Tell Me That You Want Me – A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac album review

Fleetwood Mac is simply Fleetwood Mac. Rumours is one of the greatest albums put together and there is a reason why it is one of the best-selling ever. With that said, the only way to truly do a tribute album to a band that is as iconic as Fleetwood Mac is, is to go do a complete 180 with the artists and their renditions. Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute Album to Fleetwood Mac does just that with its great mixture of artists, taken from all types of genres who pay great tribute to this band while making these songs sound new and fresh.

My only real qualm with the album, and before you say anything yes I knew it was going to be on here, but “Landslide” has been covered much better by both The Smashing Pumpkins and The Dixie Chicks (I know, but it is true).

One of the standouts has to be “Oh Well” played to perfection by Billy Gibbons and Company, who brings his distinct Southern drawl and slows down an already slowed, bluesy standout. Great tributes take a song from one genre and make it seem effortless the way it weaves into another genre, and this song is the epitome of that thought. From MGMT’s psychedelic cover of “Future Games” to one of my new favorite bands The Kills cover of “Dreams” the songs on this album give the listener exactly what he or she needs. It entertains, transforms, and makes you fall in love again or for the first time with one of the great classic bands of yesterday.

Tribute albums can be the best thing in the world if done right. One thing it does is change those songs you have heard hundreds of times and makes you love it again with a new sound. They aren’t meant to be better or to replace the original, but only to revere and educate. Covers done right can be the best things in music, because it gives you two new songs to listen to, and that isn’t bad.

Blood Red Shoes – In Times To Voices album review

Blood Red Shoes is the type of band you can only describe in terms of other artists. Oh, this is the song that sounds like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is the XX one. This is them doing the Pixies. And so on.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Those are all good bands. If your music sounds like that, you’re probably doing something right. Many of the songs on In Time to Voices — the third full length by the duo from Brighton — are good, fun, and cool sounding. Having no cemented identity means you’re free to jump around between genres and atmospheres, and BRS takes eager advantage of the opportunity. On three consecutive tracks, they handle haunting folk (“Night Light”), distorted punk (“Je Me Perds”), and standard alternative pop (“Stop Kicking”) with equal grace. They are a talented pair, and some of the songs really hit home.

Still, the material as a whole is hard to connect with and care much about. This is music that is featured in movie soundtracks because it sounds edgy and different but really isn’t. It’s just a watered-down, broader version of better and more concentrated artistic voices. Again, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Blood Red Shoes is a good band. But they are nobody’s favorite band. Somewhere between those things lies some decent enough music. If you’re into that sort of thing, this is an album for you.

Birds & Batteries – Stray Light album review

Birds & Batteries are veterans in the business, maybe not in terms of time but certainly in their amount of releases, and their quality. Their website hosts no less than 4 LPs, all of which are playable. The band has this energy that they manage to capture in many of their songs, even the slower ones. You can’t help but move to it. Woven together with some great storytelling and memorable lines (Wild fires will burn out loud/Like a style, burn from bright to black), Stray Light is romantic in more than society’s normal meaning. It’s classic, something you can experience time and again, and notice something you didn’t notice before, like the bending of notes in “Be My Girl”.

The intro hook in “I Want You” draws you in to the song; it’s almost as if the vocals are the back up, and the synth is taking centre stage. “Evolutionary Step” doesn’t take itself too seriously, bouncing along at a good pace. “My Life is Mine” is twee, especially when compared to the soundscape of the final track “Arctic Flowers” that opens your minds eye to a panoramic sunset.

The album is rare in that it isn’t intrusive if you don’t want it to be, but it’s spectacular if you focus on it. A group that is certainly capable of their craft, Birds & Batteries are touring now, and Stray Light is in stores and online now.

Ormonde – Machine album review

When most people think of rock, they think of speaker bursting bass riffs, glass shattering guitar chords, and powerful vocals. Let me sit you down for a second to explain to you that not all rock is like this and Ormonde is the answer.

Upon listening to Ormonde’s new album, the first thing that came to mind was their distinctive sound. The duo has a unique style of rock. Their musical style exemplifies mellow rock instrumentation, vocal harmony with minor key tonality to fit the pace of their mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic guitar and acoustic rhythm piano. It is actually quite relaxing and aesthetically pleasing to listen to.

In their new album Machine, American duo, Robert Gomez and Anna-Lynne Williams have successfully created a sound that redefines rock. Their mellow tones found in most of their songs, but are found to be more pronounced in songs like, “I Can’t Imagine,” “Cherry Blossom,” “Machine,” and “Secret”, create a sense of natural peace. The harmony found between the vocals and their instruments is the epitome of cohesiveness. They are in perfect sync, which gives their overall sound a bit of mystery and mesmeric undertone.

I encourage you to listen to their new album to a get a feel of the difference between stereotypical rock and mellow rock. There is an art behind both styles, but even rock can create a sense of beauty and peace and is not all hateful, black, and punk like we are used to stereotyping.

