Friday, March 11, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists Jack The Radio, Jillian Kohr, L.A. Knights, Small Town Sound, Dead Air Republic & Todd Apfel

From North Carolina comes the southern rock band Jack The Radio with their latest album "Badlands." It was released in October of 2015 and is their first album in over three years. The new twelve-song release begins with the bluesy rocker "Bad Man" as Jack The Radio have that raw, unpolished, appealing sound. The guitar riffs of "The Runaway" and the swamp boogie of "The Takedown" are very addictive as their sound excels during the alternative country/roots display of their latest single, "Moonlight." The album features guest appearances from Elizabeth Hopkins on the country groove of "Criminals" and BJ Barham on trailblazing guitar driven "Wayfared Warriors." The album closes with with the swelling build-up of sound during the stomping rhythm of "Hills." To find out more about Jack The Radio and their latest release "Badlands," please visit jacktheradio.com.

From Nashville comes the latest release from independent country artist Jillian Kohr titled "Free." After being nominated for numerous country awards in 2014, Jillian comes back with this new five-song EP that gives her voice the spotlight, beginning with gentle sway of "Leave The Light On." Her voice can be soft and emotional, then strong and powerful as displayed during "Liar, Liar," before closing this short album with the slow burn of "Mockingbird." To find out more about Jillian Kohr and her latest release "Free," please visit jilliankohr.com.

California hard rock band L.A. Knights return from their debut album with a new EP titled "Psychoanalyze." Having formed in 2011, L.A. Knights were heavily influenced by the sunset strips heavy hitters Motley Crue and Guns 'n' Roses. Their debut album "Rubber City Meltdown" got them a record deal with the Independent Ear label and their new album contains a guest appearance from former Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens on the song "Devil On My Heels." They fully capture that wonderful times in Los Angeles in the late-eighties with guitars blazing and drums bashing away the fun, heavy rock of "Dance." The title song "Psychoanalyze" has a great addictive groove that should find this band an opening spot at some of this year's biggest rock festivals. To find out more about L.A. Knights and their latest release "Psychoanalyze," please visit facebook.com/LA.Knights.Band.

From Oklahoma comes the new album from Small Town Sound titled "For Mama." It features four tracks of explosive country rock that mixes together Kid Rock with Rob Thomas, beginning with the addictive opener "Whiskey." The band works up that classic country sound with the stellar harmonica of "Racing To You" and delivers the ballad "Tailgate" with heart and emotion. The short album closes with the acoustic story of "Harder Times." To find out more about Small Town Sound and their latest release "For Mama," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Small-Town-Sound.

From Canada comes the latest release titled "With Extreme Prejudice" from the independent hard rock band Dead Air Republic. It features six, hard-hitting, up-tempo rockers, beginning with what could be their mainstream breakthrough single "Just Another Bullet" as their sound comes from the Velvet Revolver songbook. They add some classic metal guitar riffs to "Example 1" and to "Good At Never" as the band's energy is highly displayed in the music. This all too short album closes with the big, contagious, arena rock sound of "Enough Of This Mess" as you'll be sure to be on the look out for more from this band. To find out about Dead Air Republic and their latest release "With Extreme Prejudice," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Dead-Air-Republic.

From Iowa comes the debut solo release from singer/songwriter Todd Apfel titled "Reflections." Since being part of a successful local band, which opener for Cheap Trick, Apfel hit a rough patch with a divorce and losing two bowling alleys that he owned and operated. He realized that with today's technology that can create his own music with a new home studio, which is what you hear on this new release. He begins the five-song EP with the light-hearted, island-vibe of "A Beach And You." He adds the gentle emotional folk of "Comin' Home To You," then experiments with the guitar rock of "Coloring Outside The Lines." The album closes with Todd Apfel returning to the thought-provoking lyrics of the title-song "Reflections." To find out more about Todd Apfel and his new release "Reflections," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/ToddApfelfromViningIowa.

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