Henry Metal: “So It Hath Begun” will grab you by the balls with a cruel squirrel grip

Henry Metal might have a fine veil of satire embracing the project, but he makes just about the best tribute to the excess of the 80’s and 90’s hard rock and metal genres ever. He has just released his 9 track album, entitled “So It Hath Begun” which contains great songs, which are very easy to bang your head and sing along with. The tracks all have a grooving and slamming feel, plus cool shredding and solos. In fact Henry Metal sounds no different to any of those legendary rock and metal bands from the golden era. You either get

Aeronaut: “Skara” – excellent progressive buildups and rhythmic backflips

Aeronaut can be described as Progressive Rock, Post-Rock, Indie, or simply Alternative Rock, but that doesn’t really matter. All I know is that this project delivers very interesting, fresh, and well-rounded music. Aeronaut has a huge dynamic range, from extremely fast and heavy with smooth, powerful vocals to very relaxing and atmospheric. The music is very melodic, clear and well-produced, the song “Skara” flows and changes to new and exciting ideas. The guitars are very lush and full sounding, during both heavier and mellow parts, while the bass and drums thump and bang in all the right places. Aeronaut is

Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” manages to tap into a very specific emotional core

Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks. Eric

MOOD: “The Wave” is in the right lane!

Hip-hop has changed – there’s no debating that – but change isn’t always indicative of something bad. That being said, it’s refreshing to hear more rapping, with the exception of one or two bridges, versus the continual rap/sing mix that’s permeated mainstream as of late. You’re allowed to appreciate more than one way of creating music and while a lot of rappers have the notion that they should be singing as well, there’s a place for it all, especially if you don’t have a decent singing voice. You obviously can’t disregard one lane of Hip-hop while claiming to be a

EsZ: “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me” – an audacious creative effort

On his new album, “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me”, EsZ aka Erron’s Attic comes out swinging from the first song, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual EsZ gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you definitely get the feeling he has the lyrical substance he wants to express. Although we’re in a dismal era of Rap currently, this could be one of those instant underground classics. EsZ catalog is filled with parables, fables, morals and lamentations, forms of storytelling that compress people and experiences into neat, digestible lessons.

Luna 13 – the solid foundation for gut-ripping synths

The award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 is forging a new genre of music they call Black Metal/Bass Music. Their brutal yet groove based electro-metal incorporates elements of electronica, death metal, and industrial rock – all done with electronics, which means no string instruments. Music maker Dr. Luna, creates a metal sound with synthesizers and by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Luna 13 who has been performing live for a few years now, opening for death metal/industrial and electronica projects alike, came into its own when Lilith Bathory joined in 2015. Since, Lilith, the band’s front woman, has been booking modeling jobs

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

Sick.Life: “Dreamers” – showcasing the diversity and talent of the roster

Sick.Life a collective of artists and an independent music label based in El Paso, Texas. A couple of months back they released their critically acclaimed album, entitled “Contagion”. Now off that album comes the single “Dreamers” produced by NZO, and featuring Josh Brown on the chorus and bridge, while the verses are handled in order of appearance, by Sonny Weston, Lavoe, C.Notes and E$ BFNE. For hip-hop fans growing up in the 21st century, the Sick.Life collective is simply a perfect match between raw lyrical muscle and dynamic production. I listened to the track last night with the intention of

Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls: “Curvy Girl” makes a strong statement

These days, it seems anyone can make an R&B record. However, recording a soul track takes that special intangible element that not all have. Cassie of Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls, offers cadences that move in an affable manner as she declares her sense of self-worth on her latest single release, “Curvy Girl” which tackles the theme of body positivity. She never rushes the pace. She intones in different ways to let the song build in complexity. Think of it as the aural equivalent of a Lego set. One can use the simple bricks in different styles and colors

Bloomer: “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” – washed away by sunlight and a downpour of musical ideas

Bloomer is a rock band from Baltimore, MD created by musical partners Luke Boardman and Matt Zorzi. The band’s sound emerges from a mix of 70’s & 90’s Rock, Soul and American Roots Music. “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” is contemporary indie rock at its finest. The music is sprawling and psychedelic. The mood can range from rocking to mellow. Bloomer is a band that has great song writing abilities and expressive improvisational abilities. Depending on the given song, the band moves effortlessly between straight rock and psychedelic infused jam-band grooves. This 4 track EP showcases both the band’s alt-rock

YaLonda Lolar-Johnson: “I Shall Wear a Crown” – showcases her voice, and the ability to make a song uniquely hers

YaLonda Lolar-Johnson was born and reared in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Her love for music and her musical gift emerged from a long lineage of musical giftedness. YaLonda’s maternal great grandmother and great aunts along with her paternal grandmother sang in musical groups throughout her childhood. YaLonda sang her first solo in church at the age of eight and knew by the age of 12 she wanted a career in the music industry.

Yalonda-Lolar-Johnson-CoverYaLonda attributes her start in the music industry to gospel music industry broadcasting professional, Kevin James at CJB Radio, Henry Harris, founder of the ECMA, Andre Harris at Synergy Radio, Let’s Talk About Gospel, and Coffee Talk Jazz Radio.  She has recently released her single entitled “I Shall Wear a Crown” and is currently working on recording her debut album.

The first thing that struck me about this reworking of the Thomas Whitfield song, “I Shall Wear a Crown”,  is that the word ‘awesome’ would not effectively describe this project. I’m glad that God has blessed us with this opportunity to hear what He has given YaLonda Lolar-Johnson. She has a powerfully unique voice that captures your attention from the very first note.  It is apparent from the opening bars that YaLonda poured her heart and soul into this project.

This cover recording showcases her voice, and her ability to make a song uniquely hers. The musical arrangement and vocal interpretation is her cry out to the Lord that she’s doing all she can do, and is an R&B-tinged declaration that God is so much more than anything else can ever be.  YaLonda Lolar-Johnson is a power house vocalist who is going to capture gospel, and just about any group of music fans, worldwide. “I Shall Wear a Crown”, finds YaLonda in her vocal “sweet spot”; right on the cusp of exploding forth with unbridled praise and passion while maintaining a composure that will hold audiences in awe.

YaLonda-Lolar-Johnson-ProfileYaLonda is not one of those average whittled singers whose diminutive vocals are often swallowed by the latest beat. Rather, in her beautiful soaring melisma, she sends us first class on a bullet train straight into God’s presence. I figure that today, with so much negativity in music, people need to make a concise and conscious decision concerning the music that they feed their lives with. And that doesn’t necessarily mean accepting sub-par, non-creative work.

On the contrary, YaLonda Lolar-Johnson delivers positive, extremely high quality music that is aso inspirational, spiritual, life-changing, and the truth. The reason why I use these words to describe this music is because I truly feel her spiritual heart. It is extremely rare to find any current artist that you believe makes the music they sing a part of their living. You can feel that YaLonda has an intimacy with God that transcends audiences and congregational interaction. This is the truth of her music and artistic being.

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