Archive for the ‘Single Review’ Category

Sometimes you learn an instrument and then create a band. Sometimes you spend years playing one instrument only to find inspiration in another instrument. That was the situation with songwriter and founder of the band Microcosms Andrew Tschiltsch who spent time playing drums for years before the desire to play guitar hit him. And once the guitar was in his hand, the desire to create his own songs hit. Tschiltsch spent a few years recording and experimenting with the way his music sounded before bringing Bryan Emer (bass) and Jered Pipenbrink (drums) into the fold. Together, Tschiltsch, Emer and Pipenbrink create the Chicago-based band called Microcosms. The band’s first release, Know My Body, came out a few years ago in 2017. And in 2018, the band released their latest EP called Fairytale. While the Fairytale album from Microcosms was released back in 2018, the band continues to record. The band just recently added one new song to their available music. The newest track from Microcosms is entitled “Forget Us”. The track features a light, bouncy, fun feel to the music. At least, that’s the way the initial thirty seconds of the track feels. After those first thirty seconds, the track slows down and the music takes a slightly darker turn. That darker feel to the music, while not as cheery as the first part of the track, goes well with the lyrical content of the song. The lyrics deal with how the world around you shapes your attitude and how it’s somewhat difficult to stay upbeat when the rest of the world is a lot less positive. Although the lyrics of the track does contain some darkness, the music is probably the best thing to focus on. The music alternates between musical directions as part of the track is dark and some of the track is fun and bouncy. The five tracks that make up the Fairytale album from Microcosms and the band’s newest single of “Forget Us” contain the same musical approach as well as a rather similar style. They also have the same overall production quality. Although the new single and the EP are separate entities, the tracks feel as if they belong together. While they do not create one release, the listener is given indication of the direction the band is most likely heading in.

Take a listen to “Forget Us” and then head over to the Bandcamp profile from Microcosms and check out their remaining music.  
You can also find the single from the band on spotify.

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site. 

To check out my review of the band’s EP entitled Fairytale, click HERE.

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Too Much Saturn is a Chicago-based quartet that has been around since they formed from the ashes of several other bands in that musical scene. The band consists of: Chris Cerasoli on Vocals and Keyboards, Mark Hoffmann on Guitars and Vocals, Guy Sheldon on Bass and Vocals, Ron Linneman on Guitars and vocals, and Dave Franco on Drums and Percussion.  Taking their name from a song from the British musician Francis Dunnery, they are currently creating what they refer to as “Modern Power Pop with an Indie Edge” as they draw inspiration from the likes of David Bowie, Del Amitri, Flaming Lips, Fountains of Wayne, Guster, Tommy Keene, King Crimson, as well as many others.  That type of musical influence gives the music from the band a style that feels very commercial in nature, which means that it is also rather radio-friendly. The band put out one eight-song album entitled Moving Forward Sideways back in 2013. Since then, their output has slowed to a single here and there as the band has been creating a name for themselves in their hometown and beyond as they create live shows based around their originals and plenty of cover tunes. The band’s most current single is entitled “Blame Game”. The first thing you noticed about the track is the bouncy feel to the music. That bouncy feel comes from the “pop” tendencies of the song and the pounding drums from Dave Franco. The second thing you notice is the clear quality to the vocals from singer and keyboardist Chris Cerasoli. Add in a straight-out Rock and Roll quality to the music that comes from the strong guitars from Mark Hoffmann and Ron Linneman and the song “Blame Game” feels as if it has an almost timeless feel to it.  In fact, Cerasoli’s vocals and the overall feel to the music of the track bring to mind some of the songs that had been found back in the eighties but it could also fit in with any radio format from the last the several decades. Given the fun, light and bouncy approach to the track, and the “Hey, Hey, Hey” refrain that will get the listener singing along, it’s easy to find yourself wanting more from this band. Hopefully, a new multi-track release is in the future for this talented group of musicians.


To check out the track “Blame Game” from Too Much Saturn, click HERE.


For more information, check out Too Much Saturn’s PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click HERE to visit their site.

