Monday, October 22, 2018

Responders' jammy "Face Today"- Indie rock pushed through blues filters on self titled EP





































The song Face Today by Boston, Mass based 5 piece indie rock band Responders is hinged on jammy counterpoints and Kelly Bruce's powerfully clean vocal performance. Clean guitar lines erupt into screaming leads while the drum and bass rhythms feel tightly wound. On their self titled EP the band pushes their sound through blues rock filters with hints of proggy jazz undertones. Responders are (the aforementioned) Kelly Bruce (lead vox, percussion, piano), Shane Fitzgerald (guitar, piano, vox), Michael Benjamin (guitar, vox), Damon Ivester (bass) and Eli Kovacevich (drums, vox, piano, percussion).

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Robb Donker

Mel Bryant and The Mercy Makers genre blending indie rock on "In My Head"

























In My Head by Nashville based (by way of Philly and New York) Mel Bryant feels like alt folk rock on high with maybe a faint tinge of country and even a kind of 80's new wave pop buried in there too. Definitions aside, the indie band's name sake and lead singer-songwriter Mel Bryant (vocals, bass) serves up a clean pretty vocal performance with a lot of emotional bite assisted by Conor McCarthy (lead guitar, organ), Aaron Hicks (guitar, vocals) and Brendan Bird (drums).  The band is working on a 2019 debut album. 

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Robb Donker


Singer Songwriter Ian McFarland- and the indie sweetness of "Tell A Lie"

Tell A Lie by L.A. based singer-songwriter Ian McFarland has a cadence that feels like it is riding the rails or maybe a bicycle through small town streets with someone you love. From top to bottom the song is painted with an earnest sweetness. McFarland, originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire has traveled the world playing shows and gathering fodder for his songs. A multi-instrumentalist McFarland plays the bulk of the instruments on many of his solo projects. On Tell A Lie he got a little help from his friends, McFarland handling guitar, vocals, tambourine with engineer / producer Ryan Melone on stomps and claps and Eric Deluca on bass.  Ian McFarland is currently in the studio and planning a move to NYC in 2019.

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Robb Donker



Saturday, October 20, 2018

A song for lovers to fall in love with- "Irish Sea Lover" by Box of Moxie

Irish Sea Lover, the latest by Virginia collaborative Box Of Moxie is an enchanting alt folk song of songs that feels kind of legendary in scope. The kind of legends that become bar sing-a-longs for generations to come. There is this kind of classic appeal here bridged by storytelling and melody and the simple organic nature of the sound. The sound of 60's folk singers or buskers. Front man singer songwriter Stephen Jacques has an affable but dreamy voice and his tone coupled with the cadence and melodies made me think of The Kinks, Lou Reed and Donovan all at once. Enchanting indeed. 

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Robb Donker




PRESS NOTES:

Box of Moxie’s body of work is a collaboration between Virginia band founder and Frontman Stephen Jacques & Nationally recognized Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer & Recording Engineer Alan Weatherhead (The Cardigans, Cracker, Magnolia Electric Co., Camper Van Beethoven, Hotel Lights, Sparklehorse). Alan is an exceptional, prolific & insightful musician with an extensive list of credits in the Music industry. Stephen (vocals, guitar, lyrics) began writing the 1st of over 60 songs & ballads following the crash of the 2009 American Real Estate market. A silver lining of sorts as Moxie was launched out of the starting blocks.
Box of Moxie has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, Folksy Rock, Avant-garde. But mostly, there’s a lifetime of working in the real world that has essentially delivered the goods in terms of the lyrics by Stephen. He spent over 25 years working before the first lyrics were ever penned – as an engineer, custom builder, TV show host, and actor- strumming his Acoustic along the way.

"Put It Into Motion" by Sonic from Bogata, Columbia is an unabashedly positive rock pop song




















The song Put It Into Motion by the band Sonic from Bogata, Columbia is an unabashedly positive rock pop song. It is the kind of song that might conjure a soundtrack to a Disney flick about an underdog group of elementary school soccer players or a Coke commercial that is positively multi-cultural and full of love (and Coca Cola). It is the kind of song that I sometimes stray from. It could feel polyanna but for some reason it does not. Sometimes songs of this nature is what we need and with all the utter bullshit going on in the world right now, it is sometimes the kind of song that might, just might help in some small ways inspire people to go out and do what is right. Hey, is that me being polyanna... maybe but that's ok with me. 

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Robb Donker


PRESS NOTES:

The band Sonic (Bogota, Colombia) has announced the independent release of its debut album"One Peaceful Day. The album was produced by Luis Ernesto Walteros in LeFlat Studios, co-produced by SilverFox, and mastered by Grammy-nominated C1 Mastering (Carlos Silva). The band also received special consultation from Grammy-nominated artist/producer Carlos Villalobos.
The album carries you through a sonic and emotional journey, bringing you to edges of modern rock, indie rock, alternative rock, and alternative pop without diving headlong into anyone. The songs deal with social issues like the international refugee crisis, polarization, the voiceless, the fake news epidemic, and depression/anxiety crisis. Yet with songs like Put It Into Motion and the title track, aptly placed at the end...Sonic remains hopeful and welcomes you to embrace One Peaceful Day.
Sonic formed in January of 2017. In less than a year it has been a widely recognized band in the Bogota rock scene, lauded for its diverse membership, stage presence, and song composition. It was one of a select group of local bands to participate in the Hard Rock Rising competition, and advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious Monsters of Rock competition hosted by Subterranica in 2017 and and to the finals in 2018.

