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  • Reviews | SuperfanNews

    Ronnie Hawkins by Ronnie Hawkins 11 Jul 2022 Read More Still Bill by Bill Withers 11 Jul 2022 Read More Music from Big Pink by The Band 11 Jul 2022 Read More Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash 11 Jul 2022 Read More Just As I Am by Bill Withers 11 Jul 2022 Read More Mixtures by Xenura 27 Jun 2022 Read More Rise of the Monarch by AmaLee 26 Jun 2022 Read More Seventh Rum Of A Seventh Rum by Alestorm 24 Jun 2022 Read More American Heartbreak by Zach Bryan 30 May 2022 Read More 12th House Rock by Narrow Head 21 May 2022 Read More Mr Morale & The Big Steppers - Kendrick Lamar 18 May 2022 Read More Conspiranoid by Primus 3 May 2022 Read More Medulla by Bjork 25 Apr 2022 Read More The Space by Somali Yacht Club 22 Apr 2022 Read More Space Fruit Vineyard by Japanese Television 16 Apr 2022 Read More Unlimited Love by Red Hot Chili Peppers 15 Apr 2022 Read More Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers 13 Apr 2022 Read More This is Alphabeat (International Edition, 2006) by Alphabeat 11 Apr 2022 Read More 1999 by Prince 9 Apr 2022 Read More King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime by Faith No More 8 Apr 2022 Read More There Is Nothing Left To Lose by Foo Fighters 6 Apr 2022 Read More K Hole by Alex Cameron 1 Apr 2022 Read More I Dare You by ROE 31 Mar 2022 Read More Chiac Disco by Lisa LeBlanc 18 Mar 2022 Read More Alpha by Shenseea 11 Mar 2022 Read More Stink​-​O​-​Vision by Stinkin Slumrok 4 Mar 2022 Read More Inglorious Eastern Cowboy by ALI 25 Feb 2022 Read More Internet Folk Songs by Monkey And The Permavirgins 18 Feb 2022 Read More Bubblegum by Elle Lexxa 11 Feb 2022 Read More A Gut Feeling by Cassels 4 Feb 2022 Read More Barber Westchester Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dylan Kanner 28 Jan 2022 Read More The Sunrise Of Mankind by Erragal 21 Jan 2022 Read More From A Birds Eye View by Cordae 14 Jan 2022 Read More Starburst In The Car by Rosario 7 Jan 2022 Read More Forgetmenot by Five Pebbles 31 Dec 2021 Read More Personal Hotspots by Kitten 17 Dec 2021 Read More Against The World by Hanson 10 Dec 2021 Read More Your Light by cxlt. 3 Dec 2021 Read More Crystal Throne by Crystal Throne 26 Nov 2021 Read More Oud Zeer by Jan Swerts 19 Nov 2021 Read More The Walls Are Way Too Thin by Holly Humberstone 19 Nov 2021 Read More When You Walk Away by FUR 12 Nov 2021 Read More Gate of Kluna by Kuunatic 5 Nov 2021 Read More Black Harvest by Green Lung 29 Oct 2021 Read More Halloqveen by Qveen Herby 22 Oct 2021 Read More Gone To Color by Gone To Color 15 Oct 2021 Read More Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun 8 Oct 2021 Read More What Is Glitchcore? 6 Aug 2022 Read More

