Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Rock’

snarls is a band that describes itself as being “glitter emo alt rock”. This group calls the city of Columbus, Ohio home and it is there that the quartet that consists of Chlo White (Vocals, Guitar), Riley Hall (Bass, Vocals), Mick Martinez (Guitar) and Max Martinez (Drums) creates a style they refer to as Emo Alternative Rock. The band mentions Wolf Alice, Snail Mail, Citizen, Bully as bands that they like who most likely have influenced the band’s sound and style. And while the band’s style does indeed include both Emo and Alternative Rock influences, they could easily include New Wave as an influence in there as well.

The Columbus-based band has just released their 2020 debut album release entitled Burst. But before that album hit the street, the band spent time promoting their EP entitled What’s It Take, a three-song EP from 2019 that had given the listener a good indication of what was to come by releasing three tracks from album. But now that the release entitled Burst has finally been released, the band can now focus on promoting that.

For the first track off of the band’s debut release entitled Burst, snarls performs the song “Walk in the Woods”. With this track, the band creates a song that falls somewhere in the middle of the late eighties, early nineties. On this song, the band incorporates as much New Wave feel as it does Alternative Rock. The resulting track features music that feels as much influence from the aforementioned Scottish band Altered Images as it contains influence from the American band Sixpence None the Richer. The two different influences blend together rather well to create a style that falls solidly into the Alternative Rock genre. Much like with the second half of the title track of the release, “Walk in the Woods” features a softer energy level to the song’s musical approach. What results is a track that could feel right at home on any modern-day Pop-Rock radio format.

snarls continues their new album with the song entitled “Marbles”. With the slow-paced track, the band of snarls combines some modern-day Pop-Punk influences with some older Glam Rock influence to create a track that feels as if it would be right at home on any Alternative Rock radio format. To go along with that musical blend, the band throws in some Emo attitude into the lyrics of the track. On the song, singer/guitarist Chlo White sings about things in a relationship that drive her crazy, making her feel as if she’s “lost my mind,” as White sings in the song. The track also features lyrics about walking down the street, shopping at Walgreen’s and other everyday things most people do during their day-to-day lives. While the track features a slow pace to the music, the instrumentation on the track is far from laidback, keeping the song energetic despite the slow pace.   

The track “What’s It Take” features two separate musical directions which split the song in half. The first half of the track contains an upbeat, driving pace and features a delivery that is very influenced by New Wave music bringing to mind the style of the Atlanta, Georgia band The B-52s. In fact, the feel of the song is very reminiscent of that band’s track called “Roam” from 1990, putting this track from snarls just outside of the true era for New Wave. On the second half, snarls slows things down and changes directions. This half of “What’s It Take” seems to channel the spirit of the Scottish New Wave band called Altered Images. With this half of the track, the sound of the track recalls Altered Images’ songs like “I Could Be Happy” or “Happy Birthday” from back in 1981. One half of “What’s It Take” feels as if it belongs in the early part of the New Wave era. The other part feels as if it belongs at the other end of the era. Together, both halves create one track that firmly falls into New Wave. And while the band as a whole does a good job of channeling the two different styles to bring the song together, it is vocalist Chlo White who is the most important part to the mix, drawing out the vocal styles of both Clare Grogan of Altered Images one moment and the female vocal stylings of the B-52s the next.

With the track entitled “Hair,” the song begins with the sound of the electric guitar creating a riff that is rather reminiscent of something from Kurt Cobain. This brings to mind the music of Cobain’s band Nirvana. In fact, once the track finally begins about forty seconds in, the band follows all the way through with that direction and creates a track fully inspired by Nirvana. And while the laidback pace to the song creates a low-key track rather than a more intense Alternative Rock sound, the song still takes the listener back into the nineties, especially when the band finally brings the energy of the music up for the last minute or so of the track.

