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19 April, 2013

Malcolm Tollan - What Will I Do Without You

Malcolm Tollan - What Will I Do Without You (song review) |Texas Rose Records, The Malcolm Tollan Project, Vol. 4, 2011| 4/5

It's not a secret that music has its biggest impact during the teenage years or at least into early your 20's. Then your taste turns to more specific tunes or genres which could still change years later, yet you continue to return to the songs you loved as a youngster. Even though they may sound old-school these days. These specific songs touched a hidden part of you back then and now let you reconnect with your younger, emotional ego. Regardless whether the songs bring good or bad memories, they're always about the intense issues you faced in your past.

If you grew up in the 70’s and still miss the Hippie culture, you can jump back into that time again by listening to "What Will I Do Without You" without needing to dust off any old LPs. It’s a beautiful ballad kept in a vibe of rock and blues music. Every part of this composition appears soothing to the ears. From the slow tempo and classic arrangements through Hendrix & Santana-esque plaintive guitar riffs, to soft drum beats and warm bass lines. In addition, singer David Black vocals stay in a perfect match with memorable and repetitive arrangements.

The ending phrases of the song with leading guitar tunes and keyboards in the background even sound a bit Progressive. It seems to be a popular and effective method to end such a composition. Making the final part of a track can be a challenge for a songwriter or composer. However the American-born Malcolm Tollan can be called an expert after 50 years as a songwriter, first inspired by The Beatles who triggered his interest in a music career. You'll find this influence in his other work too.

The main feeling brought up by this track is loneliness, therefore "What Will I Do Without You" sounds like a perfect fit for a movie soundtrack as well. It could accompany romantic love scenes, a lone highway drive or any classic cinema moments. Moreover, the same theme holds a sentiment towards by-gone events. This way, the song could illustrate one's past happy days played out in slow motion and supported by original, scratched and torn photographs.

"What Will I Do Without You" is an interesting listening experience whether you wish to travel into the past or if you prefer to discover further plains.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, March 18th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)
This review on Fabryka Magazine


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

08 April, 2013

Paper Dolls - Quietly Killed

Paper Dolls - Quietly Killed (song review) |self-released, DILF Parade, 2012| 3/5

American duo Matthew 'Sosam' Banks and Ramon 'Saysong' Madera founded Paper Dolls in 2012. Despite the young age of the band, the musicians have recorded two albums so far - DILF Parade which is still available for a free download, and the recently released, Here's To Getting On With It: Part One. Beyond that the band publishes new songs weekly, appearing to either be following the new Indie DIY business method or simply enjoying their own creativity.

"Quietly Killed" was released on DILF Parade. The song is built upon repetitive and simplified arrangements and falls into a Punk genre definition. However, there's some duality in Paper Dolls’ music. The seemingly airy, chaotic and hallucinatory mood of the song results from solid calculation. While a dirty guitar continuously fills the entire track (with a few solos), the bass and drums work well together keeping the listener focused on a tense but jumping rhythm. The musicians are tight and perform very well together on this composition.

Most of Paper Dolls’ songs including "Quietly Killed" could be compared to early 80s music, presented by such bands as Sex Pistols, Joy Division, The Pixies, Sonic Youth and The Smiths. There are also echoes of Talking Heads when it comes to the vocals, performed in an "I'm high, I'm nervous and I'm lost" frame of mind, delivered by a fragile man.

On the downside, quality still matters. Apparently, a mastering concept chosen was to make "Quietly Killed" sound gritty. Sadly, only its quality feels lowered. As a result, the song fractures when played on a generic, domestic audio playback device. EQ settings may need adjustment to avoid buzzing and other harmonic distortion. Undoubtedly the cost of professional mastering may seem too expensive for the average musician, but good quality mastering can let a song keep its 'garage-like' quality without making it sound poor. Since Paper Dolls may have a chance to become a New Artist Discovery, hopefully they can find a way to cover such an expense through fundraising possibilities.

