Friday, April 04, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 334 - The Sheila Divine - New Parade


Album – New Parade
Artist – The Sheila Divine
Key Players - Shawn Sears – drums, backing vocals. Jim Gilber – bass, backing vocals. Aaron Perrino – vocals, guitar.

Produced By – Brian Charles, Mike Denneen

Release Date - 1999

Overview - Formed in 1997 Boston based band “Sheila Divine” met in college and re-grouped in Boston. After gigging for two years the band won a local radio station contest (The WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble) in 1999. “New Parade” was their debut which included new material as well as re-recorded songs from their first ep. The album was met with positive reviews. By 2000 the band added an additional guitar player and released their follow up. Sears left the band for a time to spend time as a new Dad, but the band continued to gain fans with their open taping policy, in that audience members were encouraged to record and trade live shows. After some turmoil the band announced in 2003 they were breaking up. They'd do a few reunion shows amongst side projects before reforming.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 12 song album opens with “Automatic Buffalo”. The track has acoustic guitars and a really nice bass line underneath. Perrino has a strong voice and as the song heads to the chorus he gets even stronger as the band also gets a bit louder. A pretty, and solid album opener. The urgency continues on “Like A Criminal”. The band is good at mixing the bit of hard edge rock with some fine melodies. Its easy to tap your feet to these tracks, and they have infectious hooks. Gilber has a solid hook as “Awful Age” gets started with the simple Sears drum line laid done. The guitars swell. The band had a modest college radio hit with"Hum" I'll leave that one alone, just listen to it. Its awesome. Enough said. We seem to calm down some as “Spacemilk” starts. A bit more melody from the bass is up front and it is a quick and to the point track. Perrino is a bit compressed as “I'm a Believer” begins, but after the first verse the full band comes in and it has that great power pop feel to it. The band can write hooks! “The Modern Log” continues in that vein of big power chords and soaring vocals. “Opportune Moment” seems to be a bit more on the mellow side (for this band) but you still will get the really great vocals, if fact Perrino might be in his finest form here. “The Amendment” feels like a break from the urgency of many of the tracks. I am sure the band needed a track like this in a live setting. “New Parade” begins with a duo of piano and acoustic guitar. The track slowly builds and builds as the listener would both hope and expect from these guys. A really rewarding listen. The crunch of the guitar is right up on “Kitchen Song” but its offset some with the strumming acoustic underneath and a nice swirling bass line. Again Perrino shines vocally. The album concludes with “Sweep the Leg” a largely shippable track as it is just a series of keyboard type bleeps and bloops.

Where are they now? - The band has had some issues in the past taking time off between 2003-2007 and then 2009. As of 2010 they are listed as a “current” and active band with the three members still intact. Their most recent album was 2012's “The Things That Once Were”.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Yes. Dig it out. Find a copy if you can. Its well worthy our time. A rocking trio with some big hooks. You'll be beyond pleased.

Links, find out more, follow em 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, March 28, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 333 - Thelonious Monster - Beautiful Mess


Album – Beautiful Mess

Artist – Thelonious Monster

Key Players – Chris Handsome – guitar. Dix Denny – guitar. Peter Weiss – drums. Bob Forrest – vocals. Martin LeNoble – bass. Zander Scholls - guitar

