Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Newborn: “Honey Trap” – something of a perfect alchemy

The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band Newborn was formed by  high school friends Allen James (vocals/guitar) and Eric Weglicki (guitar/bass/vocals) and a love of rock spanning from Metallica, Nirvana, to Muse. After many years of jamming together they decided to form a band. Newborn played their first show December 2014 which was followed by the release their debut EP “Broken Virgo”. The band has since evolved musically, adding drummer Dave Goldenberg, and going from strength to strength, culminating in the release of their latest single, entitled “Honey Trap”. The song features Newborn’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive,

Gloom Influx: “First LP” – looping the listener into a nostalgic yet futuristic world

Montréal-based musician Luc Leclerc, aka Gloom Influx, delivers a unique and powerful blend of metal and synthwave, influenced by 80’s movies and video game soundtracks, heavy metal, and contemporary artists like Justice, and Carpenter Brut. Sometimes you need to listen to music that makes you feel like you are in the future in outer space and somehow the 80s never ended. And sometimes you want to add elements of robots, monsters and fear. When you want those things, there are few better than Gloom Influx . Whether you come at this album from the perspective of someone into synthwave, darkwave

Jigsaw Man: ‘No Home’ – a self-produced EP with strong stoner overtones

The 4 track ‘No Home’ EP is the debut release from Jigsaw Man, the moniker under which singer-songwriter Steven Faulkner is releasing original material. “It’s nice doing things under a pseudonym because you can be more personal about the lyrics, and because you have that separation,” said Faulkner, continuing: “In my head the lyrics belong to Jigsaw Man, so I can be more honest and personal. I can write far more honestly and I’ve certainly done that on this EP. In the past I’ve always looked for metaphor or simile but this EP is very honest.” Playing since he was a

Shadow Puppet Theatre: “Nightvision” – maturity and willingness to experiment musically

Shadow Puppet Theatre (SPT) is a rock band from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, established since April 2016. The Band members consist of a group of friends with different musical backgrounds but a common love for rock music. Any hype on behalf of this band is warranted as their EP “Nightvision”, is a thoroughly recommended debut which contains excellent songwriting, strangely charming vocals and very good musicianship which will have you rocking, tapping your toes and singing along.

As if to hammer the point home, the opening track, ‘Insomnified’, is an absolutely cracking opener. Immediately hooky, the first minute showcases impressive instrumentation as well as effective vocals. Structurally, the song is better for its soaring chorus and brief soloing bridge.

Yet things get even better when another EP highlight ‘Wise Man’ rollicks along next. An mid-tempo cut that includes great bass-playing, passionate drumming and effective guitar-work, this track sees the band at their grungy best as dirty hooks frequent the song.

Musically, the rhythm section of the band is astonishingly good. Drummer Chris has had formal training and bassist Chip was the last man to jump onboard. The bass drives many of the tracks efficiently and is mixed perfectly, while it is clear to see Chris puts in his all behind the kit. Elsewhere, Dzul and Yazzer’s guitar-work combine well as a team, to lift the whole unit to a totally outstanding level. Out front, Dzul is one of those vocalists that simply creates magic with his all-embracing range. The track ‘Pink Panther’ at the mid-point of the EP is the perfect example of this.

Despite the seeming adherence to a tried and tested method, what really stands out here is the maturity and willingness to experiment musically. “Mystery Girl” is a laid-back psychedelic wig-out, while “Bonita” is an angular and ominous reggae-styled ballad that ends proceedings nicely.

This is perhaps proof that there are no egos allowed on board Shadow Puppet Theatre and shows a positive attitude; if there is something that can be reworked or made better, then don’t hold back. Commendations should be paid towards the group as musicians too. There is a sweet strand of diversity, subtle or otherwise, permeating the record and points towards the coming together of comfort and talent.

Something’s been missing lately from rock n’ roll music lately – namely smart, quality music made with guitars, drums, bass and vocals. Everything is pop and robot voices these days, which is fine but bands that play rock music are increasingly rare. I’m glad to report, that “Nightvision” is a solid rock n’ roll recording, front to back. It’s both raw and refined at the same time somehow without being overproduced.

The catchy radio songs that first get your attention slowly unfold to showcase more complex progressions and lyrical depth. The recording engineer and producer also need to be hugged endlessly for providing these sounds. So just pop it in and let it play. While listening to Shadow Puppet Theatre, you’ll likely realize that this is a band that is fine-tuning its skill set and using all of the tricks they’ve learned so far to create some wonderful music.

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