Ellen Degenerate – Modern Girl

Ellen Degenerate – Modern Girl / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.ellendegenerate.net / http://www.glassmanaclerecords.com /

Ellen Degenerate play punk rock. There is little that distinguishes them from the rest of the quicker, Los Angeles-punk acts of the late nineties when they play their “Who Made Rock & Roll Just For Girls”. Of course, the vocals are catchy and seem to press a little bit on the style of the Dropkick Murphys, but the guitar/drum/bass dynamic is straight-forward and provides little out of the ordinary. The track works well on its’ own but there is little that the band provides that is “new”. The slower sound of “Modern Girl”, coupled with a slightly-shifted sound to the vocals, brings Ellen Degenerate to more of a Fifteen or Operation Cliff Clavin type of sound. Continue reading “Ellen Degenerate – Modern Girl”

Billy Brush – Love Sublime

Billy Brush – Love Sublime / 2007 Self / http://www.myspace.com/billybrush /

Billy Brush last released an album in 2005; despite the break, the act has not lost a single step. Tracks like “My Couch” show Billy Brush and the rest of the band as a culmination of mid-nineties alternative with an earlier emo sound and more than a passing hint of Ben Folds and They Might Be Giants. The style of a “My Couch” is enough to draw listeners by the barrelful; it provides listeners with a sound that has referents in the popular music of the era but ultimately provides something new for individuals to pick up on. This blend of styles is a rare thing to hear in today’s music. It is the talent and virtuosity exhibited by Billy Brush on “Love Sublime” that demarcates them from all the other bands trying to earn a paycheck. Continue reading “Billy Brush – Love Sublime”

Larry Bagby – On the Radio

Larry Bagby – On the Radio / 2007 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.larrybagby.com /

“I’m Alright Tonight” plays at two different styles; there is a classic, almost 19th-century country sound to the opening guitar riffs to the track, but the vocals and piano seem to paint a much more contemporary sound. Larry Bagby provides these vocals, which are smoothed-out, lending individuals the ability to find something similar to a Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks in contemporary music. The storytelling ability of Bagby on “On the Radio” is without comparison; one can literally hear bits and pieces of the best singer-songwriters, whether it be Warren Zevon or even Randy Newman. The instrumentation does not stray far from where it began during “I’m Alright Tonight”, but it goes forth and lifts up Bagby’s vocals at all the right times. Continue reading “Larry Bagby – On the Radio”

Partly Cloudy – Arm Your Weapons

Partly Cloudy – Arm Your Weapons / 2007 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.partlycloudyrocks.com /

Partly Cloudy has been around for quite a few years. The act was founded by Dave Harms in 1995 and released an album, “State of Mind” on Long Island Recording. This 5 song EP marks their latest foray into punk music. The disc’s opening track is “Helpless”, and it shows the band as a mix of acts, with influences as diverse as AFI, JFT, and even earlier Green Day. The band seems to have a little bit of a classical metal sound with “…But to Me It’s Everything”, but what should get individuals most excited about the band would have to be their use of a very dark and brooding instrumental section that presents itself between the stanzas. Continue reading “Partly Cloudy – Arm Your Weapons”

Diego Sandrin – A Fine Day Between Addictions

Diego Sandrin – A Fine Day Between Addictions / 2007 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.diegosandrin.com /

For those individuals that have to have pretty much any punk recording, the name Diego Sandrin will be familiar. She was the mastermind behind the Italian punk group Ice and the Iced. Other individuals may know Sandrin for the fact that Lisa Marie Presley included a song that she wrote with Sandrin on her album “To Whom It May Concern”. There seems to be a pretty good buzz behind this album already, as the Sony Vaio line has chosen one of the tracks from “A Fine Day Between Addictions” – “Sammy’s Farm” – to be loaded on their computers. Continue reading “Diego Sandrin – A Fine Day Between Addictions”

