Friday, February 23, 2024

Beguiling Appraisal of New and Recently Released Music

As the early part of this new year 2024 rolls on, four must review artists bloom here in the ever-expanding DaveCromwellWrites universe. The act of writing is a rewarding (if solitary) pursuit that requires inspiration to make it work. The artists covered here have provided ample amounts of that, allowing sentences to spark and flow from a productive listening experience. With that, we dive into the February DCW reviews.

It was back in the weird year of 2020 when this site did a deep-dive focus on the music of Jody Porter. A full interview was conducted with Jody along with select cuts reviewed from his album out at that time. The artist is now back with his succinctly titled “EP II” along with the release of it’s first single “Light Up The Sky.” Anyone not-already familiar with Jody as solo artist will certainly know the band Fountains Of Wayne, of which he was an essential member. There have been other accomplishments as well, and links to all of that can be found below. For now, let’s dig into this latest song and find out how his work continues to evolve.

Ethereal ambiance introduces the track, like sonic waves floating in the breeze. Bass and snare drum kicks in along with a chiming descending guitar progression. A second, heavier guitar layers on as deeper bass joins in before it all comes to a brief pause. “Here you come – again. Wish I knew – where you began,” Jody sings with a sense of impending foresight. There’s a shadowing female voice harmonizing along with him as the story continues “there’s no one there – you light the way and light up the sky.” The overall feel is easy vibe groove, like the best of what a band like The Rolling Stones does. There’s a real “live” feel to it all, with guitar chords and drumming in complete sync with each other. That is to say, the complete opposite of the mechanized music we so often hear today.

You never like to show – how you feel” continues the vocals, now with tasty guitar lines woven in-between. “When it all fades away – like you weren’t there” becomes a pivotal lyric bridged by a muscular guitar figure that returns to the title line chorus. “My way down – I’m on fire” completes that picture, leading into more intense guitar chord transitions. A brief pause once again for dramatic effect, then a gloriously killer guitar solo. Never forget that along with being a singer-songwriter, Jody is a celebrated lead guitarist. However, this is no “stunt guitar” play-a-million-notes-as-fast-as-you-can technician. Instead we get the feel and groove of a Keith Richards, combined with the slowhand skill of Eric Clapton. One more quieter ride through the chorus before launching into a powerful coda alternating between Jody’s restrained voice and the all-out belting from his female counterpart. Slashing, rumbling, pitch-bended guitars take everything out to it’s grand conclusion.

Check out this brilliant track here:

Follow Jody on Spotify  -- Facebook  -- Instagram

Previous features, including full interview with the artist can be found on this site here and here.

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Last summer a previously unheard artist going by the name I’m The Villain contacted this site for a review of their latest release at that time. Finding merit in the track, it was featured both in the August 2023 review and again in the Annual End-Of-Year “Best Of” Feature. Now they’re back with a new single “Something Is Coming.” Once again recognizing the quality of this recording, it receives a detailed breakdown analysis below.

Against a backdrop of gentle strummed guitar and mechanized percussion, vocals begin right away, stating: “Reading the story, i know what you want me to Say, again.” It’s melancholy, yet somehow uplifting guitar chord on the word “say” (and repeated again on the next line word “today.”) The musical resolution comes with song title reference “But something Is coming, It comes with no warning again.” Second verse brings in bright keyboards, which adds a lushness and counter-melody to the proceedings. Similarly, the next chorus pass through has a longer held synth pad, filling out the sonic space all around. More lyrical clues add deeper understanding with the line “It's something you're waiting for, but you know you will hate it the same.”

