CromsWords

.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Features: Frankie Rose-Cage Tropical, Tempers, Psychic Selves, Birds, gods, Autodrone

Making a triumphant return with her latest album "Cage Tropical," Frankie Rose delivers a veritable treasure trove of sonic amalgamation.


Drawing from classic 80's "new wave" rock sources (as well as the sci-fi movies of that era), the album presents 10 perfectly executed songs that still manage to sound fresh, avoiding the trapping of a mere nostalgia trip.  What you get instead are abundantly layered vocals and revealing autobiographical lyrics with enough auditory easter-eggs for those who enjoy pinpointing potential references.

- - -

Opening track "Love In Rockets" describes Frankie's ultimately disappointing time spent attempting a residential move from New York to Los Angeles.  While poetic lyrical lines describe her "resting my head like a wilting flower," others stating how she's "done 500 degrees in my ivory tower" imply that at least some of the fault may not be all on the city alone.   The hook centers around a vocal chant ("ah-we-oh, ah-we-oh") stylizing the initial word to lyrics "a wheel of of wasting my time here."  Strong percussion dominates with an emphasis on rolling toms coupled with synthesizer enhancements capture the golden age of 80's "new wave" textures.

- - -

"Dyson Sphere" is an interesting song on a number of levels.  For those who don't know already (or are curious) the title refers to a hypothetical mega-structure that completely encompasses a star and captures most or all of its power output.  It should be noted that this is a theoretical concept and currently far beyond humanity's engineering capacity.  Instrumentally, the track is driven along by a Simon Gallup-of-the-Cure sounding bassline (A Forrest being as good a reference point as any).  Frankie's voice on verses are processed with a sandpaper-smooth quality that morphs into a catchy "ah ah oh oh" bridge.  The chorus is a big bold hook that declares "Days long - when you live without the sun - Days long - and we knew this day would come.  Under skies of grey - never light (phonetically delivered as "La-Ah-Ah-ight") my way."  Melodic guitar licks, keyboard pads and meticulously dropped-in percussion all contribute to an extraordinary listening experience.



Built over a steady motorik drum beat and teutonic bass pulse, "Trouble" features enhanced layered vocals covering both the smooth midrange and higher end harmony stating "sometimes I want to walk, I want to walk, I want to run - away."  In addition to her keen sense of melody, Frankie has always been able to create vocal qualities that rises above nearly all of her contemporaries.  The chorus here is merely one more example of that, with it's combined descending ("trouble follows you") and rising ("you can't run no matter where you") dual harmony lines.

- - -

Emerging via four curiously angular organ-like chords, "Art Bell" serves as a tribute to the cult figure who provided hours of entertaining theories about extra-terrestrial life on late night radio.  With it's big chorus stating "we'll never have to say goodbye" cascading down amidst huge guitar licks, synth bursts and thundering drums, the wonder of what might actually be "out there" goes on.

- - -

Clocking in as the albums longest track at five and a half minutes, "Dancing Down The Hall" uses that extra space on an ambient, trippy, jazzy-percussive intro.  After a minute and a half, bass guitar textures enters the mix as Frankie sings "we don't have to go together, we don't have to stay forever.  In the end we fall together - dancing down the hall together."  While those sentiments furnish catchy rhymes and song title, lyrics "letting it go again - and you see another day" convey the songs primary hook and emotional core.  Icy chiming bell synth tones usher in rolling toms, bringing to mind the best sound qualities of 80's instrumental "new age" music like Sanford Ponder and Patrick O'Hearn.

