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Week 39

Issue 29 - updated 19th September 2004

·Release of the week

Shadows Fall

·Other album this week

Bloodbath / Brian & Chris / Chesterwhite & His Orchestra / Dynah / Hayley Hutchinson / Jag Panzer / Lora / Mad Caddies / Marshall Star / Motion Pictured Demise / Pete “Big Dog” Fetters / Pete Teo / Quadruple / Rotting Christ / Slang / Steve Mayone / The Evolutionaries

·Singles/EP’s this week

Dann Russo / Highroad No. 28 /

 

·         All releases are out now unless otherwise noted

·         All reviews written by Hans Jįkup Eišisgarš

 

Release of the week:

 

Shadows Fall; The War Within

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Shadows Fall is perhaps the best example of a band combining the classic old school with the new school without ending up sounding melo-death, nu-metal, metalcore or anything like that. Instead they’re combining the past and the present with what’s about to become the future (NWOAHM). I am told that their previous album “The Art of Balance” was the first album on Century Media to pass the 100,000 copy sales-mark in the US. “The War Within” picks up where “The Art of Balance” left off, combining the old with the new sounding like a Metallica that never wussed out or like a farther looking back Killswitch Engage. If these guys break through to the mainstream real metal is back to stay, baby. (JJJJJ-) Release date: 20th September 2004

 

Other albums this week:

 

Bloodbath; Nightmares Made Flesh

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

For months I’ve been hearing people talk about the upcoming Bloodbath album. People seem to think that this is creme de la creme de la death metal, but for some reason I am not sharing this opinion. Sure this is well-played and all, but just because it features members of Katatonia, Opeth and other well-respected bands doesn’t mean that this is the shit right? See, here’s how I see it. Bands like Katatonia and Opeth have done outstanding albums in the past and both are seen as leaders within their fields, so in Bloodbath they just let loose and have a good time, playing something a lot less original and outstanding. Actually it’s quite straightforward and generic even. Technically this may be the work of a dream-team, but there’s really nothing you’ve haven’t heard before on here. (JJJ---) Release date: 27th September 2004  

 

Brian & Chris; 3

Dielectric Records

This is by far the most accessible album I’ve heard from Dielectric Records, but don’t be expecting anything just remotely chart-friendly here, though, as this is still music that needs some time to sink in. I thought this was an EP with its six songs, but it’s strongly pointed out in the press-release that this is the third full-length album from these guys, which makes sense after realising the length of the songs. Take some post-rock, some ambience, some jazz, some electronic stuff and mix it all together and, there you go, Brian & Chris ladies and gentlemen. Check out this link for some other truly different stuff: www.dielectricrecords.com (JJJJ--)   

 

Chesterwhite & His Orchestra; Chesterwhite & His Orchestra

Erroneous Records

The story of Donny Dkowsky, aka Chesterwhite, is a sunshine story. Although his life hasn’t been a bed of roses he came out on top and is now doing what he always wanted to do – fronting a rock n’ roll band. At the age of fifteen Chesterwhite already performed in bars and clubs and later he fronted a rock band on tour, but in 1998 he was diagnosed with cancer. While struggling with the disease he kept writing music, and being the survivor he is, the new debut-album from his new band, Chesterwhite & His Orchestra, is out now. Musically it’s a lot of glam rock, a little straight forward rock n’ roll and a little of that retro rock to go with it all. The press-release describes Chesterwhite & His Orchestra with T Rex, David Bowie and Chuck Berry, which is probably the closest description there is. (JJJJ--)  

 

Dynah; Dynah

Self-released

In the 90’s people used to call bands like Blur and Oasis brit-pop. That whole scene has passed us by a long time ago, but there’s still music out there that has something about it that just has that term – brit-pop – popping up every time you hear it. I am not sure what they call that sort of thing, but I am talking about music like Coldplay, Travis, Keane and stuff like that. You know, that sort of brilliantly emotional music that keeps coming from Britain these days. So why am I talking about this in a review of an album coming from an American band hailing from Austin, Texas? Well, it’s because they sound really British. To me they sound a whole lot like the bands I’ve mentioned earlier. In the press-release they claim to be inspired by the likes of The Cure and Radiohead, which makes sense because the bands I’ve mentioned wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Radiohead who started all of this is in the 90’s. So what am I saying? Hmm, if these days were British they would have been on MTV by now. (JJJJ--) 

