Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CD Review: A Wide Range Of Independent Releases From The Assist, Poker Man And Ivar Pall Jonsson

From the U.K. comes the debut release from the indie rock band The Assist. The new EP is entitled "Speak It Aloud" and features four songs filled with raw, youthful energy, but has an attractive modern alternative rock sound. Beginning with the title-song, you'd think this band has been around for a few decades as the music reflects a time when alternative rock was an underground phenomenon. They show some of their youthfulness with the post-punk rhythm of "The Rave" and also on "Control." To find out more about The Assist, please check them out on Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/the-assist).

Next, from Hollywood, CA comes the latest release from indie-pop artist Poker Man entitled "Psychedelia." All of the music, lyrics, singing and producing of the album was done by Poker Man and showcases his influences of pop icons Michael Jackson, Madonna and Donna Summer. His beats are addictive as with the club rhythm of "Moonshine" and "Turn Me On," while the lyrical hip-hop of "Take It Back" is where you really discover Poker Man's talents. He looks to break into the mainstream with the single "I Can't Be With You," which is the strongest pop piece on this release. He finishes the album with his return to the club with the beats of "Cannabis." To find out more about Poker Man, please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/PokerManMusic.

Lastly, from Iceland comes singer/songwriter Ivar Pall Jonsson with his latest release "Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter," featuring the Revolutionary Cellular Orchestra. The new nineteen-song set was released on July 15 and tells the story in the same vein as The Who's "Tommy," mixing in rock singles with conceptual pieces of music. Beginning with "The Legacy Of Elbowville," Jonsson lays the groundwork with the build-up of rhythm and the amazing vocals of Soffia Bjorg. The tempo really gets going with the alternative rock appeal of "We Play The Game," which reflects the early days of Coldplay's career. The album mixes in the pop sound of "Don't Miss The Boat" and the grand orchestration of "All We Need Is Confidence" and "No Plan B." The album's first single, "Alone" is a great introduction into the complexity of Jonsson's songwriting, filled with tempo changes and drifting between rock and operatic pop. The album finishes with the lovely duet of "I'd Have Told You The Truth" and the grand build-up of "Our Revolution." To find out more about Ivar Pall Jonsson and his latest release "Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter," please visit facebook.com/elbowville.

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