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28 March, 2012

Joel Smith Project - Vision

Joel Smith Project - Vision |self-released, Adam's Awakening, 2011| 5/5

If you're not yet familiar with the Joel Smith Project, the song "Vision" should give you a vivid picture of what this Californian rock musician is truly capable of with his voice, guitar playing and songwriting abilities.

This is the third track on the Adam's Awakening album and was produced by Rich Mouser, however Joel's vocals sound much more predatory this time in comparison to some of his other compositions.
"Vision" begins with a dynamic drumbeat which immediately provides the direction towards the development of the song. Moreover, when the energetic guitar riffs join the beat and Joel's vocals come in, you'll be sure you've found a truly talented musician and a good rock song too.

As usual, Joel creates a boiling storm of positive moods which calm down near the end of the song. A very solid, yet viral rhythm section carries the vocals and guitar solos throughout the entire track. The arrangements are well balanced and kept in correct proportions. The song is also spiced up with a guitar solo reminiscent of the styles of Jimi Hendrix. All of this should tell you a lot about Joel's knowledge of songwriting, which are key values in terms of making powerful music.

"Vision" is like a pair of stylish blue jeans where everybody is familiar with the shape. Guitar riffs interlace with drums and bass like stitches while percussion creates the belt loops as Joel's voice proudly wears them all.
This song is a representation of the spirit of rock music which most people will not only accept, but remember and breathe in. Listeners may link the vibes of this song to the styles of grunge as well as 70's hard rock.
The music of the Joel Smith Project is vital and confident. There is no hesitation, negativity, empty lines or spaces. Intelligent and catchy rock tracks draw attention instantly.

The song is pretty short, but kept just long enough for Joel to express his passion for music and allow the listener to enjoy the final result. You can purchase "Vision" or the entire Adam's Awakening album with a strong recommendation as one of the best additions to enrich your home music catalogue.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, +Fabryka Industrial Rock Magazine March 23rd, 2012)
Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Brian Ailport - The Stink

Brian Ailport - The Stink (song review) |The Stink, self-released, 2012| 5/5

When an artist is passionate and inclined to be the best they can at what they do just for their own development, good things can happen thanks to hard work and determination. Brian Ailport has been a self-taught guitar player now for the past 15 years. He is left-handed, but admits he doesn't flip the strings. You can tell that his intense playing techniques and shredding melodies are tempered with dynamic flavor upon the first listen. If you are a guitar enthusiast looking for new talent to discover or collaborate with, remember his name because you won't go wrong with this musician.

"The Stink" is the ninth track on Brian Ailport's self-titled solo album. This track brings a lot of instrumental vitality combined with a variety of metal sub-genres from progressive through heavy metal and hard rock fused together. The song hijacks the listener from the very first riff as Brian's guitar becomes alive in his hands. In this case, the music is in no need of vocals as an Ibanez cries, yells, demands, stirs, swaggers, competes, cooperates and finally surrenders. Brian plays on both high and low octaves utilizing full scales across the length of the fretboard. This allows the sound of the guitar to vary around the rhythm which makes the song even more animated.

Although it's no secret that shredding and other soloing techniques may sound a bit too raw when unaccompanied by background music, Brian has taken care of this aspect as well. "The Stink" is a full sounding song where everything can be found in all the right places. The spectrum of compositional placement ranges from dense bass lines to a well programmed drum machine.
The mastering is also well done and underlines everything that is necessary.

Brian has posted a lot of videos on-line for those of you interested in learning how to play guitar. He also plays in an instrumental project called The Duo Bombers along with Mark Paschke on keyboards. Subscribe to Brian's social profiles to follow his live performances and try to catch a show, because watching him play in person may be quite an experience.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, March 26th, 2012)


Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Frostbite - My Darkest Dream

Frostbite - My Darkest Dream (song review) |self-released, Valentine and Other Stories of Hope, 2011| 5/5

Frostbite is the solo project of an American artist named Christopher Lee Compton who has been gathering musical experience over the last twenty years to create atmospheric, gothic metal compositions.

The song "My Darkest Dream" is built upon two different, however still matching parts. The first is defined by a dynamic composition with heavy guitar riffs recorded in styles best known from metal music. A vibrating guitar sound is slightly improved upon with a sampler that gives it a little industrial music flavor as well. This track goes straight-forward along with thrilling bass lines similar to those heard on the Violent New Breed album by Shotgun Messiah. Christopher's vocals are significant and brooding, yet harsh and metallic and could be held in comparison to Douglas McCarthy's voice (Nitzer Ebb) in some spots. Though, they don't overpower the composition, they seem to appear in the most suitable moments.

The first part finishes with a cool drum beat after 3 minutes 28 seconds of the song, however the main elements such as the guitar riffs and high, protracted vocals remain in the background. This transformation sounds smooth thanks to such a theoretical solution. The new bass line and drumbeats align to slow down the rhythm until the vocals fade out. This technique makes "My Darkest Dream" sound goth-like and melancholic, yet sublime in moods.
The newly created atmospheres draw the listeners attention by seeming to emulate condemned vibes best known from music by The Nephilim. Background vocals join with the drums while the guitar accompanies the harmony in a higher octave. There are noticeably more cymbals being used in the progression rather than in previous drumbeats as Christopher's voice turns on once more in haunting, tearing tones.
The song ends up with a sense of tact which perfectly fits this kind of composition. The intro sequence of "My Darkest Dream" however never returns throughout the song.

There are no addling melodies in "My Darkest Dream" which is currently popular for many metal bands to massively and unnecessarily smuggle into their songs. Frostbite relied on building atmospheres and tension which sustain the listener's interest to the very end. The project founder admits there are bands like Charon and Poisonblack amongst his inspirations, but also that bands such as The Sisters of Mercy have been just as significant of an influence for the progress of gothic music as The Beatles were for rock.

“My Darkest Dream” was released on the album Valentine and Other Stories of Hope in 2011, which is available to purchase on most of the major on-line stores.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, March 20th, 2012)


Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

17 March, 2012

Veilside - Along the Way

Veilside - Along the Way (song review) |This Time EP, Island Def Jam Digital Distribution, 2012|
Rating: 5 of 5

Veilside was established in 2006 r. and has since released two EPs – their debut Chapter One (2008) and most recent released This Time (2012) which was produced by Chuck Alkazian. There are five musicians who comprise this Chicago based band. The present line-up includes Tony Engel (lead vocals), Mo Ismail (guitars), Russ Odean (guitars), Bob "Cabo" Hilton (bass) and Ron Thomas (drums). They admit they are inspired by all sorts of music ranging from 70's classical rock, through 80's metal sub-genres to 90's rock, but they don't oppose listening to mainstream music on the radio.

