Archive for May, 2006

Album – Home – Redemption

Posted by admin on 17th May 2006

OK, so this is a bit of a departure for me. I’ve never been a big fan of the whole Goth scene, whether it’s the music or the look, but after hearing a track from Redemption, on the Dark Compass podcast(hello Rowley), that little light bulb pinged in my head and I had to find out more about the band.

Formed in 1996, they’ve certainly been around for a while. However this is only their first full length album. It’s a little bit light on tracks, only having 8, but they are all around the 6-7 minute mark, so you still get the full album experience.

I have to say the opening track “Times Like These”, is the one that sells me the whole bands sound. It’s a great mix of power pop, swirling electro and the sound of Goth, thanks to lead singer Miah. For anyone that was a fan of The Mission, The Cult or Sisters of Mercy, I think you’ll take an instant shine to Redemption. Admittedly not to everyone’s taste, but sometimes you just have to open yourself to new bands and sounds and I’m glad I did, because this is one great album.

I’ve listened to this album quite a few times and I can just imagine some of the tracks being included on Goth/vampire type movie soundtracks, especially movies like Underworld. Apart from the opening track, my favorites would have to be the title track “Home” and “Pulse”.

Conclusion : If you are after something a bit different, give this a try. I had some reservations, but I have to admit, I’m a convert.

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Album – The Spiral Eyes – Peter Adams

Posted by admin on 15th May 2006

I’ve said many times that a voice with a quirk goes a long way to catching my attention. This is certainly the case with Peter Adams. In addition to the voice there’s a wonderful multi layer of strings and drums, driving the first track “Cementalisque”, but it’s the combination that generates an almost relentlessly tempo. I think the only mistake on the album, is the minute of ambient noise at the beginning of the track. Think that should really have been a separate track in itself. Things take a U-turn with the next track “I Evolve”, showing a much lighter, more relaxed side. “The Disappeared” is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album, but it has some tough competition. That competition is the rest of the album.

What’s even more amazing about Peter Adams is that it’s just him. A Cincinnati boy, recording his own voice, violin, guitar et al. There’s such a spark of creativity, of sheer imagination, that the lofty comparison to the Beatles just has to be made. It also so easy to forget that what you are hearing is from one man. There’s also something that brings Peter Gabriel to mind and that’s not a comparison that’s made too glibly.

This album came out in 2004, so I’m hoping there’s something new coming soon, because my musical appetite has been whetted.

The CD also has a hidden track. Yes I know hidden tracks are nothing new, but they’re usually at the end of the album. For this CD, the hidden track is at the beginning. Yes, the hidden track is track 0, which doesn’t normally appear. Once at track 1, just push the rewind button and there it is. Well that’s the theory anyway, I tried it in my stereo, but it must have some kind of intelligence as it didn’t want to go back past track 1. There’s also a code printed on the inlay, that gains you access to further goodies on the website.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable album, that has some wonderful tracks and that spark of originality, which doesn’t come around too often.

Finally I like to give a mention to the album art work, done by Chris Simmons. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just works very well, with the tone of the album.

Conclusion : A wonderful gem of an album not just musically, but in the overall production. A great talent, with hopefully great things to come.

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Podcast : Indie Launchpad #18

Posted by admin on 12th May 2006

Just a quick note to say the Indie Launchpad Podcast #18 was just released. Direct Link here.

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Album – Love Revolution – All Mighty Whispers

Posted by admin on 11th May 2006

It’s not very often that I totally scrap a review and start all over again, this has been the case with the All Might Whispers “Love Revolution”. Sometimes it’s easy to review too much music in one sitting and end up being overly critical with the latter reviews. This has indeed been the case here. I originally wrote the review a couple of weeks ago and even then I felt something was amiss, as I just didn’t want to post it. So here I sat this morning, re-reading the review and I’m glad I didn’t post. So select all, cut and start again.

There’s been a few albums recently that have interesting, if not out of place intros. bill (yes I know that”s a lower case b), the band was one of them, with their acapella “It Won’t Hurt”, but somehow that just worked. Here the intro song is “Denial Part 1”, serene, choral and very different. This is followed by “Denial Part 2”, which I feel is pretty much the stinker on the album, sorry guys, but there’s something about that track, that is very monotonous and always makes me press on the skip button.

Anyway putting that aside, the album really starts to come into it’s own with “Spiritual”. The vocals are very subtle twist and I get an amazing sense of deja vu every time I hear them from this point on in the album. “Mighty Whisper” is one of the stronger tracks, that I can imagine being a single. The other, and indeed my favorite on the album, would have to be the title track “Love Revolution”, with it’s catchy hooks and infectious melody. Indeed it’s this track I’ve been hearing all over the Internet. As well as catchy and infectious pop tracks, of which there are many, the band also has a softer, more mellow side and this shows through in many tracks, including “Yesterday Tomorrow”, “Bringing Down Hush” and “Heaven Have Me Now”, probably my favorite of the slower tracks.

Conclusion : Overall a good album, that would gel a lot better with me, if it were to lose “Denial Part 2”. They’ve certainly got a distinctive sound and one I’ll be listening out for in the future.

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Podcast : Indie Launchpad #17

Posted by admin on 5th May 2006

Just a quick note to say the Indie Launchpad Podcast #17 was just released. Direct Link here.