 

Hayley Hutchinson; Independently Blue

HaYLo Media

Having already been compared to everyone from Alison Krauss to Emmylou Harris, one should think that this young 23-year old girl was going for a country-tinged sound that she’s way to young for. However, I don’t hear anything on this album that doesn’t suit her perfectly. A great female singer/songwriter album that’s going to appeal to fans of newer country as well modern folk. (JJJJ--) 

 

Jag Panzer; Casting The Stone

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

Having released music as far back as 1983, Jag Panzer have already passed their 20th year of existence. And it seems like these guys are in no way forgetting where they come from, because although their brand of power metal isn’t straying too far from the current power metal scene soundwise, there’s definitely proof on “Casting The Stone” that these guys still have their influences firmly planted in their roots. Fans of early 80’s Judas Priest will like this album just as much as the ordinary 21st  Century power metal fan. (JJJJ--) Release date: 27th September 2004 

 

Lora; Fire

Dives Project

It’s not every day I receive CDs from Bulgaria, but Lora is, nonetheless, a band from that country. I’d kinda expect some strange things being mixed into their sound when coming from a country like that, but Lora sounds very much like a typical American female fronted modern pop-rock band. It says in the press-release that the budget for this CD was cut and that this is reflected in the production to a certain extend, which is true, but it’s easy to hear that this is a band that has something good going. With a bigger budget, the right producer and perhaps a tad more originality these three guys and one girl (Lora) could go far. (JJJJ--)

  

Mad Caddies; Live From Toronto: Songs In The Key Of Eh

Fat Wreck Chords

The inventors of pirate-core are back. As you can see this is not a new album as such, but a live-show of theirs recorded on March 17th, 2004 (Saint Patrick’s Day!) featuring 19 tracks. I don’t know how many people attended the show, but it sounds like these guys are major rock-stars in Canada, because the people are going nuts there, and no matter how many they are, they sure sound like they’re many! Mixing punk, reggae, ska, swing, jazz and country into a big blender sounds like da bomb to listen to live. Sounds like it would’ve been a blast being there. (JJJJ--) Release date: 20th September 2004

 

Marshall Star; Uncontrollable

Furry Records

So you thought I’d misspelled the album title of this thing, did you? Well no, actually it’s a pretty clever album title for an album featuring a cover with a troll standing on a surf-board. Anyway, it’s not long since I reviewed a 7’ by this British outfit and here’s their full-length which is just as delicious and the EP was. This is R&B mostly, but far from the kind of R&B you keep hearing on MTV. This is cooler with a few funky moments coming through alongside pure pop choruses while a rock-guitar and hip-hop beats are lurking in the background. Potential, people! (JJJJ--)

 

Motion Pictured Demise; Rebuild/Reform

Orange Peal Records

(Provided by Maelstrom Music Publicity)

After forming in 2002 and releasing an EP last year, Motion Pictured Demise are catching up on the current post-hardcore trend that has been going on for a while now. And who can blame them? I mean, they look pretty darn young, looking at the press-photo, so they probably didn’t grow up listening to Black Sabbath or Venom (neither did I, I might add). Anyway, for a post-hardcore band these guys aren’t all that bad. Actually, they’re better than a lot of the terrible post-hardcore albums I’ve heard, but there’s still some way if these guys want to be up there with bands like Beloved (which they have toured with) and the likes. (JJJ---) 

 

Pete “Big Dog” Fetters; Deep

Two Sisters Records

Are you into acoustic-picking, roots-rocking blues? Well, Pete “Big Dog” Fetters is ready to make your day if only you lend him your ears. I really don’t listen all that much to blues anymore, unless it’s sent to me for review, but I can tell you this: It’s been a while since I’ve listened to a blues record that I liked as much as this one... And I guess other people are hearing what I am hearing, because this guy has even had a chance at opening for B.B. King in the past. (JJJJ--)

 

Pete Teo; Rusting Living For Urbanites

Redbag Music

I’ve received music from a lot of places in the past, but I don’t recall ever having reviewed a release from Malaysia before, but when listening to “Rusting Living For Urbanites” there really isn’t much that makes me think of a country like Malaysia. Instead I am hearing lots of American singer/songwriter influences on this album, but this isn’t just an Asian artist trying to sound like his American influences, because this guy beats a lot of the singer/songwriter stuff that has been coming out lately. The bottom-line is this: if you like mellow American sounding singer/songwriter stuff with intelligent lyrics, great musicianship and superb vocals this is for you. (JJJJ--)