The Love Lights – Team Honey album review

Bellingham might be one of the Pacific Northwest’s best-kept secrets. Fueled by a combination of unwavering love for local acts, a decent amount of incredible venues, and a strong desire to keep all-ages music relevant, the self-proclaimed City of Subdued Excitement produces fantastic acts.

The Love Lights are by no means new to Bellingham, as they’ve been around since the mid-2000s. What started off as a few friends playing along to a drum track has evolved into a full-fledged 7-piece ensemble with incredible musical chops.

2008’s Young Lions was a record that demanded your attention not only because of the superb songwriting, but also because of the ease in which each song came together. A song that slowly burns and builds that ends with only a snare drum and group harmonies, moves seamlessly into a blaring pop song that clocks in at under 2 minutes.

On Team Honey, their latest release, we find The Love Lights at their most clever and comfortable.

“Speak” starts off with only a handful of bass notes, tambourine hits, and gentle crooning, but suddenly bursts into an epic call to action full of bravado. After getting the silent treatment, vocalist Rob Stauffer is finally fed up and demanding a response. His burst of courage is short lived, however, as by the end of the song his threat of walking away sounds more pain-filled and hollow than truthful. Being able to get this much emotion into a 2-minute song is truly impressive.

On the other end of the spectrum, the longest track on Team Honey is the absolutely gorgeous “Runtitled.” The gentle guitar and humming bass completely captures the feeling of hopelessness that comes towards the end of any relationship. While the horns blare, you cherish every second as a weird sense of nostalgia of the present. The most heartbreaking moment of the track is the final crescendo that finds the band picking up momentum, playing faster and louder, only to gently slow back down and fade out as the inevitability of an ending becomes clear.

Team Honey deserves to be played loudly. Much like a sleepy college town like Bellingham, it is full of nuances that you might miss otherwise. Subdued or not, The Love Lights are definitely exciting.

Buffalo Killers – Dig. Sow. Love. Grow. album review

Cincinnati’s Buffalo Killers hail psychedelic blues rock in their fourth labor of love, “Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.” The trio of bearded rockers pump out some fantastic midwestern swagger in this release, drawing on rock legends but never coming close to a copycat band. Their sound is authentic, raw, unashamed, and at times gritty.

At first listen, I instantly thought of the Black Keys, and likes of The Dead Weather or Band of Skulls. The first song on the album, “Get it,” is pure grunge-y goodness at its finest; it’s powerful, raucous, and commanding. Next up is “Hey Girl,” which sounds like it’s rolling off of a record player in some southern lounge in the 70’s. It’s the most authentic sounding song on the album, which as a whole is organic in moody splendor.

Buffalo Killers seem to have found themselves a time machine, because “Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.” is a rocker’s gem from the hippie days of old.

The Sheepdogs new album and tour dates

“The Canadian rockers with distinctly Southern jam inclinations,” as they were described by The New York Times, proved the victors of last year’s Rolling Stone “Choose the Cover” contest by popular vote. Earlier this year, they scored three JUNO Awards in Canada for Single of the Year, New Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year.

“THE SHEEPDOGS” marks the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based band embracing a vast span of influences to create a distinctive collection of brilliantly unabashed rock ‘n’ roll. The album is heralded by the thumping first single, “The Way It Is,”; the companion video directed by comedy writers/directors/actors The Sklar Brothers, was released last week

The Sheepdogs will celebrate their new album with their first coast to coast U.S. headline tour. The trek gets underway September 16th at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, New York, and then continues through late October.

THE SHEEPDOGS
US Tour 2012

9/18-10/2 w/Black Box Revelation
10/2-10/7 w/Buffalo Killers
10/7-10/23 w/Black Box Revelation

SEPTEMBER
16 Niagara Falls, NY The Rapids Theatre
18 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground Lounge
19 Cambridge, MA The Middle East Downstairs
20 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
21 Washington, DC The Rock & Roll Hotel
22 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
26 Knoxville, TN Cider House
27 Nashville, TN Exit/In
28 Memphis, TN 1884 Lounge
29 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade – Hell Stage

OCTOBER
1 Louisville, KY Headliners
2 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theatre
4 Cleveland Heights, OH Grog Shop
5 Detroit, MI The Shelter
6 Chicago, IL Double Door
7 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
9 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
10 Jackson Hole, WY Pink Garter Theatre
12 Seattle, WA The Tractor
13 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
15 San Francisco, CA The Independent
17 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
18 Pioneertown, CA Pappy & Harriet’s
19 Las Vegas, NV Vinyl – Hard Rock Hotel
20 San Diego, CA The Casbah
21 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom
23 Dallas, TX The Prophet Bar
24 Austin, TX Stubb’s Inside

All That Remains New Album – A War You Cannot Win – Set For Release November 6th; Hear The First Single “Stand Up” And Pre-Order Album Now

Pre-Order Bundles Available Now At Allthatremainsonline.com

All That Remains (ATR) will release its much-anticipated new studio album, A War You Cannot Win on November 6th 2012 via Razor & Tie. The new album will be the band’s seventh studio album to date and their follow up to For We Are Many.