Mark Ambuter is a singer-songwriter from the city of Crestline, California. Ambuter had been a part of bands earlier in his life. And during that time, he was creating music that was drawing from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Badfinger, George Harrison, along with many others. Eventually, certain reasons made it difficult for Ambuter to continue and he left the music industry for a while. Now, however, he has returned to rekindle his love for making music. The result was the result of the 2016 album entitled A Scratch of Grace. Along with that album came other singles. One such single is the track “Love is Everywhere”. Like many of the folk and folk-rock songs that were released back in the sixties and early seventies, “Love is Everywhere” was created by Mark Ambuter as his statement against the current political climate in the United States. And because this new track falls into that type of situation, it should come as no surprise that Ambuter has created a new song that draws from the climate and artistic expressions that were around back in the sixties and early seventies. Meaning, of course, that “Love is Everywhere” by Mark Ambuter not only contains a great deal of Rock and Roll influence, but the song is heavily laden with certain psychedelic influences, as well. But since this track was produced by English producer Stuart Epps who had worked with several British artists like Elton John, George Harrison, Led Zeppelin, The Firm and others. The heavy psychedelic influence on “Love is Everywhere” begins right from the beginning as the track starts with the sound of the sitar and percussion which helps to transport the listener back in time to the sixties. The beginning seconds of the track feel like a Hare Krishna song before the track takes on a more modern feel to the music. The rest of the track takes on a pop-rock feel that reminds the listener of modern English rock and roll tracks from the like of Coldplay or even like the American band Imagine Dragons. To go along with the music, the lyrical content of the track is delivered as one entire group of singers helps to back up Ambuter as he sings of the love that’s in the air as people fight the current political climate that is creating the unfriendly feeling in the country. While there is an undeniable retro feel to the track, there is also enough of a modern feel to the track that you could imagine the track getting a lot of plays on Adult Contemporary radio formats if given the chance.  

“Love is Everywhere” by Mark Ambuter is already a rather long track at over four minutes in length. But Ambuter decided to extend the track by creating the “Extended Single” version of the song. By giving the track the extra fifty seconds or so, the song ends up with more of a jamband feel to the song. You can hear the track by click on the link below.


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It was back in late 2007 that alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams released his album entitled Follow the Lights. On that album, Adams created a song called “If I Were a Stranger,” a track that came rather late in the seven-track release. The tracks contained on that album had a sound that fell directly in the middle of the alt-country genre with “If I Were a Stranger” being equal parts Country and Rock and Roll. Now, more than a decade later, Puerto Rico native Leeane Melendez (here on out to be referred to by her stage name of Reina Mora) has released her version of the track as a follow-up to her last single of “Trouble”. For her version of the track, Reina Mora has stripped the track down to a bare minimum as the track contains the sound of an acoustic guitar, bass and cajon, all played live in the studio. “If I Were a Stranger” features the sound of the acoustic guitar and the cajon helping to form the basis for the track with the addition of the cello as the instrument helps to add texture and some bottom to the body of the song. The track feels as much like the acoustic version of “If I Were a Stranger” from Adams’ one performance on David Letterman he where performed solo as it does like one of Reina Mora’s own tracks, which proves she wanted to stay close to the original material but also wanted to add her touch to the song. The track blends together the two styles of both Reina Mora and Ryan Adams as the song contains both a strong Folk approach and a strong Pop feel to the music. The five-minute playtime on the track shows that Reina Mora and the musicians backing her up on the track simply allowed the track to play out in its own way. Like the single of “Trouble” before it, “If I Were a Stranger” shows off only one side of the talent from Reina Mora. With this and the previous single, the upcoming album release from the singer-songwriter is shaping up to be a rather strong album.    

To hear Reina Mora’s version of the song “If I Were a Stranger,” click HERE.

‘girl-boy_Madyx is the stage name that singer-songwriter Michelle Blanchard performs under. While she does have other musicians to help bring her music to life, Blanchard is the focal point of the outfit. The resulting musical ensemble (which also includes Pablo Martins on Guitar and Dakota Issacson on Drums to go along with the vocals and keyboards from Blanchard) brings together a pop-rock base with other musical influences to create a sound that would fit on any current Top 40 radio format.  Michelle Blanchard is one of many songwriters who have been influenced by the likes of songwriters such as Pink, Katy Perry and other performers who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and/or go in their own direction instead of being followers. “Girl Boy” from Madyx is a modern-day rallying song for those who fit into the LGBT+ community. The track begins with a musical approach that brings to mind music from the eighties and, more specifically, New Wave music. In fact, the track’s feel brings to mind the eighties version of the track “Tainted Love” which was made famous by British band Soft Cell. “Girl Boy” from Madyx contains a strong synthesizer feel that adds to the New Wave feel of the music. And while there is a strong New Wave feel to the track, there is also a strong Punk undertone that brings to mind songs from Pink. The combination of New Wave and Punk in the track’s music creates a musical feel with a driving beat with an energy level that seems to help emphasize the emotional feel of the lyrics to the track. While Michelle Blanchard and the rest of Madyx released their Worth the Risk album back in 2015, they have been releasing singles every-so-often since then. “Girl Boy” shows off the different mindsets of Michelle Blanchard as a singer-songwriter and is also a good indication of what the band can do.

To hear “Girl Boy” from Michelle Blanchard and the rest of Madyx click HERE

For more information, check out Madyx’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company. 

