I hate to use the term "modern rock" when describing a band because it makes everything else that you don’t refer to as "modern" to be hopelessly retro but Glasgow, Scotland’s Dead City Riots are modern rock and roll personified. Often reminding me of Pearl Jam with more consistent hooks, "Always is Never the Same" is an amazing rock and roll journey that absolutely rocks with razor sharp guitars, great hooks and amazing songwriting. Have a listen to "Bridge Jumping", "Where’s my Pill?" and especially the fantastic "Kill the Summer." And when you think it is all full bore rock and roll they hit you with "A Better High" a gorgeous ballad about seperation.
A highly recommended CD and a great listen at full voilume. Check out their MySpace page and have a listen.
In 1966 Swinging London was in full bloom and the whole world seemed to be grooving to the Beatles’ pre-psychedelic masterpiece “Revolver.” Now at that time bands like the Beatles, the Nice, the Small Faces, etc. were referred to as “pop bands” because they were, well popular. Before the split between pop bands and rock bands occurred there existed a brief moment in the history of rock and roll where experimentation coupled with obvious hooks and impressive 2 and 3 part melodies made music so vibrant, exciting and….popular.
Shake Some Action, the brainchild of Australian singer-songwriter James Hall reminds me of that slice of summer. With sweet multi-layered vocals, chiming Rickenbacher guitars and hooks a plenty, Shake Some Action is an album that requires a few listens before its intricacies and melodic treats become well ingrained in your brain. Have a listen to “I Can See Where This Is Going” or “Without You” for a perfect example of this great pop sensibility. Gorgeous multi-tracked vocals match perfectly with an instantly hummable melody that you will have a hard time shaking. And “Damaged” and “You’ve Got it Made” are what I would readily refer to as hard pop nuggets.
A very impressive debut and available now. Check out their MySpace page for more songs to listen to and enjoy the trip back in time to when pop songcraft was less “American Idol” and more “Paperback Writer.” Good stuff.
It’s ironic that just last week I was talking about being a rock and roll gearhead when the first thing I noticed on the back cover of “Push It Nationwide” by The Sleepers is a photo of a bunch of amps in the studio and what looks suspiciously like a Vox “Super Beatle” amp amongst the stacks. This was the amp that Vox provided the band for their infamous (and last) 1966 world tour and it immediately caught my attention with one of those “these guys look interesting” moments when I was shuffling through a bunch of CDs that I had recently received.
First off, these guys do not sound like the Beatles. Nowhere close. What these guys offer is pure, hook filled raunchy rock and roll that caught me from “Jet Set Trash” and didn’t let go until “Lonely.” They lock into such a great rock and roll groove that you are constantly hitting repeat because you can’t seem to get enough on the first listen. For me a good sign as to whether I like an album is when I am having a hard time trying to figure out which song to play on Rock and Roll Report Radio. Should it be “Don’t Let Me In”, “ Bad For Me”, “Lost Cowboy” or “Jacknife Judy”? Decisions, decisions…..
This Chicago band really lay out the kind of rock and roll that I like to blare full blast out the windows and onto the street. Plus they prominently feature that most rock and roll of instruments, the cowbell! Great stuff. A keeper and for sure it will be a CD I’ll be playing often both on the air and on my iPod.
Check out their MySpace page for a listen of what they have to offer. Cool shit.
When I first listened to the debut ep by Montreal-based band The Dress Whites, I had a vision of lying in a hammock on a warm summer Saturday when all of a sound this languid, country-tinged sound started off in the distance. As I strained to listen I realized that it was a band playing not too far away and so I approached them playing in a backyard to a mixed group of people listening carefully while sipping on iced tea and lemonade. Not your normal rock and roll vision now is it? Well no but The Dress Whites are not your typical rock and roll band.
With a sound reminiscent of maybe the softer side of mid-seventies rock but with lyrics that actually pull you in closer for a proper listen, all five songs are truly little gems that roll more than rock and with no apologies given, rightfully so. For sure the song that really stuck in my ear was “Far Away” which is basically a “fuck you” to an ex girlfriend, a song country sweet and tasty. Wonderful stuff but the other four songs tend to grow on you as they reveal different layers and textures with each additional listen. Looking forward to what these guys will do in the future. A great listen. Pass the iced tea please.
There was a time in what seemed like ages ago where bands like Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the original Fleetwood Mac were heralded as innovative free form experimenters who pushed the boundaries of what could be done in the brand new but burgeoning “blues-rock” genre. But then lifestyle excesses, greedy record labels and endless drum solos and guitar masturbation destroyed that avenue of expression with punk finally nailing the coffin shut in 1977.
Ames, Iowa based Radio Moscow has allowed me to rediscover the guilty pleasure that is blues-rock. Fronted by multi-intrumentalist Parker Griggs with Luke McDuff on bass and Mayuko on drums, Radio Moscow remind me of a more controlled, less histionic Jimi Hendrix Experience. Whether chugging along with something like “Frustrating Sound” or wailing away on the Stevie-Ray-esque instrumental “Lickskillet” or the very Hendrix-like "Whatever Happened", this debut by Radio Moscow (to be released February 27, 2007) reminds you of why you enjoyed this type of music in the first place. If you ever wanted to discover or re-discover some great, swampy blues-rock and roll from a band that aren’t receiving social security you might just want to check out Radio Moscow. A nice blast from the past played today. Cool stuff.
The band is currently on tour with dates being added over the next few weeks. As good as the CD is, this stuff will be killer live.
Upcoming shows :
Jan 27 @ Blinks – Ames, Iowa
Jan 30 @ Peeples – Ames, Iowa
Feb 9 @ Hairy Marys – Des Moines, Iowa
Feb 10 @ Lumpys – Ames, Iowa
Feb 17 @ Bali Satay – Ames, Iowa
Feb 26 @ Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, Iowa
Mar 1 @ The Aquarium – Fargo, North Dakota
Mar 4 @ Bev’s Juke Joint – Superior, Wisconsin
Mar 13 @ King Club – Madison, Wisconsin
Mar 15 @ Lagerhouse – Detroit, Michigan
Check them out at MySpace.