Search for the Hidden Gem (2013 vol# 9)

Written by on December 19, 2013 in December 19, 2013, Music Reviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off

Merry Christmas and All the Best for 2014!

The Statesboro Review

“Ramble on Privilege Creek”
www.statesbororevue.com
Style (Country / Folk / Rock)

Judging the CD art alone I was expecting a ‘smoked out-alt-indie-produced in our garage-yellow submarine with a blown out tire’ vibe and I was at the ready to thrash this disc.  Thankfully sometimes the old adage “you can’t always judge a book by its cover” came true because this is an awesome CD.   These twelve songs have an excellent tempo, heartfelt emotion, and that type of groove that makes you wanna move.  It wouldn’t be fair of me to simply label The Statesboro Review as just a country band because the folk, rock, and blues influences are quite pronounced in their style.  What I like most about this CD is how good song writing, excellent understanding of tempo and tone, and quality musicianship across the board with varying influences comes together to create an outstanding group of songs.  The CD sounds great playing through my stereo speakers but my instinct tells me live these songs really get the joint jumpin’.

Rating 4 ½ (HIDDEN GEM!)

Beatallica

“Abbey Load”
www.beatallica.org
(Parody / Tribute)

Although I vehemently hate the Beatles I am glad half of the quartet are no longer around to hear what this offbeat music experiment sounds like.  My first go around I made it through 8 of the 15 tracks before ripping the CD out of my CD player.  It took me two days to recover from my disgust before I found the strength to soldier through all 15 tracks.  If the Gong Show were still on this band would have definitely gotten the gong.  I’m not a big fan of tribute bands to begin with but this has taken my disdain to a new level.  A comedic parody is one thing but I have to question what, if any, legalities there are for a parody/tribute band recording and selling another bands copy written songs played in another bands style regardless of the end result being this disastrous.

Rating ½ (only for the comedy factor)

Indomite

“Theater of Time”
www.facebook.com/indomitemetal
Style (Progressive)

Reading the dictionary to improve your Scrabble skills is great.  Perusing the ol’Webster haphazardly searching for a cool band name that couldn’t be farther from the truth never ends well.  Then again if it was “Opposite Day” when you perused the ol’Webster and are playing an elaborate trick on all of us you might be brilliant.  These nine tracks are about as “untamed” and “savage” as my 13lb lap cat.  Each track is frothing over with so much aggressive rawness they’d rival the brutal assault of a feather duster in a furniture scratching contest.  Enough already with the accented hardcore howler monkey and pop vocal juxtaposition because it’s just not working.  These songs are really quite abysmal and I have to say rank quite high on the boring scale.  The upside is the production mix is very clean.  The downside however, the production is mixed far too clean and ends up overly sanitized.

Rating 1 (no mas!)

Phavian

“Meridian II”
www.phavian.com
Style (WTF??)

I can’t decide if this one should go to the cross-cut shredder or the discarded discount bin.   On the one hand shredding it serves humanity saving other unsuspecting humans and animals from the torturous high pitch Lillith Fare gallivanting vocals coming from Elizabeth Matson.  On the other hand tossing it in the discarded discount bin at least provides the dumpster divers with a viable piece for making a funky disco ball made out of recycled CD’s.  In my ears they were aiming for something along the lines of orchestral gothic with some easy listening progressive undertones.  What they ended up with is an unmarketable musical catastrophe overly utilizing by far the most annoying vocal style I’ve heard all year.  To Matson’s credit, and the only positive I can find about this CD, she is at least in tune.  However what she’s singing, how she’s singing it, and what importance lies behind the lyrics are too painful to endure.   If I had to guess a concept for this CD I’d say it’s a concept focused on devastatingly deplorable returns built upon the foundation “it’s all about the music.”

Rating 0 (this was hard to get through)

Madlife

“21st Century Megalomaniac”
www.madlifeofficial.com
Style (Hard Rock / Inductrial)

A dig the tone of this 5 song EP because it reminds me a little of Dream Theater.  The guitar has a guttural quality, vocals are scratchy without being overly forced, and there’s a little industrial / electronica flavoring to give the songs an unconventional crossover.  Although isn’t the cliché subject matter “To Live and Die in Hollywood” a bit played out?  After “Welcome to the Jungle” everything else is poorly done lip service and a waste of studio time and money.

Rating 2 (need a full album)

Red 9

“Under Dark Skies”
www.red9band.com
Style (Indie / Alternative)

I like Jeff Lyons bass playing but his lead vocal style is horrendously forced and glued solidly to one tone which fairly quickly becomes downright annoying.  Normally I’d recommend singing lessons but I’d hate to do that to any vocal teacher.  The song writing too is working overtime trying to be different but comes off as a quirky disjointed mess.  Track 4 “Lead On” is a disaster for much of the song then switches into something more cohesive with consistent tempo and harmonies.  Seriously, why tighten up loose ends with nuts and bolts when scotch tape and twine are more readily available?  For track 5 “Mother” I’m still wondering WTF was going on in that convoluted monstrosity.  I’m all for creating music cut from a different cloth.  It’s when the cut is convolution, disjointed, and really just a ragged mess I have to wonder when those THC regulations are going to be enforced.

Rating 1 (I’m angry at myself for listening to this beyond the first track)