Tuesday, August 4, 2015

CD Review: New Releases Feature The End Of Pearl And The Beard And The Beginning Of Coffee Pot Drive

The New York alternative/folk/pop trio Pearl And The Beard are calling it quits after the release of their third and final album "Beast." The band seemed to have brought their music as far as it would go and have seemed to have reached an "impasse" on their future together. The new twelve song release begins with the highly addictive, highly energetic feel of "You" as this definitely does not sound like a band with no future together. The rhythmic delivery of "Animal Again" has "hit single" written all over it as the sing-along chorus is the perfect attention grabber. They slow down for the Americana/folk sounds of "Good Death" and the touching delivery of "Yet." Their sound picks up with the swampy gospel blues of "Devil's Head Down," before closing with the slow swaying appeal of "Landmine." Pearl And The Beard have one final farewell show on November 19th at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City. To find out more about their new album "Beast," please visit their website at pearlandthebeard.com.
Finally, London's answer to the Alabama Shakes has arrived in the form of Coffee Pot Drive. Their new album "Edge Of Town" is a guitar infused funk/rock/blues piece of musical magic that does not happen too often with a band's debut release. They have already toured with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, REO Speedwagon, Uriah Heep and Status Quo and not before long will be headlining their own tour in no time. The new twelve song release begins with "Fallback" featuring the noticeably powerful vocals of Lady Oracle on this funk-fused rock number. They pull in some influence from the southern rock of the U.S. on "Deep Freeze," then delivery the "jammy" rock of "The Forest." Their lead single "Hey Suzy!" is a rhythmic fantasy that showcases the many different cultural backgrounds involved in Coffee Pot Drive. The sweet soul of "I Love You" and guitar-driven rocker "Don't Know Love" certainly boost this band's attractiveness as they are a musical force on the rise and one to watch as they begin to invade the U.S. airwaves. To find out more about Coffee Pot Drive and their new release "Edge OF Town," please visit their website at coffeepotdrive.com.

Monday, August 3, 2015

CD Review: The Aaron Clift Experiment Examines Your "Inner Darkness" On Latest Release

From Austin, TX comes the sophomore follow-up album from The Aaron Clift Experiment entitled "Outer Light, Inner Darkness." Their sound brings together many of their early progressive rock influences like Genesis, Pink Floyd and Rush and combines it with their love of classical composition from Beethoven and Mozart.
 
The new eleven song release begins with the seven-minute progressive rock intricacy of "Kissed By The Sun" as their musical skills are put to the test. The slower delivery of "Locked" and moderate pace of "Fragments Of Sleep" are appealing pieces of music that anyone can find themselves hooked on. Progressive hard rock fans will appreciate their delivery of "Your Arms Hold Them To The Dark," before taking you on an twenty-minute adventure with the songs "The Last Oasis" and "Moonscape." These song fully incorporate their love for classical music while bringing it into today's ever-expanding rock genre. To find out more about The Aaron Clift Experiment and their latest album "Outer Light, Inner Darkness," please visit aaronclift.com.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

CD Review: New Sophomore Releases From Singer/Songwriters Whitney Rose And Bekah Barnett

Country-bred singer/songwriter Whitney Rose will be releasing her sophomore album "Heartbreaker Of The Year" on August 21st through Cameron House Records. It was produced by Mavericks lead singer Raul Malo and features the band on the album's ten songs. Beginning with "Little Piece Of You," Whitney's voice will instantly grab hold of your heart with her classic country sound. The gentle sway of the opener and the more uptempo feel of "My First Rodeo" showcases Whitney Rose as rising country star that should deserves your dedicated attention. She combines the swagger of Patsy Cline with the vocal delivery of Jewel on "Heartbreaker Of The Year," then duets with Raul Malo on a countrified version of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby." She draws inspiration from Shania Twain and Nancy Sinatra for the up-beat, country pop of "The Devil Borrowed My Boots," before closing with her loving cover of Hank Williams' "There's A Tear In My Beer." To find out more about Whitney Rose and her latest album "Heartbreaker Of The Year," please visit her website at whitneyrosemusic.com.

Operatically-trained singer/songwriter Bekah Barnett will be releasing her second album "Rise" on August 21st. Last year, she tried out for the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent" to disappointing results, but it only strengthened her skills displayed in this latest release. The new thirteen-song album begins with the gentle, jazzy-pop feel of "Grace" as you instantly match Bekah's vocals to Natalie Merchant. Bekah's voice is easily the center of attention in the gentle touch of "Rhyme or Reason" and "Fly," while her piano skills and harmonizing vocals take center stage in "Every Road." One of the album's highlights is the six-minute masterful piece of "Beautiful Girls" that slowly builds to a peak and then returns to its slow-blues delivery of the chorus. The album closes with the up-tempo pop rhythm of "Get Outta Park" and the conflicted story of "Jesus & Judas" as you easily get lost in Bekah's vocals. To find out more about Bekah Barnett and her latest release "Rise," please visit urbanminstrel.com.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

CD Review: Progressive Rock Icon Greg Lake Releases Live Album From 1981

English musician Greg Lake was one of founding members of the iconic progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). His last studio work was over two decades ago, but Lake has been keeping his live work on a steady release, with his latest live album "London 1981" coming out on August 7th through Purple Pyramid Records.

The new eleven-song release touches upon every aspect of Lake's past work up to his first solo album in 1981. Beginning with the ELP instrumental "Fanfare For The Common Man/Karn Evil 9," the Greg Lake Band gets things off to a rocking start before heading into the lead-off track "Nuclear Attack" from his just released solo album. After a couple more songs from his solo album ("The Lie" and "Retribution Drive"), Lake goes back to his early ELP days with the fan favorite "Lucky Man." He takes on the blues of "Parisienne Walkways" with Gary Moore on guitar, then delivers a quick-paced, rock n roll cover of The Miracles' "You Really Got A Hold Of Me." Lake then dives further into his catalog with a couple of songs from his days with King Crimson with the nine-minute "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "In The Court Of The Crimson King," before finishing the album with a bonus track, a version of ELP's "C'est La Vie" recorded in NYC in 1981. To find out more about the Greg Lake live album "London 1981," please visit cleorecs.com.

Friday, July 31, 2015

CD Review: Great New Heavy Metal Music Arriving In August From Metal Blade Records

Arriving in August from Metal Blade Records is the seventh album from grindcore metal giant Cattle Decapitation entitled "The Anthropocene Extinction." The theme of the new album revolves around the Anthropocene Era, which is a "time period where humankind has had the most profound negative effect on the Earth." The band's sound seems to be growing with each release as the songs on "The Anthropocene Extinction" have a more detailed structure to them. The new twelve-song album begins with the chugging rhythm of "Manufactured Extinct" as the familiar howling vocals of Travis Ryan come bleeding through your speakers. They speed things up to hyperdrive with the machine gun drumming of "The Prophet Of Loss," before mixing tempos on the exciting new "Plagueborne" featuring Tristan Shone (Author & Punisher). They continue their onslaught with the hard hitting "Circo Inhumanitas" and vocal screams of "Mammals In Babylon." The album finishes with the energetic attack of "Pacific Grim" as Cattle Decapitation put everything in their delivery of their music. As the band gets ready to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year, look for Cattle Decapitation to hit the road this summer for a U.S. tour. To find out more about their latest release "The Anthropocene Extinction," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/cattledecapitation.
 
Returning after a two year absence is the new album from hardcore metal band Battlecross entitled "Rise To Power." This is the band's fourth album and looks to continue the success of their 2013 breakthrough album "War Or Will." Following the August 21st release date, Battlecross will be hitting the road for a month-long tour with GWAR and the Butcher Babies. The new ten song album begins with the high-energy attack of "Scars" as their metal sound is maturing with each new release. The howls and screams of "Not Your Slave" and blazing guitar solos in "Absence" are masterful pieces of powerful heavy metal as the band continues to uncover their potential. The power blast of "The Climb" and the amazing closers "Shackles" and "The Path" has Battlecross firing on all cylinders making this new album their best by far. To find out more about Battlecross and their new album "Rise To Power," please visit their website at battlecrossmetal.com.
 
Two years ago, American death metal band Rivers Of Nihil released their debut album "The Conscience Seed Of Light" (review: jpsmusicblog.blogspot.com). Since then, they have become a rising global metal act that shows no signs of slowing down. On August 21st, Rivers Of Nihil will be releasing their sophomore follow-up "Monarchy." The album continues the story that began with their debut album, but takes place thousands of years after the events discussed in the previous album about the destruction of Earth. The new ten song release start out with the rise of "Heirless" as the instruments slowly lead you into the chaotic attack of "Perpetual Growth Machine." The band expands upon their hardcore/death metal sound with a more progressive metal approach to "Sand Baptism" and then showcase their musicianship in "Ancestral, I." They lift their foot up slightly on the accelerator for the more mainstream metal appeal of "Monarchy," before closing with the six-minute, prog-metal of "Circles In The Sky" and the intense delivery of "Suntold." To find out more about Rivers Of Nihil and their latest release "Monarchy," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/riversofnihil.
 
Also arriving in August is the new 7" single from Swedish rock band Noctum with "Until Then...Until The End" on side A and "In Precious Time" on side B. This release sets the stage for a short fifteen-date European tour that begins at the end of August. The new release also feature the debut of new guitarist Christoffer Lofgren. The new singles showcase the band's use of the studio to create a great piece of attractive heavy metal music. Noctum does a masterful job capturing that classic heavy metal sound with these two new songs. To find out more about Noctum, please visit noctumofficial.com.