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Eclectic Vibes - January 2008


CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

Torte Elvis and company play the classics a new way

This Month: Dread Zeppelin, ASG, Blake Lewis, D Numbers, Diary Of Dreams, Edenbridge, Juicehead, Ladysmith Black Mambasa, London After Midnight,  Putumayo’s Latin Reggae, Meldrum, Omar Akram, Putumayo’s Secret Journey, Sequoia Grove, Six and Violence, 3, Uz Jsme Doma

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 - Sinkhole thru 10 - Astronaut
3 - The End Is Begun

3

The End Is Begun
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Moody, paradoxical and sophisticated rhythms compliment the succinct and distinct vocals which soar but do not annoy, while utilizing technical prowess to bring broad minded progressive metal to new heights.



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Omar Akram - Secret Journey

Omar Akram

Secret Journey
Record Label: Real Music
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

This son of a UN diplomat brings us an infusion of world flecked jazz instrumentals set in melodic new age atmospheres. Piano is the dominant but not overpowering motivator here, complimented by violin, guitar, drums and keyboard.



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ASG - Win Us Over

ASG

Win Us Over
Record Label: Volcom Entertainment
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 8

Friends of the surf/skate/snowboard scene, ASG dishes out heavy melodic rock with lots of stoner/psychedelic/alcoholic influences.  A perfect compliment to your adrenalin fueled experiences!



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D Numbers - Lightparade

D Numbers

Lightparade
Record Label: Self Released
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Boarding on instrumental jamtronica but activating just enough quirky indie rock impressions as to not be permeated with a patchouli patina. The stylistic layered approach that this Santa Fe, NM trio utilizes is a constant but the sonic outcomes create a variety of tonal conundrums.



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Diary Of Dreams - Nekrolog 43

Diary Of Dreams

Nekrolog 43
Record Label: Metropolis Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 8

Dark and haunting gothic industrial electronica with sinister ambience yet beautifully breathtaking beats and passages. From the deep and demented mind and voice of Adrian Hates.



Dread Zeppelin - Bar Coda

Dread Zeppelin

Bar Coda
Record Label: Cash Cow Productions
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 8

The basic “schtick” here involves an Elvis impersonator vocalist singing Zeppelin (and other) classics reinvigorated to an often reggae beat. This time they inject some Beatles, Bob Marley and other song snippets with their unique flavor as well.



Edenbridge - The Chronicles of Eden

Edenbridge

The Chronicles of Eden
Record Label: Locomotive Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 8

A 2 disc set featuring 3 new songs, some rarities and bonus tracks on one disc with the other a “best of” compilation voted on by fans worldwide. A great overview of this female fronted Austrian symphonic metal group! For fans of Within Temptation or Nightwish.



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Juicehead - Devil Made Me Do It

Juicehead

Devil Made Me Do It
Record Label: Misfits Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 7

Old school thought provoking punk rock from Chicago with raw raspy guitars, tinny drums, sing along vocals and thrashy hooks that pummel and cajole the listener into a good feelin’ frenzy.



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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu
Record Label: Heads Up Africa
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Taking a break from their usual heavy handed Christian focused acapella, this Grammy award winning African singing group pays homage to Shaka Zulu, one of the greatest leaders in African history. Amazing harmonies as always.



Blake Lewis - Audio Daydream

Blake Lewis

Audio Daydream
Record Label: Arista/J Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Once again a runner up on American Idol scores bigger than the winner. Dynamic and diverse, this release offers a great range of Blake-isms; from beat boxing and alternative pop to soul and hip hop all seen through his pleasant technotronic filters.



London After Midnight - Violent Acts Of Beauty

London After Midnight

Violent Acts Of Beauty
Record Label: Metropolis Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 8

This long time gothic band has retooled and reinvigorated their style by adding a substantial electronic element. This change makes for some fertile new musical frontiers and repeated listens.



Meldrum - Blowin’ Up The Machine

Meldrum

Blowin’ Up The Machine
Record Label: Locomotive Spain
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 7

By featuring guests Gene Hoglan on drums and Lemmy on some back ups, you get a good idea of what kind of kick ass metal this trio of fired up, ballsy females are gonna whip up.



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Putumayo Presents - Latin Reggae

Putumayo Presents

Latin Reggae
Record Label: Putumayo World Music
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

I love reggae and Putumayo has managed to thrust a whole bunch of wonderful established as well as newcomer Spanish singing reggae based artists (largely from Spain) into the spotlight with this release. Ya mon!



Putumayo Presents - Tango Around The World

Putumayo Presents

Tango Around The World
Record Label: Putumayo World Music
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Musically touring the tantalizing Tango hotbeds around the world including Finland, Senegal, Portugal and most notably Argentina. Here we are shown the fancy footwork (and musicianship) of 11 internationally renowned artists.



Sequoia Groove Presents - Angels Voices

Sequoia Groove Presents

Angels Voices
Record Label: Sequoia Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 6

Compiled by Yogafit founder Beth Shaw and mixed by the Gordon Brothers, this compilation focuses on female voices and consists of remixes of about 5 different bands. Blissful but limited.



Six And Violence - Bastards of the Universe

Six And Violence

Bastards of the Universe
Record Label: Dignified Bastards
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

A double disc complete discography of the band’s twenty year existence. These 58 songs are rife with great old school NYC hardcore punk riffs, attitude and humor.



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Uz Jsme Doma - Cod Liver Oil

Uz Jsme Doma

Cod Liver Oil
Record Label: Skoda Records
Review published: January 2008
Rating: 9

Quirky, wild and zany jazz rock with a punk attitude. Comparisons to Zappa, Zorn and The Residents are actually appropriate here. This uneasy listening band from Prague sings in Czech and is not for the wimpy at heart.






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