Produced By – Joe Hardy

Release Date – October 12, 1992

Overview – This is the fourth album from California based band “Thelonious Monster”. The LA based band has been active for years and are widely respected among musical acts. The band often has a rotating set of musicians on records and in live settings. They took a short break, but continue to write and perform at their own pace.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 11 track album opens up with the fun "I Live In A Nice House"
 a jangly guitar led romp. It was the song that got me to buy the record its just a happy fun song. Weiss won't let it get to quick and holds a steady beat as the guitars just wash over. “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” is a quieter acoustic led track with just Forrest and a lone guitar and after a bit the full band kicks in and they take off. They have found their groove and the bass work comes up with a fun walking line. The band joins in on backing vocals for a really nice full sound. “Body and Soul?” has a nice long wah wah guitar solo.“Adios Lounge” has the grovel voiced accompaniment of Tom Waits. Its a slower track, with a lot of piano (as expected). We continue with some of the mellow side of the band on “I Get So Scared” as the drums are calm and the guitars play off one another. Forrest is in no rush and the band follow suit. “Song For A Politically Correct Girl From The Valley” brings back some the more electric, almost funk driven style from the band. Forrest sings about as quickly as we've heard and the guitars are crunchy and a lot of fun. The topic alone is good fodder and the lyrics are equally as funny. There is a great guitar solo and the band falls in to that “jam” mode which is fun to listen to. I wish there were more moments like this. “Ain't Never Been Nuthin' For Me In This World” is another really fun track. Musically you can hear the guys smiling as they are playing. It just locks a tight groove they are all playing well off one another. We hear a bit more organ, and drums kick off “Bus With No Driver”. The guitars are clean and compliment the bass and drums. There appears to be a higher female voice on backing vocals, but the liner notes doesn't seem to mention who it is, but you were noticed! The organ is also used on the back end of the track, a nice change. The track “Vegas Weekend” has a buzzy and gritty guitar sound but it lacks a solid direction, it just seems to find its riff and it repeats. “Weakness In Me” tilts towards the ballad area (at least for this band). The album concludes with “The Beginning And The End #12 N 35” which is just a track of under 1 minute of nonsense. Not at all needed.

Where are they now? - The band was active from about 1983 to 1994 and then they took a break until about 2004. They play shows here and there. Bob Forrest is a recovering addict and is widely respected as a survivor and council person. His story was made in to a documentary



FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some fun moments and talented players for sure. On a whole there might be a too much variation for most on the tracks. A ballad to a rocker, to a funk feel. Could be a challenge to some, worthy to others. If you stumble across it, grab it you may be inspired.

Links, find out more, follow em 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, March 07, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 332 - The Music - Welcome to the North







Album – Welcome to the North
Artist – The Music
Key Players – Robert Harvey – vocals, guitar. Adam Nutter – lead guitar. Stuart Coleman – bass. Phil Jordan – drums.

Produced By – Brendan O'Brien

Release Date – September 20, 2004

Overview - This is the second full length release from British alternative rock band “The Music”. Formed in 1999 the members all met in high school. The band recorded a demo in 2001 and an ep in 2002. Their debut, released the same year went to #4 on the British charts. Come the time of “Welcome to the North” the band was a full fledged touring act but there were delays in recording the third album. It was revealed that some drug and alcohol issues had resurfaced with the band members. The band worked to release a third album but Harvey left a year later. The band broke up in the summer of 2011.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 11 track 55 minute album begins with the title track “Welcome to the North”. It starts with some dual guitars before the full band comes in. Harvey has a powerful and high vocal range. Nutter and Harvey are solid with the guitar attack while Coleman and Jordan keep things pretty level."Freedom Fighters"  was released as a single in the UK where it cracked the top 10. Jordan gives the roll off the snare and high hat before the two guitars come buzzing in on a looping riff. Coleman remains solid as everyone comes together and they push to a frantic chorus.  “Bleed From Within” as a quicker pace, but more of a stark contrast in down time. Jordan again pushes the band forward and seems to have a bit more a preference towards his tom toms and there is a phased out drum/percussion jam at the end of the track. The big money song for these ears comes with"Breakin'"  An infectious track. I'll just let you listen. “Cessation” has a frantic punk rock feel with the band really hammering down. “Fight the Feeling” is the slowest track on the album to this point with it being really just a light bass/drum and lightly strummed guitar as Harvey is showcased. “Guide” has a cool fuzzy bass intro and the band is more to the pop/rock feel. It has a 60's vibe to it as well. The band seems to use some layers on the vocals on this to expand the sound more.  “In to the Night” has a similar fun feel to it, while “I Need Love” has much more a frantic tempo set forth by Jordan and the band seems eager to play right along. “One Way In, No Way Out” gets a bit sludgier, but as the track progresses the Harvey soars vocally and we get some piano fills to give it a deeper and fuller sound. The album ends (at least track wise) with “Open Your Mind”, a track that has the band with acoustic guitars and some effect on the vocals. Coleman and Jordan are strong and Nutter seems to go after it pretty good when the electric guitar is brought up. Hit the FF button to approx 6:05 and you'll come upon “The Walls Get Smaller”, an instrumental track that is a nice find, especially for fans of rock instrumentals (post rock etc)

Where are they now? Harvey did some work with “The Streets” and he has since worked with Mike Skinner of “The Streets” to form “The D.O.T” who released and album in October 2012.

