When the Snowgoons do stuff, you know it has to be good, or at least you expect for them to do the best and this new track is no exception. “Cypher God” features the talent of Passionate MC, where his name is self-explanatory. The song, taken from their Goon Bap
album (available for purchase below via Amazon.com), is in honor of the late Sean Price.
Seattle continues to have the goods when it comes to hip-hop and if you need some proof, welcome yourself to Macntaj. He did a track called “Carnage” where he worked with producer M3 and rapper Karma. No doubt, there will be much more from Macntaj in the weeks and months to come.
The Sickest Drama sits in with Dizzy The Ill One and who is the Ill One? Find out for yourself in the song where they united and it’s called “Sunshine”, something that perhaps in these cold chilling winter times, we seriously need and maybe you’ll need this song too.
It has been awhile since Kristin Hersh has been heard but along with Bernard Georges and Robert Ahlers, they are a unit called 50FootWave, whose new EP shows she is far from tired and ready to unleash her flavor of rock she is known for. Bath White (Happy Happy Birthday To Me) consists of a set of gutsy music that immediately will make you want to see them live but for the time being, you’ll want to put this music in your car, raise up the devil horns and salute greatness. I’m always ready to hear some fine guitar-based rock and with tight basslines and solid drums, this is something that shouldn’t be viewed as a look back at music of the past but very much modern day music that deserves to be heard and celebrated. If you were or still are a fan of Throwing Muses, you will highly enjoy the continuation of Hersh’s musical path, joined by old bandmate Georges and powerful drummer Ahlers. Their music is worth more than just this EP, see them if they perform near you. If you’ve been waiting for new sounds from 50FootWave, welcome them back.
The new album from vocalist Eliane Amherd continues to show incredible promise for someone who displays incredible talent, not only in her voice but what she selects for her new album, Skylines (self-released). It’s partly jazzy but it’s rich with pop tendencies, soulful vibes and occasional reggae grooves, showing the kind of diversity that a lot of modern singers are often afraid to do. It would be too easy to compare her to Norah Jones but that’s due to the shared vocal harmony and charm but Amberd is her own person, whether it’s the Herbie Hancock-esque “”Counting Grains Of Sand” or her cover of Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately”. She is someone who is letting people know what she is about and if you liked her previous album, the songs here are saying “I have much more to give and share, please stick around.” Glad she has returned with this new effort.
Call it what you want: alternative, indie rock, post-grunge, pop punk but Burnseer are a power trio who simply make some damn music and if they sound like anything I described, it’s because they are that good and it comes from experience. On their self-titled debut for Green Monkey records, Frankie G., Eric Norberg, and Norman Scott play the kind of solid rock that I sometimes miss when it was everywhere, a bit like a cross between Belly, L7, and The Lemonheads. You have strong vocals from Frankie G. and then they decide to bring in guitarist Kurt Bloch for a bit of nice assistance. It’s music that sounds like it was meant to be, and what I meant is meant to be whatever you want. Meant to be heard, meant to be strong, meant to be loud, meant to be powerful, it’s all of that and more. Some songs are full of solid rage while others mix up hints of pop to make it (more) appealing but throughout the peaks and valleys, Burnseer are a group who do this with such passion that it makes me wish this lady and gentlemen were one of the biggest bands in the land. Burnseer are meant to be now and they are.
The vibe of Red Sleeping Beauty’s Kristina (Shelflife) is quite charming, as their brand of light pop is enough to make you want to hear it. However, the question is do I want to hear this music more than twice, if not just once? Songs like “Tell me More”, “Mi Amor”, and “Don’t Give In, Don’t Give Up” is light enough to bop your head to it but I don’t know if I’d be into this over and over or if my expectations were a bit too high. I think in a different setting, Red Sleeping Beauty’s music would be good enough but things like “charming” and “good enough” aren’t exactly motivating enough to move people to want to buy or download this. It reminds me of something one would hear a lot of in a teen drama from the 80’s on basic cable but it would be nice to throw in a decent guitar solo or a choir just so I have enough to remember what these songs were.
The warmth of Blooming (Aut) by percussionist Florian Chaigne is a mixture of Brian Blade, Billy Martin, and Charles Mingus, where spontaneous hits and rhythms are the steady string throughout but the music itself is what helps balance things and keeps listeners wanting more. At first, it reminded me a bit of Eberhart Weber’s Chorus where things kinda begin, drift into its own world and you’re unsure if you’re hearing a collection of songs or just one song divided 17 ways. Even a bit of spoken word from Taran Singh will remind people of the works of Rod McKuen. What also pulled me in was the bass work of Sulvain Didou, especially in “Wo Shi”, where he dominates the composition but allows everyone to balance each other out, perhaps what Blooming as a title is all about.
As I often say when I listen to something new from Aut Records, hearing something new from the label is always an adventure and this was one adventure I enjoyed hearing for the first time and will be in the years to come.
Anomalies (Saint Marie) shows a nice programming of musicianship and songwriting from Dean Garcia and Rose Berlin, the two behind SPC ECO. If the music on their previous album was meant to say “hello, you may be familiar with us or our name so we’d like to introduce yourself”, this album is meant to be a key towards entering a new room and going deeper into the chamber of sonic possibilities. Some of the songs, like “Incomplete” and “All In Time” for example, are enchanting and close to being spiritual in nature. I’m not saying religious but it feels like a higher power is there and I speak of the intensity of wanting to take things one step further than what they did before. If everyone is truly looking for the ladder, SPC ECO are crawling up at a comfortable pace that is good enough for older fans as well as those who will be introduced with this album.
It is something I’ve said for years but I’ve been a fan of the extended play recording for a long time. If you’re someone who is unsure whether or not people will handle an album for you, cut things in half and only release half the amount of music that is normally set for an album. That’s what Power Cowards did by releasing the 5-track Despair In Parallel (9lb Recordings) and they sound like a college band that got locked into a vibe and chose to do it as long as possible because it feels good to them. Their songs are well done, written in a way that is easy to digest and as I hear these songs a number of times, I look forward to the next EP from them or even better, a full length project.