Friday, August 18, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 378 - Midnight Oil - Earth and Sun and Moon


Album – Earth and Sun and Moon
Artist – Midnight Oil
Key Players – Bones Hillman – bass and vocals. Jim Moginie – guitar, keyboards and vocals. Martin Rotsey – guitar. Peter Garrett – vocals and harmonica.  Rob Hirst – drums and vocals.
Produced By – Nick Launay and Midnight Oil

Release Date – April 20, 1993

Overview – This is the 8th studio album from Australian band Midnight Oil

FDF Comments (aka “The Songs”) –  The 11 song album runs 54 minutes and Hillman rolls his bass line to start up “Feeding Frenzy”.  Hirst acknowledges and rumbles forth to get it rolling.  The sound is classic “oil” and there is some fun 60’s sounding keyboards put down by Moginie.  The guitars and keyboards shine on “My Country” and Garrett is in strong voice.  After a sort of false start “Renaissance Man” begins and Garrett plays a strong harmonica.  The band then comes in and it starts to rumble forward.  Hillman has a strong bass tone and the band seems to be right with him.  The backing vocals on the track are “fun” with some Beatlesque harmonies.  “Earth and Sun and Moon” follows and the vocals are slightly distorted and the band crafts the song around it and by the end of the first verse Garrett has a clean vocal.  The mandolin is a nice touch. “Truganini” was probably the one single off the single the US market could recall.  It has a very the same feel as some of the more popular Oil tracks so its easy to grab on to.  Starting with a single acoustic guitar and just Garrett “Brushfire” gets underway.  As the full band being Moginie puts down a fun keyboard run while the vocals remain hushed.  “Drums of Heaven” has a good driving beat while “Outbreak of Love” quickly changes the mood/focus.  The band shows some great diversity of sound on the album.  Case in point, the acoustic lead “In the Valley” which opens up to one of Garretts shining moments vocally.  “Tell Me The Truth” has a great full chorus, where all the members seem to chime in.  The album concludes with “Now or Never Land” another track that showcases this is a “band” and not individuals.

Where are they now? – Midnight Oil is back on the road!

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? – I am a little more a sucker for the bands earlier work, but there are some decent moments on here.  I think the fact that band is/was back in the USA for the first time in 15 years drew me in.  Hopefully they were pleased with the shows and we might get a new album or US tour!

Links, find out more, follow em, buy
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Friday, August 11, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 377 - Boris - Pink


Album – Pink
Artist - Boris
Key Players – Takeshi – vocals, bass and guitar.  Wata – guitar and Echo.  Atsuo – drums and percussion
Produced by - Boris


Release Date – November 8, 2005

Overview – This is the 10th album from the Japanese band Boris

FDF Comments (aka “the Songs”) – Clocking in at 55 minutes the 11 track album opens with ‘Farewell”.  After a drone intro the song takes off.  The fact that Takeshi sings in Japanese doesn’t seem to impact the vibe at all.  The sound is massive, it is not a quick song, but a little slow and almost plodding at times track, but it is just “so big” sounding.  “Pink” is an absolute frenzy of a track, with everything hitting and hammering from all sides. “Woman on the Screen” has a great fuzzy bass guitar and the guitar is equally as gritty.  The band can make a lot of noise as evident in “Nothing Special” and “Blackout” but “Electric” really seems to bring it even further.  The tracks are all heavy and noisy, yet somehow clean. This track you’d put on in your car if you were in the mood for a speeding ticket and although it is short it barrels in to “Pseudo-Bread” which won’t leave you feeling left out for long. “Afterburner” is a good tease up to “Six Three Times” which is as rowdy as anything else on the album.  Atsuo hits the drums impossibly hard it seems.  One of the shorter tracks so that is probably a relief to him.  “My Machine” is an instrumental track that is pretty quiet for the band but just makes the album closer “Just Abondoned Myself” all the more pummeling.

Where are they Now? – The band has a new album called “Dear” which came out on July 14th

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? – One of the regrets I’ve had in recent months was missing the tour when the band came back through doing this record in full.  It is not something that you can put on all the time and most of your friends would probably what in the heck you are listening to, but the heaviness of this record can really scratch that itch should you find the need.  The band seemingly releases an album a year and they can be up and down (which is okay) but this is one you shouldn’t sit on..get after it.