FDF Overall Take/Was is worth Dusting Off? - There are some really solid moments on there. The guitar playing is good, but its the vocals that grab you mostly. I'd buy it all over again just for “Breakin'” personally.

Links/ Find out More, Follow em 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, February 28, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 331 - The Good, The Band & The Queen - Self Titled


Album – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Artist – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Key Players – Tony Allen – drums. Simon Tong – guitar. Damon Albarn – lead vocals, keyboards. Paul Simonon – bass and backing vocals.
Produced By – Danger Mouse

Release Date – January 22, 2007

Overview - Tong made a name for himself in The Verve. Allen was the drummer in Fela Ransome Kuti, and is seen as the founder of the music style “Afrobeat”. Albarn of course with Blur and the bassist from the Clash, Paul Simonon got together in 2006. Originally a solo record for Albarn it was later a group effort at the suggestion of Danger Mouse. The band has released this lone record and don't even consider the Good the bad and the queen to be their name.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “History Song” kicks off the 12 track, 43 minute record. Tong is playing acoustic and Albarn sings in hushed tone before you start to get the percussion from Allen. Simonon offers up some hushed backing vocals as the track maintains its even tempo with some organ thrown in for good measure. A piano opens up “80's Life” and Simonon is slowly added in and Albarn has a solid lead vocal track. After the verse there are some vocal harmonies, but Allen and Tong, musically are largely absent. The album continues to be on the mellow side and “Northern Whale” is no different. The vocal harmonies are nice and the focus tends to be on odd keyboard sounds and Albarn. "Kingdom of Doom"
is another acoustic lead track, but Simonon has some swift bass work under that as Albarn sings. Here is seems a lot like he sounds with Blur, sort of that “pushed” vocal release. "Herculean"  is about the closest US audiences may have heard for a single. Heavy piano and a tempo laid forth by Allen set the pace on this spacy track. The mellow, spacy trend continues with “Behind the Sun”, a track that has a lot of strings as well. “The Bunting Song” has Simonon walking the bass line all over the twinkling piano line and Tong acoustic guitar work. Tong seems to show his chops at the start of “Nature Springs” with a nice acoustic intro and he continues to be the lead focus on “A Soldier's Tale”. This time more strings compliment the sound. “Three Changes” has a running keyboard line before Allen clicks the band in to formation of the song. Albarn is still hushed, but the music finally feels a bit more “urgent” in the band wants to get a point across quicker, but “Green Fields” quiets that down again with Tong having the lead on acoustic guitar. The record closes out with the title track “The Good, The Band & The Queen” and the long piano intro with percussion underneath wraps it all up with a bow by the time Albarn begins the vocals. The song grows with urgency, something that this record could have used earlier on.

Where are they now? - As noted this is the lone release from the band. All the members are involved with various projects.  Albarn is set to release another solo album in April and will tour behind it.    He also has reported that Blur have recorded 15 new songs.  Allen and Tong have worked on projects both as performers and producers.  Simonon worked to get the expansive Clash boxset released and worked with Blur on their last two records.

FDF Overall Take - The entire thing is different than any of the members former bands. Its good in a way, but I kept wanting something to really break out. Everything feels “the same” and its not like they were willing to take a ton of chances. Maybe not going in 4/4 time is change enough. Still, its a good record, well produced and it “sounds” very good. If you see it on the cheap and like any of their prior work its worth a spin.

Links (“Find out More”, Follow em 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, February 21, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 330: Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque



Album - Bandwagonesque
Artist – Teenage Fanclub
Key Players – Norman Blake – vocals, guitar. Gerard Love – vocals, bass.  Raymond McGinley – vocals, guitar.  Brendan O'Hare – drums.

Produced By – Don Flemming, Paul Chisholm and Teenage Fanclub
 
Release Date – November 4, 1991

Overview -  This is the third full length album from Scottish band “Teenage Fanclub”.  The band has remained largely unchained since its inception and three of the members rotate signing the the songs.  The band would have mild success here in the US, and this album actually beat out Nirvana's “Nevermind” as album of the year according to Spin magazine.