  • Moondog Matinee by The Band | SuperfanNews

    Moondog Matinee by The Band Tom Radigan 1 Mar 2023 When you think of the Band’s 1973 release, "Moondog Matinee," of course at first you might say this could be just an excuse from a prominent rock group of the 1970s to release an album filled with more covers than originals but really it’s not your typical nostalgia album that contains old mainstream rock songs from the past two decades. It would not be considered an oldies album to me when I listen to it. There is more of an authentic theme to it than we might think. It is a celebration of black music. Each of the nine songs, excluding the instrumental, were all originally done by black vocalists. It is a celebration of the music that they laid the groundwork for and pioneered for generations to come. With this year marking the 50th anniversary of this album, I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about "Moondog Matinee." Even though the style is bringing the roots of original rock ‘n’ roll into it, there are elements that the band uses to make this an original album and a different spin on a tribute to those oldies but goodies. It took five people to make that type of musical magic the band did. Levon Helm as the drummer, Rick Danko on bass, Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist, Garth Hudson on the organ and Richard Manuel as the piano player. What also was a key ingredient in the Band’s formula was Levon, Rick and Richard being the lead singers of the group. Robbie as the creative genius and songwriter, and Garth holding all the pieces together on his lowery organ and being the multi-instrumentalist using instruments such as the tenor sax, clavinet, synthesizer and accordion. The title of this album is a reference to the legendary 50’s disc jockey, Alan Freed, who was known as “The King of the Moondoggers” and used that in his rock shows that he would put together such as the “Moondog Coronation Ball.” The album features songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s. What I feel really makes this album authentic is their choice of the 60’s songs they use. I feel it especially has to do with them starting out as the Hawks which were the backing band for rockabilly musician, Ronnie Hawkins. When the Hawks departed with Ronnie in 1964 they went out and performed as Levon and the Hawks before they teamed up with singer-songwriter and legend, Bob Dylan. The original concept for this album was just going to be a recreation of their setlist of songs they did as Levon and the Hawks. However it shifted into just doing a tribute of songs the band admired. This was their fifth studio album. It definitely was a different type of outcome unlike their first two albums, "Music From Big Pink" and "The Band," which have been claimed to be the best in their catalog and also both are praised highly by music critics and are in the 2003, 2012 and 2020 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine’s, “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” The albums that followed after such as "Stage Fright" and "Cahoots" were also songs made up of original material. "Rock of Ages" was their live album that they put together which really proved their impressive stage presence and also got us to not only hear their studio songs live but hear some new material not on their previous albums such as “Get Up Jake” and Garth’s swan song, “The Genetic Method.” What is the most notable track on that album for me though has to be their uplifting groovy rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Don't Do It.” So Moondog Matinee definitely reminded fans that when they do covers they can really make it their own. But yes it can also show an alerting sign to fans when an established rock group releases four albums with fully original material and a killer live album then heading in the direction of an album full of covers. People could think they could be on the verge of slipping. In all honesty the Band was in crisis mode with Levon, Rick and Richard getting high on drugs and it was even more concerning considering they were the members that were the heart and soul of the band. In an interview that was done back in 2002, Levon talked about why "Moondog Matinee" was the type of album it was. “That was all we could do at the time. We couldn't get along—we all knew that fairness was a bunch of shit. We all knew we were getting screwed, so we couldn't sit down and create no more music. 'Up on Cripple Creek' and all that stuff was over—all that collaboration was over, and that type of song was all we could do." I think this statement represents the bitterness that Levon apparently claimed to have over the years when reminiscing about the Band. Even though they were known to the public for five years at this point they already had been playing together seven years prior to that so this was really the only thing they could cook up. This album doesn't really fail the public's expectations, in my opinion. It is possible that it is due to the fact that they were established musicians and that with the force of their talent they are still able to put out a top notch record. So for now why don’t we dive into the songs that makeup "Moondog Matinee." The songs that include the memorable 50’s songs would be Levon’s rocking style of “Ain’t Got a Home” originally done by Clarence “Frogman” Henry, their tribute to Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready” and Richard Manuel’s soft version of The Platters’s “The Great Pretender” but the real memorable track would have to be their cover of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train” which was also of course done by Elvis when he was with Sun Records. The band really adds a lot of funk to their version of “Mystery Train” and is the only song that adds lyrical originality with Robbie Robertson writing additional lyrics and with these new additions actually includes Levon singing the title of the song which is not at all heard in the original. They also do an instrumental of the theme of the 1949 film "The Third Man." This version on the album shows a sophistication of the band instrumentality and also showing a diverse taste of not just picking the classic teen records of that era. I also do enjoy that the Chuck Berry song they use is more of a recent one and not the classic 50’s songs every kid knows like “Johnny B Goode” or “Roll Over Beethoven.” Levon’s homage to Berry is shown clearly in the 1964 country rock, “The Promised Land.” They also included Allan Toussaint’s composition, “Holy Cow," originally done by Lee Dorsey back in 1966. This song represents that fun dynamic with Danko, Manuel and Helm, all singing and blending their vocals and rotating parts. Also of course like every Band record, Garth Hudson really is holding the group together with his organ work and unique sound that you’ll hear from each song on this record. Of course what I also can’t wait to listen to when I listen to an album from the Band is hearing songs sung from Richard Manuel. Levon definitely had some great soul but I feel a lot of people overlook Richard as a dominant singer of the group. Whether he is changing his vocal range from doing very gritty soul to plain high falsetto or just being able to gently sing a ballad. There is no greater example on this album than his rendition of “You Don’t Share Your Love With Me.” This was originally done by Bobby Bland who also was credited at having different vocal ranges too. The way Richard is able to add his own flavor to this tune and really put his heart and soul to it says it all. Richard is able to get you so wrapped up into this song and bring so many layers into it. He sings this song like it's one of his own compositions like “Tears of Rage'' or “Lonesome Suzie.” This song was done in the peak of Richard's heavy drug and alcohol use and even through all of that pain he is able to bring a sense of beauty to listeners. He still is able to show the world and his bandmates that he still has that charismatic voice. Sadly his demons did catch up to him and eventually commited suicide in 1986 but this song and any other after he did still showed that even though he was going through a ton of pain he was able to still put on a hell of a performance and convince people and even himself that it was all ok. I mean that is a true magical talent there and when you look at it from that perspective, how can you not think of the heavy impact a wounded bird like Richard could bring to music? That is why I will be transparent and call him one of my favorite white soul vocalists because he brings so much vulnerability and can put listeners into such a trance. Another example that shows his full force would be his fast pace rock gospel version of Lieber and Stoller’s “Saved.” His version makes you forget that this song dates back to 1960 and is able to just instrumentally expand a rock tune. Richard is able to channel the charisma and oomph that Lavern Baker put in the original version. And the song that wraps up this album and will wrap up this review is Rick Danko’s soulful rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” This song was released near the end of their days as just Levon and the Hawks. Then later of course they played with Dylan. Dylan actually plays a heavy role in Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” Cooke was so moved by Dylan's work, especially “Blowing in the Wind" in which he did a version of it and then later wrote his own inspirational song about the troubled times which of course became “A Change is Gonna Come." It later became a civil rights anthem. Rick is able to do a hell of a job channeling Cooke’s vocal insecurity and emotional sadness about a topic that still resonates with people to this day. Even the instrumentation stands out with Garth's noticeable contributions on the lowrey organ and his tenor sax solo adds so much beauty to this beautiful standard. Rick is another vocalist in the Band that does not get the credit he deserves but is able to bring a soft but soothing flavor to this melodic song that has so much of an impact on music and even the world. To wrap up my review of this album, I would have to say it is an ear worm to listen to. After getting really into the Band’s catalog, I have made the conclusion there really is no bad Band album which is similar to the argument that there is no bad Beatles album. It has a different vibe for sure than the other albums but they are adding something different and not just recycling old songs. They are able to make you really care for these renditions and are able to bring that band magic that only could be made from Garth, Levon, Robbie, Rick and Richard.

  • SuperfanNews | Real Music Media

    Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas Do No Harm, Take No Shit: A Vulture Wake New Age Healers Tease Their Fourth Album Revolution Above Disorder Three Sides of One by King's X Primus Tracks 24 Sept 2022 Unlovable by Beach Weather Aaron Meeks 19 Aug 2022 Laryngitis & Getcha by Won't Say Rabbit Muse BeeLove 29 Jul 2022 Did you know that HMV still exists? Yeah, me neither. Turns out that people still buy CDs from their high street. Who knew! Well, if you happened to be wondering past the Bristol branch earlier this year and you heard an audial soup of overly reverbed guitars, characterful synth play and distant yet commanding vocals spilling out on to the concrete, you may well have witnessed one of the very first official outings of local two-piece Kodomotachi. Kodomotachis First Demos S3E5 Taylor Swift This week Chris talks through some of the worst Christmas albums to come out in 2022. He also reviews an unlikely release from a grime goliath and talks to Taylor Swift superfan Marshal from Oregon! How many Taylor Swift T-Shirts is too many Taylor Swift T-Shirts? Find out in this episode. Contact the show via the form at if you or someone you know would like to appear in a future episode. SuperfanCast is the music podcast that puts the fans first. Each episode we interview a self proclaimed superfan and discuss their love for and relationship with their favorite artist. We’ve talked tattoo’s, exclusive rendez-vous and failed kidnap attempts and we’re only just getting started. Subscribe now to always be up to date with the latest from SuperfanCast. SuperfanCast is a product of SuperfanNews - Your Voice, Your Music Media Superfan News & Reviews is music media for the fans by the fans . Create a free account and submit your own music reviews in seconds. The music world wants to know what YOU think. Log In Garth Brooks by Garth Brooks Anthony Fajardo 25 Jul 2022 Pressurelicious by Megan Thee Stallion ft. Future Cashway Cashway 23 Jul 2022 is this what i look like by Yours Truly Jesse Keel 15 Jul 2022 Behave Myself by She Drew The Gun Chris Peters 8 Oct 2021 What Is Glitchcore? Aaron Meeks 6 Aug 2022 The New Home Of Independent Music Reviews? Aaron Meeks 5 Aug 2022

