Ha Phuong “Memories of Love”

Memories of Love is a mid-tempo track that establishes Ha Phuong as a formidable performer. The look back towards the 1990s does Memories of Love well, as Ha’s vocals are able to rise and fall upon a supporting Latin/world-music beat. When Phuong moves into the chorus of Memories of Love, the presence of a secondary set of vocals is more than enough to keep the track energetic. Blending the pop style dominant in this single with a more rap-tinged flow keeps fan interest in the effort high until the track concludes.

Ha Phuong “Memories of Love” / 2018 Self Released / Domain /

Andrew W. Boss “Avengers”

Andrew W. Boss has just released his single Avengers (video is above). This effort calls back to the rap-metal of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Hints of Limp Bizkit and P.O.D. can be heard here; a sick flow lays on top of crunchy guitar riffs and intense drum beats. Boss’s vocals draw upon the tortured, furious sound of Freak on a Leash-era Korn. Together, the instrumentation and Boss’s vocals combine to make for a track that will kick your ass as you sing along. Avengers is easily a track that could make it onto rock radio rotation.

Andrew W. Boss “Avengers” / Facebook

DYK “Trashcan”

Dyk’s Trashcan is a rock track that builds upon the style of U2, Audioslave, and OneRepublic with hints of a harder rock style (e.g. Jane’s Addiction, Chris Cornell, Queens of the Stone Age). The environmentally-friendly message is present at all points during the single. A more jam band guitar line enters in at points, providing a wonderful counterpoint to the harder edge that began things. Contemplative, musically proficient, and with hooks sharp enough to bury themselves deep into the minds and hearts of fans, Trashcan is our choice for bringing in the new year. Let us know what you think of Dyk’s latest single.

Dyk – Trashcan / Domain /

Lucas Ray Exp “Reveries”

On Reveries, Lucas Ray Exp takes listeners through a tremendously intimate journey through his psyche. Initially starting out with a more sedate sound, LRE is able to gradually add in technical guitar riffs and booming drums to the mix. Of the course of this nearly-five minute single, Lucas Ray Exp is able to establish one of the most detailed instrumental compositions that we have ever heard. Effortlessly moving through progressive, technical metal, and power metal formats, Reveries is one of those songs that will stick around one’s brain long after the last note ceases to play. Reveries is a tome of a track, deep and detailed, and one any fan of voluminous texts should search out.

Lucas Ray Exp – Reveries / Facebook

The Posies – Amazing Disgrace [30th Anniversary Re-Issue] (CD)

In 1993, The Posies turned in one of the finest power pop records of the decade with “Frosting on the Beater.” So, it was almost a given that it’s follow-up wouldn’t stray too far from that formula. And thankfully it didn’t. The 14-track “Amazing Disgrace,” was just as accessible as it’s predecessor, if a little less optimistic in tone, likely a result of troubles within the band (drummer Mike Musburger and bassist Dave Fox left before the recording of this one), and disagreements with their label at the time.

Omnivore Recordings has just re-issued “Amazing Disgrace,” the final in a trio of the band’s DGC albums getting the re-issue treatment this year. This two-disc set includes the original record and eight bonus tracks on one disc as well as a bonus CD with an additional 15 tracks, mainly boasting demos and alternate versions of earlier songs.

The album, their last for DGC, is easily one of their best efforts, second only to “Frosting on the Beating.” Though there wasn’t an obvious hit single in the U.S. from “Amazing Disgrace,” the record still managed to become their biggest seller in Europe up to this point. Songs like Throwaway”” and the fantastic “Ontario” compete just as well as most of the tracks off of “Frosting on the Beater,” but the album inexplicably didn’t pay off as well here as it’s predecessor.

This re-issue, just like “Dear 23” and “Frosting on the Beater” serve as a great second chance for people to rediscover these three extraordinary albums from one of the best power pop bands to emerge from the 1990s. And thankfully the band that is just as vital today as when these albums were first released, still touring and releasing new music.   

