Between The Trees – The Story and The Song (CD)

Between The Trees has been around since 2005, and despite their relatively new founding, each of the tracks during “The Story and The Song” showcase a maturity that few acts are able to bring forth to their music. The act smartly links together the electronic-pop of acts like The Red Hot Valentines with current emo acts like Coheed and Cambria and A Static Lullaby. “The Forward” is the first track on the album, and the great thing about the band during this track has to be the fact that listeners can follow a number of different paths, be it the synths, drums, or catchy vocals, and be carried away on a musically profience and intense type of composition. Continue reading “Between The Trees – The Story and The Song (CD)”

Rose Hill Drive – Moon is the New Earth (CD)

The first track on “Moon is the New Earth” is “Sneak Out”, and the overall sound of the band sounds like a mix of The Vines and Queens of the Stone Age. The act is able to throw in intense guitars and draw them back masterfully for the vocals to reach prominence at all of the right times. “Sneak Out” continues to plug at the same points throughout the entirety of the track, but it is really the guitar that keeps the track from becoming stale. The band is thus able to move into “Altar Junkie”, which is a track that continues providing listeners of Rose Hill Drive with a contemporary type of sound, blending the aforementioned Queens of the Stone Age influence with a little bit of CKY. Continue reading “Rose Hill Drive – Moon is the New Earth (CD)”

Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc – Rev It Up and Go-Go (CD)

Individuals may remember who Jesse James Dupree is from eir stint as the lead singer / guitarist of Jackyl, a hair metal band that may be best known for “The Lumberjack”. “Rev It Up and Go-Go” is Dupree’s second solo album, and is full of fun rock that will keep individuals listening in through the entirety of the track. This means that the introductory track plays very heavily on Dupree’s distinct vocals, which links together disparate metal acts like Guns N Roses and Dio. “Bite” has all the sound of a “Dog Eat Dog” era Warrant but with the girt and heaviness present to keep young listeners’ interest still at a high level. The track is not as immediately catchy as was the opening salvo, but the groove that is created by Dupree and Dixie Inc is something that will stick with listeners for days, weeks, and even months after the disc closes up shop. Continue reading “Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc – Rev It Up and Go-Go (CD)”

OST: The Love Guru (CD)

The Love Guru is a Mike Myers-focused film that centers around eir character, who is left at the doorstep of an Indian ashram (holy teacher) as a young child. Fast-forward a number of years, and a grown-up Myers is attempting to break it big in the field of self-help and spirituality. Eir ticket to the big time is punched when Myers gets a major client – Darren Roanoke (played by Romany Malco, known for eir roles as Conrad Shepard in Weeds, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Blades of Glory), star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs – that has to win back the heart of eir wife, played by Meagan Good (Stomp The Yard, You Got Served, and Deliver Us From Eva).

Whether Pitka becomes a major player in the self-help field is ultimately dependent on whether ey can get these two individuals back together. The blend of tracks that are present on The Love Guru soundtrack are interesting, to say the least. This is due to the fact that there are about equal parts songs by established acts like George Clinton, Cornershop, and Celine Dion and tracks (covers and original songs) by the “Guru” eirself, Mike Myers.

The covers are perhaps the most interesting additions to this soundtrack; Myers gives listeners another version of the Steve Miller Band hit, “The Joker” and an Extreme cover in “More Than Words”. For those individuals that have not had a chance to go and watch “The Love Guru” yet, there are a few tracks – “Stop Hitting Yourself”, “My Name Is Guru Pitka”, and “Guru Lineage”, that provide individuals with more than enough in the way of context to understand what Myers et al are trying to do with this film. While there could conceivably have been more in the way of tracks present during this soundtrack, there are not the dead or dull tracks that plague a number of film soundtracks, both large and small. Lakeshore has been on a roll of late in their choices to release soundtracks, and here’s to hoping that they can continue that roll through the rest of 2008 and into 2009. Make sure to watch The Love Guru, pick up the soundtrack, and crack some laughs while listening to some good new tracks, some solid covers, and clips from the film.

Top Tracks: Brimful of Asha, Mathar

Rating: 7.0/10

OST: The Love Guru / 2008 Lakeshore / 16 Tracks / http://www.lakeshore-records.com /

Rahway – Snitches Get Stitches (CD)

“Machine” is the first track on “Snitches Get Stitches”, and it shows that Rahway is an act that really appreciates 80s metal, with hints of “Dog Eat Dog”-era Warrant, Motley Crue, and even a little bit of the stoner-metal put forth by acts like Corrosion of Conformity and Fu Manchu. The result is something that is heavy as hell, catchy as all-get-out, and is current as well. A number of acts spend their career following a genre or musical approach that is dead and buried, but Rahway makes hair metal something contemporary and in your face. Continue reading “Rahway – Snitches Get Stitches (CD)”

Saiah – Evolution (CD)

Saiah has been in the rap game in one form or another for about a decade. It has been in the last few years that Saiah’s star has rapidly started to rise, growing from a Richmond attraction to an East Coast phenomenon seemingly overnight. It is on this wave of success that Saiah comes forth with his “Evolution”, a fourteen track tour-de-force that accurately describes the effect that Saiah’s album will have on the rap genre. “Nobody Remix” is the first track on the album, and Saiah’s flow is what will immediately get listeners to focus in on the track.

