Saturday, June 11, 2016

CD Review: Relive Your "Favorites" From 10,000 Maniacs And Rock Big With The Kingbees

The alternative-pop band 10,000 Maniacs are celebrating their 35th anniversary with a new live album titled "Playing Favorites." It was released on June 3rd through Omnivore Recordings and features a set of greatest hits that is sure to please fans both new and old. Beginning with "What's The Matter Here?" and "Like The Weather," the 10,000 Maniacs sound renewed performing these classic tunes. Lead singer Mary Ramsey (who has been in the band since the mid-nineties) fills the role perfectly of the absent Natalie Merchant on songs like "Trouble Me" and "Can't Ignore The Train." None of the fourteen songs on this new release is from the last two decades as the 10,000 Maniacs stick to their well-known hits. The highlight of the set is their atmospherics, seven-minute jam of "Stockton Gala Days" and their popular cover of "Because The Night." They wind down their set with the fun, uplifting sounds of "Candy Everybody Wants" and "These Are Days," before finishing with the punk-like energy of "My Mother The War" from the band's debut album.

The last live album from the 10,000 Maniacs was released to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary. With such a great live sound, let's hope that don't wait another 10 years to release their next live album. The 10,000 Maniacs are currently on tour in the U.S. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about their new live album "Playing Favorites," please visit maniacs.com.

Also celebrating it's 35th anniversary is the second album from The Kingbees titled "The Big Rock." The Kingbees took part in the rockabilly revival of eighties, led by the Stray Cats, but were quickly dismissed when their albums failed to reach the same heights as the Stray Cats. Their self-titled debut album was re-issued last year by Omnivore Recordings and the label follows that up with re-issuing their second album "The Big Rock."

The Kingbees continued their rockabilly flavor with the title song "The Big Rock" and "She Ain't My Baby," but added an eighties, punk-rock flair to "Let Myself Go." They original twelve track album is filled to the brim with energy as displayed in "Right Behind You Baby" and "Rockin' My Life Away" and now has four bonus tracks to help flesh out this new re-issue. The bonus tracks consist of songs recorded by The Kingbees for lead singer/guitarist Jamie James' own record label Last Minute Productions, but were never officially released. The songs continue the rockabilly sound that The Kingbees are known for, but with a looser feel as the pressure to create for the record company was gone by that time. To find out more about the newly re-issued version of The Kingbees' album "The Big Rock," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

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