On the track “Falling,” snarls takes the sound of their music back into the late eighties. On this track, the band takes on a more pop-rock approach creating a track with a definite Indie Rock feel to it. The track of “Falling” from snarls begins with an easy pace to the music but that pace soon slightly increases only a few moments into the track. The music of the song seems to draw some inspiration from the eighties band Dream Academy who had several hits including the song “Life in a Northern Town”. Despite the fact that it does have a slight retro feel to it because of being slightly reminiscent of The Dream academy, “Falling” ends up being one of the most commercial sounding tracks on the album entitled Burst from snarls.

Burst comes to a close with the title track off the release. The track begins with just the sound of the drums, which are quickly joined by the sound of the bass. Together, the two instruments create the song an early Alternative Rock feel. Specifically, the sound of the music at the beginning of “Burst” feels like early music from The Cure. Musically, you could imagine “Burst” existing on that band’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me release. Soon, however, the track blends some influence from The Cure with some influence from Altered Images, creating a track with a sound that could have come from the band Hole, especially one of that band’s lighter tracks. With this final song, snarls brings their debut album to a close with a strong Indie Rock feel to it.

These and other tracks help to shape the debut release entitled Burst from Columbus-based snarls. The album comes with many different influences and styles throughout the length of the album. While the album has much to offer any listener, the release is ultimately for those music listeners who a lot of different styles of music. And with the fact that the album goes from New Wave to Alternative Rock to College Rock and many other styles, there’s plenty to enjoy from this debut album from this talented group of musicians.

For More information, check out the band’s record label, Take This to Heart Records.

For a taste of the debut release from snarls, check out the video to the song “Walk in the Woods”.

To check out the entire Burst release from snarls, click on the album cover below:

Steve D. Wilson is an ex-soldier-turned-singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas who is currently creating his own music as a solo artist. But that wasn’t always the case as he once had been the frontman of the Texas-based Alternative Rock band called The Black Doves. That band would create one album entitled Moments of Clarity, an album that made waves back in 2008.

While the band of The Black Doves has been rather quiet over the years (although they are currently in the middle of creating their long-awaited sophomore release), Steve D. Wilson has kept himself rather busy on his own with his own music. Wilson’s personal collection of original music includes the 2012 EP entitled Discovering Gravity and several other singles that have been released much more recently. In fact, Steve D. Wilson created his latest EP of music only last year. That 2019 EP from Steve D. Wilson is entitled Ad Astra Per Aspera, a Latin phrase that translates to “From Hardships to the Stars”.

Ad Astra Per Aspera from Steve D. Wilson begins with the track entitled “Cheyenne”. Like with both the music of The Black Doves and with his previous EP of Discovering Gravity, “Cheyenne” is a track that features a strong Alternative Rock approach. This track instantly brings to mind the music from the album entitled Moments of Clarity but also some of Wilson’s solo release of Discovering Gravity. In fact, “Cheyenne” finds Wilson taking what had been created musically with his band and shaping it so that there is a familiarity to the music while still feeling different than what had come before. And with the energetic pace of the music, “Cheyenne” gives Wilson’s new release a strong start.

The new release from Steve D. Wilson continues with one of the older songs on the release, “Coming Back to Texas,” a song that was first released back in 2018. With this track, Wilson adds a bit of twang to his music with the use of the slide on the electric guitar. But as the singer-songwriter hails from the state of Texas himself, the addition of the twang to his music seems rather natural. “Coming Back to Texas” is a slow-paced track that finds Wilson singing about returning to where he began. The lyrical content of the track is somewhat bittersweet as he seems to suggest returning but for one last trip.

Steve D. Wilson new EP continues with the track “To Be Honest Juliet”. Wilson continues the slow pace of the music with this song but also brings the energy level up a little at the same time. With this track, the singer-songwriter finds himself in a battle with his own mind as thoughts of a love long gone come back to haunt him. The song’s emotional lyrics are matched up with a slow pace and easy feel to the music, while also including a little energy to the music so that the emotional side of the track is not so prominent.

The next song on the Ad Astra Per Aspera release is the track “Worth It”. And yet again, Steve D. Wilson and the rest of the musicians who brought the release to life create a track with a slow pace to the music. But with this song, the feel of the music changes as this track features the piano as the musical focal point instead of the guitar that has been present on every track up to this point. The easy pace to the music and the use of the piano as the main instrument gives the track the most unique feel of any of the five songs on the release. “Worth It” features lyrics that seem to follow in line with those that were included on the previous track of “To Be Honest Juliet”. Where that song finds Wilson singing of a love long gone, “Worth It” features lyrics about a steamy relationship that seems to fall apart. But things may not be what they seem. The keys and the strings on the track combine to create the most emotional track on the track.  

