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Eclectic Vibes - July 2009


CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

27th Annual Atwood Summerfest

WoooHooo! Summer 2009.
Get out and catch a festival or 5. SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM this month including Rothbury, 10KLF, Big Wu Family Reunion X, Atwood Summerfest, Camp Euforia, Grateful Garcia Gathering and SCHWAGSTOCK. Google em for more info!

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1- Thin Soup thru 10 – Solid Jell-O
Amorphis - Skyforger

Amorphis

Skyforger
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 10

Finding new ways to awaken my inner Viking! Invigorating anthems with their signature Scandinavian folk metal approach reverberate a dark, powerful beauty and majesty unmatched. This third round with singer Tomi Joutsen integrates a broad stroke of vocal styles with increased progressive rock elements to their musical palette.



(2412) ViewsPermalinkAmorphis WebsiteAmorphis Wiki
Lawrence Blatt - The Color Of Sunshine

Lawrence Blatt

The Color Of Sunshine
Record Label: LBM Music
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

Brandishing a full spectrum of guitar tricks and treats, this release finds a highly acclaimed acoustic guitar finger-picker emoting melodies and rhythms inspired by colors that are in turn designed to motivate a mood. This is his mode of tickling the oft unused mix of color and light therapy into music structures. Produced by Windham Hill Records founder William Ackerman.



(2092) ViewsPermalinkLawrence Blatt Website
Chill Factor-5 - The Venus Effect

Chill Factor-5

The Venus Effect
Record Label: Electronfarm Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

A contemporary musical hybrid helmed by world traveling, Grammy nominated multi instrumentalist Maurice Oliver. This treasure trove of chilled smooth electronica flirts adventurously with numerous musical combinations from the jazz, hip hop, pop, funk, soul and world beat realms.



(1931) ViewsPermalink
Darkest Hour - Eternal Return

Darkest Hour

Eternal Return
Record Label: Victory Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 7

Rolling and thundering melodic metal with a fair amount of technical wizardry ta boot! Born in the mid 90s, the band was among the first to combine their American hardcore/punk fury with the Swedish death metal sound and is the lineage that still propels their music.



Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam - Coming Up For Air

Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam

Coming Up For Air
Record Label: Blix Street Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

Possessing all the trappings of “The Next Big Thing” including a big name producer (Peter Frampton), slots at a load of summer festivals, and a substantial amount of raw talent, this 22 year old British blues pop guitarist from the Isle of Man is on the fast track to achieving his goal.



Dope Stars Inc - 21st Century Slave

Dope Stars Inc

21st Century Slave
Record Label: Metropolis Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

Integrating the enthusiasm and darker electronica imagery of the cyberpunk movement with their overt fascination of vampires while lyrically railing against societies evils and hidden agendas in an anthemic fashion bodes well for this industrious industrial metal force.



(2092) ViewsPermalinkDope Stars Inc Website
glassGhosts - Nevereverything

glassGhosts

Nevereverything
Record Label: Self Released
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 7

Disenchanted gothic electronica from Madison with flowing female vocals and occasional violin passages over a jittering harsh and unforgiving industrial backdrop. Disturbing throbbings in the lower registers propel the angst filled musical forms into a tumultuous fruition.



(1824) ViewsPermalink
Heatbox - System

Heatbox

System
Record Label: Self Released
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 10

This amazing vocal juke box is feeling his stride on this incredibly catchy and entertaining release. A strong nod to barbershop stylings create a river of harmonies for this one man soul, hip hop and funk band to riff off of. Live he samples each phrase, loops it and repeats until complete. The classics that this contemporary harmonic hero brings our way include “Pizza Funk” and “I Need A Jack and Coke.” As a bonus the disc also contains the game Heatbox completely created “Ninja Strike.”



(1967) ViewsPermalinkHeatbox Website
Vinnie Moore - To The Core

Vinnie Moore

To The Core
Record Label: RED Distribution
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 8

Well versed and well seasoned instrumental guitar rock from a musical virtuoso who has been ‘moonlighting’ as guitarist for the legendary band UFO since 2003! While this album may not shred as metal as his 1986 release, it banters a grace and maturity with the technicality and structure that exemplify him as a leader in this field.



Ozric Tentacles - Yum Yum Tree

Ozric Tentacles

Yum Yum Tree
Record Label: Snapper Music
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

Certain aspects and members of this band may have changed over the 25+ years of its existence, but their music and trademark sound has never gotten any less psychedelic or enthralling. Founding and final original member Ed Wynne has recently move to the US with his wife and son (who are part of the live lineup) so we will be seeing much more from them!



Stratovarius - Polaris

Stratovarius

Polaris
Record Label: Armoury Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 8

This first outing after the departure of former bandmaster Timo Tolkki finds this Finnish melodic power metal group revisioned and situated to continue their formidable musical legacy for many more years to come.



Street Sweeper Social Club - Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club

Street Sweeper Social Club
Record Label: Self Released
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 10

Visionary guitarist Tom Morello has successfully joined forces with Boots Riley in an effort quite reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine, but not quite as whiney. Heavy grooves with even heavier breakdowns propel the anthems and agendas announced by the witty hip hoppin’ lyrics.



Vieux Farka Touré  - Fondo

Vieux Farka Touré

Fondo
Record Label: Six Degrees Records
Review published: July 2009
Rating: 9

Standing firmly on his own merits, this son of legendary Malian bluesman Ali Farka Toure leads his musical charge with a graceful, majestic grandeur. The ancient and contemporary African instrumentation and rhythms fill a broader vision as well as purpose with all but one of these modern classics penned by Vieux himself.






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