A War You Cannot Win pre-order bundles have launched and are available at Allthatremainsonline.com. The bundles include a variety of exclusive new t-shirts, hoodies, posters and vinyl as well as the full album and digital download. The ultimate bundle also includes a special, limited-edition ATR Bullet USB containing album extras.

A War You Cannot Win sees ATR reunited with longtime producer Adam D (The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage). The record is the culmination of an intense writing period for the group that began shortly after 18 months of touring in support of their last album For We Are Many. The band will tour heavily in support of the new album with a fall tour to be announced soon.

AOL Noisecreep recently selected A War You Cannot Win as one of the ten metal albums to watch for this fall, declaring the band “served up pure Mass-metal for fans of all things heavy.”

One of the leading rock/metal bands in music today, ATR has sold more than 930,000 units to date and 1,350,000 tracks to date. The band’s last album, For We Are Many, debuted at #10 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in 2010 and sold 178,000 albums to date. The band has also had enormous Active Rock Radio success – their last single off the album, “The Waiting One,” went top 5 on the Active Rock Radio chart making ATR’s first ever Top 5 single and also the band’s fifth consecutive hit single at Active Rock. For We Are Many also spawned 2 additional Top 10 tracks, “Hold On,” and “The Last Time” which spent a combined calendar year charting at the format. All That Remains has toured extensively including a headlining runs as well as tours with Asking Alexandria, Buckcherry, Black Label Society, Hollywood Undead, Five Finger Death Punch as well as a few major radio and international festivals.

The Bad Plus Album News

eOne Music is excited to announce the release of The Bad Plus’s new album, Made Possible, on September 25, 2012. Recorded in upstate New York, it is The Bad Plus’ (bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer David King) eighth studio effort and ninth release overall. The nine tracks on Made Possible – eight originals plus a loving nod to the late Paul Motian (“Victoria”) – showcase everything this groundbreaking group is capable of: pulse-pounding anthems, bright-eyed melancholia, bold juxtapositions, tunefully mathy contortions and a masterful sense of song. As ever, the sum effect is a welcome demolition of what listeners might expect from an instrumental trio. IFC.com premiered a short documentary on the making of Made Possible.

“This band contains some of the most punk energy I’ve ever seen or felt as a musician – it just doesn’t need to do it so obviously,” King says. “That’s our statement. It’s a complex emotion.”

Made Possible marks a palpable departure for The Bad Plus on a few fronts. Layers of synth and electronic drum sounds can be heard prowling amid the trio’s signature acoustic palette. Also, whereas the group’s new material typically gets a thorough road test before being recorded, these songs were brought in with looser expectations and even more potent possibilities. And for the first time since 2005’s Suspicious Activity?, the band chose to record far away from its Minnesota motherland, holing up instead at a remote studio in upstate New York.

The Bad Plus has spent more than a decade redefining what a piano-bass-drums trio can and should be. They’ve reached audiences of all demographic stripes with an uncompromising body of original music (plus some ingenious, genre-jumping covers) and dedicated touring around the globe. Made Possible takes their distinctive musical M.O. to captivating new heights, proving once again that the rules of musical convention are made to be broken.

Throughout its career, The Bad Plus has held fast to a band ethos (deeply collaborative with no “leader”) and a belief in what its members like to call avant-garde populism (progressive, musically sophisticated ideas without the highbrow trappings). Made Possible is a vivid and convincing document of this passionate stance, loaded with genre-defying music that is at once complex, heartfelt and instantly engaging.

LAMB OF GOD Announces eBay Memorabilia Auction for Randy Blythe Defense Fund

MACHINE HEAD’s Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel, MEGADETH’s David Ellefson, Slash, and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Also Contribute

While LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe is back home in America after five weeks in prison in the Czech Republic, his legal problems are far from over. Manslaughter charges are still hanging over Blythe and at some point over the next few months he will have to return to Prague and stand trial. Faced with continuing massive legal bills, LAMB OF GOD has decided to create an eBay auction of equipment and memorabilia to raise money for Randy’s legal bills. All equipment was either used on tour or in the recording studio or in a video. The auction features items provided by all five members of LAMB OF GOD.

In addition, a number of musicians have offered equipment to be used in the auction. Guitars have been donated by Machine Head’s Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel as well as Slash and Five Finger Death Punch. Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Five Finger Death Punch’s Chris Kael have each contributed a bass and the members of Five Finger Death Punch also have contributed a signed skateboard.

Justice Now, the site set up for donations, will remain open for those wishing to donate to Randy’s defense fund. The band appreciates all of the support Randy has received since his arrest on June 28th and is thankful for all of the donations that have been made in these tough economic times. As stated before, without the fans, there is no LAMB OF GOD.