Friday, November 20, 2015

Joey Kneiser - The Wildness

There is a chance you missed it, but the southern rock album of the year was released today.  The artist is Tennessee singer-songwriter Joey Kneiser, who has released solo work as well as being a major engine of The Glossary, a country rock band with a tendency towards soul.  Joey's new album is The Wildness -- ten songs consisting of pacey southern rock and gentle, slow burners, and released by This Is American Music.  Joey's vocals are in fine form, and I caught myself wondering whether this is how Van Morrison would have sounded if he'd been raised in east Tennessee.  But the real star is the songwriting.  This is classic American rock and roll composition, packed with sharp observations and poignant reflections, and then played with energy, conviction and love.  This is what put Springsteen, Petty and The Band high in America's musical consciousness, and The Wildness earns Joey a listen as well.  Just start at the beginning with the adrenaline rush of "Run Like Hell", followed by the mid-tempo country rock of the title track (A 'callous on my heart'? Preach it, Joey!).  You want more, don't you?  You can spin the whole thing at the Bandcamp link, which also makes it easy to buy.  You also can find the album on iTunes and Spotify.

The Wildness is an album made by a man who loves rock and roll, for listeners who love rock and roll.  What more do you need?




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Bandcamp for The Wildness
This Is American Music

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Strawberry Whiplash - Stuck In The Never Ending Now


Strawberry Whiplash is one of the projects of the prolific jangle pop  royal, Laz McCluskey.  In this one, he plays the instruments while Sandra provides the vocals, creating sweet-sounding pop songs that recall The Monkeys, The Cyrcle, British Invasion, early '80s Glasgow guitar pop and Sarah Records.  Their second full album, Stuck In The Never Ending Now, finds the band musing about the passage of time over the course of 12 hook-filled songs.  The band has an incredible knack for crafting the perfect aural nuggets, with just the right amount of instrumentation and spot on vocal nuances.  Each song is distinctive, but they are so similar in quality that I would have been hard pressed to choose which to use as streams for this post.  I'm saved this task by having only three songs available to share.  And they are great songs.  But as good as they are, I think there may be several equal songs on the album.  The rambunctious "Halcyon Morning" and the '60s shaded "Fly Me Over The Rooftops" never fail to get a replay hit from me, and the reflective "Ride The Waves to Shore" and "This Is All We Have" invariably produce happy sighs.

Stuck In The Never Ending Now is available this week via Matinee Recordings.








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Matinee Recordings page for Stuck In The Never Ending Now


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wreckless Eric - amERICa


Wreckless Eric (the performance name for Eric Goulden) climbed into the consciousness of many of us indie rock fans as a musician we considered very British.  British like Ray Davies, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Astor and Nick Lowe.  Like many "facts", the truth is a bit different.  Eric is, in fact, a bit less British in current physical form, as he has lived a number of different places over the years, and if my usually casual research is correct the man now is living in upstate New York.  And for those not inclined to research, the latest Wreckless Eric album is titled amERICa, and the cover announces "Made in the USA Using American Parts And Labor".  So if you want to 'buy British', I think the man's work still qualifies, but if you want to buy American, I think you can be comfortable.

Now, after that background the relevant questions is whether the album is worth your time and money.  Our answer is"yes".  The album contains eleven eccentric nuggets of personal stories and societal observations, packaged in Eric's adept songcraft and recorded with a chugging style that oozes both rock and roll spirit and the feeling that the author doesn't quite fit in society's well-defined boxes.  And for those of us in America, it is interesting to see our country through another's eyes.

amERICa is out now via Fire Records.





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Fire Records page for album

"Fade to Fade" by Optik Nerve



We won't have many words about Optic Nerve, because we don't know very much.  They are self-described as an audio-visual project from London/Amsterdam/Edinburgh.  There are two members and, at least on "Fade To Fade", the vocals are provided by the female member.  That's all we have, except that the referenced song is a lovely tune.  Enjoy both the audio and visual below.





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Monday, November 16, 2015

Introducing: The Obleeks


The Obleeks are two brothers, Andy and Lee Ketch, plus Nick Harris.  The Chicago trio plays power pop and bar rock with energy and verve.  A self-titled four song EP was released in March, and it is available for 'name your price' at the Bandcamp link below.  The Bandcamp page has links to other releases by the band.

To our ears, The Obleeks have the rock and roll fever, and will happily infect you as well.







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The Jackals - People


The Jackals are an Edinburgh four-piece whose brand of warm, psychedelic indie rock sounds as at home on the American west coast as it does in their home city.  Their new album People features soulful vocals, jangling guitars and melodies that range from dusty psychedelia to surf to foot-tapping country rock.  Some of the songs, such as "Ghost Soul Traffic", are perfect for racing down the highway with the top down.  Some are better for late at night.  But the boys don't put a wrong foot forward over the course of this album, and the quality begs for a wide audience.  Unfortunately, no major label has stepped up to do assist with that task, so it fall to fans like WYMA.  Check out a few tracks below and then hit the links.








The Jackals are Scott Wilson (vocals/guitar), Paddy McMaster (drums/vocals), David Panton (bass/vocals), and Gary Quilietti (guitar).  People is available in digital and vinyl formats from the Cartel page and other outlets below.  The cassette version is available from Burger Records.

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Burger Records