 
FDF Comments (aka the songs) – 12 tracks and 42 minutes of music kick off with one of the singles released to US radio, "The Concept".  It has a mellow, yet wonderful power pop feel to it.  The harmonies are really nice and the ring of the guitar is only off set by the distorted riffs coming out of the chorus.  The extended jam at the end of the track is also unique in that you'd think the band would sort of be in and out of the track to keep it catchy and to the point.  Well played.    After the lengthy intro song the band performs “Satan”, which is not even a 1:30 long, it's a wall of noisy guitar chords and banging drums and then it takes off to a fun jam that might have worked out in a full song, but it does the trick.   Sets it up nicer for the track “December”, which brings the ringing guitars back and nice solid bass work from Love.  The harmonies are great once more and the band seems in no rush pulling you in.  On “What You Do To Me” Blake takes the lead vocal and it has every essence of that power pop song, see for yourself (or listen to it right here)  “I Don't Know” has the buzzy guitar intro and McGinley takes the turn on vocals.  Love's bass work is up in the mix and you can hear he wants to add more than the “bottom” with the swooping lines.  The guitars again are terrific with their sound and presence in the track.  Perhaps the most well known track off the record comes in “Star Sign” which did crack the top 5 on the modern rock charts in America.  The song has a slow build (perfect for dj's to talk up) as one guitar attacks, the other swirls.  The bass works its way in there too but its O'Hare that kicks it in to overdrive after the one minute mark.  The band has great 3 part harmonies again and O'Hare gives the drum kit a great workout.  “Metal Baby” has a heavy bass presence while “Pet Rock” lets the guitars take lead on bubbly track, that transitions to horns and guitar battles.  Going a little more on the vocal focus you get “Sidewinder”, still the elements of the bands sound are all there, just feels a bit more laid back but the band will always give you that guitar, and it comes again.  Love gets the focus again with his bass on “Alcoholiday” while Blake takes the lead vocals and the guitars chug along.  The drums don't push too hard, but the vocals and bass really shine.  Love takes the lead vocals on “Guiding Star”, a song that takes its time building up there are breathy vocal deliveries which add to its vibe, and nothing seems to want to step on the vocals.  “Is This Music?” is the final track on the record and the buzzy guitars are back with the rolling drum line that folds in to the dual guitars and the bass rolls under all that. The riffs are repeated over and over and it remains a vocal free track.

Where are they now?  - As noted the band has remained together.  Blake, Love and McGinley have all stayed with the band and have done a few side projects.  O'Hare left the band after the follow up to this record (Thirteen) due to musical differences.
 

FDF Overall Take -  This is power pop at its best.  If you like guitars and layers of vocals, this is for you.  Run..don't walk for this.

 
Links -  find out more..follow and buy!

Official Site

  

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, February 14, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 329 - Kerbdog - Kerbdog.



Album - Kerbdog
Artist - Kerbdog       
Key Players -  Cormac Battle – vocals, guitar.  Colin Fennelly – bass. Darragh Butler – drums. Billy Dalton - guitar

Produced By – Jack Endino

Release Date - 1994

Overview -  Formed in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1991 the band gigged out of London for a bit but didn't get much attention.  Named in honor of a Californian BMX team the band got their break as tour openers for the band Therapy?  They recorded their demo with grunge producer Jack Endino and they continued to tour.  They'd release a second record but it was held up with delays and band members started to depart.  It was all over by 1998

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The ten track 37 minute album kicks off with "End of Green"I first heard this song on a CMJ new music sampler and it got me to buy the full length.  Its got that big grungy sound with the buzzy guitars and thumping bass and drums.  Battle has a solid voice for the type of music and it has some big hooks in those riffs.  A solid album opener that showcases the layers of vocals and harmonies.  Its not what you'd expect in a “grunge” song.  “Dry Riser”  follows suit and the riffs from Dalton and Battle run in tandem for some big sounds, then they switch to muted tones, but come back solid.  You like meaty riffs, say hello to “Dead Anyway”.  The distortion on the guitars has a real clean/crisp buzz to it that swirls with the off tempos tossed from Butler.  “Cleaver” continues with the attack and you are hardly let down.  Fennelly gets to intro up “Earthworks” as the solo bass gets the nod before guitars and drums come up.  The vocals are a bit more soaring on this, vs the attack we've had up to this point.  Fennelly gets to show his chops later has he and Butler get in to a breakdown and the bass is right up in the mix.  This is also the longest track on the album at 4:11.  The guitars get a workout as always and “Dummy Crusher” is no exception, while “The Inseminator” has Fennelly alone at the intro again.  Battle has a particular growl on this track.  “Clock” at the start is the quietest song on the record as the two guitars play off one another.  It gets a bit more urgent, but never has the speed as the other tracks.  A power ballad, nah..but its slower.  “Schism” is not a Tool track, but it could be.  It is not as progressive, but equally as punishing.  We close off with “Scram” a  track that fits perfect in to that time capsule of 90's rock.