This Time brings six hard rock songs which includes a ballad called "Along the Way". The song has no specific intro, but has been composed to begin with a vocal part instead. The verses are based on classical guitar playing and Tony's strong, solid voice which seems to be a great match to any style of rock and metal music. Tony started his music career as a drummer, however it seems that being a band leader suits him better so far and he enjoys the role. The choruses of this track explode with a full rock sound. Intelligent and stimulating guitar riffs etch the ears with a counterpoint duo by Russ and Mo that bring fresh harmony to compliment Ron's drum beats as well as Bob's bass lines which are matched to the song arrangements extremely well. These musicians cooperate together and display a solid sense of professionalism behind the music.

"Along the Way" is a composition that is both harmonic and melodic. The track is easily memorable due to repetitive hooks, yet not monotone in structure which makes its potential as a hit formidable. The song emulates the spirit of rock and grunge music that is reminiscent of Pearl Jam, REM, Silverchair, Bush, Nickelback, Seven Mary Three, Fuel, Soundgarden or 3 Doors Down. Fans of Veilside should definitely encourage the band to shoot a video for the song to give it an opportunity for even better on-line exposure.

Veilside takes part in various interviews, visits NAMM and posts cool contests periodically on their social networks (like "How many guitars can you see in this picture?") to hold the attention of their fans in-between recording upcoming new releases. The musicians are great supporters of children's charities and also host the annual Breaking the Silence autism benefit show. This band plays a lot of gigs, so be sure to check them out live because according to them, you just may meet that 'someone special' at a Veilside show.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock Magazine , March 14th, 2012)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

15 March, 2012

Raftree - What I Say

Raftree - What I Say (song review) |self-released, The Long Way, 2009| 5/5

The song “What I Say” was released on the debut Raftree album entitled "The Long Way" and becomes memorable after the very first listening. This is possible thanks to repetitive instrumental parts that are utilized to build the song structure. However, if you listen closely to the sound of every instrument involved, you will be able to pick out a few intriguing parts played on bass (Scott Jackson), drums (Vincent Livolsi) and guitars (Paul J. Baccash) which break into melodic recurrence with interesting episodes; once a guitar solo, then a unisono, where emphatic vocals interlace with grasping guitar riffs. The musicians compliment each other's playing, but also the song construction allows for their own separate talents to show. If they ever decided to make guest appearances on releases from other artist their musicianship would most certainly guarantee them to be welcomed with open arms.

Hailing from New Jersey, Raftree seems to have their own music style which contains the guitar driven musical influences of the last few decades, however they have their own distinct sound. “What I Say” sounds very 'American Rock' because of the vocals and guitar riffs. Also, it is short enough for the purposes of commercial radio play and long enough to get the most out of it.
This song is the perfect solution if you like solid and predatory heavy rock in conjunction with interestingly arranged bass lines, professional yet not intrusive guitar riffs, well laid drum beats and Ken Raftree's strong voice, who sings naturally without leaning on the auto-tuning trend as many modern vocalists sometimes do.
Are your seat belts on? Volume set loud enough? All right, let's go then! (Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, August 7th, 2011)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Tooms - When Two Worlds Collide

Tooms - When Two Worlds Collide |Tooms, 2011| 4/4

1. Head Bang / Head Crash, 2. Silence The Colossus, 3. Cutting Faces

Tooms is a British band, established in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2011. However, the musicians have spent over 10 years in the music industry and in hardcore-metal bands like Upon All (where the guitar player Phil Van D hails from) and Blunt Wound Trauma (of which Idene Roozbayani – vocals, Eddie Liddle – vocals and Karl Pryor – drums were members of). The sound of both bands has had an impact on their collective new project.

When Two Worlds Collide is a demo containing three tracks which overpower an unsuspecting listener with dynamics and crossovers of rage that are underlined by broken electronics reminiscent of jungle or breakcore.
However, it should be noted that such original connections do not cause any dissonance. This manner of songwriting should help Tooms earn acceptance from fans of the above mentioned styles, but does not limit their potential of appealing to a wider demographic. Breakcore (as well as drum'n'bass) has been utilized by bands from the United States industrial scene such as Acumen Nation, while British acts such as Pitchshifter have been smuggling similar ideas into their tunes since the 1990's. It is refreshing to hear these elements of sound that do not seem to be extensively explored or popularized yet.

The opening track entitled “Head Bang / Head Crash” is kept in both hardcore and breakcore moods, with biting vocals from Eddy Liddle and Idene Roozbayani that come across as if they are pointing fingers at the misguided in every little corner of the world. The song is dominated by intensive dynamics that are largely based on guitar riffs, but broken with electronica that is layered either in the background or below the riffs. The guitars are as noisy as machine gun fire, but certainly may be welcomed by listeners who prefer to get jammed by to-the-point vibes or those who are hooked into the rhythm first.

The following song entitled “Silence The Colossus” begins with phat beats joined by flat-spread guitar riffs. This mixture meets with screaming vocals, then carry them away until they lift up like a roller-coaster while a unique tempo slows down until it seems it cannot fall any longer. The tempo then smashes down for a while, until it mildly stops long enough to let the listener switch into a stressless state before going to the next track.

The last song on this demo reminded me of classic visions reflecting the turmoil of Purgatory. It is laden with diabolical vocals and guitar riffs mixed with rough but dynamic electronics. The dominating rhythm and heavy moods in “Cutting Faces” stands out among the rest of Tooms songs. The methods are still harmonic and take the imagination to place where horses run, but from the inside of a twister where the remnants of things rise and tumble, constantly spinning. It is not clear to the listener when this tornado weakens or what direction it moves to next.

Tooms lyrics do not seem to point at specific reasons for aggression, but may mirror some of the every day frustrations faced by fans of music. The compositions are not easy to remember. This is mainly due to the complicated arrangements, but we are talking about non-pop music after all.
It seems that British musicians like experimenting. Thanks to this need to push boundaries there have been a few meaningful styles of music created so far. The sound of Tooms may need a specified label sooner or later because it is not really possible to avoid categorizing. On the other hand, a correct classification will help fans to better identify with the band and improve the possibilities to be found online, either by those researching music catalogs or looking up music social networks and browsing available genres.

Idene Roozbayani along with Karl Pryor wrote and produced the songs which were grabbed from their EP and placed on When Two Worlds Collide, while Thomas McLaughlin mastered the demo. “Head Bang / Head Crash”, “Silence the Colossus” and “Cutting Faces” will be re-recorded and should be released on the upcoming Tooms album near the end of 2011.
The music is original and thankfully not a mixture of popular styles. This may be the formula that will attract several significant followers and drive them towards the bands sound in the near future. (Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, August 11th, 2011)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews


Hess&Franzen – {CLOSEDLOCKEDSEALED} |Hess&Franzen, 2011| 4/4

1. Quick Space Threat, 2. Gobi Desert Search For SS Cotopaxi, 3. Three Stripes, 4. Mantis, 5. China Inox, 6. Doomsday Device, 7. When I Get Out Of This Place, 8. Words Mean Nothing, 9. Magic Cat

Hess&Franzen is a new British-Brazilian duo that are undoubtedly likely to blast their careers through the roof. They are already on their way to establishing a meaningful position on the progressive rock and metal music scenes thanks to their debut release.
South American passion and British originality rub together surrounded by harmonic arrangements and guitar riffs. The moods are familiar to soundtracks and are anything but usual on {CLOSEDLOCKEDSEALED} since the compositions remain instrumental.