The latest release from Steve D. Wilson comes to a close with “This Journey Never Ends,” the second of two tracks that had existed before the EP was finished. The final track of the five-song EP brings back the sound of the guitar…in a big way. This track features the electric guitar in a much more prominent manner. On this track, the instrument is played with a lot more energy than on any of the previous tracks that featured the guitar. The result is more of a Power Rock approach to the music rather than an Alternative Rock approach. The track features Wilson creating a song with a slightly Christian feel to lyrics about how tough the journey in life always seems to be.

Ad Astra Per Aspera from Steve D. Wilson is an EP that features several different musical styles throughout the five tracks that make up this release. Throughout the EP, Wilson creates tracks with Rock and Roll, Alternative Rock, even some Power Rock included in the music. That mixture along with the alternating between strong Rock and Roll and lighter musical approaches blend together to make a release that definitely keeps the attention of the listener as they make their way through this short but sweet release.

For a taste of the music from Steve D. Wilson, check out the video to the song “This Journey Never Ends”.

(For more reading about Operation: Encore, check out the review for the first album, the second release of Monuments, the first review for Rachel Harvey Hill, the review for Andrew Wiscombe, the review of Steve D. Wilson, the review for The Real Doug Lane, the review for Stephen Covell, the review for Unknown Rider, the review for Jerry Maniscalco and the review of Logan Vath by clicking on the links that are highlighted.)  

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.


Almost AwakeThe Las Vegas-based band Almost Awake may be following in some rather famous footsteps as they create their Alternative Rock music, but it’s because of the influences from bands that came before them that the group’s music is so strong. The band’s members of Vick- Vocals, Guitar; Grady Jones- Lead Guitar; Gabe Conover- Drums; Addison Egelhoff- Rhythm Guitar and Tommy Cochran- Bass combine influences from bands such as Twenty One Pilots, Paramore, 30 Seconds to Mars and others to create their Alternative Rock music that has a strong Pop feel to it. Having already released one 15-song album entitled Until Tomorrow, the band is currently adding to their collection of music. Currently, the band is promoting their newest single called “Cloudwalker”. As the track begins, the listener can hear the Alternative/Pop combination that occurs in the band’s style. The track’s sound brings to several bands like Paramore, but mostly the track seems to contain a lot of influence from the group Evanescence. The track takes that combination and creates a sound that is easily radio-friendly. The lead guitar from Grady Jones starts the song off with a melody that contains a rather strong beauty to it. Soon, the rest of the band joins in and that beauty gets a boost of energy that draws from the band’s Alternative roots. The vocals from Vick contain the same type of beauty/strength as the rest of the song so that the vocals give the song as much energy as the rest of the band. The fact that the band is still rather young seems to not matter at all as their come across as being on par or better than anything from bands with much more experience under their belts. But with that youth comes the possibility that Almost Awake will have a bright future ahead of them. And speaking of bright future that future is almost ensured as the band has just been signed to Tommy Boy Records. So keep an eye out for this talented band of Almost Awake and enjoy their newest single of “Cloudwalker”.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm, Whiplash PR.

Check out the video to the band’s track here: 

Moe Green's Eye CoverMoe Green’s Eye is a straight-out Rock and Roll band from New York City that is comprised of front man Anthony Galati, guitarist and chief songwriter Steve Siegel, bassist Jeff Mackey and drummer Bob Gallagher. The band used a reference to a character from The Godfather movie series and an unfortunate situation that happened to that character in the series as the name of their band. That seems to prove that the band has a strange sense of humor to go along with their ability to play Rock and Roll.