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Matt MasseyMatt Massey is a musician who has been making his way through the music scene down in Ft. Worth, Texas. For several years, he has spent time in bands in that area. Whether it was a cover band or a band with original material, the experience helped shaped his musical abilities. That type of musical training started rather early as he got his start playing in original bands when he was only sixteen. During that time, his playing in different bands with different styles and playing different genres of music gave him a well-rounded feel to his playing. After spending time playing in bands, Matt Massey decided it was time to focus on his own music. And now, Matt Massey’s music has taken him in the direction of Alternative Rock. It is that style of music that can be found on his new album called Dear Today. And in addition to that ten-track release, Massey has just released one additional track. The stand alone song of “Built” from Matt Massey finds him exploring his inner musician as he took the solo route when creating the track. The track features guitar, bass and drums, all instruments that are played by Massey. Together, Massey combines these instruments to create an Alternative Rock track that feels as it came right out of the nineties. “Built” has a style that brings to mind a band like Seven Mary Three or Candlebox as it contains a strong, driving feel to the music. The track’s musical approach with the strong guitar base as well as strong vocal delivery also bring to mind songs that would have been right at home on Alternative Rock formats back in the nineties. The feel of the song ultimately helps to keep the sound of real Rock and Roll alive. And as “Built” is only one track from Matt Massey, the lone track acts as the perfect reason to explore the rest of the music that is available from him. While “Built” is only one track, the song is a reminder what real Rock and Roll can sound like when it is created by someone who knows how to put the right influences to work for him.

To hear the track of “Built” from Matt Massey, you will have to wait a few more days as the song is due to be release on October 19, 2018. However, check out the musician’s Soundcloud profile for the music on his Dear Today release. 

For more information, check out Matt Massey’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

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no damn goodThe Good Morning Nags is a six-piece NYC based ensemble. The band dates back almost a decade as they formed back in 2010. Today’s version of the band consists of Tim Hassler (fiddle, vocals), Ben Quinn (mandolin, guitar, harmonium, and vocals), Titus Tompkins (percussion, mandolin, vocals) and Britt Reagan (guitar, dulcimer, vocals) as well as Mark Spitznagel (banjo, vocals) and Pete O’Neill (bass, vocals). This ensemble of musicians takes their various musical influences and creates a style that revolves around a Folk-Rock/Country-Rock style of music. Having put out a self-titled release not that long ago, they have returned with a new two-song release they have called No Damn Good.

 
No Damn Good from The Good Morning Nags begins with the first of two tracks called “Birmingham”. The track begins with the sound of a vehicle turning over and coming to life. The sound of starting a motor actually works as the song is about traveling as the lyrics deal with getting behind the wheel and going on a road trip. In this instance, the song is about going down to Birmingham, just as the song title suggests.  “Birmingham” from The Good Morning Nags is a track that does a fine job of blending together the Old Timey feel of Bluegrass music with a driving feel to the tempo that comes from a more Rock and Roll-type musical approach. The track would fit right in on any radio format that features modern-day Country music and/or Folk-based music. While the energy level for the music of the track would be great for today’s Pop-Rock radio, there is just a little too much of a Country flavor to the song. That being said, fans of modern-day Folk-Rock/Country-Rock musical blends will instantly fall in love with the feel of the song. And with the inclusion of the clapping near the middle of the track and the rather funky feel to the ending, “Birmingham” has a lot of different elements to combine for a song that is fun to listen to.

 
After the first of two songs comes to an end, the No Damn Good EP from The Good Morning Nags continues with the title track “No Damn Good”. While the first track on the two-song EP blends together Bluegrass with a blend of Country, Rock and Folk, the title track of the EP features a sound that is rather different in sound but is just as varied in its musical makeup. The Bluegrass base that was found on “Birmingham” is joined on “No Damn Good” by a Creole style of music. The result is a track that contains a strong accordion presence to go along with a Country-style approach. The track brings to mind the style of someone like the “Louisiana Man” himself, Doug Kershaw.   “No Damn Good” features a lyrical content that is rather self-deprecating but the strong, driving feel of the track’s pace allows the listener to enjoy the song without truly feeling sorry for the singer. The more Creole approach on this track is a nice contrast to the Folk-Rock/Country-Rock style of music found on “Birmingham”.

 
Having experienced the sound and style of The Good Morning Nags from their earlier self-titled album, it’s nice to see that the band doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The two tracks on the band’s No Damn Good EP add to the music The Good Morning Nags had already produced and let the listener know that there’s more to come from this talented musical ensemble.

 

To hear some of the music from The Good Morning Nags, check out the title track from the band’s No Damn Good EP. 

Find the band’s No Damn Good EP  on SPOTIFY.  

For more information, check out The Good Morning Nags’ PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

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