- - -

Title track and album centerpiece "Cage Tropical" demonstrates more than any other track on this album how a band like The Cure has influenced successive musical generations.  While that band may be better known for their gothic doom and gloom contributions, they've also produced a fair share of bouncy, upbeat melodies.  This song falls distinctly into that latter category, with it's perky intro melody and similar sonic textures.  However the author laments a "special kind of hell on a sunny day" (with stark piano chords underneath) - "cafe tropical, make it go away."   The lushest of hooks emerges as uplifting, cascading vocal melodies declare "on and on - you're on your own again."  Impeccable production weaves in 80's hand clap (hand clack) percussion and subtle touch synth buzzes that immediately brought to mind Duran Duran's 1985 one-off project Arcadia and the coincidentally appropriately titled "So Red The Rose."

- - -

It's mostly keyboard ambiance and no guitars or any of the more typical rock instruments on the synthy "Game To Play."  However, once again the central focus is a strong, catchy sing-along chorus which is the title line.

- - -

Another song to receive an interpretive video release is deeper cut "Red Museum."  An existential realization statement proclaims that "everything you know is a lie, and everything you have will die."  Regardless of those sobering thoughts, Ms Rose can't seem to help conveying it through elevating choruses with rich counter-melodies and vocal augmentation.




Immediate reactions, noted


Riding a wave of pitch-bended keyboard pads and succinct piano notes “Epic Slack” is a moody instrumental interlude for moments of calm introspection.


Album closer “Decontrol” could have been positioned much higher in the track order as its one of the best on the entire record. Once again tapping the appealing synth and bass guitar sounds of classic 80’s era British rock (a distinction necessary to make so as to avoid lumping in with American 80’s hair metal rock – also an influential sound source of that decade, but having nothing to do with this album) bright retro sine waves support chorused vocals. “And though I’m sinking fast, you run from me – one momentary glance, could set me free” are the lyrics to another glorious bridge. However, it’s the chorus (once again) that is most impressive. While singing the lines “De-Con-Trol – you’re not losing sleep,” the cadence and meter is punctuated by a clipped breathy vocal technique and pentatonic keyboard scale.


On Saturday, August 12th Frankie played her release show for this album at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn.  The set included four songs from her new album along with a number of her best tunes from previous records.


Festive post-show backstage banter made the whole experience that much sweeter.


Social Media Awareness

- - -

- - -
- - -

Frankie Rose heads out on a Big Tour beginning in September with scheduled dates running all the way through November.


* * * * *


Performing on the same evening just prior to Frankie, were the alluring duo Tempers.

- - -

Having had opportunities to catch them live at various stages of their musical progression, front-woman Jasmine Golestaneh never fails to impress with her casually magnetic presence.


The duo work well as a tandem (reminding of the similarly synchronous Raveonettes) with guitarist / electronics generator Eddie Cooper driving the instruments.

- - -

Earlier this year they released their "Fundamental Fantasy" EP which included four new songs and an extended remix.


There’s a slow-burn tension building on featured track “Tail Is In My Mouth” that deceptively masks chugging guitars and dance floor ready drum beats. Even the repeated “just for a moment” phrase feels like a holding pattern, floating above the overall rhythm. The bittersweet feelings of desire and the projections we place on others (to fuel our own illusions) comes together in a wonderful chorus that goes [Ahhh –Ahhh-Ahhh] “Oh and how I miss” [Ahhh–Ahhh-Ahhh] “who I wanted to you to be” “Oh and how I miss [Ahhh–Ahhh-Ahhh] what will never be” - “I thought you didn’t care” leading to the curious title line, all enveloped in an aurally spacious, melancholy longing.








First meeting - April 2013

First Dave Cromwell written feature on Tempers - on The Deli Magazine



* * * * *

Having last covered the musical output of Brooklyn dream-psych collective Psychic Selves a few months back, the word was that new music would soon be on its way. The Pep G led collective has now delivered on that promise with a new cassette single (affectionately referred to as a cassingle) released on Time Castle Records.


