Posts Tagged ‘pop-rock’

You rarely find a group of musicians that create their own music with orchestral strings as part of their sound, but that is exactly what you will find with the band The Furious Seasons. The Furious Seasons is a band that takes its cue from earlier bands like The Left Banke, Electric Light Orchestra and even Poi Dog Pondering. And just like these previous bands, The Furious Seasons’ sound stands out from the rest of the music industry because of the beauty that can be found in the music from the band.

Singer-guitarist David Steinhart has taken his vast recording history and put it to use in the creation of the releases from The Furious Seasons. Along with Steinhart, his brother Jeff Steinhart plays the bass, his nephew Nate Steinhart plays the guitar, Bob Gannon plays the drums and Ray Chang adds his violin to the music to help give the band’s music its baroque feel. It’s that baroque feel in the rock music that shows up quite a bit on the band’s new album of My Analog Face.

My Analog Face begins with the track “Let’s Sweep Together”. The baroque/pop feel to the track seems to transport the listener back in time. With a beautiful arrangement that makes the song feel like it would have come out of the British Invasion and the strings that accompany the music, “Let’s Sweep Together” gives the listener the indication that they’re in for an interesting musical experience.

Strings are used once again on the album’s second track called “On the Wire”. This time, the strings help to give the song a more emotional feel than “Let’s Sweep Together”. The band combines together to create a slow-paced song that is perfect for the duet that is sung by David Steinhart and Justine Bennett. The strings included on the track give an emotional touch to the song.

On the song “We Go Down,” The Furious Seasons seem to once again slip into a retro style of music; this time, taking a musical approach that may remind some of the hit singles from 1970’s AM radio. In a style that combines elements from artists like B.W. Stevenson, Cat Stevens and even the Eagles, “We Go Down” brings back the lite rock sound of days gone by. Staying in a seventies frame of mind for another song, My Analog Face’s “A Few Miles Back” begins with a sound that seems to have been influenced by well-known composer Henry Mancini. The Mancini Influence on the track definitely dates the sound of the song, but it also helps to create one of the prettiest moments on the release.

While the album as a whole has many enjoyable listening moments, it is the song “Keys and Watch” that will resonate the most with today’s music buying public. With pop/rock music that seems to have an ultimately timeless feel to it and lyrics poetic enough to feel as if Bob Dylan had written them, “Keys and Watch” would easily fit onto any Adult Contemporary station today. It is also the strongest track on the newest release from The Furious Seasons.

The song “Hey Jon” is another track that would fit on today’s Adult Contemporary radio as it contains the sort of timeless pop/rock as the earlier track of “Keys and Watch”. The song about seeing an old friend again has a certain familiarity to it that everyone can get behind, just like “Keys and Watch”.

To finish off the album, The Furious Seasons include one cover tune. And in this case, it’s the song “Operator (That’s Not the Way it Feels)”. The Jim Croce song is given new life with this version from The Furious Seasons. The Furious Seasons take the song and make it their own, all while not straying too far from the original version.

David Steinhart and the rest of The Furious Seasons have put together a release that has a nice and relaxed feel to it. The many different styles to the band’s music on the album help it feel unique from track to track. The baroque pop mixed with the Adult Contemporary creates two different sides to the band’s style. Whether you’re a fan of today’s music or you prefer the styles that came before, My Analog Face from The Furious Seasons has something for everyone. 

This album review was done back in 2012 when I was still reviewing for ReviewYou. The review was sent off to the company per our agreement. However, it was never published by me. I only recently realized this. So to make up for that oversight, I am publishing the review here.

As far as The Furious Seasons are concerned, the band has stayed busy since the time when they requested this review. In fact, you can find several albums from the ensemble. The latest of which is entitled Now Residing Abroad.

To discover the music of The Furious Seasons including both My Analog Face and Now Residing Abroad, you can the band out on the spotify account.

It was back in 2014 that the organization known as Operation Encore was founded. Operation Encore is an organization that helps give former soldiers from all branches of the American military a new lease on life through the music that they are already creating on their own. And since the advent of the organization, two compilations have been created that feature music from those former soldiers.

Along with those compilations, several albums that were created by some of the artists are also being promoted by the organization. Artists such as Andrew Wiscombe, Steve Wilson, The Real Doug Lane, Steve Covell have put out albums that are being promoted with the help of Operation Encore. Rachel Harvey Hill, a wife of military personnel, has also released music that is being promoted by the organization. Now, former Coast Guard pilot Brian Boland has joined the “ranks” of former military personnel who are now a part of Operation Encore.

Brian Boland, the former Coast Guard pilot, joined the Operation Encore organization just recently and has just released his first EP entitled Rtb, a short-hand military term meaning “return to base”. On the Rtb EP, Boland has been joined by Ryan Johnson on guitar, Whit Wright on steel and piano, Kevin Mcclain on percussion, and Bill Corbin on Bass. Together,  Boland and these musicians combine their talents to bring Boland’s new release to life. 

