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Album Review: Touch of Blue

Last year, guitarist extraordinaire, Bill Hart released his album “Touch of Blue”. This album is nothing short of genius and contains some of the best Jazz-Fusion pieces you will ever hear. Bill has an impressive resume, training under the likes of greats such as Mike Stern and has opened for the likes of Herbie Hancock. He is currently the head of the guitar department at the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media. It’s safe to say he is one busy bloke!

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Without further adieu, here is our take on Bill’s masterpiece.

1. “Deep Skies”

Bill starts this great album with this groovy masterpiece, the piano playing and bass solo (later on in the track) are really complimentary of each other. Makes for some great listening and is definitely one of the defining pieces of this album. This is very well composed and definitely sets us up for the rest of the album

2. “That’s Purdy”

This track hits us like a groove train, during the track there are some nice chords and the main riff works very well with the jazzy licks Bill lays down here. Once that’s done it’s back to some good ol’ soloing which just makes this track an exquisite piece of music, honestly we can’t find any fault with this at all. There’s a nice breakdown with some great soloing again then back to the main riff. Bill’s tone is incredible throughout this track.

3. “Inside Job”

As soon as this track starts you can tell it’s a great bit of fusion. There’s a great keyboard solo that kicks in just after the two minute mark. Bill, once again, lays down an impressive guitar solo just after. We had to pick our mouths up off the floor, it’s just incredible. There’s some evidence of slide guitar, or perhaps he’s just using his whammy bar effectively – either way it sounds great!

4. “Lost Parts”

In keeping with what we’ve heard so far, this track continues the jazzy/fusion feel. We sense some legato licks towards the halfway mark that compliments the track very well. Afterwards it picks up and there’s some more jazzy riffage to be heard, honestly it’s just great. (Have we said this album is great yet?)

5. “A Fine Line”

Straight away there’s some great keyboard playing with a nice clean guitar backing, great tone on that. The guitar riffing Bill does here is really funky and very well pieced together with the rest of the track, the outro solo is just remarkable.

6. “Touch of Blue”

The title track itself! Bill’s tone is incredible, he’s got that filthy strat tone with some distortion which really goes well here. The whole track has a great flow with some nice bass parts. This track feels like it would make a great montage track, maybe even in some kind of A-list Spy Movie. The main riff is just sublime. Honestly, we don’t think we can tell you how great this is.

7. “Minor Details”

You probably won’t be surprised, but this track has a very dark feel to it. That’s probably why it’s “MINOR Details” not “major” – get it?! Seriously though, the bass has a great tone and there’s evidence here of some kind of volume swelling from Bill which makes this track all the more remarkable. We’re just running out of words to compliment this album – it’s just too good and “Minor Details” is testament to this fact.

8. “Funky Do Funky Don’t”

The intro to this track is very well done. The keyboard playing in this track really compliments everything else that makes this incredibly funky, don’t say you weren’t warned. This is Funky Do! The bass playing is also incredible. Bill’s solo towards the end is just the cherry that makes this a great fusion sundae.

9. “All I Know”

Just amazing! The harmony of the bass and the guitar will make your ears melt. The guitar riff overall is just incredible. How can ya write something like that? Wow! The whole track is groovy, yet emotional. There’s also a great synthesizer just chilling at the back of the mix which really goes well. You won’t be disappointed.

10. “Swamp People”

This is our favourite track. This is immediately a hit with some great guitar playing, well the whole album is – but this is just the best evidence for it. The breakdown in this track with the synth is, once again, very complimentary of one another. You just can’t go wrong with this track. “Swamp People” makes for possibly the best listening on this entire album, it was tough competition.

11. “Not Now Juangui”

The final track on Bill’s album – it follows the same great audible path that this album has taken. The main riff on this track is great. The organ compliments the composition well. Bill’s use of his tremolo to make some tasty licks are just incredible. To top this off, there’s a great key change at the ends.

We’d just like to give thanks to Bill and to all who worked on this album as well as Blue Canoe Records for releasing it. This was really fun to listen to and review.

Bravo Bill!

You can listen to “Touch of Blue” by Bill Hart via Blue Canoe Records on Spotify and iTunes.

