/Loud Apartment/New Future/Loud Apartment/

The press release:

NYC funk-art collective Loud Apartment presents ‘Technology,’ the lead track from their ‘New Future’ album. Produced by the legendary Bill Laswell, this album also features three dub remixes he created. Their third long-player also features a vocal contribution by Garrison Hawk, a long-term collaborator of Tricky and Sly & Robbie, among other notable artists. 

Loud Apartment is the sound of New York Fusion – a blend of sounds with Funk as a core ingredient. As the lyrics read, “technological revolution can bring solutions/innovation creation no degradation no pollution / too much exploitation from the governments and corporations/privacy invasion intrusion and manipulation.” Technology is a brilliant song – a clever protest song.

Norman’s notes:

I can’t separate the song Technology from the album New Future. There is a flow to the music that creates something more extensive, more expansive, than the song. The song is good, but I think it is better when listened to within the album’s context.

New Future gives us the optimism that a new future is possible. A better future, perhaps. Loud Apartment is not blind to the condition of the world. Loud Apartment is hopeful that a better future is possible.

“The album looks to the future with hope but not in a naive way. There’s a lot of trouble in the world right now, especially regarding the environment and human rights. It’s an urgent plea for radical change and a different world. A new future,” says Nevaris A.C.

Rhythm and Rhyme is the lead track, and it hooked me with its opening samples from DJ Logic on turntables. The lyrics extol the virtues of the miracle of music.

“The miracle of time is in the rhythm of the Rhyme

 The rhythm of the Rhyme one two the rhythm of the Rhyme.”

New Future jump into a groove on Rhythm and Rhyme and carry that energy through the rest of this album. I usually shy away from posting long lists of who appeared on albums. For most bands, there might only be two or three names. This album has a long list, but I think it is essential because of the quality that each person brought to this recording.


Nevaris A.C.: voice, electric piano, Hammond organ, congas, percussion

Bill Laswell: bass

DJ Logic: turntables

Lockatron: drums

Will Bernard: guitar

Peter Apfelbaum: tenor saxophone, flute, melodica

Garrison Hawk: vocals on ‘Rebellion’ and ‘Dub Rebellion.’

Produced by Bill Laswell

Created at Orange Music, West Orange, NJ

Engineered by James Dellatacoma

Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone Studio, NYC

Cover Illustration by José Ortiz

All songs were written by Nevaris and Bill Laswell except ‘Rebellion’ and ‘Dub Rebellion.’

by Nevaris, Bill Laswell, and Garrison Hawk

Horn arrangements by Peter Apfelbaum.

This album is impressive; the groove Loud Apartments talented folks brought to the table is a cornucopia of sound. I listen to this repeatedly and find new tidbits of exquisite sounds I didn’t hear before. New Future more effortlessly from funk to techno to reggae to jazz, creating a fusion of fresh sounds and refreshing music.

Outdoor photos by Tyler McGackin. Indoor photos by Michael Black

Bandcamp https://loudapartment.bandcamp.com/album/new-future

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/loudapartment

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/35agCFwnA3mZzpwhy0f90j

‘System Breakdown’ LP (2020) https://loudapartment.bandcamp.com/album/system-breakdown

Shameless Promotion PR
Website Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram | Spotify | LinkedIn | Email

Quiz Show

Aiming the energy of punk and the lyrical substance of the new wave scene Quiz Show hit all the correct answers. Opening with the hot single “Sound Of Kissing,” Quiz Show comes charging at us with power and passion.

This trio knows their chops. American indie rock trio Quiz Show has members of alternative rock bands Shudder To ThinkGuided By Voices and The Dambuilders on their eponymous debut album, released via Montclair, NJ-based Magic Door Record Label. This electrifying collection of 12 tracks involves Chris Matthews (Shudder To Think), Jesse Krakow, and drummer Kevin March (Guided By Voices, The Dambuilders). Earlier, bassist Jesse Krakow had taken over from the original bassist Frank Gibbons and, more recently, Joe Billy has replaced Kevin March, whose drumming features throughout this album.

Photo Credit: Paul Haley

Recorded with award-winning producer Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Versus, Elk City, Gramercy Arms) at his Magic Door Recording Studio in Montclair, The ‘Quiz Show‘ LP is full of protest, friendship and frustration. Diving into the energy of punk rock mosh pits and the grunge sound of their guitars and driving rhythms. All the while, the vocals strive to capture the emotional fervour of punky garage rock. I think they nailed it!

“This is our first album! Quiz Show has been making music since 2017 and put out most of the songs on this release as singles between 2017 and 2020. We are releasing them now after remixing and remastering all of the songs to freshen them up, and so they can document the origin story of Quiz Show in a single package. This release also brings these songs under the amazing umbrella of the Magic Door record label,” says Chris Matthews.