A pulsating siren opens the album with the song "Quick Space Threat". The intro soon resonates with bass guitar and industrial samples. This motif is then grabbed by a guitar that drives a listener into the actual composition.
Such a dense match up of instruments (bass, guitars, drums and keyboards) creates exalted, yet aggressive moods that recall music of Dream Theater.
Hess&Franzen has a certain talent for composing passages between the following songs, so the listener gets the first foretaste in the end of "Quick Space Threat".

"Gobi Desert Search For SS Cotopaxi" begins quite sneakily, then gears up with speed and power like a lion hunting for an unaware antelope. The song construction is typical for progressive music with a randomly changing tempo, looped guitar riffs, vibrating low tuned bass and cooling keyboards. The track keeps evolving into a very interesting direction that remains in accordance to the original arrangement ideas so that it is coherent and solid. A quick dynamic ending riff transfers the listener into the next song entitled Three Stripes.
Insanity lays herein. A rhythm is built upon drums and guitars then broken with dynamic bass and guitar in unison. The arrangement is also accented by a violin and keyboards that also include female vocals that inspire images of sand dunes from the Far East which then leads to an intriguing and beautiful song called "Mantis".

The intro of "Mantis" consist of drums, bass guitar and keyboards that dominate the composition. However, unidentifiable female whispers and matted synth passages take the ear into a different direction later on. Such a compositional mixture is perfect for a listener's imagination in ways which illustrate fantastic landscapes of distant planets as well as cryptic wildlife known from 80's science fiction magazines. The female vocals flow during the entire track and make it a very tempting addition.

After this quite peaceful song, "China Inox" comes next and is representative of progressive metal mixed with soundtrack moods. At first, the listener is surrounded by metaphysical atmospheres reminiscent of sounds originating from the Orient. There are also sounds of Brazilian romanticism mixed with European aggression. However, another part of the song takes ones imagination to the idea of Japanese Samurai Warriors engaged in a predatory ballet.

The following song on the tracklist, "Doomsday Device" speaks for the skill level of Hess&Franzen, mainly because it is full of vitality and fancy sounds that flourish with enriched riffs accented by drums and bass. A blaze of sound gets broken with keyboards to give it some royal dignity and cool down this hot, yet progressive ride. "Doomsday Device" is definitely the best song on this album. It is the most noticeable as well as memorable after the first listening and is undoubtedly a shining track during Hess&Franzen live shows.

"When I Get Out Of This Place" appears a little bit too fast and impatient, however it is yet another genuine composition which will attract progressive rock music fans to this new band. There are expressive, hard rock, RATT-esque guitar riffs and progressive keyboards known better from Marillion or Rush songs along with a bit of fun that is played with audio channels. Wait, there is more! When it seems all has been said and done, there is another catchy pearl coming out of the track and the following audio fireworks may very well smash a listener to the ground next.

The beginning of "Words Mean Nothing" recalls piano passages known from Nine Inch Nails songs, but the structure is enriched with ambient backgrounds as well as peaceful bass and purring drums. After this quite melancholic intro, there is a penetrating subtle guitar mosaic which diversifies the entire composition.

"Magic Cat" finishes the album with ambitious structures. Clear progressive sounds return with interchangeable dynamics and moments of bewilderment. This track will probably sound even better when played live, especially if Hans&Franzen does on stage improvisation. It is only six minutes long but seems to sound twice as long thanks to its many variations.

What surprises me the most from the entire {CLOSEDLOCKEDSEALED} release? Not just the title itself. Although this music was made by two musicians and not a five-piece band, it embodies a vigor of compositional talent as well as utilizing instrumentation that may seem to speak differently. Hans Hess (bass, synths, samplers) and Renan Franzen (guitars,bass, synths, samplers) are talented multi-instrumentalists who cooperate together on a far distance. Hess who lives in Bristol, UK and Franzen from Porto Alegre, Brazil bring viral proof that once good ideas and passion merge, it reaches for gold in contrast to musicians living in the same city who at times cannot come up with any good music at all.
Follow them for further ventures and expect more original compositions or probably even a single from a movie soundtrack too. (Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, 10/31/2011)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Bemol - Hopes for Tomorrow

Bemol - Hopes for Tomorrow (song review) 4/5

Industrial music has many fans, but also has many enemies as well. Fans of the genre appreciate it for all the mechanical noises and rhythmic tempos. However, the genre is negatively criticized for being soulless, repetitive and simple. Industrial music first appeared in the mid-1970's and became commercialized two decades later for a larger market. Still, this original experimental form of music has been doing well regardless of whether it is popular or underground. The proof is easily found by listening to new music often created by solo composers.

Hopes for Tomorrow by Bemol can be placed somewhere between the experimental and commercial forms of industrial music. It is an electronic instrumental composition based on continuous metallic drums which make the skeleton of the song. This construction gets dressed up with a variety of other sounds and if you listen closely there is either a Hammond-esque or perhaps Theremin involved in driving the song as well. However, such a trance like arrangement seems to be missing any 'spice' in it and lacks an intriguing intro and outro; it just starts and ends, but it may have been Bemol's desired approach of artistic expression.
Other than that there are no human or machine voices included. This song may be best suited to be used as a background score for independent movies or choreographed visually with creative videos played on big screens during Bemol's live performances. (NINa, 10/13/2011)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Arkayan - Scarecrow

Arkayan - Scarecrow |Arkayan, The Marsh Chapel Experiment EP, 2012| 5/5

This quite new Australian band established in 2009 may get thrust into the limelight of the prime time progressive rock scene thanks to ear-friendly compositions which do not lack hard rock guitar riffs.
After releasing Away From The World in 2010, the musicians of Arkayan have been working on new songs.
One of the new songs entitled "Scarecrow" will be put on The Marsh Chapel Experiment EP that is scheduled for release in January 2012.

"Scarecrow" begins with nice guitar sounds simultaneously accompanied by drums, bass and a second guitar. Then the vocals join in. There is unmistakable potential hidden in Jon Mazzardis' characteristic voice which can be compared to Scott Stapp (Creed) or Chad Kroeger (Nickelback), but he misses their accented "hoarseness" which is a plus in his favor. Jon proves he can sing in both low and high tones which add impact and clarity.
Rachellina Santella supports him with her backing vocals which make this hard rock oriented song sound more subtle. The song lyrics are visual and seemingly speak about human relationships.

