from Toronto to the Vancouver, BC area. The first nine tracks on this album represent the newest music, while tracks ten through eighteen are from 1987, and are a mix of punk rock and alternative.

If you are a fan of talking/singing, kind of how Lou Reed did it, this is for you. “Slimfast” is the kickoff track of this album, and one of their newer songs and has that vocal style mixed with some angular playing that really gives the song a nice edge to it. The vocals also give me a Stan Ridgway vibe with the shaky sound to them. The band has a great vibe going on with sharp guitar playing, and terrific drumming and the vocals that kind of are a step out of sync, but yet match up perfectly with the music. All of the new songs have a great sound and are exceptional, and then we get to the old ones…wow! The band sounds so different, you know, youth and different experiences can make a difference over time, but I wish that I had heard this band back in high school, I would have loved them, and I do now! The band just blows through these old songs at a breakneck pace and you really feel the power and enthusiasm that is present on these songs. One rager after another that will get your heart rate going and get your tired old ass up out of your chair and slamming in the front room.

I am so glad to hear their new songs and how they have moved on, but kept the great songs that they showed on the older tunes, but damn, they could really tear it up back then. A great collection of songs that shows a progression and a promise for more in the future from this talented group. Welcome back boys!

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/10/groupoem-dirt-church.html

https://www.facebook.com/groupoemband/

http://www.groupoem-band.com/

A mini documentary of the band’s reformation at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccyYtHm7cc8

Spotify: https://goo.gl/UBWxUs

THE MOCK TURTLES: Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

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The Mock Turtles are an English indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s. Their song “Can You Dig It?” which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003. Led by former Judge Happiness singer Martin Coogan, older brother of actor/comedian Steve Coogan, the band began to pick up attention around 1990, with tracks such as “Lay Me Down” and “And Then She Smiles” on the Imaginary label. It was “Can You Dig It?,” however, which gained them wider attention. Originally a b-side to “Lay Me Down,” the band’s new record label, Siren, re-issued it with additional guitar work, and “Can You Dig It?” breached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

This is a digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition, which represents their complete Imaginary catalogue, all of the Mock Turtles’ non-album singles and B-sides are included, together with the many cover versions they recorded for Imaginary’s popular tribute albums (covering The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks). In addition, Martin Coogan has unearthed no less than fourteen previously unissued Mock Turtles demos from his personal archive. Sleevenotes are by Mark Hodkinson (The Guardian, etc.), who was the first-ever journalist to review the band back in the mid-1980s. This collection features a massive forty-one tracks and with the great remastered sound, is a real treat for fans.

Being a DJ, and huge music fan, I was always on the hunt for something new to play in my set, I was downtown shopping and saw their original release as a cut-out in a store for $3 and having heard of them from reading the British music rags, I grabbed this CD and took it home. I played it as soon as I got there and loved what I heard and added it into my rotation and got good responses. Does this still hold up after all of these years? Hell yeah it does! Yes the singles are still as good as before, and the rest of the album still is great, but the bonus songs are what really makes this a winner. The end of disc one is filled out with tracks from the Pomona EP, singles and live tracks. Disc two has tracks that the band recorded for a comeback album in 2003 some of which made it on to the band’s Can You Dig It Greatest Hits CD, the great demos that give you an idea of where the band was both coming from and going, and some great covers of Syd Barrett’s “No Good Trying,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?,” The Byrds’ “Time Between and Why” into one killer tune, and, two Kinks songs, “Shangri-la” and “The Big Sky.”

With so many songs and the great sound and booklet, this is definitely a collection that goes beyond most reissues and is worth every penny. Get this album and relive one of the lost albums of the early ’90s and treat your ears to a listening experience that you won’t soon forget.

https://www.facebook.com/TheMockTurtles/

https://www.facebook.com/cherryredrecords

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

TRINE: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Trine, a trio from Austin, TX consisting of Deuce Waner (drums), Jon Yodan Jr. (guitar), and Ryan Hegefeld (vocals/bass), has released their debut album and what a whopper it is……..sixteen tracks! This alternative metal band has gone beyond what most groups do and given the fans something to think about as well as rock out to.

