Kate Walsh – Tim’s House

Kate Walsh – Tim’s House / 2007 Blueberry Pie / 10 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/katewalsh /

Kate Walsh is yet another one of those individuals that have a great career in the United Kingdom but have not made it over to the United States yet. For some reason, the United States release date for Walsh’s 2007 album is in late January. I never understood why record labels hold on to albums for months before they release them to another market. Anyways, “Your Song” shows Walsh as an individual with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and eir voice. Walsh’s vocals on “Your Song”, the introductory track to “Tim’s House”, have a hint of Stevie Nicks in them. Simultaneously, there are numerous hints that are present during the disc that show that Walsh is influenced by the female singers of the early 1990s. Continue reading “Kate Walsh – Tim’s House”

Einsturzende Neubauten – Alles Wieder Offen

Einsturzende Neubauten – Alles Wieder Offen / 2007 Virtual / 10 Tracks / http://www.neubauten.org /

Einsturzende Neubauten is one of those acts that have been high on my list to check out for years, but I have not had a chance to listen to them until a copy of “Alles Wieder Offen” came to me. For those individuals that are similarly ignorant about Einsturzende Neubauten, the band came together in 1980 in West Berlin. “Alles Wider Offen” is the 11th full length album for the band, and the band starts off incredibly strongly. The disc’s first track is “Die Wellen”, and its short runtime is punctuated through the increasingly encompassing piano, linked with an agitated set of vocals. While the track is very rough and craggy, the act is able to bring some serious harmony to the track. Continue reading “Einsturzende Neubauten – Alles Wieder Offen”

Cold Dead Hands – Novelization

Cold Dead Hands – Novelization / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / 

The band first lurches in a Fu Manchu o Monster Magnet direction, with the opening calling forth the same general style of stoner rock that those acts (along with early Sugar Ray) created. The vocals kick in and give the track much more of a Foo Fighters sound, while the bass line (linked to the lead guitar) finishes off the general sound with an ode to “Madhouse”-era Anthrax. For continued success later on down the road, Cold Dead Hands really need to go forth and craft their own style. Only subsequent tracks will be able to show whether the act is able to do just that. The talent exhibited during “The Goat Horns” is nothing to scoff at, so prospects are good. Continue reading “Cold Dead Hands – Novelization”

Ice Nine Kills – The Burning

Ice Nine Kills – The Burning / 2007 Red Blue / 7 Tracks / http://www.iceninekills.com /

“The Greatest Story Ever Told” is a track that links together the work of bands like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday with the screamed out hardcore of Coalesce and Maroon. The bouncing back and forth between screaming and intensely catchy vocal lines, especially during “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is fun as all get out. It takes Ice Nine Kills only a minute for them to capture the heart of anyone listening in. It is not only that the band plays these two styles during this track but that they are able to create such an intricate and dense track, without losing anyone in regards to a listener base. The band moves away slightly from the radio friendly sound that started out “The Burning” with their “In The Throws of a Moral Quandary”, but do not give up anything in the way of intricate musical arrangements. Continue reading “Ice Nine Kills – The Burning”

The Spoon Benders – Resurrecting the Giants

The Spoon Benders – Resurrecting the Giants / 2007 Self / 8 Tracks / http://www.thespoonbenders.net /

The Spoon Benders craft a style of music that brings me back to the early days of the nineties. The disc’s first track is “Making My Name”, and it has The Spoon Benders linking together the works of Rusted Root, the Dave Matthews Band, and hints of more current (Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, and Coldplay) bands. By the time that the band has ended the track, they have shifted their vocal style ever so slightly, into the realm of a Chris Cornell. This shift forces individuals to keep an open mind as the band moves into “This Moment”. The band slows things down for “This Moment”, a movie that allows The Spoon Benders to showcase their capable instrumentation. The next step that The Spoon Benders take forward on “Resurrecting The Giants” is “Saturday Afternoon”. Continue reading “The Spoon Benders – Resurrecting the Giants”

A Third Wish Granted – The Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1

A Third Wish Granted – The Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1 / 2007 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.a3wg.net /

If you have been around Los Angeles in any serious sense since 2001, and followed the local music scene at all, chances are good that you have heard of A Third Wish Granted. Hell, I’m from Ohio, and I had heard them before I was sent “The Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1”. Their style of Middle Eastern-influenced rock is unique, making it difficult for me (the reviewer) to say “they sound like X or Y”. This is a good thing; few bands are able to craft their own style of music, and from the beginning of “Told You So”, that is exactly what A Third Wish Granted do. “Told You So” is a track that, no matter how many years pass between listens, individuals will remember. Continue reading “A Third Wish Granted – The Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1”

Aaron English – The Marriage of the Sun and Moon

Aaron English – The Marriage of the Sun and Moon / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.aaronenglish.com /

It has been a few (5) years since Aaron English first hit the music scene with “All The Waters of This World”. “The Marriage of the Sun and Moon” is his second album, and by the time “Moon Murmurs” (the disc’s last track) peters out, it is clear that English has spent the last half decade working night and day to polish and perfect his sound. The title track starts off the album, and immediately surrounds the listener with tribal sounds. The tribal sounds, drums, and overall ambience backs off slightly, while English’s vocals set out to capture listeners’ hearts. Continue reading “Aaron English – The Marriage of the Sun and Moon”

Cheryl B. Engelhardt – Craving The Second

Cheryl B. Engelhardt – Craving The Second / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.cbemusic.com /

2004 marked the first Cheryl Engelhardt album; “Shoes Off and Run” provided individuals with a sense of Engelhardt’s pop-laced style. “Craving The Second” is so much more; “Keep” uses a melody that could be created by a Scarecrow and Tinman with a set of vocals that touches upon all of the famous female singers, whether with be Amy Grant or Natalie Cole. “Keep” showcases the vocal abilities of Engelhardt as much as it showcases the ability of Engelhardt to create a hook-laden chorus that will stick in listeners’ minds for a long time. Continue reading “Cheryl B. Engelhardt – Craving The Second”

Adam Gilbert – Fishing For Water

Adam Gilbert – Fishing For Water / 2008 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.gilbertmusic.net /

“Fishing For Water” is Gilbert’s second foray into independent music. His first album, “K-16”, provided an introduction to the styles and influences that shaped Gilbert’s sound. “Fishing For Water”, his latest album, expands upon themes first heard on “K-16”. “Break Through Today” starts out the disc with an interesting blend of vocal and piano, with the dramatic tension of the track building up until a guitar cuts through the air. The resulting sound achieved by the track is something that has not previously been heard; the resulting sound on this track mixes equal part musical and Voltaire into a catchy, unique style. Continue reading “Adam Gilbert – Fishing For Water”

Jesse Rubenfeld – Let It Go

Jesse Rubenfeld – Let It Go / 2007 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.jesserubenfeld.com /

This EP begins with “Nose to the Grindstone”, a track that showcases the diverse array of influences present in Rubenfeld’s life. The vocals will remind listeners of individuals such as Neil Young and James Taylor, while the instrumentation has hints of Chicago, The Eagles, and Cat Stevens. Continue reading “Jesse Rubenfeld – Let It Go”