If you listen closely to other songs by Arkayan that can be found on their ReverbNation profile, you will notice one simple rule – there is no aggression or other negativity, just positive moods but the band doesn't hold back from incorporating heavy guitar riffs either.
This technique applies to "Scarecrow" as well, in which the song construction is based on repetitive motifs. However, there is agility between the two guitar players whom apply skilled techniques into the rhythm to avoid monotony. Additionally, the drums were placed somewhere behind the other instruments in the mix. This allowed for a decrease of dynamics brought by groovy bass lines which dominate this song in a few spots.

Four talented musicians comprise the line-up of Arkayan: Jon Mazzardis (vocals, guitar), Niall Ridgeway (guitar), Djan Irianto (drums) and Raq Santella (harmonies). Some of them played in other music projects; Rachellina was co-working with DeadLock (renamed to The Book Of Lilith later), while Niall and Jon were headbanging in a band called Fractious. When it comes to bass, Dan Bruce took part in recording the bass parts for "Scarecrow", but it seems that the band is now looking for a new bass player (as of November 2011).

Since there are no miracles on the modern music scene, the success of the band lays in their own hands. Their future is wholly dependent upon listener interaction combined with intensive EP promotion as well as making proper choices while seeking support acts for the purpose of live shows. The music of Arkayan speaks for itself, so finding useful and reliable contacts shouldn't be a problem. (Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, 11/28/2011)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Stone Sonic - Evolution

Stone Sonic - Evolution (song review) |self-released, Not Your Typical High, 2011| 5/5

Stone Sonic hails from sunny California, where guitar driven music has always done very well. Californian musicians are well known for creating compositions which do not miss compelling songwriting elements while not being overloaded with sounds. It could be said they are the perfect structures, where verses and choruses appear in the right spots to hook you in and keep in time.

The most specific feature of guitar driven music is that it doesn't get old as quickly as electronica does. Of course, any sensitive ear can catch subtle differences in sound between metal such as Queensryche from the 80's compared to the present sound, however it is the progress of technology which determines these changes in production quality.
Stone Sonic makes their compositions based on hard rock, groove and continuously evolving progressive metal in the vein and continuity of Velvet Revolver, The Cult, Mother Love Bone or Disturbed who are amongst their inspirations.
Stone Sonic recently released a song called "Evolution" that appeared on the album Not Your Typical High.

The track is opened by Brooks Ramsdell playing hard rock guitar solos along with a rhythm guitar supported by the music of Randy Bridges (bass) and Steve Coulthard (drums) in an alluring display of harmonic cooperation.
After this intro, Gerry de Leon takes charge of the song by accenting the very first word of every verse with a specific vocal pattern. His razor sharp voice allows him to chop the song into equal parts. The vocals fit well into the melodies and are completed by guitar solos with the support of the rhythm section and a solid groove.

There are a few well known features which determine a majority of music listeners interest in paying attention to a specific song. A listeners choice may come from a correspondence between the songs vibe and the style guidelines of their preferred field of music due to its influence on brainwaves. Duration also becomes ideal in this context, especially surrounding vocals and repetitive parts with the most ideal time being around 4 minutes. Musical skills, vocal talent, rhythm and dynamics all must conspire appropriately to produce harmonic arrangements and dynamic atmospheres.
Last but not least, there are accents on certain parts of a song like solos, overdubs and final mastering that speak for the quality of a song. This formula makes for good promotion which can be done easily with the use of today’s social networks.

"Evolution" complies with all above compositional standards and has a probable chance to become a radio hit. It’s a song which can be compared to a living organism, with its blood flowing strong and healthy stable heartbeat. (Katarzyna ‘NINa’ Górnisiewicz, +Fabryka Magazine January 12th, 2012)

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Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Joel Smith Project - Temporary

Joel Smith Project - Temporary (song review) |self-released, Adam's Awakening, 2011| 5/5

A sensitive ear will classify Joel Smith to a group of musicians who are true musicians right after the first listening. He was born with music and he carries music within himself. He knows how to create interesting arrangements, how to efficiently manipulate the sounds between the silence to obtain specified effects and build an atmosphere around his music thanks to these skills. Joel also knows how to use inspirations (mentioning Metallica, Soundgarden, Incubus and Rage Against the Machine amongst all) to avoid copying.

“Temporary" is a solid rock masterpiece released on the Adam's Awakening album in 2011. Guitars, drums and bass collaborate together to intentionally make a quite dirty garage sound that is present in refrains. It's possible to ‘see' through the song and its structures, however there's always something unexpected that comes up to positively surprise the listener.
Many guitarists show off with their solo playing which makes their songs sound more like “how-to" workshops rather than music to enjoy. Joel's solos are short and harmonized with a path drawn by the rhythmic section.

When it comes to the vocals, everything is sung within scale as far as you can tell. For many vocalists it takes special training or hear-and-repeat skills to be able to adjust one's voice to the predispositions offered by the structure of the music. Joel wins with a nice rock sounding voice here. Such styles can be heard in several songs performed predominantly by female singers, whose voices sound similar to Sandra Nasić (Guano Apes) or Sheryl Crow.
The lyrics point out transitory and temporality attributes of an event. They fluently and rhythmically match the music which is supported with well thought out song construction and instrumental parts placed logically. In fact, you may hear the vocals in your head while merely reading the lyrics.

This true musician can be recognized by his passion and modesty, a general rule towards being successful. This Californian singer, bass player and guitar player doesn't endlessly shout on his social network profiles: "Buy my music now because I'm the best!!!" He also doesn't collect on-line friends like vouchers for further commercial use. He does however write music and awaits those listeners who can't get his dynamic compositions out of their heads.

"Temporary" is a song with a soul. How did Joel make it? Check out the song yourself. A free download can be grabbed from the Joel Smith Project ReverbNation profile along with other great tracks.
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, January 19th, 2012).


Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Angel/PhantomX - Cry Baby

Angel/PhantomX - Cry Baby (song review) |self-released, D.I.C., 2011| 4/5

Initiatives of social unity and improvement upon communication are driven by the Yin & Yang symbol as well as new age styles that seem to stand behind the music of an American project called Angel/PhantomX. This name stands for one man, two minds and controversial expressions.

The ideas from this artist touch the present state of human communication – competitive, greedy, selfish and isolated people bound to their computers, cellphones and other electronic gadgets as well as social networks, between whom natural speech becomes non-existential. Angel/PhantomX creates music to make others see their bad habits and attract like-minded people who need to identify with this goal. To make this happen, this DIY composer and producer released an album called D.I.C. (Dysfunctional Insane Communication) which can be purchased on his official website and has also finalized a world wide distribution deal through the Italian based label, DavidDance.