Featured single "Rosemary" (which has been given the full video treatment here) emerges via a steady bass drum thump and ringing single note guitar progression. That quickly changes as vocals begin and the rhythm shifts to bass guitar and high-hat cymbals. It all eventually leads up to the catchy vocal hook that goes “I’m trying for you – you tell me – to sit myself down” - “time is wasting for you – you tell me – to sit myself down.” Numerous funky interludes create the necessary space between emotional high-points. There’s even a mini psych-out jam at the 2:35 mark for good measure.




Psychic Selves play live at The Knitting Factory on August 22nd as part of their cassingle release show

* * * * * 

Speaking of live shows and record releases, melodic psychedelic pop rockers BIRDS will be celebrating the release of their latest album "Everything All At Once" at this very same show.



Emerging from a two-chord progression similar to Iggy and The Stooges “Search and Destroy,” the albums’ lead single “Get Away” adds bass counter-melody and rising background vocals, positioning the track closer to a pop song. “I’ve been awake all morning, watching the light pour in. I keep away from stealing – I do my own healing,” describe the self-reflective lyrics.



Catchy melodies unfold via speedy guitar lines woven in and around emphatic vocals. “I get away so easy” becomes the ultimate key line towards the end of a power-packed two and a half minute song.



“Everything All At Once” is now available through Greenway Records and through most listening formats.

* * * * *

Catching up on Asbury Park legends gods most recent output inspired this snapshot analysis of their of their epic proggy psych-out track “Wash.”


Another gem floating out on their Soundcloud is the creatively inspired track "Couch Ride."



With syncopated accent drum beats leading things off, a number of quick shifts in song structure make this track an unpredictable delight. Brief call-back guitar melodies and 60’s sounding organ becomes the focus while vocals perfectly mimic the spirit of the classic 1965 No. 1 hit “Hang On Sloopy.”  That’s followed by a plateau of quieter moments where vocals are sung as if in a dream.  It all builds back towards the initial clattering groove, making way for a tasty guitar solo and jam-out. The briefest interlude of calm serves only to set up the next furious drums, bass and guitar solo rave-up. Ending on the softer angelic sequence seems only fitting for this equal parts heavy and light composition.



While we wait to hear about upcoming gods live show appearances, parent band The Parlor Mob (including a number of the same members) are headlining the Saturday September 23rd portion of Asbury Parks Indian Summer Fest.  More info about all that (including how to get tickets) can be found here.

* * * * *

Having spent a two year period recording, mixing and finally mastering 10 fully realized tracks (while performing much of the material out at live shows) gothic rockers Autodrone released their album “This Sea Is Killing Me” at the end of 2016. That long journey produced a number of engaging results touching on a range exploring psych, darkwave, drone and dreampop.



Opening track “49:51” is an edgy just over 2 minute ambient instrumental that leads into more structured follow-up track “Corvus.”  Making full use of classic buzzing synths and shimmering tremolo guitar chords, the stage is set for dreamy ethereal vocals. Even with the full band effect in motion via a solid drum track, the vocals remain angelic and unintelligible like the best of The Cocteau Twins.



Epic closing track “Thunderbolt” mysteriously unfolds through synth pulses, cymbal rushes and passionate reverberated vocals.   The band will be playing The Safari Room At El Cortez next on August 29th, and Pianos after that on September 6th.

* * * * *

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Live + On Record: Stargazer Lilies, Dead Leaf Echo, APTBS, Dion Lunadon, Hellbirds, Buscabulla, Tall Juan, Caveman, Altocamet

The month of July 2017 presented 10 day period where a number of noteworthy live shows and recent record releases captured the attention of this site.  What follows here is a chronological recap of those shows, along with new record reviews from artists who's work deserves the attention of discerning music listeners.


Having last experienced a Stargazer Lilies show back on April 3, 2016, the evolution of their live show sound here on this night of July 13, 2017 at St. Vitus in Brooklyn was something of a surprise.


The overall impression this time was of a slower, more deliberately doom-laden experience.


Even the dark angelic presence of dreamy bassist/vocalist Kim appeared to be playing with a deliberately measured precision.


