Thursday, December 31, 2015

CD Review: New Releases From The Pop Group, The Vulgar Boatmen, Rio en Medio & Brian Cullman

British post-punk band The Pop Group formed in 1977 and lasted only four years as an underground punk act, which inspired bands like Sonic Youth and Nine Inch Nails. During this time, The Pop Group only released two albums, the second album titled "For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?" was one of the top albums in Italy in 1980 and "Uncut" magazine named it one of the top 50 "Greatest Lost Albums." With bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction following the blueprint laid out by The Pop Group, their music was raw and rebellious bringing together elements of punk and funk. This album has been long out of print, but will be released on CD and digitally for the first time on February 19th through Freaks R Us. Songs like "Blind Faith" and "Communicate" showcase the experimentation that went into their recordings. Plus, by not conforming to what was popular, The Pop Group created a #1 selling independent album in 1980. To find out more about this new re-release of The Pop Group's album "How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder?," please visit their website at thepopgroup.net.

Florida's underground rock band The Vulgar Boatmen are getting a second life as TimeChange Records is re-issuing the band's 1989 album "You And Your Sister." The band released five albums between 1982-1995, the last being released by Warner Bros. in Europe only, where the band had developed a cult following. Their album "You And Your Sister" has that classic late-eighties pop rock appeal, made famous by bands like Crowed House mixed with the lyrical flow of The Velvet Underground. The new fifteen-song release of "You And Your Sister" is highlighted by the up-tempo, post-punk feel of "Mary Jane" and the six-minute "Drive Somewhere," which became a college radio hit. A documentary of the same name as the song "Drive Somewhere" was also created by a fan to capture the band's last concert of their 30 year career. The new release of the "You And Your Sister" album also contains three brand-new remixes of "Decision By The Airport," "Change The World All Around" and "The Street Where You Live." These songs have a more modern tone that could easily become another college radio hit for a band that never received their fair shot at the music charts. To find out more about The Vulgar Boatmen and their new re-release of their album "You And Your Sister," please visit howlinwuelf.com/clients/the-vulgar-boatmen.

New Mexico native Danielle Stech-Homsy recently released her new album "Rio en Medio Radio" in November under the moniker Rio en Medio. Her quiet, gentle voice adds a depth and curiosity to the lyrics that give off a haunting folk appeal to the music. The new twelve song release mixes together her originals with some very early Italian and Welsh songs that would otherwise not have been found on a modern day folk album. Beginning with "Father," Danielle's harmonizing gives the song a psychedelic tone along with the subtle hint of drums. The classic folk appeal of "Where The Love Lay" has a touching tone that plays along perfectly to the song's lyrics and "Terrapin Karma" treads lightly on this quiet, soft acoustic number. Ninety-plus year old music veteran, George Flynn adds some layers of harmonica to the story of "Darlin' Corey," before Danielle showcases her worldwide appeal on the timeless songs "Sera Pasai" and "Y Deryn Du," sung in Italian and Welsh respectively. The album closes with the subtle steady rhythm of "Feels Like" as Danielle's voice continues to amaze as it swirls around in your head. To find out more about her latest release "Rio En Medio Radio," please visit rioenmedioradio.com.

Longtime music journalist and musician Brian Cullman will be releasing his new solo album in February titled "The Opposite Of Time." Cullman brings along an A-class of studio musicians to help him strip his music to the core and get the most out of these new twelve tracks. The album begins with the smooth, Dire Straits-like build up of "Times Are Tight" and the more up-tempo pop/rock appeal of "And She Said." The emotional delivery of the gentle acoustic song "Time If There Is Time" is fleshed out by the wonderful back-up harmonizing of Jenni Mudlaur. The delicate, folk storied lyrics of "Spoiled Child Blues" is the perfect counter to the countrified rock of "Memphis Madeline," which showcases the diversity in Cullman's songwriting. He closes the album with the six-minute, intellectual acoustic flair of "Beneath The Coliseum" and the sweeping instrumental "Unspoiled." To find out more about Brian Cullman and his new album "The Opposite Of Time," please visit briancullman.com.

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