For his music, Brian Boland performs under the moniker of Unknown Rider. It is with this moniker that he has just released his first album entitled Rtb, a short-hand military term meaning “return to base”. And to help shape his music, Boland has called upon the following musicians: Ryan Johnson on guitar, Whit Wright on steel and piano, Kevin Mcclain on percussion,and Bill Corbin on Bass. These men were also a part of the band known as American Aquarium. Together, Brian Boland and the four aforementioned men helped to bring the music of Unknown Rider to life.

As you make your way through the Rtb release, you notice a connecting theme between the tracks. That theme is movement. Many of the songs created by Unknown Rider deal with spending time in one specific place or another, and with the fact that Brian Boland spent much of his time in the military on the move,that really should not be that much of a surprise.

The Rtb release from Unknown Rider begins with the track “Hatteras”. This is the first of many songs on the album that deal with the theme of traveling. With this song, the lyrics find Brian Boland spending some time reflecting on a past relationship; a relationship that, apparently, took place on the beaches of North Carolina. The track features a Pop-Rock feel to the music. That Pop-Rock influence seems to take the listener back to the time of the nineties as the track’s musical approach brings to mind bands like Third Eye Blind or Goo Goo Dolls.

Unknown Rider’s new release continues with the track “Reykjavik”. With this track, the travelling theme continues. The lyrical content in the song deals with Brian Boland’s time as a pilot in the military as the song follows Boland on one of his many adventures with the men he served alongside. While the previous track of “Hatteras” contained a Pop-Rock feel to the music, “Reykjavik” has a strong Country vibe to it. That Country flavor comes courtesy of the inclusion of things like a slide guitar.

Just as fast as Unknown Rider’s sound changed with the track “Reykjavik,” the feel of the music changes again on the song “Mexico”. While you might expect a song with a title such as “Mexico” to have a Latin flavor, nothing could be further from the truth with this track. In fact, the music of “Mexico” actually brings to mind a combination of The White Stripes and Tom Petty. The sing-song style of the lyrics on the track actually brings to mind an influence of Tom Waits in both style and delivery. And once again, the lyrical content of “Mexico” deals with Brian Boland’s time on the road in the military.

Since many of the songs on the Rtb album from Unknown Rider deal with Brian Boland’s past, it should come as no surprise thata song or two would deal with the mental side of things. One song that deals with that side of things is “Searchin’”. And while the lyrics on the track do not go very deep into that, Boland does sing about considering what might have been, what has been and what happened to others who were around him as he goes in search of answers to questions he now has. As far as the music to the track is concerned, the five-plus minute song contains and Rock and Roll feel that features the sound of the organ Whit Wright as the main instrument.

The pace of the music slows way down on the song “The Shakes”. Just like with the earlier track son the album the lyrical content of this song deal with things that have taken place in past. On “The Shakes,” a combination of too much coffee and too many memories combine to create the shakes. The slow, steady pace to the music adds a bit of tension to the already tense feeling of the words to the track. It’s almost like you can feel the way Boland feels as he sings.

One of the most unique tracks the Rtb album from Unknown Rider has to be “Kerosene”. The slow pace that was featured on “The Shakes” returns on “Kerosene”. With this track, creates a song that combines several different elements into one track. The music of the track contains a musical combination of Rock and Roll and Soul. The result is something that is rather reminiscent of a track from The Band. Along with the Influence from The Band, the lyrics contain two distinct flavors at once. You can hear in Brian Boland’s voice a touch of Bob Dylan. That Dylan influence also appears in the lyrics.But the lyrics also seem to contain some Tom Waits influence to them.Altogether, the song of “Kerosene” is one of the standout tracks on the entire ten-song release.

After nine tracks that find Brian Boland writing about travelling from one place to another, he brings the album from Unknown Rider to a close with the title track. It is with the final track “RTB” that the term “return to base” seems to make sense as Boland sings of finally being able to go back to where he started off; or, being able to “return to base”. The final track of the release finds Boland and the rest of the musicians who helped him put the album together creating a track with one of the strongest musical directions on the release. The music of the track contains a strong guitar-driven Rock and Roll feel that would fit right with tracks from the seventies, early eighties. For a final track, the song “RTB” actually brings the album to a close with a strong feeling as opposed to most albums that feature a more laidback track for the final song.

Throughout the entire Rtb album from Unknown Rider, the listener is treated to songs that feature many different musical approaches. As a matter of fact, no two tracks feel the same. The album proves that, as a writer, Brian Boland has a lot of talent. The ever-changing feel of the debut release from The Unknown Rider offers some for nearly everyone. 


To hear some of the music from Unknown Rider, check out the live version of the track “Searchin‘” as performed by Brian Boland as part of the Sofar concept. 

