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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
Artist: 
Kyle Hollingsworth
Label: 
SCI Fidelity

Kyle Hollingsworth is possibly the master of rock piano. His focus on jazz keys pays off with sylish riffs and blasting organs. Kyle's jams are smooth and filled with neat sound effects like voices from the computer phenomena The Sims. Hollingsworth uses samples to create a world of music unknown to the public, and only accepted by your ear drums. His voice swoons and his fingers dance across the keys. This guy plays with soul. Period.

Sounds Like: 
The String Cheese Incident, Todd Snider, Jonny Lang
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/30/2009
Artist: 
Drummer
Label: 
Audio Eagle

A hugely unique fact about Drummer is that, yes, they are in fact all drummers from different bands. They decided to join together and prove that drummers can make a band. And they're good! The guitars and bass are extremely good as they are the primarily heard instrument. The drums are quick and complex adding texture. The vocals are soft but add a unique sound to the group. The music is somewhat poppy but has strong rock roots. The effects are great and the whole feel is comfortable.

Sounds Like: 
The Black Keys, Love As Laughter, TV On The Radio
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/28/2009
Artist: 
Joel Plaskett
Label: 
Maple Music Recordings

Joel Plaskett has a crystal clear sound. His guitar and accompaniament just rings through the recordings. There are some definite folk and blues influences throughout this triple album. There is lap steel, a variety of strings, and even some woodwinds. Joel is somewhat like the Canadian Bob Dylan. This album has something for everyone. There are more rock songs while some are more country. Three is a cool album to have around.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan, The Black Crowes, The Band
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/28/2009
Artist: 
State Radio
Label: 
Ruff Shod Records

State Radio covers all the bases of music targeting youth. They have the punk, the reggae, the rock, and the chill factor to boot. The rock and punk is done right with quick patterns and driving heavy guitars. Their reggae pieces do not reflect the majority of neo-reggae bands today. State Radio keeps the sound of old school reggae with synths and minor sound effects. What they do have in common with bands such as Rebelution or RX Bandits is the message of self enlightenment and standing up for yourself.

Sounds Like: 
RX Bandits, Rebelution, Katastro, 311, Dispatch, Slightly Stoopid, The Expendables or O.A.R.
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2009
Artist: 
Frank Turner
Label: 
Epitaph

Although Frank Turner's rep is that of a British hardcore band front man, his ways have changed. In Poetry of The Dead, Turner throws down a folky soulful sound reminiscent of his old punk days. With the acoustic guitar playing well over the driving electric guitar, Turner creates a unique blend any music conosieur could enjoy. While some songs are strictly acoustic, others have quite the accompaniment of a band. The background includes a full set of keys, a drummer, harmonicas, mandolins, and a bass player. Turner is also quite the lyricist.

Sounds Like: 
The Gaslight Anthem, Oasis, Kings of Leon, The Shins, or Brand New
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2009
Artist: 
Zoos of Berlin
Label: 
Unsigned

Zoos of Berlin is a crazy sound. It's got electro pop, trumpets, and disco. It has close harmonies in the vocals and quick beats everywhere. This is truly unique. To some it may sound like a complete mess, while to others it may sound like the perfect orchestration. There is a lot going on in these recordings. It could make for great acid trip music, background noise, or even work out music. Zoos of Berlin is an eclectic mix that might take some getting used to, but it is for sure the only thing like it on the market.

Sounds Like: 
Cake, Hot Chip, Aeroplane
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/11/2009
Artist: 
David Gray
Label: 
Mercer Street

You want to know what this sounds like? Imagine if Bob Dylan and Ben Folds Five had kids... That's what it sounds like. This is off the hook. David Gray has the voice of Dylan and the fingers of Folds. The keys just swim along with the band and the songs are filled with soul. The jams are folky but with strong rock beats. Gray's voice is strong and brings forth so much power, without yelling or screaming. Then, the guitars, drums, and piano back up the vocals with equal power to knock the vocals out of the park.

Sounds Like: 
Bob Dylan, Ben Folds Five, Bruce Springsteen, Fruit Bats, Don McLean
Name: 
Isaac Gealer
Date Reviewed: 
10/11/2009
Artist: 
Colin Hay
Label: 
Lazy Eye Records America, Inc.

In American Sunshine, Colin Hay pulls out all the stops to completely make an album that can be enjoyed on a long summer day. Visions of lemonade lounging out on the porch can be clearly seen in every one of his songs. There is prominent acoustic guitar and light rhythms and bouncy parts. Hay's voice is raspy yet it compliments the band very nicely. The blues of the band is deep and dark. The guitars also reflect country lap steels and twangy banjos.

Sounds Like: 
Ben Taylor, Jackson Browne, Lazlo Bane