Review: The Dead Captain EP

Although the Captain doesn’t set sail until July 17th, this is something coming at you live off the port bow! We’ve been very lucky to be sent a preview of this great EP and all we’ve got to say really is Aye Aye Captain! Maybe that’s enough of the nautical puns, we’ll see…

1. “This Old Village”

We were really impressed by the nice use of keyboards that come in during the intro. The lyrics are beautifully written and paint a really nice picture in this, somewhat of a subtle social commentary and throughout the entire song (scratch that, the whole EP) the vocals are really impressive – soothing in fact. The acoustic guitar has a really nice tone and is very well played. The addition of an electric guitar in the middle is nice and reinforces the acoustic which is really nice on the ears. The keyboard outro/solo is a very nice fit and the bass line at the end is a nice cherry on the audible sundae that is This Old Village.

2. “Looming Moon”

There’s a very dark feel about this song, but it’s still soothing. The muddy guitar riffs compliment this song very well. Once again, the vocals are very impressive and the lyrics paint a very powerful picture. The guitar solo in this song is very effective and very calm. All in all a very impressive composition.

3. “Who Knows”

The bass slide, oh lordy, that bass slide was the perfect way to start this song. The tone on the guitar is incredible, along with the vocals (again). The drums have a very different feel to the previous two tracks, which is a nice change. Although like with the previous song, it has a very dark feel but it is very soothing. There’s some guitar riffing in the background which is very nicely mixed with the rest of the instruments which adds for an even nicer feel to this already great song.

4. “Toddler Democracy”

Who thought Ronald Reagan was dead? No! The Captain brought him back from Davyy Jones’ Locker! Ah we knew we could fit one more in.

Anyway, the guitar and keyboard playing behind Reagan’s voice is making him sound bearable to listen to. However after he’s done, once again there are some amazing vocals and this time round there’s some very overt social commentary-esque lyrics. Which we feel is refreshing and highlights many issues about politics. We would argue it goes further than just politics on the face of it, but rather the way we conduct ourselves on social media. We could be wrong but we feel that’s coming across. All in all a very eye-opening track. Very powerful, all brilliant.

We’d just like to say thank you to Dan Adams for sending over The Dead Captain EP and also to Stereokill Records.  This was brilliant. Top job.

You can follow The Dead Captain on Twitter and Facebook

The Dead Captain EP will be released on Stereokill Records on July 17th 2017. 

Gig review: CAVENDISH SNIFF

“Hated by your neighbours, loved by your girlfriends…” 

That’s what Cavendish Sniff say about themselves, and we couldn’t put it better ourselves!

Last night at the Hope and Ruin in Brighton, we happened to stumble across what can only be described as a return to raw rock. Edginess in a better light than what most come to expect from Brighton-based bands.

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The Sniff didn’t pull any punches, the lead singer was a return to a David Lee Roth/Vince Neil style of frontman. Immersing himself with the crowd at a point, getting the awe-struck audience involved. Even chucking his beer in the audience. Amazing. The rest of the band were equally amazing. The drummer was tight and very much on point. One of the guitarists had his Les Paul slung way down low, blasting some amazing solos and an impressive chord structures in his playing. The other, with not just an impressive head of hair – but also an Ibanez JEM! Woah! We forgot other guitars apart from edge-lord focused Fenders existed. The bassist was groovy as hell, laying down some impressive backing vocals (as the rest of the band too) and getting the audience involved.

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A big thank you to The Sniff for putting on an amazing show, we’ve seen many bands before we started this blog and this is some tough competition.

As of writing this article, Cavendish Sniff is definitely the best band we’ve seen.

You can find Cavendish Sniff on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also listen to their song “Cat’s Got The Cream” on YouTube

Review: “15 Minutes” by SISTERAY

From Vallance Records come the latest band you need to add to your playlist. This five-track EP is exactly fifteen minutes of pure audible gold.

1. “00:03:08 – Queen’s English”

At first we were surprised to hear her Maj’ talk. But then it turned into something very clever, we felt it was a nod to the Sex Pistols in a way, but with a (dare we say it) modern twist that is sorely needed. Definitely a fuck you to Austerity, or so that’s how we looked at it. Excellent guitar riff opens this up, the vocals are impressive, the bass is rolling and the drums rock on this track.

2. “00:03:00 – Nostalgia Trip”

The guitar has got great tone on this, the excellent work of these guys has an almost Motorhead feel to this. The backing vocals in the chorus absolutely compliment that of the lead singer. Marco (the drummer) sounds like he’s having a great time on the drums!

