Thursday, October 19, 2017

CD Review: New Prog-Rock Music From BangTower, Cairo And Podd

Progressive rock legends BangTower recently released a new digital-only EP titled "Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?" Guitarist/singer Neil Citron began writing more songs right after the release of their 2016 album "With N With Out" and he didn't want those songs to get stale so BangTower found time early in the year to get into a studio and record these 7 new songs. Citron was once again joined by his fellow bassist Robert Pagliari and also returning was drummer Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot). The new release begins with the hard rock groove of "She Don't Care" as each member makes their presence known on this exciting opening track. The trio begin to stretch out their sound on the nearly seven-minute instrumental "Lazy Afternoon," before returning to the hard rock of "Frankie's Silver Hammer." After a pair of epic rock pieces, the album closes with the driving force of "Right Hand Drive" and the short, relaxed piece "Ali's Midnight Wish." To find out more about BangTower and their latest release "Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Bangtower.

From The UK comes the debut album "Say" from progressive rock band Cairo. The band is led by Touchtone founder Rob Cottingham as he creates a sonic trip with the band's new 13-track release. The album begins with the Middle Eastern sounds of "Cairo," before the storied, spoken word of "Shadow's Return Prologue." The album continues with the quick-moving rock of "Wiped Out," featuring Lisa Driscoll on vocals. The centerpiece of the album is the nine-plus minute progressive rock epic "Nothing To Prove," followed immediately by its reprise. Driscoll's vocals float along the ballad "Katrina," before Cairo closes out the album with the atmospheric soundscape of "Random Acts Of Kindness Part 1" and the built-up rock melody of "Dancing The Gossamer Thread." To find out more about Cairo and their latest release "Say," please visit cairorocks.com.

Instrumental progressive rock band Podd recently released their debut studio album titled "Cosmic Forces." It features 10-tracks, beginning with the slow build-up of "Beyond Beyond" as the floating, melodic tones get taken over by the bursts of guitar frenzied riffs. The album continues with atmospheric feel of "There And Back" and the exciting musical movements within "Starseed." Next comes three epic pieces ("The Spark," "Impact" and "Ultimate Reality") as Podd showcases their musical talents on these songs. They finish up their new album with the beautiful acoustics of "Abraxas" and the sonic, jamband build-up of "Transmission." To find out more about Podd and their latest release "Cosmic Forces," please visit poddmusic.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CD Review: New Heavy Metal/Punk Music From Winds Of Plague, The Professionals & Like Moths To Flames

October 27th marks the return of California metal band Winds Of Plague with their brand new studio album "Blood Of My Enemy." It has been 4 years since their last album and in that time they have recruited a trio of musicians to take their music to the next level. Their new 12-song release begins with a short orchestration, before getting blown away by the shear force of the deathcore metal attack of "Nameless Walker." They showcase the band's power on the intense "Kings Of Carnage" and their unity and musicianship with the battle cry of "From Failure, Come Clarity." Winds Of Plague deliver the extreme metal of "Blood Of My Enemy"  and "Snakeskin" as they make a claim for the top death metal band in the nation. They speed things up with the swift pace of "Never Alone," before finishing up their new album with the heavy hitting thunder of "A Walk Among The Dead" and the epic piece "Dark Waters." To find out more about Winds Of Plague and their latest release "Blood Of My Enemy," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/windsofplague.

English punk-rock band The Professionals have returned to release their first album in 35 years. The band was created out of the ashes of the Sex Pistols and had some chart success in the their home country in the early eighties. The honeymoon would only last a couple of years, before the break up of the band. In 2015, The Professionals reunited for some shows in celebration of the band's box set "The Complete Professionals." Now on October 27th, bandmates Paul Cook and Steve Jones reunite in the studio to release their new album "What In The World." The album also features a load of special guests like Mick Jones (The Clash), Duff McKagen (Guns N Roses) and Phil Collen (Def Leppard) to name few. The new ten-song release begins with the raw, garage-rock sound of "Good Man Down" as Billy Duffy from The Cult lends a hand. Their punk roots come shining through with Phil Collen on the high-energy of "Let Go" and "Rewind," along with Mick Jones adding his iconic touch to "Extremadura." The Professionals finish up their new album with the power punk attack of "Monkeys" as Duff McKagen and Phil Collen team up to close the album out strong. To find out more about The Professionals and their latest release "What In The World," please visit cookandjones.co.uk.