  • Artist Spotlights | SuperfanNews

    Kodomotachis First Demos 15 Oct 2022 Read More Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas 4 Oct 2022 Read More Do No Harm, Take No Shit: A Vulture Wake 30 Jul 2022 Read More New Age Healers Tease Their Fourth Album 14 Jul 2022 Read More Revolution Above Disorder 30 Jun 2022 Read More Patersun: Melodic Rock From The Scottish Borders 25 Jun 2022 Read More Forthcoming Live EP from Silver Haar 13 Jun 2022 Read More Brass Monkey: Grungy Blues Rock from the North East of England 21 Mar 2022 Read More The Many Faces of La Casa Al Mare 3 Apr 2022 Read More First Signs Of The Aftermath 23 Mar 2022 Read More Want Us To Shine The Spotlight On You? 10 Mar 2023 Read More

  • Kodomotachis First Demos | SuperfanNews

    Kodomotachis First Demos Chris Peters 15 Oct 2022 Did you know that HMV still exists? Yeah, me neither. Turns out that people still buy CDs from their high street. Who knew! Well, if you happened to be wondering past the Bristol branch earlier this year and you heard an audial soup of overly reverbed guitars, characterful synth play and distant yet commanding vocals spilling out on to the concrete, you may well have witnessed one of the very first official outings of local two-piece Kodomotachi. I once caught former England football manager Glenn Hoddle doing a book signing at an HMV so I can confirm they are definitely willing to break the mould when it comes to hosting. Kodomotachi’s appearance, however, is something far more interesting since at the time of writing they still only have a 10 minute demo available and have not begun gigging in earnest yet. To be at this point in their journey and still managing to land an in-store performance at a branch of the UKs largest music retailer suggests we should probably be paying attention. So let us catch up. Kodomotachi translates from Japanese as ‘the children’. They’ve gone and duped you again though. This duo are not naive teens messing around on their dad’s instruments. This pair are seasoned musicians bringing together their years of experience playing post punk, new wave and gentler acoustic work to create something entirely different and all together unique. They express a sound and style made possible only through their combined influences and interests as well as new approaches to instrumentation they hadn’t necessarily explored prior to Kodomotachi. On the (very electric) guitars and much of the vocals is Nick Moran. Moran has passed through a number of bands over the years but has been most notable as a singer songwriter with an acoustic guitar. He traded his acoustics for electrics a few years ago and has since been steadily sinking deeper and deeper into an ocean of effects. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised that I am thoroughly on board with Moran's sound. On Polythene, the first of two tracks on the accurately named Kodomotachis First Demos, he manages to permeate every inch of space with shimmering streams that provide a canvas for him to paint on top of. The foreground melodies are then played in a beautifully hopeful, chiming tone and are surprisingly minimalist which is all they need to be to build the tracks atmosphere. John Joseph Lynch provides the synths, drum machines, production and additional vocals for Kodomotachi. Much like his partner, Lynch is no newcomer to music, having been a member of the Sheffield based early noughties rock group Pink Grease. He has also performed solo under various guises and appears to be able to play a different instrument each day of the week. The depth added by Lynch's production masterfully clouds any hint that this group is only two members. The layering of the vocals and the way they are treated is key to the groups sound as is the analogue synth effects that are really taken for a spin on Impossible Boy. Kodomotachis First Demos is available on Bandcamp now as a taster of what's to come. They are currently planning a run of live performances so follow them on Bandcamp or at to stay on top of dates and venues. As an introduction to this intriguing new project 'First Demos' is infuriatingly short but equally pleasing. If Ride and The Velvet Underground got together and took a lot of Ketamine they might produce something not dissimilar to this and as far as compliments go I think that's a pretty big one. With that in mind, I strongly suggest you give this a listen and maybe keep an ear out for Kodomotachi in the months and years to come.

  • Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas | SuperfanNews

    Bosola Launch New EP Thomas and Judas Chris Peters 4 Oct 2022 It’s not often you find a band that blend genres so seamlessly that they seem to define their own. To do that as a three piece and still create layers and depth worthy of a group twice their size is even more impressive. Bosola have been refining their unique alternative rock with dreamy elements and jangly guitars for the last couple of years and are currently celebrating the release of their second EP Thomas and Judas. To mark the launch Bosola will be playing a one off headline gig at The Lubber Fiend in Newcastle this Saturday October 8th. If you find yourself wandering the North East this weekend itching for some loud music you should definitely make your way there. Listening to Bosola pulls the listener in so many directions with their style and approach. Tim Cox's expressive lead vocal has a personal quality to it as well as a subtle punk influence bleeding through, particularly on the slower numbers. In the heavier sections the guitars sound way more numerous than seems possible for a three piece with hefty, chugging chords contrasting with dreamy picked sections melting through reverb. The rhythm section displays equally impressive flexibility with playful basslines underpinning most tunes and Andersons drumming stitching everything together yet still finding time for cheerful little fills at every opportunity. Superfan News caught up with Tim Cox earlier in the week to discuss Bosola, the new EP and what we can expect from them in the coming months. SN: So how did you end up making this wonderful music together? TC: [Myself] and Pete were playing songs as a folk duo before lockdown and decided during the pandemic to give the band thing a go and it's escalated from there. Emma came on board after we recorded the first EP and we have been a three piece ever since. We all bring our own musical influences to bear on Tim's songs and we take influence from The Smiths, The Replacements, The Coral, St Vincent, Kate Bush and Bob Mould. SN: You’ve just released your second EP, Thomas and Judas. Did you approach this one any differently to your debut release? TC: Well there were some similarities - the same producer, James Haselhurst and the same studio, Grain Studios in Byker, Newcastle - but the difference is largely that we had rehearsed some of the songs before recording them and Emma is on drums in this one. This EP tilts towards a more alternative rock feel than the first which draws more on an Indie Folk/ Britpop vibe. Playing together has given us a different energy and this EP was recorded in Summer 2021 so it feels really eclectic as we hadn't quite developed our sound at that point. Still I think it's a solid EP and the singles have had a good reception so far and have provided the launch pad for our plans going forward. SN: Who’s the brains behind the fantastic cover art you have for Thomas & Judas? TC: I'd like to say it was me but we worked with a graphic designer called Graeme 'Chappy' Chapman who works under the moniker 'Limited Output'. It's important to us that the aesthetic matches the mood of the tracks so it works as a coherent piece of art. Lots of people seem to like it! SN: What’s the live music scene looking like in and around Newcastle these days? Has it been affected much by the events of the last few years? TC: It's looking pretty lively I have to say. Lots of new bands and some new venues popping up all over the region since the end of lockdown. It seems like people were writing songs during lockdown and are getting out there to play them. Putting on gigs can be frustrating as people wait until the last minute to buy tickets so it's always kind of hair raising being a DIY band but I think that's the case across the country to be honest. All in all guitar music is in fine fettle in the North East of England. SN: You have an EP launch at The Lubber Fiend in Newcastle this coming Saturday. What can people expect from Bosola’s live performance? TC: Our gigs tend to be sweaty and raucous. Saturday will be no different but we will be dipping into our deep cut repertoire so the acoustic guitar will be making an appearance. SN: What’s on the horizon after this release? Will you be returning to the studio or the venues for the remainder of the year? TC: We have a new single ready to go which we recorded earlier this year so we will probably release that. That's called 'Worth the Wait' and we are looking at getting into the studio to record some new demos. Our sound has changed a lot since we recorded 'Thomas & Judas' and so we are excited to get back in to the studio. Live wise we have a few gigs lined up before the end of the year. In October Tim is supporting Ren Lawton on the London date of his tour at Camden Chapel on the 20th October. Then we play the Mosaic Tap with Oddo's Gaze in Newcastle and then we play Ghost Signals' No Shit Xmas parties gig in Gateshead on the 10th December. Find Bosola on bandcamp at and purchase their new EP from Deliberator Records at

  • Gary Hoey Live at TCAN, Natick MA | SuperfanNews

    Gary Hoey Live at TCAN, Natick MA Ira Sperling 28 Jul 2022 Singer/guitarist Gary Hoey has been around the block more than a few times. Emerging in the early 90s as an instrumental shredder, the Lowell MA native scored a Billboard #3 Rock hit with his cover of Focus’ Hocus Pocus. Since then, he’s added vocals to his repertoire, delved deeply into the blues, toured extensively with guitarist Lita Ford and become the music director for Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp. He is also the creator of the much loved Ho Ho Hoey series of holiday shows, where he uses rock guitar stylings to reimagine Christmas classics. Hoey recently performed at The Center For Arts At Natick, a lovely small theater with great sound and chill ambiance. Taking the stage as a power trio with bass and drums, Hoey took the house on a musical journey. Mixing classic blues (Going Down) with original blues compositions, iconic surf tunes (Pipeline, Penetration) and eclectic covers (Tom Cochrane’s Lunatic Fringe, Low Rider), Hoey’s guitar and vocal chops are as sharp as ever. Hoey also brought his son Ian, a solid guitarist in his own right, on stage for some father/son blues jams. It was easy to clock the pride on Gary’s face as Ian took off on some blues flights of fantasy. The family vibe was strong for this show. In addition to everything else, Hoey is one of the most humble and appreciative entertainers in this man’s experience. He’s constantly thanking the crowd for coming and always manages to name check members of the armed forces at show’s end, playing the Star Spangled Banner as the show comes to a close. Short story: if you love instrumental shredding, blues, surf and rock guitar from a man that’s truly thankful you’re spending your hard earned money with him, Gary Hoey is your guy. Plus, he live-streamed the show so his mom could watch from home. How can you go wrong?