The band of Moe Green’s Eye is currently creating music consists of musical influences such as New Wave music, as well as a lot of Classic Rock. They include bands like R.E.M, The Smithereens, as well as Tom Petty as major influences on their style. The band just did something that many bands won’t try these days. They recorded their four-song live in the studio. With this recording style, they captured the pure feel of their sound. The four-song release that was just put out is called Fast Radio Bursts Live EP.

Fast Radio Bursts Live from Moe Green’s Eye begins with the track “Fixed,” the first single off of the release. With a sound that has just a little bit of a New Wave influence from the British band Modern English, and more specifically, their song “Melt with You,” “Fixed” definitely has a very clear New Wave influence to the music. “Fixed” features a driving feel to the music and a very strong delivery in the vocals of the track. As the first track of the album, “Fixed” is a strong lead-off track.

Fast Radio Bursts Live continues with the track “Stay”. Like the previous track, the band of Moe Green’s Eye keeps the music in an eighties’ frame of mind. However, with this track, the band also seems to include a little influence from the early Alternative bands. “Stay” keeps the energy level of the music up with a driving beat to the music. Like “Fixed” before it, “Stay” has the type of style that would be welcome on the radio. “Stay,” however, is a lot closer to straight-out Rock and Roll and could have easily been played on modern Rock stations back in the eighties.

The Fast Radio Bursts Live EP continues with the track “It’s Over Now”. With this track, Moe Green’s Eye takes their music into a slightly different direction than with the first two tracks. While the tracks that started the release were more in the realm of New Wave/Rock and Roll from the eighties, “It’s Over Now” seems to bring to mind the stylings of the J. Geils Band as the track contains that band’s style of Rock and Roll to it. That specific feel keeps the band’s style in the era of the eighties but also shows that Moe Green’s Eye seems to wear their influences on their sleeves.

New York City-based Moe Green’s Eye brings their Fast Radio Bursts Live EP to a close with the track “What about Time”. This is probably the most unique of the tracks on the release as the three musicians of guitarist Steve Siegel, bassist Jeff Mackey and drummer Bob Gallagher combine their talents in the track to create a style that recalls Progressive Rock bands, most specifically, Rush. “What About Time” is a song that contains a Commercial Rock sound and a Prog-Rock sound at the same time. The combination of the two musical styles together makes for a song that has plenty of depth to it and would be a welcome addition to any Modern Rock radio formats.

Moe Green’s Eye’s new EP called Fast Radio Bursts Live shows off the talents of the three musicians and the lead singer who come together to create a band that uses slightly older musical influences to help make a sound that sounds generally timeless. The four tracks on the band’s EP come together to create a solid release. And the fact that the band had put together the release with songs created live in the studio shows even more talent from this talented group of musicians.

To find Moe Green’s Eye and their Fast Radio Bursts Live release, check out the band’s Soundcloud profile. 

Every Other SundaySometimes when forming a band, the easiest thing is to look to those closest to you. John C. Corrado had been playing drums for a long time and his son John R. had been playing guitar for many years after learning to play drums from his father. Because of their musical connection and their bond as father and son, and having already joined up for an opportunity to play a party together, the Corrados decided they worked well as bandmates and combined their talents into one band. That band is called Every Other Sunday. Pretty soon, their band began to solidify. Combining players of John C’s generation along with younger musicians from John R’s generation, the resulting band is able to combine musical elements from many different stages of Rock and Roll. Every Other Sunday is currently exploring their ability to create a sound and style that makes use of those multi-generational influences. As a result, Every Other Sunday is currently promoting their first single titled “Ghost”. “Ghost” is an Alternative Rock track that brings John R’s musical tastes to the forefront while also adding a little bit of the older Rock and Roll influence to the music of the track. The rather laidback track brings to mind Alternative Rock bands like Green Day and Weezer. Ultimately, it is the Weezer influence that seems to stand out in the song’s music. “Ghost” from Every Other Sunday could easily have been found on the Blue album from Weezer as the track would have fit easily alongside tracks like “The Sweater Song” or “Buddy Holly”. While “Ghost” is only the first real single to be produced by Every Other Sunday, the track is rather strong and shows that there is real potential for more from this multi-generational band as they continue to solidify their style and sound.

Click HERE to discover the song “Ghost” from Every Other Sunday.


