The GoStation – Passion Before Function

The GoStation – Passion Before Function / 2007 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.thegostation.com /

The GoStation sure love their Oasis, don’t they? Whether it is the opening strains of ”All Together Now” or the ending riffs of “When I’m Gone”, the band has a lot of debts to pay the Gallagher brothers. I can understand why the band would want to do that; Oasis was a band that pushed Beatles-like numbers. When it comes to trying to create something new and vibrant, however, “Passion Before Function” is an album that is a little lacking. During “All Together Now”, The GoStation suffers in that they rely on strung-out sound that is present during the track that seems much more fitting for something coming out of 1995 rather than 2007.

However, the driving guitar and drum dynamic saves the track from being a complete wash, and allows listeners to move easily to “Twin Six”. “Twin Six” is a track that continues with the lighter sound first put forth by “Hour 1”, and while it has a high amount of cohesion with tracks that immediately follow and precede it, it does not provide listeners with anything substantially new. The band’s biggest problem during “Passion Before Function” has to be that each of the disc’s 10 tracks show a band that cannot put forth a song that will garner them popular attention. Continue reading “The GoStation – Passion Before Function”

Bear Hands – Golden EP

Bear Hands – Golden EP / 2007 Freedom in Exile / 4 Tracks / http://www.bearhandsband.com /

Bear Hands start out their “Golden EP” with their own interpretation of indie rock. This means that there are hints of the energetic alt-country punk of a Lucero, the prim and proper alt-rock of Weezer, and even a little hit of the fuzz and meandering arrangements that brought Jane’s Addiction to prominence all those years ago. “”Long Lean Queen” thus comes forth with styles and sounds that will get individuals interested, but what distinguishes Bear Hands from other similar-sounding acts is the fact that they are able to put their own stamp on every second of the “Golden EP”. Continue reading “Bear Hands – Golden EP”

Laura Aidanblaise – Get Thee to the World

Laura Aidanblaise – Get Thee to the World / 2007 Self / http://www.myspace.com/lauraaidanblaise

“Get Thee to the World” shows Aidanblaise as one of the most innovative indie artists currently creating music. While it is a forgone conclusion that most instrumentation is created to highlight a singer, Aidanblaise takes this to its’ logical conclusion. The pacing and emotional intensity of the instrumentation is directly linked to Aidanblaise’s vocals, something that becomes clear during “That Old Road”. While the song may sound a little bare at time, the organic approach allows a raw, visceral intensity that few artists can channel. Continue reading “Laura Aidanblaise – Get Thee to the World”

Foley McKenna Band – Moving My Feet

Foley McKenna Band – Moving My Feet / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.thefmb.net /

“Kimberley” is the first track on “Moving My Feet”. It starts out with a soulful set of guitars that do not easily fall into a genre category. The vocals slide in soon after, and blend together the work of Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) with Matchbox 20. There seems to be a little more in the way of a blues influence during “Kimberley” that distinguishes the Foley McKenna Band from others on the tour circuit. Furthermore, the vocals achieve a level of quality that approaches that of an Elvis Costello at points. Overall, “Kimberley” is a great introduction to the Foley McKenna Band, and is one that could conceivably make it as the band’s first single. Continue reading “Foley McKenna Band – Moving My Feet”

MOTU – Going Back To Memphis

MOTU – Going Back To Memphis / 2007 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.motu.net /

“So Lonely” starts out “Going Back To Memphis”, and it shows MOTU as an act that is tremendously influenced by blues. The male vocals during “So Lonely” have a Randy Newman-like approach to them, and the inclusion of the second, female vocals on the track give the track further expansion. The instrumentation of the track may meander, but the inclusion of both vocals do a great job of reining the instrumentation in. “52 West 8th Avenue” shows more focus in regards to the instrumentation, opening up with a guitar line that is focused, but allowed to wander at key points. Continue reading “MOTU – Going Back To Memphis”

Michael Hensley – Fire Behind Me

Michael Hensley – Fire Behind Me / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.michael-hensley.com /

“This Machine” is the first track on “Fire Behind Me”, and it shows Hensley as a purveyor of dance music. Specifically, the track is supported by hints of Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, and Depeche Mode. Besides being influenced by these earlier dance acts, Hensley’s music on “Fire Behind Me”  is imbued with a current and fresh re-interpretation of what it means to be a dance artist. “Walk In” brings the focus to the vocals on the track, but keeps the overall dance framework. The instrumentation on the track is much more tied to the earlier style of dance music, so much so that it feels like some of Peter Gabriel’s work off of “So”. Continue reading “Michael Hensley – Fire Behind Me”

The Payola Reserve – 200 Years

The Payola Reserve – 200 Years / 2007 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.thepayolareserve.com /

The Payola Reserve have a smoothed out sound that blends a Radiohead sound with a more classic, folk style. “Grade A Television” starts off “200 Years”, and it is here where The Payola Reserve begin to impress listeners. They impress listeners through this blending of styles, and through the confidence of the band’s lead singer. “Jugband Joan” adds different influences and styles to The Payola Reserve’s overall sound. The vocals move into a more Elvis Costello-type of sound, while there are hints of bluegrass and surf present in the instrumental arrangements. Continue reading “The Payola Reserve – 200 Years”

Lifehouse – Who We Are

Lifehouse – Who We Are / 2007 Geffen / 12 Tracks / http://www.geffen.com /  http://www.lifehousemusic.com /

You know, I had no clue that Lifehouse took their name from a failed Who follow-up to their classic album “Tommy”. Enough for random trivia: “Who We Are” marks the fourth full length album for Lifehouse, and it shows the same sort of stable sound that acts like Nickelback and Daughtry have been creating throughout their careers. The first track on this album is “Disarray”. It takes only a few seconds to start, the band is able to command the attention of listeners soon after. “First Time” is probably how individuals will be introduced to this album. Continue reading “Lifehouse – Who We Are”

Sacha Sacket – Lovers and Leaders

Sacha Sacket – Lovers and Leaders / 2007 Golden Sphinx / 11 Tracks / http://www.Sachasacket.com /

Sacha Sacket plays a brand of pop music that takes on the style of a Stephen Curtis Chapman or a Michael Smith. However, during tracks like “Stay”, there seems to be much more of an electronic influence to the track than either of those two singer songwriters. It is almost as if Sacket has taken on a little bit of a Fischerspooner to the overall emotional brand of pop music that is presented during “Lovers and Leaders”. “Halo” is the first track that shows a little bit of a crack in Sacket’s foundation. While the song still has the honesty and eager sound present in Sacket’s vocals, it just feels as if there could be a little bit more in the way of variation in the instrumentation here. Continue reading “Sacha Sacket – Lovers and Leaders”

Bedouin Soundclash – Street Gospels

Bedouin Soundclash – Street Gospels / 2007 SideOneDummy / 13 Tracks / http://www.bedouinsoundclash.com / http://www.sideonedummy.com /

“Walls Fall Down” really put Bedouin Soundclash in a position that reminds me of a modern Clash. The act is able to make a track that will come forth easily and naturally on rock radio, but does not lack in any sense in regards to the smartness of the instrumentations. There is an eclectic sound like their ancestors The Clash had, but instead of blending together ska, punk, and rock, Bedouin Soundclash seem to go and come forth with a style that blends emo, the Goo Goo Dolls, Rise Against, and a number of the most respected and impressive bands of the last twenty years. Continue reading “Bedouin Soundclash – Street Gospels”