  • Three Sides of One by King's X | SuperfanNews

    Three Sides of One by King's X Primus Tracks 24 Sept 2022 Oh, what a glorious return, 14 years later, of King's X. A band's band by any measure, the group has legions of big-name admirers, yet has largely remained out of the mainstream for much of its career. To be certain, Dug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill have remained active numerous side projects between (and in place of) King's X record cycles over the years, and the creative time away from one another is realized on Three Sides of One, a title representing the group's individual personalities as parts of the whole of King's X. The standard King's X sound and vibe is there - Dug is unmistakable, Ty's idiosyncratic guitar tone remains the envy of many, and Jerry's quick-twitch drumming keeps the tracks driving. However, the band finds new wrinkles in their signature sound, starting with the driving pair of "Let It Rain" and "Flood Pt. 1" - guitars more detuned and chugging than usual, strings and keyboards around the edges, some team percussion, and even a false ending to "Nothing But The Truth". These little things capture the attention of the seasoned listener, but it's also a joy to hear the band's riffing and signature vocal melodies again after so long away. Ty and Jerry's harmonies support Dug's soulful lead vocals throughout the album. Further, this latter-day display of power tells us the band still has something worthwhile to give, and it's a pleasurable reminder that, whether it's an up-tempo rocker or a contemplative ballad, hot damn can these guys write and play with the best in the rock world. Stray observations: -Longtime fans will be happy to hear background vocals from Wally Farkas on numerous tracks. -Clean production from Michael Parnin gives everyone room to shine -Album notes indicate this record was at least three years in the making. Well worth the wait. Standout tracks: Let It Rain, Give It Up, Watcher

  • A Gut Feeling by Cassels | SuperfanNews

    A Gut Feeling by Cassels Chris Peters 4 Feb 2022 If the Streets' Mike Skinner had gone to art college and fallen in love with punk but always been too scared to commit to a mohawk or an earring his music might have sounded strangely similar to this current era of Cassels. This week see's the release of the Oxfordshire duos third studio album and their first full length release since 2019. Will Jim and Loz manage to tear your spotty, public school face off with A Gut Feeling or will it barely draw your attention away from that second hand Jack Kerouac you are pretending to read? Only the most confident of artists would open an album with an 8 and a half minute experimental, garage punk saga but that is what the Beck brothers have done with A Gut Feeling. Opening track Your Humble Narrater incorporates grimey guitar riffs, repetitive drum breaks and an oddly thought provoking spoken word that is so out of place you start to question whether you heard it at all. An achievement not to be overlooked here is managing to stretch the delivery of the word 'Lesson' over 17 seconds. It has to be heard to be believed. Lyrically Cassels have taken a third person narrative approach to the majority of this record. Track names such as Family Visits Relative and Dog Drops Bone give a flavour of some of the complex subject matter addressed. Joking aside the lyrical content is relateable and mostly light hearted. For what is essentially spoken word the majority of the time the vocals actually keep the listener quite engaged and Jim really does a great job of mixing up the intonation and delivery. Jim's guitar approach throughout is to lean heavily in to the riffs. Pete's Vile Colleagues has a grunge-esque, distorted sound with a simple muted motif repeated under the verses. A similar technique is applied in the garage rock powerhouse Charlie Goes Skiing whereas on Sarah Misses Them the notes ring out to provide a much fluffier, melancholic tone. Loz Beck makes a fierce impression from start to finish by jumping between countless styles and rythms proving that this young drummer has got the versatility and skill to carry Cassels in to the bigger leagues. Much like his brothers vocal performance Loz continually surprises with unexpected breaks, fast fills and double time choruses. Cassels have clearly shaped their identity with this record and if there is one consistency throughout it is their own unique style. Most tracks on A Gut Feeling are 4 times too long to be considered punk but they are clever arrangements that are captivating both instrumentally and vocally. It's a thoroughly enjoyable listen that will put a smile on your face more than once. Any wordsmith that can successfully stitch the word 'self-flagellate' in to a song deserves at least some of our attention. The album is out now so please take a listen and let me know what you think. Chris Peters