Hardcore metal band Like Moths To Flames is preparing to release their fourth studio album titled "Dark Divine." Their new 11-song release kicks off with the atmospheric introduction of "New Plagues," before the screaming vocals and shredding guitar riffs take over. The album continues with the high-energy, mainstream metal appeal of "Nowhere Left To Sink" and the adrenaline blast of "Dark Divine." They settle down for the more hard rock melody of "Empty The Same," before the pace picks back up for the hardcore attack of "From The Dust Returned." Like Moths To Flames finish up their new album with the great radio single "Glimpse" and the chugging rhythm of "False Idol." Like Moths To Flames will be hitting the road at the beginning of November for a 2-month U.S. tour. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about their new album Dark Divine," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/likemoths.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Pekka Tegelman, Mark Vickness, Peter Galperin, Jimmy Detalente & Jim Vegas

Finish guitarist Pekka Tegelman recently released his fourth studio album titled "Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel." It features 9-tracks of exciting jazz-rock fusion, beginning with the calm, gentle flow of "All Folks" as Pekka eases you into his new album as he works his magic on the guitar. Pekka and his band pick the tempo up for "Do Ra Mi," before the relaxed acoustics of "Two Towns." The second half of the album gets bookends by "Song 1: The Dawn" and "Song 2: The Twilight" as saxophonist Manuel Dunkel is featured on both tracks. To find out more about Pekka Tegelman and his latest release "Pekka Tegelman & Quartegel," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/pekka.tegelman.

Guitarist/pianist/composer Mark Vickness recently released his new acoustic guitar instrumental album "Places." Vickness has worked in the music industry for over two decades, writing and performing film scores and also as one-half of the acoustic fusion duo, Glass House (with David Worm). The new 9-track album is his first to feature a modern finger style and is a relaxing journey to simply just get lost in. Right from the opening notes of "A Thousand Islands," you will find yourself immersed in the beautiful way Mark strums the notes on his guitar. He adds a little more energy to "New York City"  and masterfully moves his fingers around the fret board on "Bishop Pass." His album closes with the eight-plus minute epic piece "Wonder Lake Suite" and the uplifting feel of "I Must Tell Jesus." To find out more about Mark Vickness and his latest release "Places," please visit markvickness.com.

From New York City comes the latest release from singer/songwriter Peter Galperin titled "This Burning Sun." His new 8-song release begins with the wonderful melody of "Normal To You" as Peter has perfected his craft at songwriting. Next comes the tale of "King Of You And Me" and the acoustic folk strumming of "On Higher Ground" as you find yourself amerced in Peter's vocals and stories.  He finishes up his new release with the guitar boogie shuffle of "Don't Look Back" and the acoustic ballad "One More Smile." To find out more about Peter Galperin and his latest release "This Burning Sun," please visit petergalperin.com.

Next, from Indiana comes the debut release from Jimmy Detalente and the Electric Revival titled "Where We Begin." The new 6-song release begins with a classic bluegrass introduction that gets blown away by the country/rock of "Sometimes We Bleed." The album continues with the weekend anthem "Where We Begin" and the up-tempo, sing-along chorus of "Fences." Their new short release closes with the emotional ballads "For A Few" and "Spark Into A Flame." To find out more about Jimmy DeTalente and the Electric Revival and their latest release "Where We Begin," please visit sparktherevival.com.

Colorado native Jim Vegas is ready to release his fourth studio album titled "Soul Shattered Sister" on December 1st. After honing his craft on songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Waite and Leonard Cohen, Vegas is ready to unleash his new release of all original material. His new 11-song album begins with the title-song "Soul Shattered Sister," which is soaked in blues/rock. Jim Vegas delivers a strong, Stray Cats vibe on the nostalgic sounds of "Bad Fruit In The Yard" and "Not That Strong." His album moseys on with the country/rock tones of "Love Is Coming Back Around," then he digs in for the blues/rock rumble of "Far From You," before closing with slow sway of "Suns Is Gonna Smile." To find out more about Jim Vegas and his latest release "Soul Shatters Sister," please visit jimvegasmusic.com 

Monday, October 16, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Cindy Alexander & Sarah Aroeste, Along With Swedish Jazz Band Trallskogen

Award-winning artist Cindy Alexander is preparing to release her ninth studio album, "Nowhere To Hide" on January 5th, 2018. The album consists of some of Alexander's favorite songs, chosen by friends and fans, re-recorded live in the studio. Her new 11-song release begins with the gentle piano ballad "I See Stars" and the beautiful poetry of "Passenger," which is one of two brand new songs on this album. Her warming vocals soar on "4 Hours" and her beautifully simple cover of Bread's "Everything I Own" allows you to enjoy the truth behind Cindy's vocals. The other new original tale is "The Song Will Always Find You," which allows you to fully appreciate her songwriting, before she finishes her new album with the fan favorite "Wonderful," which carries the most up-beat tempo on this release. To find out more about Cindy Alexander and her new album "Nowhere To Hide," please visit cindyalexander.com.