Demetra – S/T

Demetra – S/T / 2007 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.demetramusic.com /

“Beam Me Up Scotty” is the first track on this, Demetra’s self-titled released. While there are sci-fi beeps and bloops that seem to bring the band into a dance-punk type of style, the female vocals that are present during the track recall acts like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Donnas, and Battershell. The style of rock music that Demetra play on this album is very hooky, catchy, and will have no problem finding fans. “Girlfight” starts out with a very Bay City Rollers meets Toni Basil sort of cheerleader chant, before going into the slightly harder Ramones-type of instrumentation that first presented itself during “Beam Me Up Scotty”. It is during this “Girlfight” that the vocals start to shift towards a stylistic unity with late-nineties rockers Switchblade Kittens. Continue reading “Demetra – S/T”

Scott Marrow – For All The Time You Spend Losing…You Better Enjoy Your Failures

Scott Marrow – For All The Time You Spend Losing…You Better Enjoy Your Failures / 2007 Whiteroom / 9 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/scottmarrow / http://www.whiteroomrecords.com /

Man, I was completely expecting something else from Scott Marrow. I really thought that what would result with “For All The Time You Spend Losing” would be yet another boring singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar. However, Marrow impresses with eir blend of Two Gallants, The White Stripes, Lucero, and Latterman during “Didn’t Mean To Say I Told You So”. The production may be a little bit on the rough side, but Marrow is able to shine even through the fuzz and haze that is present. What is the strongest suit to Marrow on these opening tracks has to be the spontaneity that ey brings to the disc. Continue reading “Scott Marrow – For All The Time You Spend Losing…You Better Enjoy Your Failures”

Nebelhexe – Essensual

Nebelhexe – Essensual / 2007 Candlelight / 10 Tracks / http://www.nebelhexe.com / http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk /

Nebelhexe may better be known as Andrea Haugen, who has been around goth and metal-like rock music for well over a decade. The disc itself starts with “Underworld”, a song that has Haugen sing in a very Stevie Nicks meets Switchblade Symphony style. The instrumentation has an Enya/Enigma sound to it, which means there are tribal drums mixed in with a more ambient instrumentation. “Invisible Entity” follows “Underworld”, and comes forth like a shambling, confused creature. There are guitars present that would sound perfect on Marilyn Manson’s “Antichrist Superstar” album, but the tribal sound comes forth again. Continue reading “Nebelhexe – Essensual”

The Masons – Let You Down Easy

The Masons – Let You Down Easy / 2007 75 or Less Records / 14 Tracks / http://www.themasonswebsite.com / http://www.75orlessrecords.com /

“Preemptive Denial” is a track that has in it a very early nineties alternative sound, with equal hints the B-52s and Sonic Youth. There is a simplistic approach to the vocals that matches well with the instrumentation present during songs like “Preemptive Denial”. The thing that makes this track into a success and the band pick up more momentum has to be the fact that the song cuts out at the two and a half minute mark rather than trying to work the same style for four or five minutes. The band keeps the instrumentation tightly reined in for the disc’s second track “I Am A Raindrop”. The vocals seem to meander a little more during this track. Continue reading “The Masons – Let You Down Easy”

A Shoreline Dream – Coastal

A Shoreline Dream – Coastal / 2007 Latenight Weeknight / 4 Tracks / http://www.ashorelinedream.com/COASTAL /

The slightly electronic feel of “Ukraine” starts off “Coastal”. A Shoreline Dream make a play for the Smashing Pumpkins meets Morrissey set with this track, but comes at it in a very unique way. The vocals are present and do have a focal point during this track, but the instrumentation seems to be the thing that is most direct in setting up the overall sound of the track. The band gets pretty noisy when it gets to the chorus, which seems to be the biggest hurdle that individuals will face trying to get into this act. Luckily, this “wall of sound” quickly dissipates and the band moves back into the style that started out “Coastal”. Continue reading “A Shoreline Dream – Coastal”