  • Unlovable by Beach Weather | SuperfanNews

    Unlovable by Beach Weather Aaron Meeks 19 Aug 2022 When I was a teen I pretended to play in many different bands. Or most of them were the same band on a different day. Most of my pretending was on guitar but I also pretended to be a lead singer. I do know how to play guitar and sing but I say pretending because none of us really knew what we were doing and you could sooner call us an all girl championship curling team than a band. One time we didn’t have a microphone but we discovered that a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack did the job. A pair of headphones obviously isn’t designed to be used in this way so it sounds distant and distorted and very cool. Is there a point to this story? I'de like to say yes but I guess you’ll find out at some point in the next five paragraphs. This week, during my usual trawl trough the new releases I came across the new single, Unlovable, from pop rock project Beach Weather. Don't get confused with Beach House and then spend 20 minutes looking up Beach House's back catalogue and wonder why this single sounds so different. That would be a waste of your time. Beach Weather is in fact a project of American singer-songwriter Nick Santino who has been releasing music under various names since 2006. I was simply drawn to this single by the supernatural, glowing silhouettes on the cover art. Unlovable opens with a wavy acoustic guitar, subtle retro sonar noises in the background and vocals sung through a pair of headphones plugged in to the mic jack (There it is!). The vocal melody doesn’t excite too much. The energy of the delivery reminds me a lot of Twenty One Pilots. That energy does increase with the chorus which comes in far sooner than you’d expect. I would have liked a longer verse or more drawn out structure. The chorus is brought in with stripped back music focused on the drums and sparing distorted guitar chords. In an unexpected turn a piano shows up at this point to provide a bouncy additional piece of rhythm. The post chorus centred around the repeated line ‘How did I get so damn unlovable’ is a much busier piece of music and I really like this step change from the intro. One thing this song has got a plenty is defined sections and a very clear structure. At the two minute mark we are rewarded with what can only be described as a guitar solo! It might not be very long or interesting but it meets all the requirements. That then unfolds in to the vocal bridge which brings us back in to the song proper. I like this segmentation and it also sticks in your mind far more easily. There is no grand crescendo for this song. After the final chorus there is a very purposeful stop. I appreciate the ending though and avoidance of a fade out. The production here is smart enough. The instrumentation is all identifiable and easy to follow but at the same time it’s surprisingly complex and the more you listen the more additional qualities you will pick out. Nick's voice has been treated well for this recording and is presented in a couple of subtly different ways in the verses, chorus and bridge. Sadly, the punchline I have been dancing around, is that I just don’t like the song that much. I cant speak for Beach Weather's entire catalogue, but based off this song alone I find the style to be a little too generic and just simply not offering me anything new or uncharted. If you are already a fan of Beach Weather or Santino's other work then this single might be up your alley but I don’t think it is a single that is going to draw in swathes of new listeners. Now I have discovered Nick Santino's existence though I will listen to something else by him before closing the door for good. Fingers crossed. Unlovable is available on streaming platforms now so take a listen yourself and hopefully it’s your thing.

  • Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers | SuperfanNews

    Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers Matt Crawley 13 Apr 2022 Red Hot Chili Peppers have had a well-documented tumultuous relationship with drugs. They are open about the dangers of substance abuse and how their lives are significantly better clean. All kudos to them. It makes it an awkward conversation then to say that the album Freaky Styley, recorded by the Chili’s while dealing with the influence of heroin and cocaine, is amongst their best work. Produced by Parliament/Funkadelic frontman George Clinton, (unquestionably a man of funk royalty), it was certainly in good musical hands, and showcases a band lightyears from the safely mild pop-rock band post Blood Sex Sugar Magic. We have a fabulously sleazy horn section (“Yertle The Turtle” particularly grooves), a sweetly soulful ensemble of backing singers, and Clinton’s unmistakable drawl ever present. Lead singer Anthony Kiedis warbles in a burly baritone (“Jungle Man”) raps and shouts (“Nevermind”) and howls like a monkey (“Black-eyed Blonde)”, giving vibes of a young Mike Patton (don’t tell Kiedis I said that…). Flea is always inventive and relentless with his bass, channeling The Brothers Johnson. Hillel Slovak’s guitars and Cliff Martinez’ drums fuse the dirt and pocket of funk with a punk attitude so unique to the early RHCP sound. It is a real shame they did not continue this later in the band’s life, but of course changes of lineup and lifestyle bring significant changes of music. There is a true old school funk sound throughout the album, and the similarities to Parliament are clear and proud for many tracks. We also get loud psychedelic rock peppered with horns and slap bass. The lyrics can be crass at times (“Catholic School Girls Rule”) and the humour often falls flat (“Thirty Dirty Birds?” What were they thinking?). Freaky Styley however is rarely dull, and spoils us with so many ideas, always with an electric energy that could power a city block. This is not the Chili’s as they are today, but is a fascinating snapshot of a very different band, and one that listeners may be surprised to enjoy.

