Tag Archives: Album Review

Bodacious Rock from Purple

This trio from Texas exploded onto our new music radar last year with their fantastic debut effort 409. This week, they release another compelling offering, Bodacious, a collection of twelve intriguing rock tracks.

Bodacious, out 4/1 on Play It Again Sam records
Bodacious, out 4/1 on Play It Again Sam records

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The Rightovers: Blue Blood Album Review

The Rightovers – Album Review

Julie Harrison

“…Holmesโ€™ lyrics sing of an easy drive through a Utah highway, spinning vinyls…”

At first listen the 10-song LP release Blue Blood from The Rightovers is an easy piece of music to get on board with. Within an 8 second intro, as the first track “Valerie” scratches into your speakers, you know this album will take you to a warmer place; a back porch, a swing with your toes in the sand, where everything bears a soft tint of yellow. After that first hook a simple, melodic beat and even vocals take you through “Valerie” and bring you to my favorite track on the album. Already you want to take this album out of your Monday-night kitchen and into Saturdayโ€™s backyard bonfire.

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Diamond Youth Album Review

 
diamond youth

Nothing Matters – Diamond Youth’s Impressive Debut

7.5 / 10
Nothing Matters, the debut album from Diamond Youth is about to hit the streets, and it’s certainly not a typical debut effort.

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Although this is indeed the Baltimore band’s first full-length offering, the quartet has previously released three EPs, during which time they’ve obviously honed their craft. On the upcoming Topshelf Records release, Nothing Matters, the result is a tantalizing album packed with creative diverse offerings that spotlight the band’s potential.

The title track leaps off of the album with a powerful pop rock feel that is absolutely built for radio. It’s rapid fire, guitar-driven rock that’s a blast to listen to and highlights the more pop-infused first portion of the album which also includes the second track, another radio ready cut “Thought I Had It Right.”

But the next few tracks were the epitome of mediocre and I began to have doubts about the album, but that all changed in 1:41 seconds, during the luscious instrumental “Succulent,” which kicks off a fantastic stretch of creative alternative rock. It’s a gem loaded with soaring guitars and precise percussion, not to mention a nice serving of distortion. The song ushers in the best song on the album, “In The Clouds,” a track that encompasses all that is good in rock ‘n roll. Hard driving rhythms, catchy riffs and powerful distinctive vocals.

On the last half of the album, I was drawn to similarities to Queens Of The Stone Age, as the music was a bit dirtier and more edgy than the early tracks – good stuff that will be receiving plenty of play in my headphones for years to come. Two highlights cut from this vein are the excellent “The Nothing” and “Deep Love.”

It’s not a perfect album, but it’s packed with excellent, vibrant rock ‘n roll, which will likely make an appearance on some end of the year Best Albums lists. Grab the album and see which songs are most appealing to you. It’s likely you won’t love them all, but guaranteed you’ll deeply appreciate at least a handful.

They’ll be touring in support of the album beginning this week, and will include a nice tour through Florida in mid-June (see the full dates below).

Rock On!
Cretin

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Diamond Youth Tour Dates:
5/15 – New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall*
5/16 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Skate and Surf Festival
5/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Smiling Moose*
5/19 – Syracuse, NY @ Saint Claire Theater*
5/20 – Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar*
5/21 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s*
5/22 – Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen*
5/23 – Howell, MI @ Bled Fest
5/24 – St. Louis, MO @ The Demo*
5/26 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive*
5/27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock*
5/28 – Reno, NV @ The Holland Project*
5/29 – Berkley, CA @ 924 Gilman*
5/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo*
5/31 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction*
6/02 – San Diego, CA @ Voodoo Room*
6/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge*
6/04 – El Paso, TX @ Mesa Music Hall*
6/05 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk*
6/06 – Dallas, TX @ Sons of Hermann Hall*
6/08 – Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory*
6/09 – Tampa, FL @ Epic Problem*
6/10 – Margate, FL @ O’Malley’s*
6/11 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth*
6/12 – Jacksonville, FL @ Burro Bar*