A song from this album titled „Cry Baby” is a mixture of a few styles of music which gives it quite an original flavor.
On top of that, you can hear reggae rhythms with soothing, rocking atmospheres, almost like a lullaby.
The title, along with the way the vocals are performed may suggest that the song could be useful to calm crying kids who throw tantrums to draw attention to themselves. It may be also an allusion towards the modern emo culture. On the other hand, there are heavier guitar riffs looped into the refrains which make the song roll on. Additionally, the structure of „Cry Baby” is based on repetitive parts which make it easier to remember the hooks.

Now, because a sincere critique brings more good for the future than sweet lies, there is one little minus which should be mentioned as well.
The song doesn’t have an intro, it just starts playing. The same thing happens with the ending – it cuts off quickly. This may be due to the song being a part of an extended presentation, not yet prepared for individual play as a single. Even though this is not a big deal in regards to the goals of the song, it technically sounds like the core structure is missing these two parts.

Other than that, the idea of opening people’s eyes for natural, previously used, but presently ignored methods of communication may mean more for Angel/PhantomX than this little disadvantage mentioned above. Let’s wish Angel/PhantomX good luck with all of his endeavors!
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, January 20th, 2012)

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Chopp Devize - Seperate Ways

Chopp Devize - Seperate Ways (song review) |Numinous Productions, Illegal Aliens, 2012|

Rating: 5 of 5
Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews on Oct 21.

With new rap and rock orientated songs, Chopp Devize may join a circle of well known bands such as the Beastie Boys, Methods of Mayhem or Limp Bizkit. Listening to such a well written song that includes awesome guitar riffs simply makes you want to hear more.

Creating hybrids of a few different styles of music seems an ideal way to get the attention of a lot of different fans.
It may also become a chance to gain further exposure. If one style doesn’t reach a particular audience because it’s not quite popular at the moment, a song or an entire album can be arranged with pioneering styles that bring it to the attention of fans of other genres. Additionally, it’s a far more interesting format for presenting music rather than making remixes, which in fact doesn't bring anything new to music because the process is not about making new songs, but re-doing original versions.

“Seperate Ways” is a song which defines itself with the specific sound of motion that seems to flow out of Californian rock music mixed with strong rap influences made by musician and actor Chopp Devize. Hailing from Denver, CO and living in Florida for the past couple of years, Chopp is best known from a variety of hip-hop and rap music collaborations. However, this hybrid song that is to be released on the new album by Chopp Devize called Illegal Aliens in 2012 sounds like a serious step towards extending his talents to a new group of listeners.

The strength of hip-hop resides in building connections between artists so they can cross-promote each other. This broadens their music to new markets and gives their name further recognition. On the contrary, rock is a style of music chosen by individuals, polarizing between rockstars and cockstars, who either cooperate or compete. A conjunction of guitar driven music (rock, metal) with rap or hip-hop seems to be a good answer to the temporal ‘death’ of the styles. These genres hold very similar dynamics, so mixing them correctly can bring astonishing results. To make this happen successfully, one needs to have serious ‘know-how’ about the specific arrangements of the above mentioned styles of music.

The initial rhythm in “Seperate Ways” gives a foretaste of the dynamics available across the entire song. A nice guitar riff joins the beat next, then Chopp’s vocals recall styles of Eminem. It almost gives the listener the sensation of jumping on a wild animal. The choruses have hooks that are sure to compel listeners to memorize them at once, moreover, the core rhythm will stay with them long after the song stops playing.

This rapcore track is filled with syncopations among the choruses along with hooky, rock vocals. It has all the chances possible to become a major hit, either on radio or television. Positive atmospheres, good performance and production along with simple, but effective ideas make this song really attractive.
If Chopp Devize hasn’t recorded a video for this song yet, he should make it happen as soon as possible and promote ”Seperate Ways” in a visual format on-line. This song needs a fantastic video.

Chopp Devize has a passion for singing and public performance as well as a very social attitude. This will definitely go a long way to draw the attention of proper collaborators as well as a strong fanbase. With new rap and rock orientated songs, Chopp Devize may join a circle of well known bands such as the Beastie Boys, Methods of Mayhem or Limp Bizkit. Listening to such a well written song that includes awesome guitar riffs simply makes you want to hear more.
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, January 26th, 2012).

(No public preview of this song is available yet but keep checking out his website and profiles below).

Reviewed by Google+ Music Reviews

Smoke & Mirrors - Gates Of Hell

Smoke & Mirrors - Gates Of Hell (song review) |self released, Gates Of Hell, 2011| 5/5

This American quartet from Minnesota called Smoke & Mirrors was established by Justin Von Rueden (bass), Benjamin Leff (drums) and KC Jones (guitar, vocals) in 2009. Guitarist Alex Ziemann joined the band more recently. Together they released an EP entitled Gates Of Hell in 2011 which boosted their on-line and concert activities. Smoke & Mirrors has kept climbing towards their scheduled goals ever since.

The title song from this EP brings the moods of rock and blues ballads with heavy accents coming from a fusion of guitar and bass. Guitar solos appear in the second part of the song and they vitalize this composition along with the vocals. A peaceful tempo and classical arrangements stand for an interesting espionage towards the feel of 70’s hard rock and should be loved by those of you searching for new bands inspired by such tunes.
The track is additionally spiced up with the grunge vibes and vocals reminiscent of Bush or Creed.
The song sounds memorable and its lyrics touch the subject of feelings, making emotional decisions, missing aspects, suffering and having a broken heart linked with all of the above.
”Gates Of Hell” was produced by Ian Carlson and mastered by Greg Rierson.

A band playing classic rock music doesn’t need to deal with a lack of acceptance when booking shows or festivals, in contrast to artists who represent very new and little recognized music genres. The same thing happens with grunge as mentioned above, which has probably been the last revolution in the history of rock music so far. Both styles have been attracting listeners that can be seen as well on the club performance videos Smoke & Mirrors has published on YouTube.

If you recommend rock, metal or blues music, you shouldn’t forget to express your interest towards this band. ”Gates Of Hell” takes a bit more than 4 minutes to listen to. This is the reason why it may perfectly fit any thematic radio or TV show as well as podcast. Profiles for Smoke & Mirrors can be found on most well known social networks. Be sure to look up their EP on iTunes.
(Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, January 25th, 2012)

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Joel Smith Project - What He's Leaving Behind

Joel Smith Project - What He's Leaving Behind (song review) |self-released, Adam's Awakening, 2011| 5/5

The second song on the Adam's Awakening album released by the Joel Smith Project in 2011 brings both hooky and groovy rock’n'blues vibes.

The dominating sound of “What He's Leaving Behind” is based on guitars and the nice sounding rock voice of Joel, which completes in harmony with both the rhythmic and solo riffs. You can hear a drum kit in the background as well, which in fact opens the song with quite an oriental sounding beat.