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Friday, August 04, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 376 - Aretha Franklin - Spirit in the Dark




Album – Spirit In The Dark
Artist – Aretha Franklin
Key Players – Aretha Franklin – vocals and piano.  There are many backing players and vocalists.  Check out the albums wiki page page for album specific details.
Produced By – Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin

Release Date – August 24, 1970

Overview – This was the nineteenth studio album released by Aretha Franklin.  It would peak at #25 on the US album charts.

FDF Comments (aka “The Songs”) – The album is 11 tracks long and runs just short of 40 minutes long.  “Don’t Play that Song” is the opening track.  In reading the liner notes Franklin was in a new and fresh mood as she had split with her husband (and manager).  She is in fine voice and seems very animated. “The Thrill is Gone (From Yesterdays Kiss)” is the same song that most would associate with B.B.King.  Aretha has just as much emotion vocally and you can almost see the tear glide down her face.  We are a little more uptempo on “Pullin’” and Franklin works a lot more with her support singers and the bass line keeps your toes bouncing and as the track moves it has the gospel/church fury of emotion. “You and Me” is a pretty ballad with some really wonderful harmonies. “Honest I Do” is Franklins take on the Jimmy Reed’s big hit.  Franklin sings both the lead and backing vocals on the track and her as Barry Beckett plays an exceptional piano/electric organ section.  “Spirit in the Dark” was released as a single from the album (peaking at #3 on the R+B charts) is a slow building track but the end is the payoff, “welcome to church” indeed, easily my favorite song on the record.  “When the Battle is Over” is a cover of Delaney and Bonnie (written by Dr.John) and it’s a driving track with Franklin in fine voice (shocker I know). “One Way Ticket” is a soulful tune with a lot of work being done by the backing vocalists.  They don’t carry the song, but they make it a bit more interesting. “Try Matty’s” is a fun song, and anyone of a certain age in the Boston area may remember that Kiss 108 Morning Man Matt Siegal used to play the intro often. “That’s All I Want From You” is another pretty song, that is mid-tempo flanked by a wonderful horn section.  “Oh No Not My Baby” is a cover of Carole King and was a hit for another R&B artist in the 60’s (Maxine Brown).  Franklin sounds wonderful on the track.  “Why I Sing The Blues” is the second B.B.King cover on the album and closes out the record perfectly.

Where are they now? – Aretha Franklin is still appearing for limited shows.  Her last album was her covering some “Diva” classics and was released in 2014.  It was also her 41st album.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? – It’s a great record that doesn’t have RESPECT on it, lets start there.  I mean that politely of course.  Her catalog is so expansive it’s a shame that she is only seemingly remember for 2-3 songs.  I could be wrong, but not a lot of my friends run around expounding on her excellence, or even her catalog.  She is an institution and hopefully she gets well enough to tour extensively, she is someone that I’d like to see live.  As far as this record, there were a LOT of support players and I didn’t realize so many tracks were cover tunes, but she made them all her own.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 375 - Amusement Parks on Fire - Road Eyes


Album – Road Eyes
Artist – Amusement Parks on Fire
Key Players – Gavin Poole – bass.  Michael Feerick – guitar, vocals. Joe Hardy – keyboards and guitar. Daniel Knowles –guitar. Peter Dale - Drums
Produced by – Michael Patterson


Release Date – September 2010

Overview – Hailing from Nottingham England and now based in the US the band was originally just a one man project of Feericks that began in 2004.   After some time the band was formed and touring took place.  Up to this point, the heavily shoe gazed infused band and released three albums.  This is the bands third release.

FDF Comments (aka “the Songs”) –  The nine track, 46 minute album opens with the title track “Road Eyes” which has some heavy guitar bass and drums but soaring and swirling vocals, that immediately set the tone of the record. “Flashlight Planetarium” features a guest spot from Brian Aubert of Silversun Pickups and it’s easy to see the mutual admiration as the bands are nearly identical in their sound.  The big guitars, the solid vocal work, it’s an early stand out.  “Inside Out” starts a little quieter, with acoustic guitars and some minimalistic playing. After two verses the keyboards and drums bring up the volume but Feerick has found his comfort level in the vocals.  The production on the record is solid as you can hear all the layers on “Raphael” another track that showcases the soaring, yet somehow at the same time, subdued vocals.  Towards the end as it builds there is some really high female vocals (I think) and the band crashes it down to conclusion.  The rumble of the drums welcomes “Echo Park//Infinite Delay” another track that Siliversun Pickup fans would gravitate towards.  Even early Smashing Pumpkins fans would find this track compelling, “Wave of The Future” is similar.  The next track, “So Naturally” is just a solo acoustic track for the first verse.  Feerick is not pushing too hard, just having a quiet moment until he’s had enough and its an avalanche of guitars bass and drums.  The payoff is solid and it rolls quickly in to “Water From the Sun” another swirling, big guitar track.  The album concludes with “Inspects the Evil Side”