Quiz Show songs come together when ideas voiced through the guitars are set to rhythms constructed on the bass and drums. Lyrics emerge after the melodies, which often emerge while Chris (Matthew) drives around. These songs were created in the in-between spaces of complicated lives. We cherish this work and the feelings it describes. Sound of Kissing was built this way and, like most of our songs, it uses lyrics to reflect a dissatisfaction with the limits on love, money, and time.”

Quiz Show’ LP / Bandcamp  https://quizshow.bandcamp.com/album/quiz-show
‘Almost Famous’  https://quizshow.bandcamp.com/track/almost-famous
‘Sound of Kissing’  https://quizshow.bandcamp.com/track/sound-of-kissing
Spotify  https://open.spotify.com/track/2o5bspNEAO6Mfr7esIQCMT
YouTube  https://youtu.be/N7F3Xie69Fs
‘Quiz Show’ LP / Bandcamp  https://quizshow.bandcamp.com/album/quiz-show

Written by Chris Matthews, Kevin March and Frank Gibbons
Chris Matthews – guitar, vocals
Kevin March – drums, vocals
Frank Gibbons – bass
Recorded, mixed  & mastered by Ray Ketchem at Magic Door Recording (Montclair, NJ)
‘Quiz Show’ album cover art – ‘Moving Day’ by Renee LoBue
‘Sound of Kissing’ cover art – ‘Hey Moon’ by Renee LoBue
Cover design by Ray Ketchem

If you have any questions, contact Shauna McLarnon from Shameless Promotion PR at contact@shamelesspromotionpr.com.

Can’t Wait Till Summer

Librarians With Hickeys called their album, Handclaps & Tambourines, “the perfect album for your next rock-and-roll book club meeting with the band’s melodic muscular indie pop (coffee and snacks not included).” The Librarians With Hickeys have just released a video to highlight a song from their Handclaps & Tambourines album which I blogged way back in September of 2022. This is an update and re-review. I like checking out albums and seeing how they age. Handclaps & Tambourines has aged very well.

I have a love/hate relationship with music books. I’ve read my fair share of them, and when I was much younger than now, I had a sound mind for remembering much of what I read. The song “When We Were Young” captures some of that. A broad appreciation of all kinds of music gave me a solid foundation to build my music kingdom. I loved the knowledge the music books gave me, but I have found that the books tend to become dust collectors after the first read, with only a few exceptions. Now I find myself “Stumbling Down Memory Lane.” an excellent tune for a melancholic glance over our shoulder looking back to where we have been.

I think a music book club would be an exciting gathering of music lovers. Of course, we would have to play music while discussing what we were reading. My music book of the month is Vinyl Cafe Turns The Page; I have read Stuart McLean‘s Vinyl Cafe books voraciously.

Putting the book aside, let’s talk about what is on the virtual turntable. Let’s get to the elephant in the room right from the start. Librarians With Hickeys. What’s up with the name? I couldn’t find an answer to that question, but it caught my attention, which is what a band wants. Well, they caught my attention, and I listened to them, got past the name and fell in love with the music that Librarians With Hickeys were making on their second album, Handclaps & Tambourines.

The lads in Librarians With Hickeys have done their fair share of listening to music over the years. Singer/guitarist Ray Carmen, lead guitarist/vocalist Mike Crooker, bassist Andrew Wilco and drummer Rob Crossley — write, play, sing and record like they have shelf upon shelf of music books and records. Their music sparkles with the best of 60’s sugar-coated pop, as heard on “Me And My Big Mouth,” inspired by singer/guitarist Ray Carmen’s obsession with the Monkees. “Fairground” is a fun summer listen. At the same time, we wait for “The Last Days Of Summer,” which features the haunting viola of Larysa Bulbenko (The Armoires). The opening barnstormer “I Better Get Home” rocks a 60’s Hammond organ, which never gets old.

Glam rock from the ’70s can be heard rising to the occasion on the song “Lady Overdrive.” Lead guitarist Mike Crooker dials in his wah pedal on that track and then makes his lead singing debut of the equally glitter-filled tune “Over You.”

’80s college rock? Check got that on the track “Can’t Wait ‘Till Summer” with its ringing harmonics and 2021’s hit “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You.” 

’90s indie rock gets checked out on tracks like the instantly memorable lead single “Ghost Singer” (with Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome of The Armoires joining Crooker as the ethereal Greek chorus) and “I See You.” 

Back to the present day, Librarians With Hickeys have crafted a very listenable album that would be perfect for a summer drive with the windows down and the volume up. It Handclaps & Tambourines was released on October 14th through Big Stir Records. It aged very well.


The Band: Twisted Rose

The song: Watch The Stars

Why it is important: Suicide

It has taken me over a week to put this blog together. Why? You may ask, was it because the song talked about suicide? Yes, not because it is a complex topic. It was because I had too much to listen to, read and write about and had trouble keeping the blog and list of songs brief. List of songs? I wanted to do a B-side about suicide. And that list of songs ended up long, so I had to do some pruning.

I finally have the listening together, and I am ready to do some writing so you will have some listening. Twisted Rose was a new band in my listening sphere. This song dropped out of the internet ether into my inbox. So I listened to it.

Info und Bookinganfragen: info@twisted-rose.de http://www.twisted-rose.de

From the press release that came with the song:

With their new single “Watch The Stars,” Twisted Rose is again addressing suicide. The song was composed and written by Chris Bones. In it, he describes his feelings when he lost someone very close to him through suicide and how he had to stand by and could do nothing. Here are some thoughts on the other songs on this playlist.

I used Music Grotto as a source for some of this list and will try to annotate where I used their material. YouTube didn’t cooperate with posting links for some songs so you will have to do it manually do it yourself.

Side “A”

Watch The Stars by Twisted Rose

Watch The Stars explores suicide through the perspective of a person who has lost someone close to them and the pain that they are feeling. It is important to acknowledge our pain from losing someone. That could be the loss of a family member, a friend, a coworker, or someone who touched your life, like a musician, an actor or another social media person.

Everybody Hurts by R.E M.

This song comes with several good performances on YouTube that I would encourage you to watch as you listen to this amazingly moving song.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rOiW_xY-kc

Every aspect of Everybody Hurts talks about helping stop teenagers from committing suicide.

Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones.

YouTube: Rolling Stones – Paint it Black 2006 Live Video HD

Paint It Black is written from the point of view of a depressed person who wants everything to turn black because that is how they view everything in their life.

‘I look inside myself and see my heart is black / I see my red door and must have it painted black / maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts / it’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black.’

Don’t Try Suicide by Queen

Don’t Try Suicide is an anthem about why committing suicide is wrong. A grand anthem to ‘don’t do it, don’t you try it.”

A Little More by Machine Gun Kelly Ft. Victoria Monet

YouTube: Machine Gun Kelly – A Little More (Explicit) ft. Victoria Monet

Machine Gun Kelly rattles off a list of things wrong in the world that he witnesses and concludes that “all we need is a little more love.” This track turned me into a fan of MGK.

The Outsider by A Perfect Circle

YouTube: A Perfect Circle – Outsider (Director’s Cut)

The Outsider is one song off an album that deals with the theme of addiction and how suicide is never far away from that life.

I have a long list of songs and albums about addiction that I will make a separate blog to explore.

Side “B”

Heaven by Nanci Griffith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQXfj5hK9BQ

I shift gears, move away from rock and roll, and explore Country/Western and folk music for their rich history of hurtin’ songs.

Heaven, the singer, wants to escape the pain of their life and go to Heaven.

Hell No (I’m Not Alright) by Nanci Griffith

I love this track on several levels. For one, this song explores the feeling of not being alright and that our lives are not all fun and games. We need to be honest and tell people how we feel. And they need to be patient and listen to us without pushing solutions, just listen. It is OK to talk about feeling suicidal. For two, she growls, Hell No (I’m Not Alright).

Drunken Angel by Lucinda Williams

This song is about This song is a tribute to (and accusation against) fellow singer-songwriter and beautiful loser Blaze Foley. I recommend you do a little internet searching and discover the music of Blaze Foley and Lucinda Williams.

How Do You Get That Lonely by Blaine Larsen

YouTube: Blaine Larsen – How Do You Get That Lonely (Official Video)

Blaine has the perfect C/W voice to ask the question, How Do You Get That Lonely? A friend once commented that he didn’t know how anyone could get so desperate that ending their life was the best answer.

Whiskey Lullaby by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZbN_nmxAGk

Alcohol is often hand in hand with suicide. It is often a slow death, drinking their lives away. Sometimes it comes quickly at the pull of a drunken finger on a trigger.

Fire and Rain by James Taylor

While browsing tracks dealing with suicide, I was surprised to see this one on a list from Music Grotto. I will add their take on the topic.

“The classic number was released in 1970 and is one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time. The song talks about the suicide death of Suzanne Schnerr – James Taylor’s childhood friend. In the song, James also opens up about his struggles with depression and drug addiction.

When dealing with depression, most people want to find a way out, so mental illness and substance addiction are closely associated. However, drugs offer temporary numbness to the situation but do more harm than good in the long run.”

Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O’Sullivan

A long-time favourite song of mine and one that I didn’t think of as being tied to suicide, but it is—an even better song now.

There we have it, 14 songs, seven a side. A full album of songs that explore the topic of suicide. All thanks to the seed from Watch The Stars by Twisted Rose and the contributions of others. If you have a favourite song about suicide that is not on this list, please leave a note in the comments and thank you.

Friends In Noise Revisited

I did the original post for this way back on the 14th of January, almost two months ago. They dropped the full album on March 6 and I took that as a good time to re listen and see if they have weathered those months well.

They have. I greatly enjoyed hearing them again, twice again. Here is my original post. It’s not the apex of music blogs, but it is what it is.

January 14: Time to dust off my platform shoes and dig the sequinned vest out of the closet along with the bell bottom jeans with the wide cuff and the satin shirt with the ruffled sleeves; we are listening to some new music that could easily pass for vintage psychedelia.

I’m talking about the new album, Friends In Noise, from the London psychedelic music artist Black Market KarmaFriends In Noise is Black Market Karma‘s eleventh full-length album. How could I have missed this up until now? ‘Friends In Noise,’ is an international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, released via the London boutique label Flower Power Records and the PR of Shameless Promotions. Revolving around songwriter Stanley Belton, Black Market Karma features music heavy with fuzz pedals and a 12-string guitar jingle jangle. Music that takes me back to another era. I love it.

Stanley Belton tells us, “I didn’t really get the idea of an album in my head too much. It’s something that gradually came together over the years through playing and becoming friends with so many good musicians. Collaborations naturally occur when you’re spending time with people who are musically minded, especially when we would hang at my studio. The songs started to build up over time and I thought man, these should all be gathered together on one release so here we are.”

“The last pieces came via two good friends – Craig Dyer of The Underground Youth and Butchy Davy of The Confederate Dead. Craig and I had wanted to make music together in the past but it never came to be – he lives in Berlin, but we managed to make ‘Wonky’ happen. Lastly Butchy came to the BMK studio with an unfinished, instrumental demo and we worked on it together. The result was ‘Ageing Boy’”.

Earlier, Black Market Karma released the singles’ The Sky Was All Diseased’ with iconic vocalist Tess Parks and ‘Aping Flair’ with Ruari Meehan (Tess Parks, Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe and Belakiss with Ringo Starr’s granddaughter Tatia Starkey).

Featuring recordings captured over nine years, ‘Friends In Noise’ is a series of collaborations between Black Market Karma and friends. Apart from Tess Parks, this album also involves The Underground Youth, Les Big Byrd / Joakim Ahlund, The Confederate Dead and Ruari Meehan. More recently, Stan has also collaborated with Pete Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) of Spacemen 3 fame on a forthcoming release. I happen to dig the grooves of Spacemen 3, so it is no surprise that I also dig the tunes of Friends In Noise.

Friends In Noise features some sharp lyrics to accompany the psychedelic music. Here are a few examples that I notice.

“I got love but I don’t deserve it

I got time but all I do is blow it.”


YouTube is a friend of my wasted time.


“Went walking in the sun

Felt all the rainfall.”

The Sky Was All Diseased

“The sun was shining on the sea,

Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

The billows smooth and bright–

And this was odd, because it was

The middle of the night.”

-Lewis Carroll from Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

Friends In Noise is an excellent example of reimagined music. It sounds familiar, like a flashback to an old friend remembered. And it sounds fresh, like making a new friend that reminds you of an old friend. At the end of the day, I have found Friends In Noise to be a delightful visitor to my home. I hope you invite Friends In Noise into your home and make friends with Black Market Karma.

Friends In Noise on 180-gram coloured vinyl from the label, as well as their latest’ Aped Flair & Hijacked Ideas’ LP. Tickets for upcoming tour dates can be ordered herehttps://www.bandsintown.com/a/261797-black-market-karma

‘Heady Ideas (Joakim Åhlund Remix)  https://youtu.be/vrCm96zrSyQ
‘Friends In Noise’ trailer  https://youtu.be/m6TzBr1YOW8
Order the ‘Friends In Noise’ LP  https://bit.ly/3CtLgn0
Spotify  https://open.spotify.com/album/1rUJYqVxmsL4JRdG6JJfJ2
‘Aping Flair’  https://youtu.be/S4eFJeCaTjA
‘The Sky Was All Diseased’  https://youtu.be/4274oQhCmZw
Spotify  https://open.spotify.com/artist/1lbkSAoynPSO7OQOFSOdon
Tour tickets  https://www.songkick.com/artists/2449531-black-market-karma/calendar

Sole @ 45 rpm

I rarely blog about single songs, but there is always room to break that pattern. There are two songs that I will mention today, and although they are not back-to-back on a 7″, I will treat them as such.

SOLE (Sole Gipp Ossler) is a Swedish artist, music producer and songwriter. In 2020 she released her debut album, ett eget rum, which was mentioned as a “filmic, melancholy and experimental debut” by the well-known Swedish magazine GAFFA. This year SOLE will be releasing her second album, våra liv. The first single from her upcoming album was released in January and mentioned by several Swedish magazines. With inspiration from artists and bands such as Nina SimoneSigur RòsLeonard CohenTwin Peaks and BjörkSOLE creates her unique sound; atmospheric, melancholic, ambient, ambient, experimental and filmic.” P.R.

du jag tiden” opens with gentle piano notes, a quiet guitar someplace behind the piano slips into the soundscape, and an equally subtle synth joins them. And then SOLE starts singing in a delicate, rhythmic pattern that builds along with the music, rising and rising with percussion driving them all forward. SOLE‘s voice soon changes into a plaintive call, and the music continues to build higher and higher and faster and faster. It gets frantic. The distortion is all-encompassing. I am out of breath from trying to keep up with the pace of “du jag tiden.” And then it stops with her gentle voice reclaiming the focus only to lose it in the distortion that gives the impression of a steal locomotive braking hard to stop at the station. Steel grinds on steel, and then they all fade to nothing. I hit repeat. “du jag tiden” opens with…etc.

Mix: Anton Sundell

Master: Jonas Siöström

Drum recording: Ruben Engzell

Coverart: Sole Gipp Ossler

Photo: Philip Käll

Musicians: Sole Gipp Ossler (song, synthesizer), Mons Gipp Ossler (song, guitar, piano), Zackarias Lindskog (guitar), Pelle Ossler (guitar), Hux Nettermalm (drums) and Christoffer Zetterlund (bass) 

A some point in time I didn’t hit repeat. I listened to side two of my imaginary 45—låta allt bli. A cacophony of voices sounds like they are on the other side of a large room, and an accordion comes into hearing range. A guitar plays gentle notes, and SOLE sings with her plaintiff style—more accordion, never too much accordion. It builds in scope with guitar, accordion, percussion, and synths. Higher and higher it goes, and then it is reigned in, and the song goes out much the same as it came in, gentle piano, accordion and SOLE singing gently.

Text och musik: Sole Gipp Ossler 

Producent: Sole Gipp Ossler 

sång, melodika, piano, synthar : Sole Gipp Ossler 

akustisk gitarr : Zackarias Lindskog

trummor : Hux Nettermalm 

kontrabas : Michael Carlqvist

cello : Henrik meierkord 

Mix: Anton Sundell 

Master: Jonas Siöström 

Inspelning av trummor: Ruben Engzell, Skutan Studio 

Omslag: Sole Gipp Ossler 

Foto: Philip Käll på Teater Galeasen

Follow SOLE on Spotify / Instagram / Facebook 

Have a listen! I hope you’ll like it 🙂 

I Need Her/Addeyee/Adrian Norén

Låten I Need Her beskriver en känsla av att man behöver kärlek och samtidigt ger kärlek till någon som behöver det, och vill ha det. En typ av vacker men ändå skör och sårbar harmoni… Låten avslutas med ett känslomässigt klimax och en orgasm av ljud och ord. 


My Swedish is a bit rusty*, so I will add the translation:

The song I Need Her describes a feeling of needing love and, at the same time giving love to someone who needs it and wants it. A kind of beautiful yet fragile and vulnerable harmony… The song ends with an emotional climax and an orgasm of sound and words.


In recent years, Adrian Norén has naturally become a sought-after live and studio musician through his participation in bands such as Boys And Ivy, Linn Koch-Emmery and Sötnos. But on the 11th floor in the Stockholm suburbs, Adrian now writes his own music and has recently released two singles in Swedish, ‘Drömparken‘ and ‘Du är fin‘ under his alias Addeyee (which also is his Instagram name).

I rarely blog about singles, but this track deserves mention, and I look forward to the EP. I Need Her will be the last single before the debut EP Spår av Addeyee (Swedish for “Tracks by Addeyee“), released this spring. The lyrics in ‘I Need Her‘ are about the feeling of sometimes needing someone but also being needed, which can sometimes be a fragile balance. The single also reminds us not to focus too much on the future but try to live in the moment.

Adrian took me away to an unexplored musical pathway. Adrian Norén grew up in a small secured world outside of the Swedish city of Enköping in a family where no one was involved in music, and the plan was to become an engineer like his father. Full of ideas and energy, he liked to test his limits and dreamed of starting to play the drums, but as the family lived in a terraced house, he instead got a keyboard when he was ten years old. He then came to discover music with ease and was able to create songs and melodies based on his inner notes. Soon after, he acquired an electric guitar and started to learn Red Hot Chili Peppers riffs. During the riffing in his childhood room, Adrian understood that music could be used as a portal to travel away to unexplored worlds.

I Need Her is uptempo and easy listening. There are layers of synth that build momentum with well-placed bass lines. Those hours spent riffing on his guitar have paid dividends; Adrian’s guitar work is good.

Listen carefully for the affirmations sprinkled here and there throughout the track. It reminded me of the congregation of a church saying their “Amens” and “Praise The Lord’s.” Adrian does “Yeah’s” & “Yes” after a few passages here and there.

I would like to see Adrian play a live set. Low Roar, another synth band, has an exalted spot on my list of favourite concerts. I have a feeling, a good feeling, that Adrian would be reasonably high on that list. Going to Sweden is on my bucket list. Here’s hoping that I can see him perform live on stage. In the meantime, let’s enjoy this track and wait for the release of the EP.

*I can’t read, write or speak a word of Swedish.