Ever the master of his electronic domain, John's guitar textures were mysteriously impressive as ever, while drummer Tammy throttled down in tight formation.


Pastel color lighting provided the appropriate backdrop for what a number of us agreed was a turn in sonic direction that is oftentimes dubbed "stoner rock."


Kim is a most impressive figure, having to carry all the vocals herself, while locking down the lower frequencies and looking fantastic throughout.  She's mastered the Morticia Addams look and adapted it perfectly to her band.


Hazy stoner doom dreamgaze - is that a new sub-genre now?


John, pedals and effects - because it must always be this way.


Pictures of Lily - made my life so wonderful.


There is in fact a door to the sun


You can hear it in the overtones

- - -
- - -

Get this record Door To The Sun and immerse yourself in their weird and wonderful sonic bliss.


_  _  _  _  _

Prior to that performance was one of the wildest Dead Leaf Echo shows witnessed, where close contact with the audience saw the band feeding off that energy.


The room was completely filled when they hit the stage, indicating word of mouth has been spreading about how exciting their shows have been recently.


As things progressed, LG's intense demeanor would have bearing on the placement of his trusty horse "Sparkle" within the rapt and attentive audience.


Ana and Kevin were particularly locked in on this evening, with bright guitar textures, clearly audible vocals and that powerfully loose, fluid beat we've come to know and love.


Sensing a heightened level of crowd engagement, LG and company delivered an edgier, more emotionally charged performance.


Initial set-up equipment issues can be frustrating when you are itching to play, however it is something of a genius move to channel that energy aggressively through the music.


The blue backdrop and laser lights look good on Kevin and Steve.


Ana looked particularly fetching on this night, wearing an outfit another attendee and I agreed could be dubbed "polite sexy."


Mood lighting for the quieter moments.


Stylish audience members experience it all in a loose coalition of peers.


Close enough to see, hear and feel it.


Building towards a climactic moment.


Sparkle tossed into the audience for the crime of breaking a string.  


A sacrificial offering that is held for energy as the band raged on.

Leading to some enthusiastic momentary participation.


What they played.

Never one to sit idly by any stretch of the imagination, the band now head to Canada to play more shows.  Link to more info about that here.



Looking back at previous features this site has done on Dead Leaf Echo, this dual show coverage at SXSW a few years ago depicts an inside look at those Austin shows.

_  _  _  _  _


In the midst of their Summer US Tour, Argentina dreamgaze band Altocamet also performed on this night.


Although you couldn't tell based on their youthful appearance, this band has been at it for two decades, releasing five full-length studio album along with numerous EP's, remixes and videos.


Their sound is an intriguing mixture of electro-synth, indie rock and dreamy pop.

---

There is a enough going on visually between the dual female-male lead vocal tandem of  Mariana (who also plays electronic keyboards) and Adrian (guitar).


Early evening devotees take in the show.


Find out more about Altocamet here


Social Media sharing



* * * * * 

Two days later saw the annual July Summer Weekend Out In The Streets Festival begin.


Saturday the 15th featured a prime time performance from the always enchanting Buscabulla


Having previously been enamored by the wonderful hybrid sound on their contest-winning, Dev Hynes produced debut EP and subsequent visually enticing music videos, attending this show became a priority.


Known for their innovative blending of ambient textures, latin beats and tropical rhythms, the band has been quoted as self-describing their sound as "futuristic carribean music."


Fronted by the willowy, athletic and glamorous Raquel Berrios, her sweetly seductive vocalizing pulls you into an enveloping experience.


The synth beats are essential, along with the frequently dominant bass lines from co-leader Luis Alfredo del Valle.

---

The band released their self-produced follow-up EP II this year, along with an inspired self-directed videos showing off their creative flair.  Check out Tartaro on their YouTube channel.

- - -
- - -

Working their way through a set of newer material and early tracks (like the eternally wonderful "Sono") Berrios and company had the warm weather afternoon crowd swaying to their hypnotic beat.