Where are they now? - Feerick has a second project, a duo, called Young Light that was formed in 2012.  The band appears to still be active as well.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? – I can honestly say I have no idea what lead me to buy the cd in the first place.  Might have been a link to Sigur Ros or something at the time (they recorded at one of their studios).  It is a pretty safe listen.  Nothing got me to shoot out of my seat saying “wow I’ve missed this”.  The band is solid, and as noted it “sounds” really well produced.  Perhaps seeing them live would spark a renewed interest (hint, hint).  If you like the Silversun Pickups, you’ll like this record.

Links, find out more, follow them, and buy:

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 21, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 374 - Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade


Album – The Second Stage Turbine Blade
Artist – Coheed and Cambria
Key Players – Claudio Sanchez – vocals and rhythm guitar.  Joshua Eppard – drums, piano.   Michael Todd – bass, vocals. Travis Stever – lead guitar.
Produced by – Coheed and Cambria with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner


Release Date – March 5, 2002

Overview – This is the debut album from the New York band Coheed and Cambria.

FDF Comments (aka “the Songs”) – The album is 10 tracks just about 55 minutes in length.  It begins with the short (53 seconds) “Second Stage Turbine Blade”.  Sort of a warble piano interlude that seaways right in to “Time Consumer”.  The guitars are light with the bass and drums kept simple and after a little bit the full band comes in.  Sanchez has a high/nasal voice that some might find a little off putting, but his range is wide and the band takes the track to a prog rock infused interlude.  “Devil in Jersey City” was the track that found radio play from the start.  Eppard lays a pretty tight back line while Todd follows along to keep the track on point allowing Sanchez and Stever to layer their guitars over it. “Everything Evil” finds the band falling in even tighter as Eppard seems to really set the tone and the chorus is a rowdy sing along.  Simple guitar and bass open “Delirium Trigger” and then after a few bars it hits a little harder, and by the conclusion they are going hard.  An almost funky guitar riff kicks off “Hearshot Kid Disaster” and as the bass and drums come in Sanchez gives it a good hearty scream and the riffs pour down and that rolls right on in to  “33”.  This track showcases Eppard.  “Junesong Provision”and “Neverender” continue with the overall vibe of the record.  The record concludes with “God Send Conspirator”.  Another track that really does the band justice, showcasing the vocals to instrumentation.  A solid album closer.  Adding to the albums length is some silence before an acoustic strummed spacey track finds its way to your ears after the 7/8 minute mark.

Where are they now? – The band is still recording and touring.  Eppard left the band in 2006 but returned in 2011. Todd left the band for about a year in 2006 and then left permanently in 2011 after a drug arrest.  Sanchez and Stever have remained with the band continuously.  The band is just wrapping up/currently (depending on when you read this) tour for “Good Apollo I'm burning star IV part 1, fear through the eyes of madness”



FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? – Coheed is an interesting band for me.  Mostly because I seem to buy all their records as soon as they come out, enjoy them but then shelve them.  Its an odd relationship.  When I do go back I am reminded as to why I like them. The big and progressive rock sound.  They can be a challenge for some to listen to, but if you get it..you get it.  I need to not be away for so long.

Links, find out more, follow them, buy

Official Site
Twitter
Facebook
Wiki Page
Buy It!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 14, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 373 - Swervedriver - Mezcal Head


Album – Mezcal Head
Artist – Swervedriver
Key Players – Adam Franklin – vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass, Jimmy Hartridge –guitar and bass, Jez Hindmarsh - drums
Produced By – Alan Moulder and Swervedriver.


Release Date – August 5, 1993

Overview – This is the second album released by Oxford England based band Swervedriver.

FDF Comments (aka “the songs) –  The 11 tracks span over 60 minutes and “For Seeking Heat” leads it off.  The track slowly builds over the first 30 seconds and then it opens up.  It’s a heavy track, with the bass being really heavy.  The vocals begin and the guitars swirl underneath. There is a psychedelic feel but the speed and volume of that might confuse the listener.  “Duel” was a big single from this record and it has a clear pop feel to it.  Very radio friendly with big guitars and choruses.  This track still is outstanding all these years later.  “Blowin Cool” comes right in with simulated waves crashing meets jet taking off sound effects.  What is interesting is the cd player (yes I know) sits on track time 0:00 for some time before the track really starts, with a nice punchy bass and then swirling vocals.  Another fine example of what had people so excited for them early on.  The chorus on this track especially.  We slow it down some on “MM Abduction”, so you’d think until the first verse is done then it all breaks loose with crushing guitars bass and drums.  The same is true for “Last Train to Satansville” which unloads for a good 2:30.  “Harry & Maggie” is an urgent song continuing with the vibe the band has set forth. “A Change is Gonna Come” showcases the bands ability to layer sounds.  The guitars either ring or crunch over the 4/4 drum tempo.  The band shows about as mellow as it gets on “Girl on a Motorbike” and that is really not “that” mellow.  You still get the urgent chorus and big guitars, but the verses are not as rushed.  “Duress” is an ambitious track as it runs over 8 minutes long.  The bass line solid and holds it down as the guitars seem to compliment.  One rings out slow passages while the second has more of a wah wah/distortion sound and that builds to vocals after three minutes.  What stands out to these ears is the simplicity (and rock solid) bass line.  “You Find it Everywhere” is another solid track.  The album closes with the 11 minute opus “Never Lose that Felling/Never Learn”.  The saxophone is an interesting touch and the track just pulls you in as the whole track is just sensory overload.  Kudos to Stewart Dace on sax.

Where are they now?  The band was active until 1998 then took some time off.  In 2008 they re-formed with the intent to tour and are still at it.  The band released a new album in 2014 and it 2017 they will be touring the US again playing this album (Mezcal Head) as well as “Raise” in full.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dusting Off? I am not sure I ever could say I was a big fan of the band at the time.  I am not sure why or what was holding my interest.  The new album I bought the day it came out though and it had me go back as I had a few others.  Probably at the time I just saw it a bit of a tedious listen, who knows.  My loss for losing the time, but something to be excited about all over again!

Links, find out more, follow em, and buy

Official Site
Facebook
Twitter

Wiki Page
Buy It

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 07, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 372 - God Is An Astronaut - The End of the Beginning



Album – The End of the Beginning
Artist – God is An Astronaut
Key Players –  Torsten Kinsella – guitars, keyboards, vocals and programming.  Niels Kinsella – bass guitar, guitars, keyboards.
Produced By – God is An Astronaut


Release Date –  2002
Overview – This is the debut album from the Irish band.  The album title is taken from a Churchill speech and the bands unique name from the film “Nightbreed”.  The twin brothers wrote and produced the record and would remain largely a duo until almost 2010.


FDF Comments (aka “the songs) – The 11 track 47 minute album opens with “The End of the Beginning”.  The guitar has a haunting swirl to it and the bass rises with it and it falls into a simple back beat.  For just a duo there is a lot going on, and you know a lot of it is sequenced/programmed.  Still the band find a way to keep it interesting and flowing.  On most post rock records you look for diversity across tracks, but still want things to be the same.  Its an odd mix.  The music pulls you in and wants you to pay attention.  Sometimes the changes are subtle, others more explosive.  “From Dust to the Beyond” follows the trend of the first track as does “Ascend to Oblivion”.  “Coda” seems to pick up the pace a little more and feel a little “heavier” yet still holds a mood.  Although there is piano/keyboards throughout “Remembrance” seems to have it most pushed to the front.  The guitar uses some ebow and then keyboards layer to that.  “Point Pleasant” has a nice bass line over the robotic drum beat and towards the end get a little more frantic, something that these ears have been waiting for. “Fall from the Stars” keeps up the more up tempo feel from the previous track with a little more buzz on the guitar and punchier bass work.  This would be the first track I’d personally play for someone off the record.  The ending is what makes it all worth it. “Twighlight” rolls in to “Coma” which is a quick track (1:16) and feels more of a segue in to “Route 666”.  “Route” has some buzzy keyboards and the bass work is solid.  The click track drum is the norm for the record but the urgency seems to lift a bit more off this track.  “Lost Symphony” is the final track on the album and once again piano is the dominant instrument on the track.

Where are they Now? – The band is still active.  They released Helios/Erebus in 2015 and continue to tour as a four piece.

FDF Overall Take/Was it Worth Dustin Off? – As noted this is the first record form the band.  In later years they have gotten to be more guitar based and a little “heavier”.  I tend to like their heavier stuff.  This won’t get a party started, but something you could put on in the background and not drive people off.  For my preference I’d go with some of the more recent records.

Links, find out more, follow em, and buy

Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
GIAA on Wiki
Buy it!

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.