This track is definitely one of our favourites. We’re very impressed.

3. “00:01:57 – Faaast Food”

The amazing tone on the guitar really sets the song up for the great ride that it is. This song definitely is a commentary on consumer culture and the fast-paced nature of society. Or that’s how we hear it. The guitar solo is very impressive, it’s like a better version of what the flute solo from “Wild Thing” by the Troggs would sound like if played on guitar.

4. “00:03:02 – Famous For Nothing”

Oh my god, when we saw the title of this song – our first thoughts were “is this about Kim Kardashian?” Well when we listened to it, we felt it was a massive fuck you to those morons on Social Media who have fat stacks of cash and not much else to their personality. The outro on the guitar and bass are a dark, and well put together end to this absolute gem.

SISTERAY, you’ve said what we were all thinking – thank you.

5. “00:03:53 – White Knuckle Joyride”

We’ll be open about this, this is our favourite from this release. The vocals, guitar solo – everything is just perfect. This is just brilliant all together, a fine bit of music.

We thought Nostalgia Trip was our favourite, but no! SISTERAY has obviously saved the best of this great release till last.

We’d like to say thank you to Niall, Dan, Marco and Michael for introducing their great music into our lives and to Vallance Records as well.

You can follow SISTERAY on Twitter and Facebook. Listen to “15 Minutes” on Soundcloud and Spotify and thank us later. 

 

19/5/17 Five Songs to Get You Through This Weekend

1. “Games” by The Velvet Hands

At the start of this song, you can feel the edginess from the tone of the guitar. The song itself has a pretty upbeat feel, although sometimes it calms down a bit and then picks up – an audible rollercoaster of garage rock. It’s definitely got a feel good factor about it.  The guitar solo (2:09) hits you like a fucking steam train, I did not expect that. Kids these days…

Definitely worth a listen and placing in your best playlist. Will put you in a good mood for sure!

Rating: 3.5/5

Find this on: SpotifyiTunes and SoundCloud

2. “Victoria Falls” by Flyte

What a nice surprise, I’m pretty impressed by this. This is definitely some kind of pop song, but it’s very nicely recorded and well written. For those of you who love your chill vibes, this song is definitely it. The vocals are very well done, guitar is basic yet effective and bass is powerful with a great groove – all of this over a pretty nice, yet very present drum beat. If you’re planning to have a lazy weekend, this one is for you. I like to think of this one as a better version of Tame Impala – yep, I went there.

Rating: 4/5

Find this on: Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music

3. “A Love Song?” by SONS

I’m telling you right now, to answer this question – it isn’t. But it makes for decent listening. If you’re feeling angsty and you wanna take it out, headbang to this song (is that still a thing? Who the fuck cares?) The bass and guitar compliment each other well. This is actually a very good song, my favourite part is when the drums kick in before the brief guitar solo. It feels like a wide blend of the colonel’s herbs and spices… if they were rock herbs that is (don’t do drugs kids).

Rating 3.5/5

Listen on: Spotify

4. “Fillings” by Alex Matthews

This song was recommended by a friend of a friend, who insisted the chorus was the best thing to ever happen to music. I think he was exaggerating – but it’s certainly good. At the start it feels like the singer is trying to fit in the words to the verses, but it’s part of the structure of the song – well put together. Definitely relatable.

On a separate note, I don’t know how this bloke got away with writing:

“travelling back to her’s for nights of drilling, only for her to hurt me just like fillings”

Overall this song is actually brilliant, very catchy and will sort your weekend right out.

Rating: 5/5 – (The chorus bumps this song up from a 3.5)

Find this on Spotify and Bandcamp

5. “Lucky Smile” by Kit Trigg

Let’s say Jimmy Page met up with Hendrix one night and some weird rock and roll shit happened. The child of that would be this guy. I know that if you’re reading this, you probably think I’m exaggerating but you haven’t heard Kit Trigg’s song. Guaranteed to add another chill factor, how this guy can play the guitar like he does and sing like he does at the same time is something that should be beyond all human comprehension. But alas, we’re lucky to live in an age where we can record that magic happening – if this was medieval times, Kit would be burnt at the stake.

Rating: 5/5

Find this on: Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud