For the last ten days I have been listening to a new album from the Finnish band Captain Cougar, the album name is Bonnie. I like the album, it is a great easy listening album. They don’t crank up the volume much, they just add some extra juice in all the right place, but that can be a good thing when it is done well. And Captain Cougar do it well.. This is an album that I can put on, sit back and let the music wash over me. All good, right?
No, it isn’t all right. Captain Cougar have given me an album that is so good, I am left wordless. I literally do not know what to say.
This band is good?
This album is good?
The recording is sonically good?
The lyrics are good?
Yes, to all of the above! But what is left to say?
Give them a listen and see if you like them as much as I do. Bonnie is a well composed album that walks between folk music with more than one stringed instrument. I think I can hear mandolin on the song Liquid Helping Hand. There are some more progressive sounds here and there and some gentle pop sensibilities. Fortunately for us, Captain Cougar bring it all together seamlessly on the album Bonnie. Their music is hard to categorise, I suggest giving them a listen you can decide what to call them.
In the place of pages of rhetoric and platitudes about how this should be on everyone’s best of the year charts and so forth, instead of me posting empty content about how much I like this album, I thought I would have a bit of fun with it. I made a crossword puzzle using song titles, some of them are broken down into two parts.
Enjoy the music, that’s it. Enjoy Captain Cougar, they are good.
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.
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
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
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 Think, Guided 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.”
CREDITS 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Karma. Friends 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.
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 Simone, Sigur Ròs, Leonard Cohen, Twin Peaks and Björk, SOLE 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
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.
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 Buckingham, The Fixx, and ’80s Hall & Oates, 12-string Danelectro guitar, hollow body Gretsch guitar.
3. I 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
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
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.”
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.
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 Rickenbacker. Steve 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