---

---

Connect with all things Buscabulla here
_  _  _  _  _

Closing out this evenings show was a spirited (if somewhat abbreviated) set from heavyweight rockers Caveman

-  -  -

The local boys hit the ground running and proceeded to kick it hard from the very first note.

-  -  -

They play a classic style of progressive pop vocal music, at times similar to the supergroup Asia.


A solid crowd showed up and were totally in to the show.


In-demand drummer Mikey Jones (founding member of Heaven) locked down the beat in his inimitable style.

- - -

Check out their song "Life Or Just Living," which perfectly captures their melodic sophisticated rock.


Beguiled audience members.


Disappointing to all was the fact they had to shut down the show abruptly - due apparently to "noise complaints."  It's a shame that both Caveman and Buscabulla weren't allowed to play their full sets.  Something both bands wanted to do very much.



* * * * * 

Sunday, July 16 would see the second day of OITS Fest sticking closer to schedule, which served to alleviate the "over run" issues from Saturday.



Headliners A Place To Bury Strangers did what they always do best, delivering their signature pummeling sonic assault.

-  -  -
- - - 

Amid billowing smoke and searing laser lights, Oliver Ackermann whipped, flailed and tossed around his guitar while the rhythm section throttled away.

- - -
- - -

Fan favorites like "Deadbeat" (from 2009's Exploding Head) went down with a particularly intense ferocity.
- - -
- - -

Another crowd pleaser performed was the track "We've Come So Far" from their most recent album "Transfixiation."

- - -
- - -

While this band has always been first and foremost a musical act, the theatrical level to their performances completes the full sensory experience for those in attendance.

- - -
- - -

You simply can’t get the whole experience from only listening to their records.

- - -
- - -

Another unique element of the APTBS live adventure is the "bonus show" electronic set they perform in the middle of the audience.
- - -
- - -

The mystery box viewed from behind Dion's bass.

- - -
- - -
Crom behind Dion and Lia - photos by Tony Stanley
- - -
Left hand touching the light.
_  _  _  _  _

In addition to his role in A Place To Bury Strangers, Dion Lunadon has recently released an excellent solo album of his own.
At just over a minute in length, opening track "Insurance, Rent and Taxes" throttles and throbs with pogo punk mayhem and distortion. While it's difficult to make out the exact words being presented, the songs title is easily understood. Those are three things we all have to deal with, and they all cost you big time.

"Reduction Agent" conjures up the guitar sound from The Velvet Underground's "Run, Run Run” and a twist of the progression from "On Road Again" as lyrics state "much too young to get any older - "drop the microphone, cry on your shoulder." "Smashed, burned, beaten and stoned - I've got the mark of death and it won't leave me alone." "Feel The Pain" becomes the mantra for this raging tale of cross-country death trip thrill seekers.


The spirit of late 70's punk rock is powered through the tightly-coiled track "Com/Broke." Capturing the locked in raw precision of guitar, bass and drums bands like The Ramones, Dead Boys and The Damned, an aggressive nihilism unfolds. Centered on the hook "I got no reason to hold on," a desolate picture unfolds with the lyrics "drown in some dead end bar - might as well crash a car." "Build a home outside the city - set it on fire watch it burn without pity."

Drawing from the German motorik style pioneered by artists like Can and Neu!, "Hanging By A Thread" builds off a train-pulse rhythm matched to driving bass and bending sonic embellishments. Abrasive guitars emerge, firing off sheering waves, as if bursting through walls of metal. The tracks final 30 seconds strips down to a simple bass guitar and drum beat, where the title line are the only words spoken.


A big Black Sabbath-like groaning guitar bombast leads into mid-point track "Move."  Initially lumbering like the dinosaur stoner rock Sabbath-style bands are known for, the tempo suddenly quickens after a minute and a half.  A chugging rock progression ensues while frenzied vocals wail and squall amid stomping drums, slashing guitars and rising siren sounds.