This band hasn't played any shows yet but it seems the musicians are looking to match opportunities. Be sure to visit their Reverbnation and Jango pages for fresh updates.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 5th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

Phil G Band - Reality

Phil G Band - Reality (song review) |self-released, Eureka, 2013| 4/5

Phil Gibbons (guitar, vocals) and Marco Degiorgi (lead guitar) who founded the Phil G Band have been playing music for many years. However, both band members don't seem to be too desperate to become rock stars or in the least, don't rely on making big money from the music industry. They work in Saudi Arabia where they both compose and perform live for their own pleasure.
Since the British/Italian duo share similar music interests, a simple collaboration resulted in the recording of a whole album entitled, Eureka. For the purpose of recording it, Phil and Marco were accompanied by session drummer, Tom Hooper who at one time played with Grace Jones and Christian Garrick, also with a bass player known as, "The Gov". Matt Butler who is better known for his work with Paul McCartney, Phil Collins and Mick Jagger produced the album at Rockfields Studio.

Having well known names attached to a release is undoubtedly helpful in spreading the word about the band. Yet their music speaks well for itself too. This is a traditional sounding blues song; the vocals are soothing and match the composition and the song’s positive mood. The musicians seem to be sharing the same level of discipline, giving them strength in their performance. Neither leads ahead of the other up or shows off individual skills. The balance between vocal and instrumental parts seems to be equal.
"Reality" covers a topic of a happy relationship: "Feel your lips next to mine, Want you with me all the time, Is this real real". The lyrics are short, repetitive and therefore memorable.

When it comes to the musicians' influences, Phil cites The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Manic Street Preachers and Marvin Gaye, while Marco points out some no-less-famous 70s/80s artists including Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. "Reality" creates an atmosphere familiar to the music composed by these artists as well. If you like a traditional approach to music, you should definitely check the song out as well as the other compositions from Eureka.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 5th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine

Progressivenz - To The Wolf

Progressivenz - To The Wolf (song review) |self-released, single, 2011| 3/5

Rhys Williams is a songwriter and composer hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand who performs under the guise, Progressivenz. Since the city suffered an earthquake in 2010, his music has been related to this tragic event. However not exclusively, Rhys writes songs in support of people who struggle with personal drama.
He operates within a few different styles of music, so don't be surprised when a song fitting the Blues vibe is followed by a track with a touch of Electronica.

"To The Wolf" could fall under the category of Experimental Sound Design, but includes heavy guitar riffs. It's not arranged in a classic song structure. Instead you'll hear a 7 minute long composition, filled with multiple themes.

The track begins with gentle synths and modified vocals giving it an Electro/Pop motif, then followed by various sound effects. Rhys creates a mood of fear, with the feeling of a chase. There's a story coming out of it. You'll hear screaming kids, a howling wolf and a scared woman’s heavy breathing. These topics repeat until a heartbeat effect appears.
Later, the 'wolf's’ theme is replaced with a new part of the composition. Initially the keyboards dictate the rhythm, but after a while they’re joined by Heavy Metal guitar riffs, bass and drums. These give the track a new and aggressive energy with tight dynamics. A synthesizer that steals a listener’s attention for a moment accompanies the riffs, then the opening Electronica phrase and vocals return to end the composition along with the voices of howling wolves.

There are a few interesting ideas presented within "To The Wolf" but the entire composition hasn't been arranged terribly well. Rather than presenting a truly exhilarating song, it sounds more like a tutorial on how to utilize various sound effects and accompaniments. While guitars stay as the focal point of the track, the unstructured composition is missing a spine. It's too drawn out and too loose, despite repetitive motifs. Therefore it may leave a listener confused, as their attention hasn’t been drawn enough. A solid rhythm rolling throughout the entire composition could glue these seemingly separated parts.

A final note, it should be underlined that Rhys sounds like a skillful guitar player. Real Metal will never die nor lose fans, and yet Metal doesn't need any conceptual changes either. It'd be great if Rhys focused entirely on making heavy guitar driven tracks but avoided mismatching a few styles of music within a song.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, April 5th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)


Reviewed by Fabryka Music Magazine