 The Only Ocean is a Rock and Roll band based in Lompoc, California. The band consists of Wesley Hill on Vocals, Guitar; Dustin Whalen on Guitar; Alex Burdess on Bass and Shae Kakos on Drums. The band draws their musical influences from many different styles of Rock And Roll such as Alternative, Shoegaze, Indie Rock and even Psychedelic Rock. With that blend of styles in one sound, the band creates music that moves from one influence to the next. That style of music is present in the band’s newly released track called “Daydreams”. “Daydreams” is a track that definitely has a large amount of Indie Rock influence within the music. The track begins with a with a light, yet very infectious guitar riff before the song launches into a harder and much more rocking feel. That infectious guitar riff returns again and again throughout the track. As the song progresses, the track alternates a between a very rocking Alternative Rock style and the Indie feel that begins the track. The song features guitar work from both Wesley Hill and Dustin Whalen and their interaction within the song creates many different elements within the music. The rhythm section of bassist Alex Burdess and drummer Shae Kakos helps to keep the song together as each of the band members alternates between the two musical feels in the music.  The vocals from Wesley Hill contain a gentle quality to them throughout the track. The supporting vocals on the track seem to complement the lead vocals and the use of the harmony within certain parts helps to add a nice texture to the lyrics. The final minute of the track feature the band really rocking out before the song ends in the same manner that it began with the band alternating between the easier and harder styles. With the way the song alternates between the two musical approaches, “Daydreams” from The Only Ocean is entertaining and leaves the listener wanting for more.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)

A is for Atom A is for Atom is a New York-based Alternative Rock outfit formed by New York transplant Mike Cykoski when he decided that he had had enough playing behind other people. Once Cykoski decided to go in his own direction as far as music was concerned, he started creating songs that featured an Alternative Rock sound with a lot of orchestral feeling to it. To help promote his music, Mike Cykoski released two EPs worth of music. The latest of those releases is called Song for You.
The new release from A is for Atom begins with the track “Load up on Guns”. The track has a fun, light feel to the music as it contains a rather unusual mix of both acoustic guitars that help to build the main body of the song and electronic keyboards that add a slightly spacey feel to the track. In fact, the keyboards come in near the middle of the song and the resulting keyboard solo feels like something that might have come from a New Wave song from the 1980s. The song then changes directions near the end of the track when an electric guitar comes in and adds a little depth to the music. While the song’s title might sound like some kind of statement, the track is just a fun listening experience that happens to be very catchy.
Song for You from A is for Atom continues with the title track of the release. While “Load up on Guns” has a fun, easy feel to it, “Song for You” changes the emotional feel of the EP. As the song title was inspired by something Cykoski’s ex-girlfriend once said to him, the lyrics of this song play on the statement “you never wrote a song for me”. The track features a slow-paced, yet steady feel to it while the music itself falls somewhere between pop-rock and smooth jazz in a style that might remind some of music from a band like Steely Dan. If Elton John’s “Your Song” is the ultimate statement on love, maybe “Song for You” by A is for Atom can be seen as its antithesis.
While the first two tracks of Song for You from A is for Atom contain a style that could easily fit into today’s musical formats, Mike Cykoski takes the song “Bombs Away” in a completely different direction. The keyboard-driven track brings to mind many of the songs from the New Wave era of music. The track brings the listener back to a time when musicians were not only unafraid to try something new with their music; they wanted to push music as far as they could. The resulting track of “Bombs Away” from A is for Atom is one of those tracks that may feel a bit dated because of the use of drum loops and the particular keyboard sound produced on the track, but it can also feel just as fresh because it really doesn’t make you think of anyone else in the music industry today.
Mike Cykoski describes A is for Atom as a “melodic driven alt band”. Nowhere is that more evident than on the track “The White Dress”. In a track that may instrumentally bring to mind “The Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles, the piano-driven track builds as many different elements come together in such a manner that the track feels almost orchestrated. The track also features fine vocals that create a nice harmony to the lyrics of the song. Once the horns appear, the listener experiences a beauty in the song’s music that rarely appears in today’s music industry.
Song for You from A is for Atom comes to an end with the track “India”. The track is a strong pop-rock track that features a very strong keyboard-driven feel. While the song has a relatively timeless feel, the keyboard solo at the end of the track once again brings the music back to a more New Wave feel.
The new release from A is for Atom called Song for You is a pop-rock fan’s dream as Mike Cykoski creates music that can be very appealing to people who like a lot of different styles of rock and roll. The five songs contained within the release are a nice mix of sounds and there’s not a bad track on the release.
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