Bass guitar takes the dominant driving position under even more punky guttural vocals on "Eliminator."  "Got no sympathy for you - got no love for you" makes clear the teetering-on-age state of mind here.  An expolsive instrumental coda caps off the songs final minute.

"Howl" jumps in a more traditional three-chord rock format.  A single note Farfisa organ tone adds one more sonic texture to the "gimme one more" change section.

What happens when you take Elvis' "Blue Suede Shoes," jack it up on speed and run that through a blusey shredder?  You get the unhinged track "Ripper."  Points given for the actual blues harp that runs through it all.


Another under two minute gem, "White Fence" is perhaps the most lyrically curious track on the record.  "I like it weird and wild - and that's the way it was" is just one of many cryptic lines delivered like an early Iggy and The Stooges cut.

Final number "No Control" builds slowly around a steady bassline, single thump drum beat and churning guitar embellishments.  There's a psychobilly element to it that brings to mind the Cramps moodier work.



A previous DCW feature on Dion, reviewing the first single from this record ("Fire") can be read here.

_  _  _  _  _


Taking the stage just prior to APTBS during the Sunday portion of Out In The Streets Fest was the always entertaining Tall Juan.

- - -
- - -

Having been written up multiple times in the Deli Magazine (both web and Print feature by yours truly), the opportunity to catch his live show on this afternoon became a prime time event.

- - - 
- - - 

Starting off solo, members of his three piece band began to show up as the show progressed, creating two distinct halves to the performance.

- - -
- - -

Eventually shirtless (like all good Iggy Pop style performers should be) he even covered The Stooges with a killer rendition of "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog."

- - -

In addition to playing many of his own great songs, a classic Ramones cover was done as well.


The Dave Cromwell written feature on Tall Juan in Deli Magazine Print Issue No. 47 can be read here.


While a review of his most recent album "Olden Goldies" can be read here.

Find out more about Tall Juan here


Local figures relax and take in the show at picnic tables under umbrellas.


- - -

* * * * * 

Saturday July 22, 2017 marked two milestone events at Brooklyn's Alphaville as the band Hellbirds played their Record Release Show for debut album 12 Songs On Film in conjunction with The Special Without Brett Davis 100th Episode Celebration.

All live photos by Bruce Ashley

Releasing a full-length album simultaneously with a high quality video recording of each part as they were executed in the studio shows mastery of the modern technological tools currently at hand.




The video album opens with a laptop overlay viewing of “RuPaul being wonderfully glamorous at the Pyramid Club” from 9/26/85 on YouTube. Immediately making a statement on how we currently view much of our visual content (via embedded videos) and the necessary illusions fueling it all (pick your fantasy and fall into it), opening track “Catch a Grave” begins.


Speaking of visual illusions, the uniquely clever technique of multiplying band members to reflect actual parts played on each song both informs and entertains. While Abdon dominates the left side with full drum kit, and assortment of Neko’s and Jasno’s (three each) let you know exactly who did what at each particular point in the song. “Catch a Grave” works a ska rhythm on guitar and bass while Jas’s lead passionate lead vocals channel the greatness of NYC 50’s and 60’s ear Do Wop. Singing about a summer romance and how “our hearts separate” sweet, surf guitar licks somehow make it all feel better.


A deep groove bass line, bright percussion and chunky guitar chords serve as entry point for the “street hassle” tell-it-like-it-is urban tale “Lou Reed.” Combining that legends talk-lyric style with more traditional soaring vocalizing, a variety of percussive instruments and handclaps add pleasing sonic details. There’s an admirable boldness in declaring the choice to live in New York City “like Lou Reed and David Bowie.”