  • Still Bill by Bill Withers | SuperfanNews

    Still Bill by Bill Withers Tom Radigan 11 Jul 2022 For Withers second album "Still Bill" which was released in 1972 showed Withers wide collections of songs. Like the first album, the song had a mix of interesting topics and sophisticated lyrics. Withers wrote all the songs on the album and collaborated with Stanley McKenny on “Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?” He also collaborated with guitar player Benorce Blackmon on “Another Day to Run.” The personnel on this album, like the first, has a mix of talented musicians. Musicians include multi-instrumentalist Ray Jackson on guitar, piano, horn and string arrangements. Also on this album is Benorce Blackman on guitar, Melvin Dunlap on bass, James Gadson on drums. The album produced two commercial hits which were “Lean on Me” and “Use Me.” The first track on this album is “Lonely Town, Lonely Street.” It is a great opener. It has such a funky vibe with Withers heavy vocals carrying this song. Once you listen to it, it’s hard to believe Wither just started in the music business a few years back and wasn’t born gifted with the craft or specially trained. He is able to be a role model for anybody who desires to be a musician or singer. He represents that anybody can be who they want to be; they just have to work for it. When I hear this song I just can’t stop thinking how soulful he really is. His music really made an impact and could touch people deeply especially with a song like "Lean On Me" that happens to be an uplifting song about friendship. When you hear the song it really puts you in a calm state of mind and just gives you peace. The opening lyrics really focus on how there are times in our life where we need that support or a shoulder to cry on. I think this song also is very useful and relevant in this day and age. It really does give a sense of hope to someone that lets them know it’s going to be ok. This song brings mixed emotions every time I listen to it. Sometimes I smile and at times it makes me want to cry due to how beautiful the message is which shows you how powerful music really is. This album has a lot of funk on it. One of my favorite funk tunes would be “Use Me” which I stated was a commercial hit for the album. Withers has an interesting way of approaching songs. His storytelling is simple and is easy for a listener to understand and can also be attached to the words that he is singing. In this song the singer focuses on a woman he is seeing who all his friends and family believe is just using him but he doesn’t care because as he says in the outro “It ain’t to bad that you using me because I sure am using you to do the things you do” I think what I love about this song is that it focuses on relationships where both partners are using the other for a specific reason. Sometimes it’s money and sometimes it can be due to sex. As much as I love the studio version of this song I also have a huge appreciation towards the live version that is on his “Live at Carnegie Hall” album. Another funky tune on this album would be the song “Kissing My Love'' which has a solid drum solo starting it off. And then the funk emerges with the other instruments kicking in just makes this song a complete head bop. I love Withers' use of repetition in songs. In this case I like the use of the line “Put your foot on the rock” which really makes you want to shake your leg. This song is a good example of Withers's positive songs. What song is an interesting twist in the mood of the melody is the slow blues number “I Don't Want You On My Mind.” This is similar to his first album where a happy go lucky song plays and for this album it would be "Kissing My Love" to a few tracks later to dark eerie songs like “I Don’t Want You on My Mind” or “Who Is He (And What Is He to You).” “I Don’t Want You On My Mind” has a Sonny Boy Williamson or Lonnie Johnson vibe to it. The guitar work is what makes the song sound like an old blues song but also is able to put a 70’s groove that can make it a memorable aspect to the listener. A song like “I Don’t Know” is a sweet love song that brings so much emotion but what I love about this song is that it’s about not knowing for sure how to define love to an individual. This song just has a positive approach on love and can give an individual a happy feeling when listening to this song to someone and I like how it focuses on just being able to not really know the intense feeling of love. I like the line delivery of “you got me feeling like a young man" just captures that intensity in romance and how the love for another can make us feel invincible but sometimes we just don’t know the answer or the outcome in a relationship. A song that sticks out to me on this album is “Another Day to Run.” What I like about this song is how it focuses on insecurities and is based on a feeling a lot of people have probably felt. This focuses on feeling lost with no direction. I mean I definitely feel I can relate to this song as I'm sure someone reading this can too. It focuses on mixed emotions from an individual like how people deal with rejection but also focuses on drugs and poverty. It’s a song that focuses on how we as people can hide from our problems but the issue is they will come back and haunt us eventually. Withers really does represent real life struggles that I’m sure he had. It’s so interesting to me how a former vet and assemblyman was able to have enough talent and a voice that needed to be heard to the public.

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