Stone Diamond is a rock trio made up of Cy on vocals/bass, Josh on vocals/guitar and The Tongue on drums. Having come together several years ago as a garage band, today, the three musicians create a rock band that has a lot of energy. The band also calls upon keyboardist, Toby Philippen to help flesh out their music. The resulting sound can be found on the band’s debut album We Stole the Stars from the Black Night.

We Stole the Stars from the Black Night begins with the track “Love Stays”. “Love Stays” is one of those tracks that starts off strong and just keeps going. The track features a straight-out rock feel that could easily find its way onto a Classic Rock radio format. The lyrics to the song are simple enough that the listener will find that they are singing along. When the band stops playing their instruments late in the track to sing a’cappella, the listener gets to hear the band harmonize. The track is very strong and is a great way to start off the new release from Stone Diamond.

The new album from Stone Diamond continues with the track “Let it Roll” is another strong track. This time, the band creates a track that is definitely a blues/rock song. The guitar from Cy has a definite Blues feel to it while Toby Philippen helps add a strong keyboard feel to the track.

“Flavor of Tears” starts off slow with an easy tempo. It then becomes a track that features a vocal style that may remind you of Jim Morrison along with a lyrical style that could even have been something that Morrison himself may have written. The music itself contains a Classic Rock feel that could remind you of The Doors or any other band from around that time period in music. The track has enough style and power to satisfy any Classic Rock fan; it ends up being one of the strongest tracks of the entire album.

For the track “Tattoo,” Stone Diamond slows the pace of the music down to a very slow tempo. The song’s simple guitar work at the beginning of the track from Josh provides the perfect musical background for the emotional lyrics to the song. After a few seconds, the song builds to become a stronger track but still maintains the slow pace that it contained at the beginning. The band comes together to create music that features a mix of Classic Rock and Alternative Rock feelings at the same time.

“Dark Lover” is a song that really stays true to Classic Rock as the song sounds like a mix of Rock and Roll from a band like The Rolling Stones and a little Soul from someone like Bootsy Collins. “Dark Lover” is mainly a track that has a musical trio feel to the music with a little keyboard thrown in for a little flavor. The resulting track is an interesting song as the listener experiences a track that sounds as if it was it would have come out of the seventies.

To change the feel of their music just a little, Stone Diamond creates a “duet” of sorts with the track “U Know”. The slow-paced track features female vocals that help to add some emotional feeling to the lyrics of the song. When the band picks up the pace of the song, the song sounds something like a crossover between Jessica Simpson and maybe Deep Purple. “U Know” is one of the best and most commercial tracks on the album.

We Stole the Stars from the Black Night from Stone Diamond is the perfect release for those who are looking for the type of music that features a strong rock feeling to the music and also stays true to the style of the bands of the past that are now grouped into the Classic Rock genre. The eleven tracks of the album are nicely varied in their approach while staying in the Rock and Roll groove. The three musicians of Cy, Josh and The Tongue who make up the band Stone Diamond have created a rock and roll release that will fit in perfectly with those bands of the past while still making their music sound fresh for today’s music-buying public.

Click HERE to see the video to “Love Stays” from Stone Diamond’s We Stole the Stars from the Black Night release.

Back in August, Cleveland was the host to the XMG Music Conference. The Conference was held at the Cleveland Hard Rock Cafe. For the Conference, people were able to see part of the music world first hand as bands and singers were put through the same type of experiences as the singers on American Idol: Following their performance of two required songs, the group or performer was told what was good about their performance or what needed improvement. After watching most of the bands or performers turn in performances on the level of William “She Bangs” Hung, it was apparent that the job of talent scout wasn’t as glamorous as you would think.