Listening to “What He's Leaving Behind” feels like consorting with life in a hot open space. You may feel the heat of sun rays on your skin or you may see people walking leisurely with dust furling upwards from dried, compacted ground. You may see animals feeding in large fields, wind turbines and grain silos, a small local grocery store and a gas station, a freight train moving slowly on the horizon, a group of young people playing on drums and discussing some abstract topics. Finally, you may have a vision of a broad road with hot air eddying over it and a single truck passing you by.

Provided that the song melody brings all these good moods, the core of the lyrics may not sound so positive considering their subject matter. It’s very good poetic writing though, speaking about a man who deals with a lack of identity, who not only understands himself, but finds no meaning in his life either. He doesn’t do anything to change this state of existence; just gets into fights which ignite all of his troubles.

It may be tricky for many song writers to create the beginning and end of a song. It usually happens when they already have the core structure in place with a refrain and melody. The intro or outro then most often turns out either ordinary and boring or sounds a little distant in harmonic comparison to the rest of the recording.
Joel dealt with this issue by utilizing an interesting effect. He muted the song and repeated its ending. It could have been worked out differently as well, taking into consideration how the song began. Perhaps he made it this way because the original song was too long. Nevertheless, if a musician enjoys songwriting and gains listener’s who are happy too, then why not to let it roll for yet another minute? An unfortunate reality is that most radio stations and TV channels will pick a song short enough to comply with daily program scheduling time frames.

It’s clear that Joel can perfectly plan specified sections of his arrangements. He knows how to develop them and condense them further into the track. These skills can also be heard near the end of “What He's Leaving Behind”. The song has hit potential, so it should be provided to any meaningful media and could also be enriched with a bright video since the song delivers an even better perception. (Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 6th, 2012).

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The Particles - Taken Away

The Particles - Taken Away (song review) |self-released, Voices EP, 2011| 5/5

The Particles were founded in London, England by a multinational trio consisting of Ash, Nayla and Sabina. Thanks to their powerful mixture between hard-rock and ethnic sounds, much is being said about them.

Before you continue reading this review, you should watch the video for "Taken Away" (The Particles - Taken Away). It may just throw some light into how a group of people have, on their own and without any help or give-aways from the big lords in the industry, achieved success on the alternative music market. Taken Away has won many awards at various American and British film festivals. And it's not just the critics that love the music video. Its mystic symbolism and its post-apocalyptic vision of hell have touched audiences far and wide.

Let's move on to music. It's not really necessary to invent new electronic devices or upgrade well-known musical instruments to be able to create a new sound in rock music. Why not go for something that was used five thousand years ago in a completely different part of the world?
The instruments that await to be unearthed can be used in many ways: a few sounds may be used as samples (experimentally or played backwards) to fill in the background of a composition. An original resonance may become a part of an arrangement with a solo, or indeed counterpoint melodic and harmonic accents.

Ethnic motifs have been successfully incorporated into metal music before by bands like Sepultura, Nile or Avalon. However, it's a well-known fact that the more traces of ethnic sounds are found on an album, the more an artist will be associated with a scene that they do not necessarily want to be linked with. They find themselves in a bit of a pickle, then.
However, The Particles are not afraid of being labeled or "boxed". For whatever sounds influence them now, there's no guarantee that they'll always be there. For The Particles, music evolves. And as a band, they find nurture in as many backgrounds as possible. This is how they have colored this primarily rock driven track entitled "Taken Away" with Indian, Persian, Arabic and Turkish native instruments such as the Sitar, the Daf and the Ney.

This song opens Voices, their debut EP released in 2011. It's filled with one male and two female vocalists, while the singers Nayla and Sabrina sound much more predatory than Ash sometimes. The lyrics were written in an illustrative way, so "Taken Away" becomes memorable thanks to the melodies available in both the choruses and refrains. There's a high probability you won't get this song out of your head during the next few hours after playing it the very first time. The core of the song is based on elemental rock instruments (bass, guitar, drums). Interesting and contrasting guitar riffs stay in feedback with the vocals, while the whole thing is peppered with more-than-interesting Oriental spices.
The motifs played on the Sitar glue the two opposite sides of this well-thought-out and short song to make it silk-smooth.

In these days of multi-media information, to see is as important as it is to hear. The Particles clearly understand this, and the high-end visuals they use has made the Particles be perceived and memorialized as a part of the mystical world they create. Moreover, the band seems to be in the loop when it comes to opportunities to present their sound and visual effects to a wider public. Opportunities that help them build international recognition without resorting to the scandals that many other artists use as promotion.
Knowledge of the Internet, planning and constant activity undoubtedly help them reach out to new listeners. Experimenting with ancient instruments as well as forging new collaborations that broaden their range of artistic efforts should bring expected and highly anticipated results soon.
(Katarzyna ‘NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 10th, 2012)

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Rozich and Brailsford - String Theory

Rozich and Brailsford - String Theory (song review) |self-released, album title TBA, 2012| 5/5

If you think you've heard everything related to progressive music and listened to full discographies of such classic bands like ELP, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes and newer acts like Dream Theatre or Opeth, but at the same time you're not familiar with the name Rozich and Brailsford, then there's no reason to claim you've heard anything at all.

Not passion, but fury marks this instrumental song called "String Theory" which comes from the newest yet untitled album recorded by American musicians Rozich and Brailsford. It's a perfect track which can be compared to the most famous progressive music compositions, however it's directed to those of you who are not afraid to enjoy the heavier side of things.

At first, try to imagine a plasma ball with rays flashing in sync to noisy guitar riffs (similar to those best known from Robert Fripp's playing). Next, an avalanche of bass and drums are kept in the moods of progressive metal dominating this composition. After a while, the guitar riffs return and sound more controlled, replacing the drum and bass parts throughout the entire track. You can also hear synths typical for progressive rock music, which sometimes soothe these roaring sound cannonades.

The middle of the song sounds solid with all of the instruments collaborating together and accenting one another, however there are still dominating guitar riffs that take over the song. The dynamic of the bass lines can be compared to galloping horses, guitar riffs sound like lighting tearing through the night sky and drum beats like thunder while melodic synths sound like passages to rain. The spine of the composition is a cooperative rhythm section that keeps control far and away from chaos.

The end of "String Theory" it's a true duel between the musicians. The guitar player fires at the bass player when he rapidly replies, while the drum beat attacks them both from out of nowhere.
This musical fight is based on 'faster and stronger' rules because it may seem that the winner is the one who uses the moments of advantage best.
There is an intensity of emotions which marks this part of the composition that may also illustrate war, revenge, earthquakes, eruptions, tornadoes or sex. To understand it on a level of metaphysics – a perfect picture of the four elements – Air, Earth, Fire and Water with all their destructive characteristics and potential for damage.