6/13 – Charlotte, NC @ Casbah*
6/14 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter*
6/16 – Howell, NJ @ Game Changer*
6/17 – North Haven, CT @ UANC*
6/18 – Washington, DC @ DC9*
6/19 – Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall*
6/20 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs*
6/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary*

Gritty New Rock From Welshly Arms

welshly arms

Welshly Arms Album Review

Recommended If You Like: Bad Company, Black Keys, Royal Blood, White Stripes

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From my first spin of the gritty new album from Cleveland’s Welshly Arms, I felt a comfortable classic rock warmth rush over me. The quartet exudes a cool bluesy rock swagger and they deliver ten compelling tracks on this their debut full-length album. It’s guitar driven rock that conjures up impressive memories of blue-infused rock bands who have entertained us across the decades.

Sam Getz impresses throughout, as he delivers soulful vocals, which are distinctive yet familiar – he’s got a great rock ‘n roll voice and it shines through on many of the tracks. From a musical standpoint, I thoroughly enjoyed the guitars with catchy riffs and sharp solos spiced throughout the album.

The best song on the album is the first track, “Love In A Minor Key,” a guitar driven romp that encapsulates the powerful rock that you can to expect throughout the album. The songs are all a bit different, but held together cohesively by the roaring guitars and Getz’s captivating vocals. There’s not a weak song on the album, and it’s a creation that offers something of interest to any rock fan.

“We Move Easy” is a filthy rocker with a swampy feel that rambles on for a delicious five plus minutes. Another highlight is “The Touch,” one of the offerings that boasts a more modern feel, perhaps akin to something Jack White would create. The effervescent song provides a nice canvas for Getz to showcase the diversity in his vocals.

Check it out and see what you think. You can grab the album now on iTunes below:

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Rock On!
Cretin

Gang Of Youths Deliver Smashing Debut

gangofyouths

The Positions Album Review

I really don’t know a damn thing about this band, but can tell you that their new album, Possessions is going to be on my playlist for quite some time.

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Gang Of Youths is an Australian quartet who have just delivered The Positions, a tasteful, creative debut album that just might find its way onto a few year-end “Best Of” lists. A band that kicks off their first album with a meandering 7:25 journey is clearly confident in their product, and for Gang Of Youths, that’s for good reason.

I checked out the bio provided by their publicist. It simply and succinctly states “I was in a four year relationship with a girl who had a terminal illness and then I made a concept album about it with my friends.”

The first track, “Vital Signs” is a well-produced and aurally stunning masterpiece. As the song twists and turns, the listener is treated to many precisely placed nuances that add distinctive flavor to the tasty offering. And, there’s plenty more to come including excellent distinctive offerings such as “Poisoned Drum” and “Magnolia” two absolutely different sounding cuts, but both linked together as creative, intelligent and stylistic rock music.

It wouldn’t be fair to pigeonhole their music into any niche, but if anything, it’s artful garage rock. Oddly for an Aussie band, they remind me of a few of my favorite New Jersey based rockers, and The Gaslight Anthem and River City Extension – good company!

Frontman Dave Leaupepe spews out tender, bruised lyrics with a gritty voice eerily reminiscent of The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg. The musical accompaniment features everything that’s great about Indie Rock. The band wraps the lyrics in a beautifully crafted bed of infectious guitar hooks and swirling keyboards. Harkening back to the theme of bio, the angst associated with his four year relationship drips through songs like “Knuckled White Dry” and “The Overpass,” two of a handful of rich compelling tracks.

Check out the ten song, hour long album and see if you agree that we’ve stumbled across one of the early 2015 albums of the year.

Rock No!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Kuroma Delivers Engaging Psych-Pop

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kuromarama

Kuromarama Album Review

The path traveled by the creative foursome that comprise Kuroma is almost as unusual as the band’s peculiar name.

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Hank Sturdivant and James Richardson met at a Camp Carolina talent show, when they played together and stole the show as impossibly young eight years-olds. Since that fateful summer, they went their own ways, and then reunited in 2006 for the initial Kuroma album. Over the ensuing years, they’ve released three albums and seen the members play with bands like The Whigs and MGMT and tour with a slew of other notable Alt-Rock bands. Then, a few years ago, the duo completed their quartet when they joined forces with ex-members of Amazing Baby, Simon O’Connor and Will Berman.

The years on the road and exposure to successful, influential artists has paid off for the foursome, as their recently released third album, Kuromarama is an intriguing and welcome entry into the alternative rock scene. The music is a distinctive, alluring mix of styles they call psych-pop. It’s different than most anything on the airwaves today, but it’s a refreshing and bright kind of different.

As a whole, the album is packed with catchy songs, clever riffs and a casual comfortable feel. It’s probably a horrible analogy, but at times, I found myself nostalgically thinking of the psych pop stylings of the Monkees. It’s not Davy Jones and crew and their pseudo-rock, but the music still offered that same happy, feel-good, pop-laced vibe. The big difference on Kuromarama is the quality of the musicianship, which is top notch.

“20+ Centuries” is an invigorating track that gets the album off to a rollcking start. From their, the album boasts a nice diverse selection of songs. An early highlight is the sweet “Love Is On The Way” featuring some of the most diverse vocals on the album as well as a constantly evolving and creative musical foundation that reminded me a bit of the wonderfully creative music offered up by The Thorns a decade ago.

My favorite part of the album is the trio of strong closing tracks. “Case Logic” is a song that evolves masterfully, features invigorating guitar work, and an infectious beat. “30601” threw me for a loop the first time I heard it because it feels out of place on the album, but the country-tinged song is just fantastic and a joy to listen to. It’s also a nice bridge to the psych-powered finale “Thee Only Child.” It’s a strong close to an enjoyable album.

Check it out and sample the songs below. See if you agree that Kuromarama is perfectly suited to be pouring through your speakers on your next sunny day journey to the beach.

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you ๐Ÿ™‚

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Add Some Cafeine To Your Musical Diet

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cafeine

Cafeine – New Love Album Review

The new album from Cafeine somehow slipped past my radar the first two times it ended up in my InBox. Thanks to a persistent PR Rep, I finally took it for a spin a few weeks ago, and can’t get enough of this sweet, catchy alt-rock.

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Cafeine the group is really the multi-talented Xavier Cafeine, a French Canadian multi-instrumentalist who sings, plays all of the instruments and recorded the album himself. The result? A hip, cool collection of pop-laced rock tunes that at different times feels like new wave, punk or ska, but a collection of songs that are always eminently listenable and enjoyable.

New Love is drenched with infectious hooks and catchy riffs, and simply stated is a blast to listen to. Periodically, I conjured up happy memories of classic Oingo Boingo and of more recent Bloc Party, but the music is distinctively fresh and stands on its own. At times the tracks are saccharine sweet, but just as often the songs deliver an engrossingly gritty edge.

A wave of fuzz and distortion immediately demands attention as the album kicks off with the title track which quickly evolves into a melodic pop rocker. New Love delivers hard charging guitar riffs intermixed with dreamy synths and clever lyrics. Cafeine’s voice is not particularly beautiful nor tremendously gritty, but it is undeniably likeable.

The majority of the tracks on the album carefully navigate around the topic of Love, and the inherent trials and tribulations associated with all of the joy and angst brought out by that emotion; on this album, more of the latter. On “I Love You” we hear him exhort “Hey bitch I got a message for you. I don’t like you, you don’t like me, I don’t care anymore.” Aside from the great lyrics, it’s an interesting juxtaposition of poppy bouncy keyboards and edgy vocals.

And then there’s “Fucking Time,” which is just pure musical genius. It’s a hearty rocker, with raging drums, addictive riffs and wonderfully casual lyrics. If not for the title, this one would be a fantastic choice for a summertime radio hit. I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the song, “Wish my life could be a bit better, but there’s no fucking time; wish my songs were a little more clever, at least they fucking rhyme.” I strongly implore to check out the album now, while you still have some fucking time!

Grab the album now on iTunes: New Love – Cafeine

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you ๐Ÿ™‚

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