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EP – Out of Car Wrecks and Hurricanes – Mieka Pauley

Posted by admin on 5th May 2006

With an abundance of talented female vocalists, it takes someone special to stand out from the crowd. Mieka Pauley is someone special. With her smokey, fractured voice, once again I’m like a deer in the headlights, only able to concerntrate on the music I hear. I have a soft spot for female vocalist, but have a real soft spot, when the voice has that sensual sexiness to it, while at the same time having a slightly raw edge. That is probably the best way I can describe the voice of Mieka Pauley.

This EP is a great introduction with some very strong tracks. Opening with Stronger, I can almost lose my self in it and imagine I’m watching an MTV video of it. That is, if I still watched MTV, which has lost it’s way since the 1990’s when I used to watch it most. Anyway, I’m off topic again. “The Way It Is” is probably my favorite track on the EP. It has one of those hooks that reels you in, as indeed do many of the tracks, offset against a bittersweet canvas. In fact most of the EP has an angels facing demons feel to it. It’s way lighter than melancholic, but just has that dark twist that’s hard to explain. “Faster” is another track that has chart single, written all over it. “First Stone” and “Draped in Blue” round the EP off nicely.

This is Mieka’s third release, but is my introduction to her. I’m interested to hear how an album that follows this EP would sound. I’d also love to hear some of these songs acoustically, as I think they would sound amazing. It’s hard when reviewing great music, not to use the same adjectives, again and again. So I won’t. Bloody T’riffic!

Conclusion : A beautiful sound and some incredible tracks. Pair that with a name that’s hard to forget and this makes one compelling purchase.

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Album – Voices – Navi Redd

Posted by admin on 5th May 2006

There are many different ways to make music, just ask my wife, but all too often, the most wondrous instrument is overlooked. That instrument would be the human voice. If you haven’t guessed already from the album title, Voices by Navi (pronounced Navy) Redd, is a purely acappella offering, without another musical instrument in sight, except their own voices. I’ve heard acappella offering in the past, but nothing quite prepares you for the amazing sounds that emanate from this album, because sometimes you can swear you’re hear instruments.

I first heard Navi Redd on the Lynn Parsons podcast, she picked up on their “Two Beds and a Coffee Machine” track. Now maybe I’m a bit dense, but I didn’t clue in at all that this was a cover of a song by the Aussie band Savage Garden. It wasn’t until I played the song to my oldest daughter did I find out. Anyway I couldn’t get the song out of my head and approached the band to do this review.

Well once I got my hands on the album, I was dumbstruck. With 18 tracks on the album, there’s certainly an interesting choice of covers, for indeed this album totally comprises of covers, from artists such as the aforementioned Savage Garden, Marvyne Gaye/Paul Young, Robbie Williams, a medley from Grease and a few mashups. One of these mashups is primarily made up of Black Eyed Peas and U2. I wasn’t overly keen on the Black Eyed Peas part, but would dearly love to hear a full rendition of U2’s “Without You”. Amongst the album, there are a few tracks that sound familiar, but are in Afrikaans, so I can’t quite put my finger on the origin of the songs, but they make fascinating listening. As with any album, there are a couple of tracks that are not quite my cup of tea, but this is more my personal preference, rather than any failing of the band.

As I said before some of the tracks are in Afrikaans and this makes perfect sense when you realise the band is actually from South Africa. It’s when I discover bands like this, that everything Indie Launch pad is trying to do, pays off. Previously the bands just sold their records in South Africa, but after a bit of nudging, you can now buy their music either as MP3’s or CDs directly from the website. In fact not 24 hours after the band added this to their website, they had their first order. The world indeed has become a much smaller place.

Conclusion : This is an amazing album, the has that touch of something unique. I’ve played this album a few times and had a shiver running down my spine, it’s that good.

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Album – Karmyn Tyler – Karmyn Tyler

Posted by admin on 1st May 2006

As I’ve mentioned a few times on Indie Launchpad, great music isn’t always about rock and pop, there are many other types of music that deserve time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, say the words, big band, jazz or showtunes and I can just imagine the under 21 set, rolling their eyes and saying some not too complimentary things. I think most of that stems from a lack of exposure. I have always had a wide and varied taste in music, even though someone once said jokingly, I had Van Gough’s ear for music. My tastes are varied and eclectic, I’ve tried to dip my toes into as many different genres as possible.

Karmyn Tyler’s self title album, is a collection of old jazz standards, show tunes and movies tunes. What sets this CD apart, is the absolutely unbelievable quality of Karmyn’s voice. With an incredible range and crystal clear tone, this is a voice that can melt even the coldest of hearts. The musical arrangement is also top notch. I can just imagine any of these songs being featured in a move soundtrack.

Of the 10 tracks on the album, I probably know about half of them, but one song that needs no introduction is Gershwin’s “Summertime” and man what an unbelievable rendition, which has taken the more upbeat path, rather than the usually sultry and downbeat variation. Karmyn’s voice belts out with such enthusiasm, it’s easy to imagine a big smile on her face when she’s singing. My other favorite tracks on the album would have to be “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Big Time” and “Too Late Now”.

If I were to criticise the album at all, and it’s only a small criticism, I would say that the album would be best served with a more contemporary album cover. Karmyn is a pretty woman, but the cover doesn’t do her justice. Many people won’t even give an album the time of day, just based on the cover, no matter how good the music.

Conclusion : A little something out of the ordinary, but a wonderful addition to anyone’s music collection.

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