“Once In A Lullaby,” is an instrumental introduction to the sound of the album. This is a nice strong beginning, dark, edgy, disturbing, with a sinister laugh and dark forbidding sound. “Takedown” has a similar sound, but the guitar just punches you out as soon as it comes in, and the guitar and bass are the glue that keeps everything together. It’s multi layered with the guitar and bass. It’s not messy or sounding like multiple songs going on, it’s all coherent. The vocals are low at first, and smooth as silk and then it kicks it up to be full-bodied, in your face, not angry but imploring, strong, it pulls off the different tones, and the different pitches flawlessly. In “Heroes Of Tomorrow,” the vocals are the focal point; the vocals stand out as powerful, in your face, not angry but forceful. This song just engulfs the listener like the last one. Still very heavy guitar and bass, but the guitar and bass add that sense of depth and texture that pulls everything together it’s the backbone of Trine’s sound. “Anti Gravity” starts off with the guitar bouncy, and then the drums come in to back up the sound. Dark tones to this track give it an 80’s/90’s feel, but it’s been updated and modernized. Strong vocals are still the focal point of their songs. It’s loud, forceful, surrounds the listener, not so much in your face, but just engulfs you. The guitar did this Spanish style solo and was interesting, unique, unexpected and was beautifully done, it works really well as a bridge from the start to the finish. “A Dream Of You” has a different tone, it’s quieter guitar, is more solemn, with a different feel altogether. There aren’t any vocals on this track, it’s all instrumental. “Elysium” changes, to a more drum based sound, the vocals are slightly drowned out, but not by much. The vocals are giving off a desperate feel which works with the sound. There’s a streamlined sound to the vocals that’s multi pitched, and it works. “The Noose Or The Knife” is a dark, semi industrial, grungey style sounding song. The vocals aren’t as pronounced like before, but not hidden, more like a storyline with a talking style to the vocals. Overall it has an angry feel, but not really angry, it’s more rough around the edges, not gritty, but it has a slight edge and rawness to it. “Enemy” has a more desperate feel, in your face, edgier, heavy-set/tone at the beginning, then the vocals turn smooth, but the sound still reeks of power, with a gives no fucks feel to this track. More of a revenge song/sound. It works, with its dark, deep, textured sound that provokes many emotions. Overall a great song. “Royalty” has vocals that are more hidden, like it’s painful to bare one’s soul but full of hope and a bitter-sweet sound. It’s quiet but guitar based, with vocals that are soft and then become loud to make a point. A nice story of hope. It has a 90’s tv/movie drama feel to it and it evokes so many emotions. A great song. “Fake” gets things back to being disturbing. It’s dark, calm/angry, and it’s like a storm that is brewing. The vocals aren’t hidden, slightly flat, not as powerful, raw or in your face that the music and the tone demands. It’s too soft for the overall feel, but it’s a nice starting point though. It’s another storyline song but the texture is wrong, it’s too smooth and flat for an angry, hate filled vibe song. It’s an angry song, but I’m not getting that feel like from the other tracks. “Futures” is a more fast paced, multi layered, textured song, with vocals that are a little hidden and quiet and smooth, but the energy is high, not the in your face feel, but you know it’s there. “Hercules” has a disturbing sound at first then the vocals hit you in the face. Much better vocals and tone, it has high energy, it’s powerful, multi layered, textured, and it’s a don’t give a fuck song. It’s empowering, and it pulls you into the sound and power. “Terraform” is an unusual track with the different styles. It’s about being lost and finding one’s place, as in transforming something dead into something alive. It has really heavy bass and guitar, the vocals switch from being crystal clear to a muffled gargle. It has a major sci-fi feel to it and it’s very hard to describe, but I liked it.
“Fire” has a very hardcore guitar, fast paced sound with vocals overlapping each other creating an echo effect. The vocals are clear, strong, and full-bodied. The song has different layers all mixed into one; it has power and rawness, not in your face, but you can’t help but pay attention to it. It’s hardcore rock. “Full Circle” is drum heavy and then the guitar backs it up nicely. The vocals are slightly in the background and a little flat for such a powerful song. The music is powerful, rough around the edges, in your face, but the vocals don’t exactly match up, they’re too nice and smooth. “Somewhere Under The Rainbow” is mostly instrumental and slightly dark, with the inclusion of bells and ends off the album.

A very long album that has far more successes than miss-steps and shows so much potential and talent that these guys have. With a bit of editing, and time, this band will be a powerhouse that will be headlining larger and larger venues. A really great first album that will keep your attention and will sound great cranked up loud.

Review by: Amy East

https://www.facebook.com/trineatx/

https://www.trineatx.com/