Friday, 26 July 2013

CD Review - Ashtray Makeup by Dave Rave and The Governors

I am definitely compelled to declare bias due to friendship over this one. Mind you if I didn't like it I would be honest about. Thankfully I have very talented friends.

I have already played this album more than Dave's last album Live With What You Know and I am extremely biased about the opening track of that one!

Ashtray Makeup is a mix of punky, power-poppy tunes and sweet melodic pieces, though emphasis is on the former. Personal favourites are A Little Messed Up and Long Way To Go, both reminiscent of the late, great Ramones. If you were in the audience for Dave's IPO gigs in the UK you would have been treated to a live version of the gently melodic Wake Up Song, another album highlight.

Here's the video for Gini's Still Trying

Official Page

Download Ashtray Makeup from Amazon

CD Review - Feel The Waves by Ramage Inc.

I should confess that I bought this album because I know Ramage, it's not a genre I would necessarily go in search of although I have a few friends who will play me tracks when we hang out. Having said that, I'm glad I bought it because I genuinely think it's a cracking album.

I don't enough about the genre to make comparisons to help prospective listeners decide whether to take a punt or not, so just follow the links below and make up your own minds.

The sound on this album feels so bloody epic. The production is multi-dimensional and spot on for balancing the driving rhythm with the powering guitars and the strong vocals.

I'm guessing that in the ambient/prog metal genre there's not much talk of hooks but buried in the production layers are riffs and hooks that you find yourself listening out for on later listens.

The clarity of the vocals stands out throughout the album as does the obvious professionalism of the musicians and producer. But this doesn't make it too clinical, the sound is emotional and epic and powerful.

It ended up on heavy rotation on my mp3 player for the journeys to and from work for about two weeks after I downloaded it, and still gets plenty of play.

Official website

Download Feel the Waves from Amazon

CD Review - Bad Penny Opera by The Cherry Bluestorms

If you are seeking a 60s garage sound with a modern twist to play in your car on sunny summer days this album fits the bill. In fact even if it's raining and you're stuck indoors it will help you pretend it's a balmy summer day if you let it take you on that journey.

The distinctive vocals and groovy harmonies evoke the spirit of the best bits of the 60s garage band sound, but with better production. The layers of production hide subtle hooks and riffs which burrow into the psyche and attach the songs to the memory, demanding your attention in the most pleasant of ways.

Things to listen out for -

- The fab guitar sound on Bad Penny Overture, an instrumental track that sounds like a modern take on a classic film or TV theme that you can't quite put your finger on.
- Horns adding a subtle punch in the background of A Better Place
- Haunting mellotron and strings adding extra dimensions to Sunday Driving South
- The harmonies on As Above So Below.

Official Web Site
Review of Bad Penny Opera by Minty & The Beeb

Buy Bad Penny Opera on CD from Amazon
Download Bad Penny Opera from Amazon

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