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Artist: 
The Middle East
Label: 
Spunk

The Middle East has some high vocals with pretty decent harmonies. The guitars move pretty quick with what seems to be finger picking. There are 3 vocalists, or atleast what is heard to be 3 vocalists. These Australian rockers have quite a range of sounds within their tracks. Every track seems to be different than the last. The Middle East is a new band with a new sound but it is easy to listen to and it will be easy to watch them go far.

Sounds Like: 
Iron and Wine, Cold War Kids, City and Colour, Band of Horses, TV on the Radio, Beirut
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
11/18/2009
Artist: 
The Builders and the Butchers
Label: 
Gigantic Music

With a wide range of intrumentation, The Builders and the Butchers have a unique sound. They have a very clean yet deep sound, making them easy to listen to. The vocals are extremely cool. The lead has a twangy kind of folk sound. On some of the tracks however, there are choirs that come in (gospel and choral). T.B.A.T.B. is quick and drives forward. With all the accompaniament they have, they can make a full orchestra. There are many strings, percussion, horns, and types of vocals.

Sounds Like: 
Nickel Creek, Vandaveer, Langhorne Slim, The Avett Brothers
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
11/18/2009
Artist: 
Naomi Greenwald
Label: 
Unsigned

Naomi Greenwald has a very folky sound to her music. It isn't country but there are definitely key influences that she has taken. Strings including lap steels and banjo's fill the ears. Blues and pop influences can also be heard strong. Naomi's voice is very soothing and she can handle highs and lows very well. The acoustic guitar is very delicate yet you can feel its power. Then when the poppy, fast tracks come up, Greenwald's voice is soaring over the band as it grooves but they never lose their roots.

Sounds Like: 
Shawn Colvin, Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson, Indigo Girls, Zooey Deschanel!
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/22/2009
Artist: 
Tim and the 23's
Label: 
unsigned

Southern influenced rock/alt. Simple riffs, some are pretty catchy. They sound like your generic bar band but a little better. You'll enjoy it. 3.5/5

Sounds Like: 
Bush, Marcy Playground
Name: 
Emily Robinson
Date Reviewed: 
01/20/2010
Artist: 
Cory Chisel And The Wandering Sons
Label: 
Black Seal

By the looks of Cory Chisel, he looks Amish. But this folky songwriter is anything but. He grew up listening to blues and folk greats, thus sheltering himself from pop. This however worked in his favor because his knowledge is put to the test. "Death Won't Send A Letter" is his debut album and it sure does not seem like it. This album is not by any means a "debut" album. The mix of accordians, drums, clarinets, tamborines, and harmonicas create a very homey vibe. C.C.A.T.W.S. works hard to make this seven piece band sound just as beautiful and popular as any other pop/folk group.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, The Black Keys, The Raconteurs
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/05/2009
Artist: 
Rain Machine
Label: 
Anti

Coming from the success of TV On The Radio, Kyp Malone is turning solo and is taking the alternative world by storm. His folky roots combine with the light melodies and close harmonies. Anyone can find anything to love about this album. There is folk, jazz, alternative, world, and even electronica. This album has it all. Kyp's light vocals float with the bouncy guitar. Rain Machine has a great path ahead of them (him).

Sounds Like: 
Wolf Parade, Modest Mouse, TV On The Radio, Band of Horses, Iron and Wine
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/05/2009
Artist: 
The Trews
Label: 
Bumstead Productions Ltd.

This is an all acoustic album. It sounds great and the vocals are so powerful. Each member of the Trews knows his place in the sound pyramid and no one over powers anyone else. This makes every so crystal clear. The guitars have a great "twang" to them. Colin MacDonald (lead vocals) has a unique voice timbre and it is so easy to listen to. When he screams out, it is still musical. Another great thing about this album is that it is live. That means, this is how the band really is without any digital editing or editing at all for that matter. They have a great sound for that.

Sounds Like: 
Train, Bob Schneider, Dispatch, Michael Tolcher
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
11/04/2009
Artist: 
Babelshack
Label: 
Unsigned

Babelshack is definitely a garage band trying to make it with a record label. It is straight punk bashing politics and current pop culture. Some of the vocals are hard to hear. But the guitars, drums, and bass drive quick and are al over the place. Some of their songs are extremely random and probably hold some hidden meaning while others are straight about one subject. One thing is unique though, after looking at some of their lyrics, they are very poetic and rhyme quite well. That is somewhat uncommon in Punk groups.

Sounds Like: 
Smashing Pumpkins
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/28/2009

Ria

Artist: 
Mike Grutka
Label: 
MDSM Recordings

Right off the bat, you'll notice that Mike Grutka's voice is nasaly. But if you get past that, you'll see that the music is quite nice. It is fairly simple, but who said music needs to be complex to enjoy it, right? Ria harks back to the 90s rock music era with some major pop influence. The are some heavy synths and electronic keys. But it works! It seems to make good driving music. Every track has forward motion and does not seem too slow.

Sounds Like: 
R.E.M., Talking Heads, The Police, U2, Smashing Pumpkins (maybe just the voice)
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/28/2009
Artist: 
RX Bandits
Label: 
Mash Down Babylon

This review will be very biased, but accurate. The RX Bandits are the best band around. They have fully left their Cali Ska days with this 3rd progressive album. With no horns, they attempt to re create the same full feeling they once had but with keys and guitar riffs of mass proportions. It works. Their lyrics have more meaning than ever too. This is one of the biggest things the Bandits have going for them. Their lyrics are about world issues ranging from the changing music industry to the war. This album kicks ass.

Sounds Like: 
Dredg, Unwritten Law, Portugal The Man, The Sound of Animals Fighting
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/30/2009