Finally, a winning duo on the battleground is all that's left – Mike Rozich (guitar) and Gavin Brailsford (bass). The musicians met in 1981, though they've kept collaborating together on a distance for the past few years. Guitar techniques and shredding meet powerful passion and talent to make a meaningful composition. Both Rozich and Brailsford have great knowledge about progressive music, however you may catch the fact that they smuggled a few hybrid riffs better known from fusion rock, jazz and even math metal. Additionally, Mike played a seven string guitar in this song.

Regardless of the fact that Mike and Gavin's riffs speak for themselves, it'd be fantastic if they began shouting louder about their music, systematized the bands on-line identity and concentrated on a few meaningful social networks only. This method will collect the largest number of users and would help them find out more about Rozich and Brailsford along with sharing news about their music. Believe it or not, there's amazing music to recommend!
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 15th, 2012)

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Tim Medrek - Florida (for Laurie)

Tim Medrek - Florida (for Laurie) (song review) |self-released, single, 2012| 4/5

Tim Medrek is a guitarist who composes, records, mixes and publishes his own songs. He admits in his biography that he had been planning on writing songs and getting into the music business for many years now, but life choices and priorities directed Tim on different paths throughout his career.

This American musician who hails from Massachusetts came up with a calm classic rock song based on a melodic riff and a few interesting guitar solos. "Florida (for Laurie)" is an instrumental composition, so it allows listeners to focus on Tim's guitar playing skills.

In the beginning you can hear a beautiful, melodic riff with a gentle pulsing beat in the background. The music then redirects the listener into the next part of the composition where bass and drums additionally appear. Together they bring up atmospheres reminiscent of songs by Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd, both of whom are not quite casual stars of 70's rock music after all. Then, the hook of the song comprising the primary riff returns. There's a very well played sobbing guitar solo that comes in afterward which reminds me of the crafted playing styles of Carlos Santana (one of Tim's musical inspirations). This brings dynamics and puts genuine life into this composition at the same time. It's the most entertaining part of the song where Tim shows some of his best musical abilities.

Mixing and mastering are small minuses of "Florida (for Laurie)" however. Some parts are glued stiff which makes them seem to miss smooth transitions. Sudden cuts may be good for experimental music, but we are talking about classic rock styles here. Some parts of the song sound more like jamming rather than a tight arrangement and should possibly be trimmed. The ending also could have been slightly extended as well since Tim decided to utilize a fade out in the mix. All of which are an easy fix.

Overall, Tim Medrek brings interesting ideas and turns out to be a skilled guitar player. It's never too late to return to one's passions. His song "Florida (for Laurie)" should be welcomed by those of you who prefer to be surrounded by the vibes and spirit of the 60's and 70's classical rock and blues music genres. (Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 18th, 2012)


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Principal Spinach – Dirty Tommy

Principal Spinach – Dirty Tommy (song review) |self-released, Persistent Resistance, 2010| 5/5

If you can listen to music from a technical aspect you can usually tell if you come across trained, experienced musicians or self-taught amateurs and wannabes. In the case of the Los Angeles based band Principal Spinach both Gaelon Davis (bass, lead vocals) and Luis Briones (drums) belong to the first group of musicians because they are graduates from Musician's Institute in Hollywood, CA. You can totally hear the skills they learned while listening to their well composed and unique music. Moreover, it seems the goal of Principal Spinach was to create a maverick product and in this pursuit they have achieved success.

The song "Dirty Tommy" opens the bands first studio album called Persistent Resistance which was released in 2010. A dynamic funk rock mixture found in the music brings a brainstorm of ideas thanks to its diversity. It's not an easy-listening composition due to the technical arrangements, however the mathematics of "Dirty Tommy" build a unique character which is crucial to the songs cogency. The song is marked by various structures that can steal your appreciation through surprise. The bassist and lead vocalist Gaelon pushes firmly towards the use of solutions known better from funk music, but it doesn't stop there. He may solidify your heartbeat with his six string bass due to dense, slapped bass lines that replace drum beats often throughout the score.

Melodic parts are laden with strong accents that come out at times as well. It's clear that initiative, commitment, passion and high musical expertise as well as creative collaboration speak for this song. The musicians skillfully use the influences of the funk genre as mentioned above as well as those of classic rock. Besides, they experiment with the sound on their own terms and this is why you may enjoy not only the solid structures, but the spiritual moods that are brought on by swinging guitar riffs.

Uniqueness, independence and technical skills equal strong values. It seems like Principal Spinach have already worked out their own original style. Since they do not seem to copy other artist there is still a chance that they may be followed by copycats in the future since their sound is so compelling. Songs like "Dirty Tommy" usually fall into rock music history if they receive the appropriate support. This is what Principal Spinach may need fans of their music to outwardly express since the band has already proven that they have given 100%.

If you like bands such as Peeping Tom, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, Living Colour, Incubus, Primus or Mr. Bungle, "Dirty Tommy" by Principal Spinach will definitely draw your attention. Keep in mind they'll release a limited EP at the beginning of March 2012 in preparation for their 2nd album to be put out at the end of March/early April this year.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 18th, 2012)


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Rachael Please – The Corruptor

Rachael Please – The Corruptor (song review) |Retro Virus Records, The Corruptor EP, 2012| 4/5

Rachael Please is a one man project based in Thayer, Missouri whose song "The Corruptor" brings a fresh blend of vibes inspired by alternative, but yet unnamed styles of music.

The title song from the newest EP called The Corruptor is not an easy solution to make your day come and go. It's a distorted composition due to angry, sarcastic and negative moods resulting from a cloud of dirty and noisy guitar riffs. The song is full of contrasts while monotone parts get broken with high pitched guitars, well put drums and hidden sampling as well as specific vocals - once aggressive, then moaning. In fact, the accents are put on atmospheres and vocals rather than building ascension and dynamics.
There is a very good, devilish industrial metal part included as well and this pretty much speaks for the band both in terms of skills and possibilities. I just wish it lasted longer or at least appeared again later in the song.

You will also hear a lot of experimentation with the instruments – many strange sounds and somewhat scary piano. This is because this band seemingly wishes to pursue and represent something new and creative. Rachael Please (guitar, vocals, programming, production, lyrics) introduces himself with this female-related nickname and moreover, you can see him dressed like a woman or a bloody psycho in some promotional pictures. He makes music with guest contributors such as Davey Kanabus (drums) and Michael Kemp (guitar), however there are also other names related to the bands many different releases. Track them down on their website and social profiles to be completely sure.

The music of Rachael Please is however difficult to determine. A lot of artists don't want to be categorized for many reasons. Nevertheless, it may be quite important to identify with one that most closely represents the styles of music related to the products target audience just so that they may be found and recommended on music related social networks or on-line stores through a 'similar artists' option. In the case of Rachael Please, it would be difficult to find such similarities, although the band Stayte might appear to be the closest 'neighbor'. Moreover, 'industrial rock' or 'alternative rock' may be the best to draw interest, though still not purely matching in terms of genres to possibly describe the music of Rachael Please.