You can find the rtb album from Unknown Rider on spotify. Also find him on Instagram under @unknownridermusic. 

In addition to recording under Unknown Rider, Brain Boland is a published author. You can find him under the penname Cole Williams


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

Pick Me UpShane Palko is a singer-songwriter who is also a world traveler. The reason for that is because of the time he has spent on the road traveling from one country to the next performing music from the many albums he has recorded over the years. With how many miles he has amassed while traveling on his own and with the band that helps back him up, it comes as no surprise that Palko’s music contains a great deal of songs that have to do with the idea of traveling.

For his new album entitled Pick Me Up, Shane Palko’s latest release comes complete with cover art (courtesy of artist Hannah Kelleher) that represents various modes of transportation used to get from one location to the next. The newest album from Palko even begins with a track that deals with that very topic.

Along with the ever-present idea of travel that exists within the lyrical content of many of Shane Palko’s songs, another thing that exists within much of Palko’s songs is the Folk/Folk-Rock approach to the music. This inclusion of a lighter approach to the music gives the songs from Shane Palko a rather strong laidback feel. That laidback feeling to the music gives Pick Me Up, the latest album from Shane Palko, a solid direction that lasts for the entire release.

Pick Me Up, the new album from Shane Palko, begins with the track “Traveling/Wandering”. The track contains a light, easy feel to the music. As a result of the light approach, the track would easily desacribe as being Indie Rock. The easy feel of the music on the track also seems to be perfect for using the song itself as a track in a roadtrip soundtrack. The easy musical approach of the Indie Rock music in “Traveling/Wandering” brings to mind the lighter music that had been produced back in the seventies. In fact, “Traveling/Wandering” would have been right at home being included in AM radio pop/rock formats in the seventies.

Shane Palko continues the traveling concept with the next track of “Circus Dog”. While the lyrics of the track deal with walking over to a neighbor’s hose instead of traveling halfway around the world, there is still the idea of moving. And much like with the previous track, “Circus Dog” also contains a light, easy quality to the music of the track. While the previous track would have felt at home in AM pop radio formats from the seventies, “Circus Dog” feels as if it would be right at home in a current radio format within the Pop/Rock genre.

As the listener makes their way through the tracks that make up the Pick Me Up album from Shane Palko, it becomes rather apparent that the album contains a certain theme of movement threading its way throughout the songs. And right along with the feeling of travel that winds its way through the lyrical content of Palko’s songs, the continuing feeling of Easy Listening music also winds its way through the tracks.

While many of the songs on Shane Palko’s release deal with travel, no matter how far that trip is, there is one track on Pick Me Up album that deals with a slightly different takes on travel.

With the track “Starship,” Palko gives the idea of travel a different spin. “Starship” is a track that features lyrics that deal with a person being seemingly all alone in the world and trying to survive as the rest of the universe goes on around you, whether you’re in a starship or you just think you are. The music of the track features a Light Rock feel that brings to mind the lighter fare created by the likes of Seals & Crofts.

While the vast majority of the tracks on Shane Palko’s latest album are songs that deal with some sort of travel, the album does contain a few tracks that do not deal with travel. One of those tracks is the third track of the release entitled “Better”. The track’s lyrics deal with the singer talking to a friend he has not seen for a while. Palko sings about being glad to catch up. The music of the track contains one of the strongest deliveries. The music even contains a driving feel to it; however much of a driving feel a Light Rock song can have, that is. “Better” ends up being perhaps the best track on the new album from Palko.

Shane Palko’s latest album contains one other track that does not deal with travel. In fact, the song “For Juniper” is a track that contains no lyrical content at all. Taking the Light Rock music that has filled up the rest of the album, Palko created one track that strictly dealt with the sound of the acoustic guitar and the rest of the instruments that were used to bring Palko’s Acoustic Rock to life. Like the rest of the album, the music “For Juniper” contains a smooth, easy feeling to the music. But without words to get in the way, what results is a track that comes across as a Jazz-like track with a laidback approach. The song of “For Juniper” would easily fit on any Smooth Jazz radio format.

With Shane Palko’s choice of subject matter on the album being traveling, the tracks blend together to create a release that feels more unified than most other albums. And for those who like their music on the softer side of things, the Pick Me Up album from Shane Palko is just what you’re looking for.

 

For the music of  Shane Palko, check out the track “Better” HERE

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

Whiplash

 

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.

Whiplash

 

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkUO3lh58gs&feature=youtu.be 

Mark RogersVirginia/DC-based singer-songwriter Mark Rogers finds himself in a situation that many others have experienced. Years ago, he has spent time creating music. The style of music that he created incorporated Folk, Folk-Rock, and even a little Bluegrass influence. Needless to say, the style of the music created by Rogers would have fit quite nicely with music from the sixties.