The Posies – Amazing Disgrace [30th Anniversary Re-Issue/2 CDs/Omnivore Recordings

John has covered The Posies a few times in the past. Take a look at his coverage of Failure and Dear 23/Frosting on the Beater .

Miguel Estrada – Christmas In The Desert

Christmas in the Desert is a touching, sedate effort that allows Miguel ample opportunity to showcase his songwriting skills. The track is able to succeed because Estrada pulls double-duty, telling a story as well as adding a further level of depth to the sleigh bells and backing instrumentation. The smart usage of silence provides further gravitas to the composition.

I feel that Christmas in the Desert is able to be placed among the pantheon of holiday tracks as it draws upon a traditional (almost classical) pacing and sound.  The song is dedicated to anyone in service to our country that would be away from friends and family. Check out the single, let us know what you think, and purchase a copy for yourselves (a CDBaby link is below). A portion of the proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Miguel Estrada – Christmas In The Desert / 2018 Self-Released / 3:52 / CDBaby

Tripi – Whole Wide World Christmas

Tony Tripi has released a trio of Christmas songs that are able to address the topic of the holiday without falling tinto the same pitfall many performers do when attempting to make tracks that have staying power. On Family Christmas, Tripi is able to craft a seventies-infused rock track that includes sizzling guitar work, a female chorus, and absolutely emphatic drum work. With so many pieces shining, it’s no surprise that Tripi’s Family Christmas will stay fresh well after the end of the year.

Tripi’s modern take on Drummer Boy begins with an increase tempo and a powerful vocal swagger in the fashion of a Neil Diamond. The guitars add a bit of country and western sound to the mix. With this bit of urgency present in this cover, it is no surprise that Tripi is able to make it his own. A more introspective section separates the beginning and end of this track, allowing listeners a brief moment to slow down and take a breath. With this message present, Tripi is able to ratchet the speed back up and continue on to the final minute of the effort.

Whole Wide World Christmas is the final of this Christmas-theme trilogy. The track is our favorite of the 3, as it showcases Tripi’s ability to tell a tremendous yarn. In doing this, Tripi is able to refresh the style of performers like George Thorogood and Ray Stevens. The conscious decision to go forth and have the vocals occupy a more focal point is a masterstroke. While the guitar, bass, and drums are still contributing their same high quality of output, this is really an effort that fans will want to properly “get” through understanding its lyrical content. Check out additional information about Tony at his main domain or the latest news about his music at his Facebook.

Tripi’s Christmas Trio / Domain / Facebook 

Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia

Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia

URL: https://www.projectgrandslam.com/

Fans of pure jazz fusion as it was always meant to be consumed rejoice; 2019 officially commences with the release of the Robert Miller-led Project Grand Slam’s Greetings from Serbia, the group’s first live album and virgin offering to a brand new year. We begin with the rolling grooves of “You Started Something,” which as its title implies inspires something beyond infectious inside of anyone within earshot. Big rhythm is commanded by the gilded voice of Ziarra Washington, who navigates swirling sonic waves the size of skyscrapers with an airy fragility that is spellbinding from the very instant she starts to sing.

“You Started Something” gets us dancing, but “1972”throws down a funky hammer that is almost too limber for humans to keep up with. The space aged beat sways like a thousand pound pendulum above a glassy bass and drum blend that is just itching to spill into the guitar’s studious riffing. “I’m So Glad” brings Washington back into the fold and lights up the Serbian crowd with a sloshy tonality that takes a second to get fired up, but once it does is just about impossible to contain. These songs sound so fierce and urgent, and when you factor in the grit of this live mix it’s almost as if we’re sitting in the audience with the crowd.