An unexpected transition to the next song shows a full-length mirror being held horizontally, reflecting a rooftop camera positioned in front of the Empire State Building. That leads into the emotionally charged track “Take Me Out” which in addition to multiplying Abdon’s visual presence (he’s now a percussive 3-piece all by himself) benefits from a quietly-busy melodic bass line. Another seemingly love song to NYC where one looks for their “place on the concrete.” The heart-tugging chorus strikes a universal chord with the sentiment “take me I will be yours forever, show me things I’ve never known.” The wide-angle mirror returns, this time showing a passing subway train being captured by the recording device.



“Back From Black” snaps to attention with a jumping snare and bass drum beat while multi-layered voices implore how “you better pray” followed by a litany of concerns. Those inner doubts and warnings exist to prevent the “killing in my head.” More snaking surf style guitar riffs cut through the airwaves before the intimate breakdown explains how “I’m out of the grave – I’m out of my head” and “back from a blackness.”


“Under the bright sun – out in the blue swell” provides the catchy vocal hook for message-laden cut “Big Hits.” While word-switch/word-play features early (is it “heat” or “hate?”) powerfully abrasive electric guitar roughs up the underlying calypso rhythm. The message couldn’t be clearer, however – you can “only be true – to myself – and to you.”


The images of blonde women on motorcycles (one jacketed, one sleeveless and tattoo’d) and a dog are added behind drummer Abdon for “Silence of the Glams.” It’s a crunchy guitar and forward throbbing bass ‘n drums composition where the lyrical sentiment declares “I choose to be free.” With singer Jasno moving out of view, we witness an up-close can of liquid refreshment with the word “America” on it being popped open. That’s followed by a really cool two (and then three) guitar tour-de-force.

Presenting existential statements like “If you always get what you want you’ll never know the pain that others feel at your loss” reveals seventh track “Hung Lovers” grappling with relationships. While a certain level of self-sacrifice may be necessary to make them work, the musical question repeats “am I your only love” with Abdon’s triple-time ride cymbal as driving force.

Dance party fever!

The 50’s Do Wop stylings on “Touch Me Like You Love Me” homogenize the best vocal era of rock with today’s sheer guitar power. In addition to modern six string force and four string bass foundation, particularly satisfying is Jas and Neko’s vocal harmonizing on the title line and hooky phrase “don’t you tell me how I feel, no it ain’t fair”



As the video album progresses, it’s worth noting that the color of Abdon’s drums change throughout. What starts out as a sea foam green moves to blue, emerald green, gold, red and now approximates the pink of Jerry Nolan’s NY Dolls kit by the ninth song “Bastard’s Brew.” (They will ultimately add purple and sky blue to that mix by the end). The rallying cry of “do not wait, do not whither – it gets better, it gets better” provides a positive message for success in this life. While a nifty guitar and bass interlude underscores how seasoned musicians enhance from inside the song structure.

Enthusiastic dance shenanigans continue


Jasno let's his falsetto voice fly during high-point moments on "A Day Spent At Sea." While the song's title might have you expecting a sea-faring shanty, like most of the songs on this album, those titles are poetic references to something else entirely. In this case "you say(ing) you want to move on" begets the vocal hook "I'm an actor." I'm guessing a sea-faring one at that! The tune itself runs the gamut of spacious pause-in-the-mayhem breakdowns through heavy churning guitar bursts and twangy-to-ferocious licks.

"Can't Stop The Waves" has made frequent appearances in the bands live show for a while now. Capturing the innocent pure joy of Brian Wilson's early 60's classics, the distinctive Jasno solo riffs keep the surf waves flowing as the pursuit of an endless summer goes on.


Reprising the lyrical refrain "from that moment when I knew, I could only be true to me and you" the final track "Sorry Mom and Dad" is delivered as a personal note of apology, acceptance and forgiveness. The kind of message one might write to those responsible for bringing you in to this world and raising you - in private.   Its a rare opportunity being able to present it publicly in the form of a song.
Album cover art by Kyle Gabouer


- - -

* * * * *