Chris Church

On February 15, I received an email from the good folks over at Big Stir Records inviting me to listen to an album, Radio Transient, by a fellow named Chris Church. So I listened to it. And I liked what I heard—all ten songs—no problem with listening to this album. Apple Music tells me I listened to Radio Transient 7 times, back to back. 8 times now.

The words below give the partial story of what I heard. These are the quotes of Chris Church. The writer/s names are in parenthesis. The lyrics are in Italics. My words are underlined.


1. GCRT (Chris Church) “young men who inexplicably park their cars and leave their stereos playing at extremely high volume, windows down or even doors open, and conduct their business inside the store while everyone outside has to deal with the heavy sub-bass thumping audio nightmare they’ve left unattended.” 

You think I want to feel it thumping my chest

 As a species, you have helped us regress.” 

2. Going ‘Til We Go (Chris Church), “Lindsey BuckinghamThe Fixx, and ’80s Hall & Oates, 12-string Danelectro guitar, hollow body Gretsch guitar.

3I Don’t Wanna Dance With Me (Music: Chris Church / Lyrics: Chris Church, Lori Franklin, Matthew Lutton) “I don’t wanna dance with ME, I wanna dance with you!” 

4. One More Chance To Get Over You (Chris Church) “The most straight up power pop song here,” “Can I just get one more chance to get over you?”

5. I Think I Think I Like You (Chris Church) “He’s dealing with the fact that this emotion is sickening to him, but can’t fight it, and perhaps allowing himself to open up to his feelings will help him to open his mind to her art, or is he just horny?” 

“You say you like me too much

 Well, I do, too.”

6. Already In It (Chris Church) More Hall & Oates and Todd Rundgren than Buckingham/Fixx here, maybe even a bit of a Spandau Ballet/ABC/Duran new romantic feel on this one. “I’ll catch you when you’re starting to fall.” This line reminds me of a line I am fond of, “Whenever you fall, I’ll be there for you.” – The Floor. As a long-time Todd Rundgren fan, this song immediately grabbed my attention. I love how the singing and style of music come so close to his.

7. Over And Out (Chris Church) “The lyrics allude to trying to discourage and ignore the thoughtless, cruel and boring act of habitually gossiping about one another.” “Friends bombarded 

Details, decrees

You’re on your throne, they’re at your feet. It’s what you started.”

Another great song about gossip is You Told Them Exactly What I Didn’t Say by

Terry Scott Taylor. https://genius.com/Daniel-amos-whos-who-here-lyrics

8. Gotta Go Gotta Ramble (Music: Chris Church / Lyrics: Chris Church, Lori Franklin) Chris tells us, “Lori and I have been together for almost 20 years. She’s my forever. She helped me write this song. It’s about breaking up and leaving. The protagonist is in such a hurry to split that he eschews grammar with the line, “there will never be no doubt.” “I feel the heat of the exit sign” is a pretty cool line. This one contains one of the better-sounding synthesizer tracks I recorded for it. I had fun with that.”

9. Far Too Late (Chris Church) “(Nick) Bertling’s drums are fantastic and really drive the song, and Lindsay Murray’s backing vocals play such an important role in the big picture.” The lyrics are pretty vague. Sometimes I do that on purpose. Or do I? You decide. Or not. Maybe this song is about the quest to finally be beyond all “that.” 

10. Flip (Chris Church) “a weird little rocker about accepting fate.” 

“Catch me

 On the flip.”

 Getting getting going

 Only to be gone.”

“It’s also called “Flip,” so feel free to start all over and hit play again!”

I cut and pasted Chris’s lyrics and quotes and have contributed little original because Chris says it better than me. Radio Transient is a fun album with seriousness lurking just below the surface.

The more we stick to it

 Like we’re all having fun

 The more we unglue it

 And the further away we run.”

Big Stir Records are delighted to announce the March 24 release of Radio Transient, an all-new and breathtakingly original album from celebrated Lenoir, North Carolina, singer-songwriter Chris Church. Preceded by the lead single “Going ‘Til We Go,” the album will be on CD in record stores worldwide and streaming everywhere on March 24 and is up for pre-order at http://www.bigstirrecords.com, the BSR Bandcamp page, and online retailers now. Special thanks to Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome at Big Stir Records

For more about Chris Church






2140 N. Hollywood Way #6607, Burbank CA 91505 bigstrrecords@gmail.com – rexbroome@gmail.com www.bigstrrecords.com

p.s. 9 times now

Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

Feel It Comin’ On, the new single and video from Star Collector is not your average 3-minute pop song. It clocks in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds, closer to 5 minutes than 3. I am glad Star Collector busted out of that stereotype; it leaves almost two bonus minutes for the band to find a groove and work it out. And that is what they do.

Feel It Comin’ On opens with 25 seconds of blistering rock and roll to claim a beachhead for the rest of the album, which is appropriately named, Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat. The opening track, Feel It Comin’ On, hit all of those targets as I listened. It attacks, not just the opening minute; it sustains the attack and only decays in the last 25 seconds. And then I hit repeat, and we do it all over again, Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat.