Random Saturday Morning -- Check these artists out and if you like them dig deeper










Some Random finds or rediscoveries this Saturday morning. It is cooler, storm seems to be coming and a busy day of site building (PIZZANDFRIES), blogging here, mini-podcast and a movie and dinner. I hope you find this collection of music engaging. I know I do and hope you take time to click on the links and dig deeper into these artists. They are all around you know, artists and creators expressing themselves.

Cheers sweet people
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Robb Donker















Keith Cooper's absurdist punk leanings on "American French Revolution" from the "Rabid Underdogs" album
























The song American French Revolution by singer songwriter Keith Cooper from his upcoming "Rabid Underdogs" album has a free wheeling absurdest punk feel with proto punk bones. Cooper's wide eyed sardonic style and the spartan feel with running bass lines and strident yet not heavy guitars made me think Violent Femmes. Cooper hails from Somerville, Massachusetts. Check out the video highlighted by a "food fight of organic proportions."

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Robb Donker






ABOUT KEITH COOPER

Born in Phoenix, AZ, a gemini, Cooper’s first love was lawn sprinklers. At the age of 6 he assembled his first above ground sprinkler system with pvc pipe, strong smelling waterproof glue, Toro© brand sprinklers and possibly a little help from his father. Changing light bulbs was also an early hobby. He was punished more than once for flicking bulbs within his reach, trying to burn them out. Happily by adolescence music had mostly replaced this destructive habit. Jeremiah Green’s drumming on early Modest Mouse records inspired him to get behind a kit. Being too scared to stand up on stage and read his poetry by itself inspired him to start songwriting. He played in Tucson, AZ based post punk band Overcast Off from 2009 -2012 while attending the University of Arizona. Then, to avoid a dead end job, he moved across the country to Somerville, MA where he learned how to make lattes and have 30 second conversations with no awkward pauses. Hosting a weekly music night at his cafe for 5 years made him a familiar face in the local music community. He released You Didn’t Know Me, a lyrically driven indie rock record, in 2016. A completely DIY local release, no effort was made to promote the record beyond friends and hometown fans.  Rabid Underdogs will be his second full length record and it finds Cooper widening his ambitions. Recorded over a 2 year period of short sessions at the Soul Shop in Medford, MA, and produced by Elio DeLuca (Titus Andronicus), it was funded entirely by slinging coffee.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hoax - the disco gene pools and glitter ball love of "Grow"


Hoax (NYC) have a knack for blending indie rock, pop, R&B, hip hop and soul all pushed through alternative filters and sprinkles of positive fairy dust. On their latest Grow they are not afraid to get personal and dip into the musical gene pool. In this case stories from "mom and dad" talking about the disco era and their love for wah wah pedal sounds. Coupled with the bands recent Bee Gees binge, Grow grew out and up and bloomed into what it is now. The song has funky elements and is so unabashedly disco flavored I imagine that Napoleon Dynamite might do an interpretive dance to it. Tucked in the tight dance grooves their is a depth of lyrical content - "You and I should be human beings... and not just pieces in a puzzle we can't read" and then when you think the vibe is strictly glitter ball stuff it falls into a dreamy lush bridge that feels more like the New Wave (Romantic Wave) tones of bands like Roxy Music. Very cool and oh so funky in the best possible way. 

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Robb Donker


Sun Brother's cool and wanderlusty folk rock track "Unsewn" moves in magical ways

Sun Brother is the moniker of Wilmington, Delaware singer-songwriter Billy Toulson (vox, guitar) who along with Grace Bates (vox), Bobby Steinfeld (keys), David Estes (bass) and Andrew Rahm (drums) create such an earnest, cool and wanderlusty folk vibe on the track Unsewn (Nashville Cut) that you can't help but sway to the embracing sound. Toulson's vocal performance is free and goosebumps inducing. This short track makes me want to hear more. Lucky for me and you that the 7 song album "Meta Fascination" drops tomorrow, October 19th. 

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Robb Donker


The big brash guts and glory sound of "Wasteful" from River Fury's EP "Five Year Plan"

The track Wasteful from River Fury's forthcoming EP "Five Year Plan" is an all guts and glory song. The London based (Melbourne grown) band churns out a big post punk assault with a tight heavy cluster of sounds and then douses it with a screaming fanning lead guitar embellishments that take it over the top. Love the aesthetic here. River Fury are Patric Nutton (vox, guitars), Dan Howe (vox, guitars), Callum Hayes (bass, vox) and Andrew Gallop (drums).

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Robb Donker