The crown jewel of Greetings from Serbia is “Lament,” the band’s hit single, which shimmers with an effervescence that was more understated in the studio version of the song. It’s a nice break in the pace before we’re jolted by the heavy assault of “No No No”and massaged by the rigidity of “Free,” which has a certain jam band exuberance to it but falls short of becoming the repetitive progressive nonsense that eventually brought down the mid-90’s Deadhead revivalists. Say what you will about modern jazz, but if Greetings from Serbia doesn’t stimulate your soul then I don’t know what could.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/PGSjazz

“Gorilla” hums with an off-the-cuff, whispering bass that interlocks with the drums and ushers us into the straight up cathartic oasis that is “I Can’t Explain” (which for a lot of millennial listeners might be even more affectionately crafted than The Who’s version was). The five minutes and change that “The Queen’s Carnival” runs tests the endurance of Project Grand Slam with a larger than life island-flavored session that fires on all cylinders and has the power to leave listeners exhausted. On this front, one can only imagine how the players must have felt busting out these grooves one after another with zero breaks in between.

Greetings from Serbia comes to a conclusion with a cover of “Fire,” the legendary Jimi Hendrix song that became a staple of the Experience’s live shows some half century ago and could easily serve Project Grand Slam’s sets just as well. Washington doesn’t even try to replicate Jimi’s raspy, sexual growl; she’s more than content to impart to usher own melodic daggers, and in the end her vocal in the song is what makes the track ultimately feel complete. You don’t have to be the biggest jazz aficionado in the world to fall hard for what this album provokes in the hearts of anyone who has ever loved a good beat. Robert Miller’s most recent contribution to the international pop songbook is unquestionably worth acquiring if you’re keen on great music, and a wonderful way to warm up this chilly January.

The music of Project Grand Slam has been heard all over the world due to the promotional services offered by Danie Cortese Entertainment & Publicity. Learn more here – http://www.daniecorteseent.com/

Kim Muncie

NeuFutur has covered Project Grand Slam previously; Trippin’.

The Jackson Whites – Dressed To Get Naked

The Jackson Whites have released their new Christmas 2018 single, Dressed To Get Naked. The track builds upon the down and dirty rock of the 1970s, bringing in hints of blues, funk, and soul in the instrumental mix. We’re in love with the slightly gritty, incredibly charismatic vocals that sit on the top of the track. The instrumentation laid down here by The Jackson Whites is similarly intense. Fans will have to play Dressed To Get Naked multiple times to hear everything that has been inserted in the track. The distinct sections of this single further bolster the replay potential of the single; the stylistic shift that occurs at the 2:30 mark makes for a wholly different sound than originally greeted listeners. The lead-out for the track links together War, Frank Zappa, and even Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.

Where one may think that the sheer range of styles and approaches utilized by The Jackson Whites would lead to a muddied effort in this song, the skill of the band is such that everything joins together to make a cohesive song, a comprehensive take on popular music from the last fifty years. Through the five-plus minute run time of Dressed To Get Naked, the band is able to put their fingerprints on each notes. For more information about the act, check out their Facebook; additional information about Jersey Delta Records can be found at the link for the label. 

Dressed To Get Naked is a welcome addition to the corpus of holiday tunes. Unlike many Christmas tracks, The Jackson Whites’ latest can be enjoyed throughout the year. Let us know what you think about this cut below. 

Rating: 8.5/10

The Jackson Whites – Dressed To Get Naked / Jersey Delta Records / 5:28

Paden – Don’t Hold Back

Don’t Hold Back, the latest single from Paden, is a tremendously hopeful rock track that will immediately draw fans in with intense instrumentation that resounds loudly with each additional drum hit. The charisma of the vocals works well with these instruments, both telling a story and providing further depth to the harmonies of the single. Paden is able to craft radio-worthy rock in the same vein of Of Mice and Men and Mumford and Son while keeping the song’s instrumentation at 100. Keep focused in, as the two-part vocal harmony beginning at 2:15 is breathtakingly beautiful. This moment allows the act to ride a wave of goodwill to the end of the composition.

Paden – Don’t Hold Back / Vohnic Music