While Saiah can achieve a speed to his flow that rivals the work of a Twista or Bizzy Bone, Saiah goes beyond the work of each rapper by having a cohesion to each line he spits that rapidly weaves a dense, compelling narrative that is lucky enough to be listening in. “Break It Down” takes a different direction, keeping some of the speed of “Nobody” but converting Saiah’s energy into a club-banging hit that will appeal to club-savvy people as much as it does to the hard-line of rap aficionados. The arrangements, while oriented in a typical track-by-track way, show cohesion through the common thread of the clap/snap track that manifests throughout “Evolution”.

“H8” draws listeners in yet another way; the track has Saiah going forth and creating the harmony of the track through his flow. While there is a synthesizer line present, Saiah is doing double duty in the sense that the instrumentation is relegated to a distant second in volume. “Big Brother (Eyes on You)” is the strongest track on the entirety of “Evolution”, as it provides fans with each unique facet of Saiah’s style in the space of a track. The serious, issue-based rap is here; the dance-worthy hook is here, and the speed in which the lines come out of Saiah’s mouth would get any other rapper a serious set of troubles. As Saiah continues to create this new and exciting brand of rap music, I can foresee shows supporting rap luminaries like DJ Unk becoming a much more common occurrence, until that time when Saiah can hit up all the hot hiphop cities on his own. I believe that time is soon, so make sure to pick up a copy of “Evolution” and be the first on your block to peep out what will be the next big thing.

Top Tracks: I Don’t Want It, Big Brother (Eyes on You)

Rating: 8.1/10

Saiah – Evolution / 2008 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.aprilfoolrecords.com /

Reed Waddle – Piece By Piece (CD)

“The Beast Within” will be Reed Waddle’s claim to fame. The first single off of his new album “Piece By Piece”, the track has a timeless quality to it given by the honest and smooth vocals of Waddle. The slight hint of electronic fuzz that plays at the corner of the track links the alt-rock of Waddle to storied acts like the Red Hot Valentines and Desert City Soundtrack. This strain of the band’s sound is complemented further by an easily-approachable indie rock style that has influences drawn from artists such as Ben Harper and even Paul Simon. Continue reading “Reed Waddle – Piece By Piece (CD)”

Davina Robinson – The Blazing Heart (CD)

“The Blazing Heart” is the first release by Davina Robinson. “Making Love To Your Girlfriend” is the track that listeners may already be familiar with; the track was a runner-up for VH1’s Song of the Year contest, and received honors in the Great American Song Contest. Beyond that, our Japanese readers (all 1.2% of our traffic) may know Davina Robinson from playing a number of shows around the country. For those readers of NeuFutur that are not familiar with Robinson’s music, “Making Love To Your Girlfriend” is a track that blends equal part funk and rock, blasting listeners with guitar riffs from the onset.

Some of the more nuanced guitar lines that are present during “Making Love To Your Girlfriend” will remind listeners of early Prince and Jane’s Addiction, while the vocals are completely unique. These vocals are as powerful as the opening salvos that first hit listeners, and the bits of funk influence give the track an overall sound reminiscent of “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”-era Red Hot Chili Peppers. “Never Good Enough” is the second track on “The Blazing Heart”, and the track has a constellation of influences that are a little older than those during “Making Love”. This means that the track has the pacing of Heart, while Robinson’s vocals continue to forge an entirely new path in rock music. It is during “Never Good Enough” that listeners will begin to notice the extreme skill Robinson exhibits in creating a narrative that listeners cannot do anything but follow until the track ends.

“Conversations In My Head” is a continuance of the strong narration that was present during “Never Good Enough”, but adds interesting pacing to “The Blazing Heart”. This means that while the track begins slowly, the track begins to gain speed until the chorus, where Robinson’s vocals keep individuals interested until the track packs up shop. The EP’s final track is “Keeping Me Sane”, and it contributes as much as any of the previous cuts on the EP through the addition of a new-rock type of sound to the mix. Hints of electronic and even industrial music play at the extreme periphery of the track. “The Blazing Heart” has something for everyone, and it is Robinson’s catchy, new type of sound that will ensure that she will be as big in the United States as she is currently in Japan.

Top Track: Never Good Enough

Rating: 8.0/10

Davina Robinson – The Blazing Heart / 2008 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.davinarobinson.com /

Julian Sakata – See? (CD)

“The Day I Wasn’t Attacked” is a perfect piece of melodic rock, with Julian’s vocals taking a dominant position, while the instrumentation provides the perfect highlighting for everything that Sakata does on the track. The strong opening to “See?” continues with the disc’s second track, “Suffer The Young”. “Suffer The Young” shows Sakata’s vocals as being influenced by the past and present in pop music, taking on hints of Jakob Dylan, Rufus Wainwright, and even singers like Billy Joel and John Mellencamp. The pomp of the instrumentation on “Suffer The Young” matches perfectly Sakata’s vocals, and together, these constituent parts make a track that listeners will remember for months to come. Continue reading “Julian Sakata – See? (CD)”

Jimmy Reeves – The Axe and The Tree (CD)

“Jonah” is a good place to start with Jimmy Reeves. The track needs little more than an acoustic guitar to paint a perfect backdrop for Reeves’s vocals to flitter over. The emotional content of Reeves’ lyrics here are similar to the work of the Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul, but vary from those two acts in the presence of a slight bit of Thom Yorke in the overall mix. What thus results with “Jonah” is a thoughtful track that will play at listeners’ heartstrings until the vocals drop out. The title track to “The Axe and The Tree” starts out powerfully, with a stomping bit of percussion; this stomping enters in and out of the equation while Reeves creates something that deftly blends together The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and even Bright Eyes into a delightful bit of indie-rock that hides a harder edge. Continue reading “Jimmy Reeves – The Axe and The Tree (CD)”