Bi-lingual singer/songwriter Sarah Aroeste is preparing to release her new, all-original Ladino/English holiday album titled "Together/Endjuntos." The Ladino language is a old Sephardic dialect and includes elements of Portuguese, French, Italian, Greek, Hebrew and others. Her new 10-song release begins with "Buena Semana" as you are introduced to Sarah's beautiful vocals. While you may not understand all of the lyrics, you will still get wrapped up in her voice. She becomes more playful with the folk/pop sing-along of "Thank You For The Trees" and the Middle-Eastern rhythm of "El Dia De Purim." She returns to the gentle flow of "Ayada Buena" that just allows you to relax and melt into her vocals. Sarah closes her new album with the hip-hop beats of "Bimuelo," featuring the work of Kosha Dillz and the Latin jazz of "Buen Shabat." To find out more about Sarah Aroeste and her latest release "Together/Endjuntos," please visit saraharoeste.com.

Swedish jazz band Trallskogen recently released their debut album titled "Trollskogen." It features 9-tracks, beginning with the seven-minute "Intro" as you enter the world of this experimental band. As they feel their way around the studio in the opening track, they begin to settle down into the steady pace of the title song "Trollskogen." While you may not understand the language within the songs, you can certain appreciate the musicianship on some of these epic tracks. They deliver the avant garde jazz of "Bergtrall" and the more up-beat feel of "Vad Nu," which showcases the diversity in their musicianship. The wonderful vocals of Annika Jonsson is highlighted with the poetry of "Han Drak," before Trallskogen finish their new album with the rock infused "Bitar" and the epic build-up of "Farval" along with the hidden track "Intercity Mood," which is an energetic jazz number that you must seek out. To find out more about Trallskogen and their latest release "Trollskogen," please visit trallskogen.com.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

CD Review: Bob Marley & The Wailers "Live!" Doubles In Size & Native Works With Lee "Scratch" Perry

The legendary "Live!" album from Bob Marley and The Wailers is finally getting its proper release on CD. Originally released in December 1975, the album captured the band during their two-night stand at Lyceum Theatre in London on July 17 & 18 1975. The idea was to quickly put an album together of the band's live material to keep fans interested while Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded their new album, which eventually became "Rastaman Vibration." The original record only featured 7-songs, which were featured on the "King Biscuit Flower Hour." After 40 years, that was all corrected last year when the Universal Music Group released a 3-vinyl set that included both concerts. It featured, for the first time, the entire unreleased July 17th show and also full-length versions of songs from the July 18th show. On October 13th, Universal Music Group released a new 2CD set that featured the complete "Live!" album. Both shows are presented on their own discs and comes with a booklet of unpublished photos and new essay about the evening's events. To find out more about newly released Bob Marley & The Wailers "Live!" set, please visit bobmarley.com.

Back in 1977, Jamaican-based reggae band Native were given the keys to the kingdom, when they got to record with famed record producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Perry was the pioneer of the dub sound, working with everyone from Bob Marley to Paul McCartney to the Beastie Boys. In 1973, Perry built his own studio, named The Black Ark. There he was able to control his signature sound and create some amazing albums from local Jamaican bands, including Native. On September 22nd, Goldenlane Records released the hidden reggae-gem "Black Ark Showcase 1977" by Native Meets Lee Scratch Perry. It was one of the last recordings done at The Black Ark studio before it burnt down in 1978.

The new 10-song release features the local reggae band Native given the sonic treatment to a handful of their songs. The first five songs on the album are featured as they were recorded in the studio, without any wizardry from Lee "Scratch" Perry. The second half of the album showcases the talents of Perry as the final mix features a deeper reggae vibe as you can feel the songs' groove. To find out more about this classic album makeover, please visit nativemeetsleescratchperry.bandcamp.com.