Having sat through many nameless/faceless bands turn in less than stellar performances, it was always a great relief to finally get to see those acts that could sing, play their instruments or just set themselves apart from the rest of the pack by just performing a song or two on-key.

One such group that made a good impact on me was a band from Madison, Wisconsin. The name of the group is Pine. Pine (who recently gained a new bass player) consists of Mike Delp on guitar, Scott Theis on Drums, Justin O’rourke on piano/synth, Mike “Buzz” Buzzell on vocals and James Jones on Bass.

At the time of the conference, the band was working on their self-titled release. They finally released the album in early December. This release contains several songs that could easily be included on any HOT A/C (adult contemporary) radio station. Some songs that could easily get airtime include “Another Perfect Day,” “Sweet Vicarious” and “Take Me There”.

Even though the first track on the self-titled release from Pine, “LC,” is a rather beautiful and simple track that features a nice vocal harmony that would easily remind anyone of the vocals from The Beach Boys, the album doesn’t truly begin until the second track called “Another Perfect Day”.

“Another Perfect Day” is a track that would make a band like Green Day proud: The track is a strong punk-oriented track that also has a generous amount of “pop” influence to it. The punk/pop mixture on the track creates music that will easily get the listener up and dancing to the beat. And along with the punk/pop, the track also features lyrics with a definite attitude. Although the lyrics (and song title) might suggest happy thoughts, the lyrics are forcefully sung by Mike “Buzz” Buzzell through clenched teeth.

While “Another Perfect Day” features punk/pop feel, the song “Sweet Vicarious” is a track with a heavier rock song with a generous amount of keyboard thrown in. The resulting track is, without a doubt, an Alternative Rock song and would usually not be mistakenly grouped with the pop-based rock and roll found on Top 40 radio. “Sweet Vicarious” is one of the strongest tracks on the 2005 release from Pine.

Easily one of the best and most commercial songs on the album is the track “Take Me There”. While the song has a strong “Alternative Rock” influence, it also has enough “pop” influence to it to make the song an easy candidate for play on both Alternative Rock and Top 40 radio formats. The track is very listener-friendly and has a definite hook that will immediately grab you. If any song on this release could become a “single,” odds are it would be “Take Me There”.

The self-titled album from Pine also includes two things that are “givens” on releases in the 2000s: the hidden track: “Tonight,” and the remake: Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”.

We all know “I’m On Fire” from Bruce Springsteen as it was one of his biggest hits. And we know that the song is a rock ballad with a “pop” feel to it. But when Pine got their hands on the song, they took it in a much different direction. Their version of the song is a “power ballad,” with an emphasis on “power”. While Springsteen’s version is soft and easy, Pine’s version of the tune features electric guitars and cranks the energy level to produce one of the strongest tracks on Pine’s album. The band’s version of “I’m On Fire” will probably end up being one of the best “cover songs” in this first decade of the new millennium that has already become very heavy on the “cover songs”.

Once Pine’s new release comes to an end with the song “Shovelhead,” the CD continues to advance until it presents the “hidden track” of “Tonight”. “Tonight” is a simple ballad that features just an acoustic guitar with a light keyboard in the background to add some beautiful music to an emotionally powerful song about a man wishing he wasn’t alone.

The self-titled release by Pine showcases the talents of this noteworthy band. From the first song until the end of the album some forty minutes later, the listener can tell that this band could go places if it gets the right opportunities.

And Pine is already getting those opportunities: With the inclusion of “Another Perfect Day” on 96.3 WMAD’s 2005 “Rockin’ the Midwest” compilation and “Take Me There” being nominated for Best Song Of 2005 along with PINE’s self-titled album nominated for Best Album Of 2005, the band is certainly not just a nameless/faceless band to ignore.

This originally ran as a shortened article of less than 400 words back in 2005 in order to give the band Pine some coverage for their new release. At the time, I had to write an article/review to fit the space I was given in the publication I was writing for. I have now fleshed out the review to give the album the respect it deserved back at that time. And while the band has moved on, the album still deserves to be heard.