But then Mark Rogers found himself creating a family. Music would have to wait. And wait it has. Then, after an extended time away, Rogers has resumed his pursuit of music. In fact, Rogers has made it official as he just created a new EP of original music. The new EP from Mark Rogers is entitled Rearranged.

Rearranged from Mark Rogers begins with the “Right Here”. The track features a sound that would have been right at home during the seventies. In fact, the track’s Folk-Rock feel brings to mind the sound and feel of a band like The Eagles. That sound comes courtesy of guitars that bring to mind the various musicians from the band. The easy pace of the track and the rather familiar Eagles-inspired sound would have felt right at home on AM radio. Right from the start, the track “Right Here” makes Rearranged from Mark Rogers feel like a musical release that fans of Pop-Rock music would truly enjoy.

While the previous track brought to mind the styles of The Eagles, Mark Rogers changes his musical approach on the song “Slow Parade”. The second track of the release features a style that incorporates just a little Beatles flavor into the music. Although it is not overwhelming, the listener can hear just a little Lennon/McCartney influence in the lyrical content of the song. That Beatles-esque lyrical content and melody contained in the words of the song brings to mind that band’s style from back in the sixties when they were just making a name for themselves. Along with the Beatles influence in the lyrics, “Slow Parade” contains a musical approach that once again contains a definite Folk-Rock sound.

After Mark Rogers spent two songs creating music with a throwback feel, the next track of “I Can’t Say Why” features a timeless sound. The Folk-Rock style on the track contains a strong musical approach that could have been played in the seventies, eighties, nineties, or even on today’s Pop-Rock radio formats. Throughout the song, the acoustic approach of the music helps to create a track with a gentle feel to the music. With the inclusion of the electric guitar, Rogers adds a nice amount of energy to the song.

With the track “Waiting,” Mark Rogers once again conjures up the sound of the seventies. The slow pace and easy feel to the music brings to mind a song like “Harvest Moon” from Neil Young. Much like Young’s song that contains a throwback feel to the music, the feel of “Waiting” from Mark Rogers would fit in with older tracks but would also fit on modern-day Adult Contemporary radio formats. “Waiting” is one of the strongest tracks on the Rearranged release from Mark Rogers.

The new release from Mark Rogers continues with the track “Takes Me Back Again”. On this track, Rogers continues to create music with a strong Folk background, but changes things up a little as he incorporates a strong Jazz influence to the music. That Jazz influence comes in the form of the guitar on the track and the light vocal delivery from Rogers. The rather short track shows off Mark Roger’s playing ability.

Mark Rogers brings his new EP to a close with the track “The Blue of December”. As the song revolves around the sound of the piano and the acoustic guitar, the two instruments combine to create a track that contains a very laidback feel. The low-key track brings the Rearranged release from Mark Rogers to a close on a gentle note.

Rearranged from Mark Rogers is a short six-song EP that gives the listener a very strong Folk-inspired . But this is just a taste of what is to come!
For a taste of Mark Rogers’ new EP, check out the track “The Blue of December“.   

Check out Rearranged from Mark Rogers. The album is available on Bandcamp.  You can also find the album on GooglePlay and iTunes

For more information, check out Mark Rogers’ PR firm, Whiplash PR

Reina Mora picPuerto Rico native Leeane Melendez (here on out to be referred to by her stage name of Reina Mora) has spent time in the music industry as part of many bands. But after spending time in other people’s groups, the L.A.-based singer-songwriter has taken on a new role as a solo artist. Having written her own songs, Reina Mora is about to release her first solo album. While Mora is an artist that is proud of the Latin part of her background, the singer-songwriter has just created a release that is largely influenced by the same type of music that she has been singing as part of other bands. That pop/rock-based album is entitled Bird’s Eye View. Before she releases the entire album, however, she is releasing one track as a lead-off single. That song is entitled “Trouble”. The music of “Trouble” focuses on the electric guitar that help to create a very strong Rock and Roll feel to the track. The electric guitar provides a moderate pace to the music. On “Trouble,” Reina Mora’s vocals are strong and focused as she plays out the character she created for the song. To go along with the Rock and Roll music, the lyrics of the song find Reina Mora creating a scene based around an Adam and Eve-type setting where Mora is portraying an Eve-like character who knows the power she possesses over “Adam” and is taking advantage of him as she plays out the forbidden apple scene from the Bible. As the title of the track suggests, Reina Mora declares that she is nothing but bad news. But as it turns out, Adam is no fool and he has a few tricks of his own. While only one song, “Trouble” shows off at least some of the writing style contained within the album as it comes across as a vignette set to music.

The album Bird’s Eye View from Reina Mora is scheduled to be released in the near future. Until then, enjoy the album’s first single entitled “Trouble”.   

For more information, check out Reina Mora’s PR firm, Whiplash PR.