Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CD Review: Indie-Artists Look To Make A Statement With New Albums

A new group of underground, indie music artists are ready to release a whole batch of new music. From France to the U.S., the music is exceptional and definitely deserves to be heard and hopefully gets the recognition it deserves.

Beginning with the Paris based duo of Nick McRoberts and Idriss Halfaoui we get the sophomore album from A.S. entitled “Exile.” The music on this latest release has a great universal appeal as McRobert’s falsetto tone becomes the focus of the song “Do What You Want” and “Invisible Kiss” sounds like it came right out of U2’s songbook. Their sound carries a Depeche Mode-vibe in “Probable Cause,” but their songwriting shines on the closing acoustic songs “Why The Hell Not?” and “Reasonable Doubt.”

For more information on A.S., please visit astheband.com.

From France, we head to the Twin Cities for some American Roots music supplied by Crankshaft. They bring out the true sound of classic Rock N Roll on their newest release, “What You Gonna Do.” The lead title-track kicks things off with the up-tempo beat that gets you out of your seat. The honest live recording of this album is heard in the songs “Boomtown” and “Trail of Tears” as you get the feeling the band recorded together in one room with one microphone. Even though they slow things down for “Waiting For Me,” their songwriting allows the music and lyrics to stand on their own. The album closes with the guitar boogie of “Fill It Up”and the southern blues/rock of “Barking Up The Wrong Tree.”

For more information on Crankshaft, please visit crankshaftmusic.com.

Next we move down south to witness the country sounds of Rick Hornyak with his full-length debut album entitled “Marigold.” This Austin-based singer/songwriter can easily draw comparisons to a young Kenny Rodgers as his warm, smooth vocals in “Cigarettes” and “Foolish Love.” Rick gets his honky-tonk sound working in the songs “Far From Home” and “Homesick Blues.” He stretches his country two-step on the album’s last track the Americana rock of “The Monkey Song.”

To find out more about Rick Hornyak, please visit rickhornyak.com.

Finally, we hit the shores of LA with indie-rocker Shane Sweet and his band Sandbox with their latest release, “Me & Him And Horse.” The band was the featured artists at last year’s CMJ Music Festival in New York and made a name for themselves at the SXSW festival. Now they take that experience to the studio with songs like “Doesn’t Really Matter” and the modern alternative rock of “Leaving Now.” The album finally comes alive with the quick-paced “Pen & Guitar,” before closing with the sing-along chorus of “Everybody.”

For more information on the Sandbox, please visit sandboxrebelmusic.com.

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