The title of this new Star Collector album, Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat is a tribute to a pedal board.





I’m more of a Distort, Distort, Distort, Distort, Modulation, Chorus, Wah-Wah player type of guy, but that’s just me. To each their own. Whether it’s Vic’s or Steve’s pedal board, they own that sound, and it works its magic to give us the whole palette of guitar on the album Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat. 

Star Collector has been on my radar for over a year. I gave a favourable review of their previous album, Game Day, and later a show at The Station on Jasper, a local watering hole and live music venue that has unfortunately gone out of business.

Star Collector is fronted by Vic Wayne, who contributes lead vocals, rhythm & acoustic guitars and percussion to the album. Multitalented indeed. Pardon this next bit, I’m a bit of a geared. Vic has two guitars that I know of, they are a Gretsch and a RickenbackerSteve Monteith contributes lead, rhythm & slide guitars and background vocals. He was playing an Arline Twin Tone DLX when we saw them live.

Tony Kerr plays a lovely Rickenbaker bass as well as a Fender Jazz Bass. Along with Adrian Buckley on various percussion instruments, they keep time for everyone, and their flourishes add to the overarching sound of Star Collector. Guest appearances include Adam East on bass and background vocals, Kevin Kane (The Grapes of Wrath), Paul Myers (musician and author of ‘Go All The Way – A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop) and more.

Track one is the previously mentioned song Feel It Comin’ On. Track two is the hook-friendly Beat It To Death. Track three has the title, The Back Of Your Head, which made my music radar go off. Another song with that title appeared on the self-titled album The Electrics. However, the similarity stops at the title.

Skipping a few songs, I came to a line that caught my eye. It’s in the song Black And Blue Baby. “it’s never too late to start again.”

It’s never too late to start playing guitar again.

It’s never too late to exercise more.

It’s never too late to make amends for wrongs done in the past.

It’s never too late to…

Jumping over the track If We Can’t Take A Joke, we hear the song Crashin‘, it opens with the beat of a cowbell. There’s never too much cowbell. Check out the SNL skit for that famous line.

The remainder of the album is classic rock with one track being the obligatory soft ballad, Cross My Heart. Cross My Heart refers to the Neil Young song Tonight’s The Night and Rod Stewart‘s song of the same name. Neil Young‘s version is a mid-tempo rock number that is memorable because he sings the refrain Tonight’s The Night 30 times. Rod Stewart‘s take on the line Tonight’s The Night is creepy because it sounds like date rape. Check out the lyrics as it plays. https://genius.com/Rod-stewart-tonights-the-night-gonna-be-alright-lyrics

Back to Star Collector, in 2021, they released Game Day, a solid rock album I endorsed back then and still do. In 2023 they release Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat it builds on the momentum of Game Day without losing a beat. Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat is not a clone of Game Day. It is a new album with new music and new lyrics. I endorse Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat. It is a good listening experience and a novel album name. Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat contains 12 solid songs to keep you entertained for close to an hour.

Stuck in traffic? Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

Out for a walk? Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

Working on a blog to post? Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

Doing housework? Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

Entertaining friends? Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat

You too can enjoy this album, check it out at Bandcamp.


Villages/Dark Island

The band Villages had its roots in rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Fun fact: Cape Breton is an island connected to the peninsula and province of Nova Scotia, which is, in turn, connected to the province of New Brunswick and the mainland of Canada. We now have our geography lesson out of the way for today, and we can return to the previously scheduled program in progress.

Villages started as a bunch of high school friends getting together and making rock and roll music. They were influenced by the bands Sloan, Superfriendz and Thrush Hermit. The band’s nucleus formed around Matt Ellis with his cousin Travis Ellis and another cousin, Jon Pearo. And a guy who wasn’t a cousin but was pretty good at playing guitar, Archie Rankin.

The Rankin Family is as close to a Canadian royal family of music as we are ever going to get. However, I can not find a connection between The Rankin Family collective and Archie Rankin, a member of the folk band Villages, so I will resort to judging this album on the merits of its music and lyrics instead of the heritage of one-quarter of the band.

All the band members come from musical families, so it was only natural that the guys pursued music with passion. Initially, they were drawn to the indie rock and grunge music scene in the capital city of Nova Scotia, Halifax. However, that was a long drive away from their home base, so after graduating high school, they all moved to Halifax, and the band that became Mardeen grew. They continued to work together, develop their craft, and write their material. Before long, Mardeen was recording its CDs.

In recent years, the band members began to take more of an interest in the music of their roots, especially after listeners told them that despite taking the guys out of Cape Breton, the harmonies and melodies of Cape Breton still seemed to infiltrate their sound.
“Instead of trying to fight it, we thought, why not be proud of it,” said Matt Ellis.

