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Music Reviews

Here's some old music reviews I did for garageband.com a while back...



Penguin and Fox by The Magistrates

Super Bonkers
Achtung! 80’s Electronica! Look out Barney The Dinosaur’s on Crystal Meth and he’s coming round to play-ayyy so hide the Casio’s and the vodka. This is great- Beta Band, Eels type vocals with a hint of early O.M.D. and J-Pop synths and the sound of Manic Miner loading from cassette to your ZX-Spectrum at the end. All round super happy mentalism for crack babies. Love it!



Damn by Marshall Marshall

Its 4 a.m. and you’ve just finished the last drop of drink and smoked your last cig. You’re staring at the clock thinking of ‘what could have been’ … you play this song and realise ‘things can never be that bad, there’s always something good on the horizon’….
I REALLY liked this one, very moving and very uplifting despite its' haunting air of melancholy. If you write songs, this is one of those that you wish you’d written yourself. Brilliant lyrics and great piano and fantastic arranging.


streaks by warren steele stylee w/ the strung-out orchestra

Badlands Bossanova.
Out in the Peyote Nightmare Desert, where only the bad souls roam, the air is filled with strange noises. Tibetan Throat Singers serenade the spirits of the damned to whiskey bottle percussion. Tom Waits is there, and so is Can. They’re sharing cigarettes and waiting for the sun to rise, but deep down they know, it never will.

were ive been by mrliverfist
Dalek Disco!
A giddy post-apocalyptic industrial nursery rhyme of a song, some great ideas, but could do with some more, great effects but can’t quite make out the lyrics, although it sounds so unsettling I’m not sure I want to know what's being sung about. Loved the vibrato guitar and the backing vocals that sound like some one falling off a cliff. One minute fifty five of sheer demented joy. Disturbing!

Chapter 2... by The Butcher Bill
Frantic Jazz Fingers
Some excellent playing here- frantic Jazz bass and great drumming but unfortunately I found this a tiny bit dull after seven and a half minutes. If you like King Crimson then this would be right up your boulevard - definitely a band for musicians who can marvel at the proficiency of the playing, but not much else to hold your interest – if you like this sort of thing, you’ll love it.

Mosquito by Tapwater
Pienso que beben a las audiencias?
It’s party time at the Back Packers Hostel (hey, it’s ALWAYS party time at the Back Packers Hostel), you’ve been out in the sun all day, your skin’s lobster red and your head feels like a boil in the bag vindaloo. You’ve been drinking since dawn and you’ve only been sick twice. You return to the strains of a live band and the sound of a hundred or so fellow travellers having the time of their lives. ‘I Think The Mosquito’s Are Drunk…’ sings the band, and everyone else is too. After the gig you and your mates stumble back to your bunks singing this song as loud as you can and for years to come when ever you get together to reminisce about your travelling days one of you will start to sing ‘I Think The Mosquito’s Are Drunk…’ and it all comes flooding back….

This Mid tempo pogues-esque ska shanty has all the makings of a great party song, memorable lyrics with a simple catchy melody and a good use of the brass section. Probably more of a ‘live’ tune rather than something you’d sit and listen too at home -it would be hard to sit still to it anyway. Excelente!



Vendetta by Chicken Poodle Soup
Pogo-A-Go-Go!
There comes a time in every young music fans life when they first hear a tune that just sends them into a frenzy. Usually it’s after they’ve had far to much homebrew cider and amphetamines. The song grabs them by the loins, pulls them to their feet and sends them bouncing round their bedroom smashing everything in sight in an orgy of adolescent destruction. This is one of them songs. I challenge anyone to hear this and not, at the very least, tap their foot, bob their head or pogo through the ceiling.
There sounds like two singers here, sharing lines (musical ones), and that’s a nice touch you don’t hear very often, the vocals and lyrics aren’t super strong but I don’t think that matters as its all about energy and there’s bin bags full of it here. The drumming is excellent with good use of tempo changes and some great horns too, I bet these are a great band to see live, especially in a small venue. The productions a little muddy and I would have liked the chorus to be repeated to the end, but apart from that it’s a great track. Who fancies some homebrew?




Movin' In by Growing Old Disgracefully

Ha Ha Ha. I Don't Get It.
The genius of the blues lies in its 4 bar simplicity. Like Punk, it offers the opportunity for just about anybody to be able to make music and express themselves. The downside to this is that it OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR JUST ABOUT ANYBODY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE MUSIC AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES. As this song clearly indicates. If five drunk business men got their hands on some instruments and started trying to play ‘The Blues’- it would sound like this, awful awful generic Blues Schlock you’ve heard a zillion times before, except the lyrics- the singer sounds like he’s making the lyrics up as he goes along, randomly spouting any old guff in a cod ‘southern drawl’. Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe this is a comedy song? It’s like something from South Park. Ok the playing isn’t bad, everything’s in tune and in time but its just horrible. Unless it’s a joke. In which case its genius.



Why by The Traveler
RAWK!
Perched atop a rugged mountain somewhere near the Grand Canyon is a band. We sweep past them in our helicopter (we’re filming the video and no expense has been spared, oh and its sometime in the mid to late 80’s), the band are all in their mid 40’s; long hair greying a bit, their still toned arms looking a little leathery under the ripped white vests, they’re all wearing cowboy boots and jeans (except the bass player who still insists on spandex), the drummer twirls his sticks in the air -behind him is a gong (he’ll set this on fire later). The singer grips an American flag in his fist and looks earnest and the video will feature shots of Eagles, scorpions and rattle snakes…..


Good intro, got a early seventies Rolling Stones feel to it… but then the vocals kick in, ‘gravely’s’ not quite the word, more ‘pebble dashed’. The lead guitar is ok, and I liked the solo – (think Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd), but its just not long enough, just as it gets good the song drops down and those vocals (eeek) start again. About 20 years out of date.



oasis in space by visiongenre
Early Morning Music?
Fast forward 40 years to the ‘Dunsniffin’ rest home for retired Punks and sat on the stoop you’ll find some wrinkly old timers who used to be Greenday. They’ve still got it, even if it’s a little creaky….. I liked this tune; there’s a laid back toe tappin county fried jug band feel to it, but that’s not to say it’s old fashioned, as it’s as fresh as tomorrow, not ultra catchy but still uplifting and positive- it would make a great end credits song to movie about a bank robbery that goes all wrong but ‘they get away with it in the end’ (think ‘Kelly’s Hero’s’ or ’The Italian Job’). The production is nice and clean and the arrangements good and sparse so you can hear what’s going on, I really liked the subtle organ parts ( very much like Bob Dylan’s ‘Rolling Stone’), and the acoustic guitar was great. The singing’s good, though a tad ‘Crash Test Dummies’ in parts and my only gripe is there’s too many words and not enough hooks –I kept waiting for the song to soar off into the stratosphere with a key change or a big chorus, but all in all a good strong piece of work.








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