Where are they now?  Battle and Butler formed the band “Wilt” quickly after the demise of Kerbdog, they'd disband by 2003.  Kerbdog would reform in2005, 2008 2011 and 2013 for one off gigs.  Battle works in radio, Fennelly is a civil engineer and Dalton works for a family company.  Butler owns a music shop and has formed a band called “Souls”.

FDF Overall Take – For fans of 90's grunge you'd fit right in and have a band to talk about that not a ton of folks in the US knew about.  It has aged fine, for what it is, and if you are a fan of the style you'd be pleased.

Links. “Find out More”, Follow em 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, February 07, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 328 - Low Fidelity All Stars - How to Operate With a Blown Mind



Album – How To Operate With A Blown Mind
Artist – Lo Fidelity AllStars
Key Players – Dave Randall (the Wrekked train) – vocals.  Phil Ward (the albino priest) – decks and samples.  Andy Dickinson (A One Man Crowd called Gentile) – bass.  Johnny Machin (The slammer)
drums.  “Sheriff” John Stone – keyboards.  Matt Harvey – keyboards.
 
Produced By – Lo Fidelity All Stars
 
Release Date – January 19, 1999
 
Overview – Electronica band who is London based formed in the around 1996..  The band would use various styles, including heavy funk rhythms, to explode on to the scene in the late 90's.  With the momentum of this debut the band recorded and released a quick follow up.  Members came and went but the band continues on and have released seven albums, and one ep to date.
 
FDF Comments (aka the songs) – This is a long record.  11 tracks just about 70 minutes in length.  Starts off with Randall reading as  “Warming Up The Brain Farm” heats up.  The beats drop and it finds that rewarding “thump” you'd expect from a dance track.  Layers of samples and scratches find the track feeling a little the same, but still it has a tight groove.  “Kool Roc Bass” segues effortlessly and follows suit as you'd expect.  Deep grooves, scratches and samples.  There is a heavy buzz on
“Kasparov's Revenge” and Randall is back in the forefront with his powerful and unique sounding voice.  The tempo is furious on “Blister on My Brain” and you can hear how all the bands at the time seem to influence one another (Chemical Brothers to Jamiroquai).  “How to Operate With a Blown Mind” is far more laid back, easily the mellowest of tracks thus far.  Tripped out instruments with a slow to be delivered vocal.  It heats up some, but leans on that heavy back beat as its showcase.  “I Used to Fall in Love” feels a little out of place with its tempo (sort of too moody and slow) but that just sets up  "Battle Flag"  (this is the uncensored version) all the more.  This is/was probably the song you'd recognize.  What stands out the most for me on this is how this track was used during an episode of ER when two doctors were stabbed by a crazed patient.  It was used perfectly and it always brings me back that episode when I hear this song.  “Lazer Sheep Dip Funk” has heavily distorted vocals, but keeps with the tempo of Battle Flag and is interesting enough.  “Will I Get Out of Jail?”is another slower track that doesn't want to take off too quickly with the swirling keyboard lines and long drones.  “Vision Incision” has the first real tease with female backing vocals.  The album concludes with “Nightime Story”

Where are they now? - The band is still making music and in 2013 they released a self titled album. Randall left after the debut.
 
 
FDF Overall Take - The record is sort of what you'd expect.  Its got that 90's techno feel that was starting to get popular.  The songs that are good I find to be really good.  US audiences seemed to dwindle but for “Battle Flag” alone its worth it.
 
Links “Find out More”, Follow em and Buy
 
They have a very old myspace page, and the album is a cut out now, but you can find a copy 
 
 
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.