 

Quadruple; Quadruple

Fast Forward Records

This Swedish band has been together since 1988, but like a lot of other bands they’ve struggled with a lot of line-up changes. But although loosing several band-members through the years they didn’t give up and here they are again with a new album, still having two of the founding members of the band in the line-up. Usually when I get CD’s from Sweden I am either looking into retro-rock or punk or either melo-death or power metal. This time, however, we’re not dealing with anything of the aforementioned although this is definitely metal. Mid-tempo metal with clean vocals without the typical high-pitching. The most technical parts of this album somehow remind me of the technicality and intensity of Metallica in their “Black Album” (or self-titled if you will) days. (JJJJ--)

 

Rotting Christ; Sanctus Diavolos

Century Media

(Provided by Target Distribution)

The only Greek band that I can think off on the top of my head that has been successful within the metal scene is Rotting Christ. There may be others, but if so they’re all escaping me at this point. But if Rotting Christ is the best the Greek metal scene can come up with then I am not very interested in digging much deeper into it (I am sure that’s not the case either), because Rotting Christ really hasn’t anything special to offer. If their lyrics weren’t all blasphemous, they had a different band-name and if the Catholic Church used black metal alongside their typical Church-music, then Rotting Christ would be perfect pick for a Catholic Mass. Ironic huh? They give me a headache. Next... (JJ----) Release date: 20th September 2004

 

Slang; Blue

Dives Project

Here’s a band that has been doing well in their homeland, Bulgaria, and currently is seeking out radio-airplay in the USA. And I can’t see why these guys shouldn’t get some airplay there either, because this really doesn’t sound much different from a lot of other pop-rock you’ve been hearing the past decades. There some pop in there, some rock and even a little funk and blues. There are lots of soulful background vocals present and even some horn-playing in “Celebrity.” These guys go from sounding like newer and slower Bon Jovi at one point to sounding kinda like Bruce Springsteen at another and even Toto at a third... and so on. But I’d wish these guys would’ve left that horrible remix that comes at the end off of the album. (JJJJ--)

 

Steve Mayone; Bedroom Rockstar

Umver Records

If you’d like a little diversity in your American-sounding singer/songwriter songs then Steve Mayone might be the one to deliver, at least in the songs where he puts in banjos, mandolins and stuff like that, which gives it all a grass-like feeling. Otherwise the root-folk of Steve Mayone will appeal to the whole singer/songwriter scene with his Beatles-sounding choruses. This guy has a great ear for pop-music as well. (JJJJ--) 

 

The Evolutionaries; Normalized

Self-released

If you’ve been coming to this site a lot in the past weeks you’ve probably noticed that there was this text-add of a band named The Evolutionaries somewhere on the top of the page. It’s these guys and to be honest, they’re pretty good at what they do. They’re sort of a cross between Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails with their dark and industrial-like songs. I kind of miss something that’s a little faster on here, though, but otherwise this will definitely appeal to fans of the aforementioned artists. (JJJ---)

 

Singles/EP’s this week:

 

Dann Russo; Dann Russo

Self-released

The cover-art on this thing is pretty darn awful, having put down only the name of the artist in the upper left corner and a little chicken in the lower right corner on the red background. Luckily, however, the music of this artist is quite a different story altogether. Hailing from Brooklyn, one should think that the hip-hop influences would be apparent on this album, but this is actually acoustic-based singer/songwriter stuff all the way through and it’s pretty convincing too, although we’re only talking four tracks here. An album is in the making as I’ve understood and it’ll definitely be interesting to see if this guy has more than four good songs on his conscience. I bet he does. (JJJJ--) 

 

Highroad No. 28; Dynamic Introspection

MGM Distribution

The first time I listened to this 5-track EP, I wasn’t even sure I liked it, but after a few listens, however, I found myself liking it quite a bit. This is metal if anyone is wondering, but don’t be expecting dragons and fire though, because this is more of a groove-based kind of stoner metal album with a few modern metal influences thrown in alongside a lot of cool spoken-word samples from God knows where. Like it. (JJJJ--)

 

 

Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark

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