It seems like Rachael Please is attracted (still far from copying) to the music of such 'self-destructive' artists as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson or Smashing Pumpkins. They were some of the most meaningful rock bands back in the 90's and such 'suicidal' attitudes granted them a constant flow of fans and attention. This 'tormenting' element can be found in the song "The Corruptor" too. On the other hand, you may also catch some connections reminiscent of David Bowie's vocal interpretations.

Overall, it's difficult for a band that is quite new to have a good start on Facebook, so give Rachael Please as many 'Likes' and listens as they can handle before they commit a spectacular display of seppuku ritual suicide that will make you miss them on the music scene later on.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 27th, 2012)

PS. A limited quantity of The Corruptor EP will be released on February 29th, 2012 in the USA, then on March 17th, 2012 worldwide. The EP features singles from albums by Rachael Please such as The Corruptor along with Purveyor of Destruction as well as few other non-album additions.

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Emblema – Keep Out From Me

Emblema – Keep Out From Me |DaMa StudioS, 2011|
Rating: 4 of 5

1. Break the Cover 3:40
2. Justified 3:02
3. Trashing Smashing 3:06
4. Rusting All 3:12
5. Keep Out From Me 3:10
6. All Day Off 3:21
7. A Step Ahead 3:08
8. Cut Them Entirely 3:51

The fourth album from the Italian rock band Emblema titled Keep Out From Me brings positive moods. They come from subtle compositions influenced by both European and American pop-rock as well as alternative guitar driven music. A listener may also catch some references to 70's rock spiced up with dirty sounding of guitar riffs that were popularized by the grunge scene twenty years later.

The bands line-up consists of Stefano Massari (vocals), Andrea Piemonti (guitar), Massimo Baldini (bass) and Carlo Lastrucci (drums). Good collaboration between all of them comes not only from their skills, but also from the fact they have known each other for many years. These musicians had been gathering musical experience in different bands until 2004 when they decided to establish Emblema.

The arrangements on Keep Out From Me have been built with the use of classic verse-chorus-verse methods. Songs like "Justified", "Keep Out From Me" and "Day Off" are dynamic, while "Break The Cover", "Trashing Smashing", "A Step Ahead" and "Cut Them Entirely" interlace with the others to carry more melodies. A smooth, well planned tracklist eases the listening process as well. Additionally, there is a very attractive groove slapped bass line at the beginning of the track "Rusting All" which dominates this part of the song, however it would be even cooler if it had been invigorating the music throughout the entire track until the very end.

The lyrics were written and performed in English which undoubtedly allows for further reception and promotion of the album worldwide. Some of the songs speak about social and behavioral issues, though they are seemingly targeted towards an individual rather than any distinct group of people. This is a quite common subject matter in Italian poetry.
To give you a few examples, "Justified" criticizes a society which prefers to act blind and muted to a worsening economy, unfair capitalistic practices, consumer protection cheats, bankers and drug mafia cartels that grow wealthier while exhibiting ignorance towards expendable employees or desperate acolytes who earn little money and are not provided with health insurance.
The title song "Keep Out from Me" is about a man who has lost interest in the world surrounding him. Due to a lack of obtainable goals he becomes a frequent visitor to several club and bar scenes, getting drunk, playing pool and picking up the local girlies. On a positive note, "Day Off" refers to the eye opening experience of traveling around the world and taking part in various activities such as a walk through Sahara in July or dinner in South America, thermal baths with a volcano for a view, bungee jumping and finally, gambling in Las Vegas.
Other lyrics, like the ones written for "Cut Them Entirely", "Break The Cover", "Rusting All" and "A Step Ahead" seem to bring some hidden context that can be decrypted only by their authors (Andrea Piemonti - Stefano Massari). Unfortunately, the English translation includes a few mistakes in grammar, so those familiar with the language may dig into the lyrics and feel a bit confused at first.

When it comes to Stefano's style of singing, his voice is rather high, semi-male/semi-boyish in type (Brian Molko from Placebo may be a good reference) and brings out his native Italian vocal tones. An English native speaker must remember however that Italian, French, Arabic and Slavic languages have accents that are very difficult to be replaced when it comes to English translations. So in fact, an Italian accent may be an advantage in terms of the recognition and uniqueness of music composed by Emblema.

Every track from the Keep Out From Me album is deserving of radio play. The music may fulfill the expectations of indie, guitar driven pop and alternative rock listeners. These compositions are kept in a well known, soothing, classical vibe that is devoid of many experimental sounds and unexpected moments. Thanks to this, the album has a chance to get through to a majority of people who are not typically interested in listening to abstract musical solutions, but prefer solidly arranged yet easy listenable songs.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, March 12th, 2012).

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The Minutians - What's Wrong With My Car (feat. Nicole)

The Minutians - What's Wrong With My Car (feat. Nicole) (song review) |self-released, 2012| 5/5

Who are The Minutians? The original name, known as Koropokkuru comes from the Japanese islands where it was first used in the folklore of an ethnic group called the Ainu. It was meant as a term of classification for an ancient race of people who were very short in height. Over 10 years ago the idea was borrowed by television cartoon creators who used the Japanese term of koropokkur. This was subsequently translated into English as The Minutians and was incorporated into animated series such as manga Shaman King and was utilized to illustrate a lilliputian group of ghosts or miniature aliens as pictured in My Life as a Teenage Robot.

The Minutians are an American band that seem to balance on the edge of making music with a comedic context for fun that is cleverly mixed with heavy and aggressive songwriting.
The song "What's Wrong With My Car" was recorded by the band, but not yet released on an album. This track doesn't begin with an intro, however it seems to start from a variation of the chorus. Moreover, the entire composition appears as if it was based on all sorts of interjected choruses placed in segments where verses are normally located. It's an original solution that goes beyond the typical recording process and was seemingly composed with intention.

Regardless of the fact that this collage of sounds is based on vocals, guitars, drums and bass it also brings with it some associations to rebellious music that has been on the hit list over the last three decades. It should be noticed that The Minutians tend to create their own style independently from any possible inspirations. Arrangements that are often used in metal music give the song additional dynamics, but the female background vocals pacify the anger.

Perfect collaboration between the musicians speak volumes towards their high aspirations. The band is currently located in Philadelphia, PA and includes members Matt C. Morgan (guitar, vocals), Gary Clements (drums, vocals, harmonica) and Joe Harris (bass, vocals). As you can see, each of the members perform vocals which is not a typical practice for a rock band.

This composition is a revival of diversified moods that draws attention to from the very first listen and becomes easily memorable due to catchy songwriting. If you're looking for a refreshing sound that sets itself apart from mainstream music of the past 30 years, then "What's Wrong With My Car" may be a good choice. This song sounds fun!
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, March 12th, 2012)

Rating: 5 of 5

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