At the songs midpoint a clever lyrical insight is revealed that references all the complexities of the various relationships we all have. Saying that there actually is “no pain or mistake” when we’re engaging in “love, wine and laughter with Friends that you hate.”  Posing the universal question of how much we might actually “love” our frenemies. Truly one of the great puzzles of the modern age. Additional guitars have now entered the mix, providing glorious cascading arpeggio notes withing a more pronounced synth string backing. There’s more hope in the subsequent lyrics “but someone you love Wants to feel Just like you - and no one will laugh about the things that you lose.” The songs opening lines cycle through once more, this time with a strong extended guitar line running through alongside prominent deep bass guitar and aforementioned synth layers. The lush instrumentation drops back for vocal emphasis, leading the track to it’s gentle conclusion.

Check out this wonderful song here:

Find out more via their Socials - Instagram  -  Facebook   -  Soundcloud   -  Spotify

Read the previous review of I'm The Villain on this site here.

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It’s always a pleasant discovery when musicians covered previously emerge in a reborn artistic endeavor. So it is with singer-songwriter-guitarist Jeff Moore, his cousin and drummer extraordinaire Jaye collaborating with new musicians on their freshly emerging band Glimmer. A decade ago, this site covered a number of their recorded works and live shows in a variety of locations, both big and small. What always shone through was a dedication to quality songwriting and the ability to deliver it in a live setting. The band has just release a new single called “Buried,” and the CromwellWrites sonic analysis gets to the heart of this track below.

Bursting right out of the box in full motion, distorted extended-note guitars deliver the melody while rumbling center-line bass guitar and hard-charging drums lock down the beat. “I need to go – away,” is how the smoother, more soothing vocals begin. “Delusional – to stay” continues the sentiment, against less abrasive chiming guitar chords. That rips into a savage chorus focused on the title line, submerged behind a wall of fuzz. It’s beautiful and vague – like the best of My Bloody Valentine or The Jesus And Mary Chain. Verse two pivots back to the softer elements previously established. “Unusual – permanently changed” is one audible feeling picked up on (and easily relatable to).

A softer-sung, pre-chorus single-word “buried” propels everything back into that explosive chorus. One which blends voices, guitars and sonic ambiance into a blissfully complete grunge-gaze anthem. Twice through for classic sing-along effect and then on to a bridge change that feature a rising guitar line and thunderous drumming. It all suddenly drops out to just a single guitar and the vocals stripped bare, being “buried – face down.” As the other instruments slowing work their way back into the mix, the anticipation of one more ride on that frenzied chorus does not disappoint.

Check out this brutally gorgeous track right here:

Numerous features on this site covering these artists previous band can be found Here, Here and Here.

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The good folks at Feel It Records have tipped this site to a brand new release from ferocious rockers The Follies. Leading in to the roll-out of their debut album "Permanent Present Tense," the single track “Brick By Brick” is out now for a full listen. Having honed their sound playing in those dingy clubs we’ve all been to more times than memory can recall, a deep-dive listen and analysis commences below.

An aggressively wirey guitar riff kicks the track off, soon met by thumping bass drum and rattle-trap snare shots. As those two instruments throttle along, a buoyant bass guitar gives depth to the slashing chords powering everything along. “Doors swung open – found the time at last” commence the vocals, sung in traditional punk-rock cadence. “Can't read omens” the singer continues, “how’s it all gone by so fast?” A quick-chugging bridge kicks in, enhanced by hyper-drive guitar riffs perfectly placed in those split second places. “Brick by Brick – wall the whole thing shut” goes the chorus, driven along by sharp-turn chord changes with locked in bass and drum accents.

Put in motion – blurring all the past,” continues the forceful, monotone vocals. Leading once again to that quick-turn bridge stating how “this ain’t how you live” and that Ramones/Sex Pistols-style driving chorus that reveals how the “bricks” force you to “stay in the same old rut.” A guitar solo breaks out at this point, displaying a more advanced levels of chops. There’s almost a rockabilly feel to the playing, as if Brian Setzer was dropped in to guest-solo over a mostly punk rock song. One more cycle through the “this ain’t how you live” bridge, the title-line chorus and a repeat of the songs opening verse.

Dig into this propulsive track here:

For more information, jump on The Follies Bandcamp / Feel It Instagram / Feel It Facebook

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