Mardeen found themselves looking back on their heritage after an unexpected trip down memory lane. “One late night, a singalong of Rankin Family tunes broke out,” says Matt. “I remember saying to the rest of the band that we need to write something that evokes the sound of home.”

The idea from that night soon morphed into the guys deciding that they should create another band (with all the same members) focusing on creating, recording and performing music that was more true to their Cape Breton traditional roots. They named the band Villages, and now with Mardeen and Villages, the band seems to inhabit the best of both worlds. You will hear the results of that work on the brand new debut recording from Villages, Dark Island. Matt Ellis and the band have taken up some new acoustic instruments for their debut album Villages. In these songs, you’ll hear mandolin, bouzouki, concertina, and other instruments.

There’s a poetic appeal to the music as well, with many of the songs representing natural elements and a sense of timelessness that is evocative of older and traditional music of Cape Breton or the British Isles, where the band has also drawn from some influences. “I’m always drawn to songs that inhabit a range of time where they may have been written yesterday but lyrically they could be 300 to 400 years old,” said Matt.

They could be 300 to 400 years old but also sound fresh and vibrant. The opener, Wearing Through The Pine, employs some beautiful wordplay. The footsteps of those who have gone ahead of us have worn the boards down, and the writer continues to wear through the pine, which establishes a connection to the past, let’s say, 300 to 400 years of steps on those pine boards. Wearing Through The Pine triggered a memory, Willie Nelson‘s guitar, Trigger. Trigger has a spruce top worn down over time but has a similar connotation. Wearing through the spruce or Wearing Through The Pine.

Track two is a love song that features a vocal technique that has probably been acquired over a lifetime and frequent exposure. I have not acquired that and therefore find it somewhat unsettling. What I am referring to is a series of yelps that are sprinkled generously throughout the song. I went back and listened to Wearing Through Through The Pine again to see if I missed the yelps in this song. I did; there is one just before the bridge and one at the song’s end. The song Love Will Live On has seven, so I picked them out easier. As I understand it, these are evocative of a kitchen jam session on the island, and I am learning and accepting something new to me. Love Will Live On is a fine song about love enduring on an island in the Maritimes; Cape Breton Island would be my guess.

Dark Island is an album full of fine music. I have dabbled in mandolin, guitar, harmonica and ukulele, but not even close to the quality these guys display. I play just enough to know how good other people can play and Villages are very good at the music they make. They take the best of their Cape Breton heritage music and meld it into something that is as new and fresh as an ocean breeze.

By the time the album got to Lost Again, the fifth song, I was immersed in the music and getting flashbacks to a time in my life that I had forgotten about, for good reasons, that had nothing to do with music. I had been living for a couple of months in Edmonton, Alberta with some east coasters, and they exposed me to their music, which I buried someplace deep in the folds of my brain until I listened to Dark Island for about the twentieth time. And then I started bobbing my head and tapping my foot. I knew that music again for the first time.

Play the Fiddle All Night, track 8 if you’re counting, also gave me flashbacks, but these were immensely pleasurable. An uncle of mine played the violin/fiddle, and much of his music reflected the traditional music of the Hebrides and Scotland. He played the fiddle all night, and my Dad sang and played guitar all night. I occasionally chimed in with my electric guitar, but I had nowhere the talent they had, or Villages have.

“The song (Play the Fiddle All Night) was written after reflecting on the traditional poem ‘The Dark Island,’” “Stirring up thoughts of mortality and what of our home on Cape Breton Island would be pined for when the time comes. The song presented itself very quickly and we finished it only a few days before we were scheduled to record. There was a striking similarity in themes carried in both the poem and our tracklist, so it ultimately gave namesake to the album. The song immediately felt vital to the record and given the spontaneity of it all, it was one of the more exciting experiences in songwriting that we’ve had.”

“There was no way of me knowing, that someday I’d be old myself.”

What a great line. This line is from the deeply personal song Mother. It feels like remorse for things said and done in the past and the memories that haunt us. The closing song is Rocks In The Field, a deeply personal song for me. I picked rocks in the field one summer for a farmer. He got his field cleared of rocks, and I got a tan and a few dollars, which I proceeded to spend on getting “pissed out of our minds.” “And often say pass the (liquid ?) courage, pass the ever blazing vine (tobacco ?).“And ooh it’s something to be finally free.” What is it that it’s something to be finally free from? I think that is a question that each of us will have a different answer to. I know what mine is; I am free from the liquid courage and blazing vine. Over 30 years free. I’ll leave it up to you to answer that question for yourself.

Final thoughts? Dark Island is a good record that will grow on you with each listen. I would encourage you to read the lyrics as it’s playing; there is a lot of deep stuff, and I’m not just talking about the ocean. After listening to Dark Island, I want to head east and experience the maritime provinces and the music while I am there, yelping included, I’m OK with that now.

Produced by JUNO-winning composer and producer Joshua Van Tassel and issued by Sonic Records. 


Website – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter


For more information, please contact: