Tag Archives: EP

No Trigger – Adult Braces EP

“So I mean I ditched the bandana
Got a haircut, wore a clean shirt
Signed up for night classes
Got adult braces
Tried to sort that shit out straight
Thirty-five and still alive
I’m spinning straight into adult oblivion ” – Holy Punks

It’s been 5 long years since their last LP Tycoon was released, but the punk rock boys from Massachusetts are back and better than ever.

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The Start of Something Good – Bad Reed

There is a wealth of wonderful music that has come from The Great White North of Canada: Matthew Good, The Tea Party, The Tragically Hip, and of course Rush. With that being said, some have come to see Canadian rock in the states as the minor leagues compared to the US. Not sure why that is, but it is…. And it’s just dumb. Bad Reed from Ontario is seeking to change that perception releasing a 3 song EP offering a sonically diverse and challenging rhythmic venture serving as a nice entrance onto the national scene.

bad reeds ep

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STRNGRS – Magic Boy – Music Review


Magic Boy  is a four song EP from NYC three-piece STRNGRS and they managed to cram more attitude and rock & roll into those four songs than most do in a full-length album.

Tell-tale twanginess introduces us on “Runnin’ Dry” before the vocals kick in, the singer sounding like a solid blend of Jack White and Robert Plant.  It’s hard to, in my brain at least, hear the song and not picture some poor, hungover bastard literally dying of thirst in the desert.  How did he get there?  What did he do last night?  Why are his ears ringing like that?  Easy, because STRNGRS were playing the chicken-wired stage at Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse last night and this unfortunate soul was lucky to escape with his life.

“17 Letters” picks up the tempo and carries a solid rhythm for most of the song.  The guitar sounds like it’s strung with high-voltage power lines, however danceability remains low due to the fantastic, dirt breakdowns into which the band frequently devolves.

Following that, “Never Can Tell” is the part of the movie where the first cue stick is broken in half and beer bottle bottle thrown.  More rawness, more bluesy brilliance.  This track is probably my favorite on the EP.

Rounding out the EP, “Outta My Mind” is no sort of resolution to a good story.  This is right where the music feels like it has finally achieved full speed and intensity and you no longer want the next song as much as you need it.  This is clearly the part where all the bad guys are suddenly realizing that they may have tangled with the wrong dude and that killing Sam Elliott was probably a bad idea.  Just as the ass-kicking commences you’re left with silence and you’re a  little upset to be left in what feels like slide-guitar limbo.  Sure, you could go listen to something else, but why would you right now?

Magic Boy was an unexpected, pleasant surprise to hear and I hope it’s indicative of what’s going on in certain music scenes in New York and elsewhere.  The next time, however, that you leave me hanging with only four songs I’m busting skulls.  Fantastic work and I’m looking forward to hearing anything else STRNGRS have to offer.

Fort Frances – Harbour Review

Fort Frances – Harbour EP

If you’ve never heard a Fort Frances song before, then you may not be fully aware who your favorite band is. Fort Frances has always been one of those bands that people tend to fall in love with very quickly. The band is comprised of three likable guys from Chicago; David McMillin (guitar, vocals, keys), Jeff Piper (bass, vocals, keys), and Aaron Kiser (drums, vocals). From their debut album, Atlas, to their new EP, Harbour, Fort Frances seems to generate cult followings with ease.

I think one of the reasons the band attracts such avid followers, is because of their raw emotional honesty. The guys of Fort Frances seem to have a way of tapping into their emotions and expressing them honestly through song. This is something that is not easily done and requires a personal attachment from every member of the band. Yet, it only seems to make sense that the guys of Fort Frances would be able to deliver an EP as honest as Harbour, when one considers the personal investment each member of the trio offered up. Every song on the EP is a harmony-filled adaptation of a McMillin original; the appropriately cool album art is the product of Piper; and the warm production and mixing is a direct result of Kiser’s labor.

The album sounds somewhat like the lovechild between Wilco and Band of Horses. Harmonies abound throughout the endearing EP, that doesn’t hesitate to play to rock and roll’s melodic side. I am tempted to refer to this EP as melancholy but that wouldn’t be completely accurate. While the album certainly has a good deal of melancholy undertones, this does not define it, not completely. The darker parts of the album such as the ones heard in the down-tempo song “Please Don’t Wait Up,” seem to celebrate a kind of happiness that can only be found through an appreciation for sadness. This when coupled with the upbeat, foot-stomping, jubilant sounds of “I Had Love,” the final song on the EP, leave the listener feeling upbeat and rejuvenated.

The EP was inspired by a winter the band spent next to Lake Michigan. This can be heard throughout, as cool notes and heavy drum hits reminisce on a cold winter. Fort Frances’ Harbour is to winter, what Jack Johnson’s 2005 album, In Between Dreams, is to summer. Every season needs an anthem and Fort Frances has created winter’s anthem.

Harbour, should appeal to anyone who appreciates good, honest music. The band is destined for great things as their constantly increasing popularity is aided in part by a strong, rapidly growing cult fan base. If you have the time, I strongly urge you to checkout Fort Frances; however, you might need to free up some space on your iPod, because once you’ve listened to them, it’s hard to stop.


The Last Royals EP Review

I recently had a chance to check out The Last Royals self-titled debut EP on Ooh La La Records, and find myself anxious to hear some more. The 5 song EP includes four original tunes penned by Eric James, one half of this New York City based duo. James had previously released these songs as part of his Early Hours solo project. The other member is drummer Mason Ingram, and since he has paired up with James, they’ve taken a new cut at these tunes.

The EP kicks off with “Backseat Lovers” probably the most raw song on the EP. It’s a song that is incredibly easy to listen to, and each time I hear it, I find something else to enjoy. The piano and keyboards lend a unique sound that is pervasive throughout, and it’s just a fun song to listen to despite the edgy lyrics.

I had previously heard the next track, “Crystal Vases” on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation; a quirky upbeat song oozing urban angst. The song was a hit on AltNation, and has been a constant in their Alt18 count-down for weeks, and for good reason. It’s a catchy song that gets better every time I listen to it. It reminds me of old Smiths’ records where you were driven to skip along happily despite the gloomy lyrics. It’s a great story, backed with fantastic lyrics, wrapped in a song you won’t be able to get enough of.

“Always To Belong” is the closest thing to a ballad on this EP and is another one that grows on me with every listen. The guitar and piano is subdued, highlighting James’ superb vocals. I’m not positive that I understand the message in the lyrics, but I wouldn’t be surprised hearing it on a soundtrack as we watch two friends on the screen coming to the realization that they’ll never fit in.

“Come Take My Hand” is another cut that is just easy to listen to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one included on the forthcoming album, tweaked a bit and released as a single. The chorus is addictive, and again the vocals are excellent.

The EP closes with the “Crayon Remix” of “Backstreet Lovers.” It’s a more stripped down version of the song, and although less likely to be a hit, I like the feel of this version more than the original.

That’s it. Four plus songs; just 20 minutes of a sample, but clearly a nice debut that’s left me anxious to hear more. They evoke memories of Cake, Luna, MGMT, Foster the People and a slew of other Alternative rock bands, but it wouldn’t be fair to pigeonhole them as sounding like any of them. Their style stands on it’s own; it’s The Last Royals’ sound, and I’m thinking it’s going to be around for awhile.

Track Listing:
1. Backseat Lovers
2. Crystal Vases
3. Always, To Belong
4. Come Take My Hand (Demo)
5. Backseat Lovers (Crayon Remix)

Read our interview with The Last Royals’ Eric James

If you’re interested in hearing more of their music, including three interesting covers, check out their website at:

The Last Royals

Ooh La La Records