Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Grosh Whether Or Not You Know cover art.
Grosh, Whether Or Not You Know music review by Joe Tell.
Whether Or Not You Know blasts' off with More To Life. After repeatedly playing the song I heard something extraordinary right away. Separating the speakers revealed some interesting sounds and a cool stereo mix during the intro of More To Life. I was also struck by the unique sound of Grace Lougen's guitar. Grace plays the guitar with her fingers which results in an organic and very natural sound. Her finger style playing highlights her dynamic style and reveals a lot of natural harmonics and overtones you wouldn't hear from a flatpicking guitarist. The drum build up by Josh English brings in the high energy that defines More To Life. Megan Brown comes in on top of the fast pace accenting and accompanying the music with a singing style that is inherently appealing and intuitive in nature. Megan's spirited and passionate voice packs plenty of emotional punch. The lyrics are powerful and grab the listener's ear without taking away from the groove the band is putting down. After establishing the driving tempo the band slows down letting the music breathe. Thus allowing Dylan Hund to throw in some tasty fills on the bass and Megan to add some sweet vocal harmonies.
The quality continues with Every Time. Every Time features a brilliant drum track executed by Josh English. The drum sound is tight and punchy, Josh's frantically fantastic playing weaves in and out of the musical pocket in creative waves. A duo of rhythm and lead guitar parts come in, each part complimenting the other. Megan's melodic and breathy vocals sound sincere and as soon as she sings the word broken the band busts' into a powerful, heavy groove that accents the lyric.
Rising Tide is up next. Rising Tide features Grace Lougen on a lead guitar tour de force. The song structure leaves plenty of room for some soulful lead guitar. The guitar solo builds up with a slow burn. A tasty slide guitar begins the solo in a bluesy fashion Grace then starts up with a few lead notes slowly getting faster, bringing up the energy along with the band. The solo bleeds in to the next verse of the song and continues on bringing the song to a close.
Whether or Not You Know rolls on with Roads Remember. Needless to say the lyrics tell a story about travelling and the memories we connect with the road. The guitar solo signals a transition as the band kicks the song into overdrive for the outro.
Lil' Crazy, Refuse and I Bet You Did play out in an energy inducing order.
Lil' Crazy is funky and tight. The rhythm section of Josh English and Dylan Hund jam on an infectious groove that is expertly punctuated by some great bass pops and slaps.
Refuse is a straight up hard rock song, from the aggressive guitar to the soaring vocals Grosh shows off yet another side of the band. The fast tempo is sure to get your blood flowing and your fists' pumpin'. A spacy guitar solo with some awesome keyboards by Harry Graser contrasts' perfectly with the quick verse music.
The previous two songs set up I Bet You Did perfectly. I Bet You Did would fit in nicely on any FM rock radio playlist. The first time I watched the music video for this song I became a fan of Grosh. I Bet You Did is a great, well composed rock song, the verse music and lyrics are strong and the chorus is catchy. Grosh really raises the bar and sets a new standard for all local musicians to follow with I Bet You Did.
Below is the video for I Bet You Did.
Astronaut is as titled, as a song about all things space. The mid tempo pace allows plenty of room for Megan Brown to fill up the heady groove with drifting harmonies. The keyboard track by Harry Graser serves to further the spacy track onward and upward.
Grosh shows off some impressive hard rock/metal chops with Something New. This track is similar to track 6 Refuse, but Something New is even more aggressive and metallic in style and performance. Josh English uplifts the energy and power even more with his drum pounding outro.
What Have I Done is a hard-driving rock song. Megan's vocals are outstanding and Grace's guitar playing is screaming with emotion. The ending is a classic bombastic rock and roll bang up.
Piece of Mind closes out Whether Or Not You Know in style complete with a hidden track. The feeling conveyed is melancholy and the drum track drives the song with a quickness that defies the ballad like sound. Megan's vocals are breathy, beautiful and emotional. The violin track arranged by drummer Richie English and performed by Linnea Cremean and Allison Collins closes out Piece of Mind...but wait there's more! A bonus track called Sweet Mama is great dose of rock n roll that serves the listener well as a going away present and a positive parting musical shot.
The quality production and the mix on Whether Or Not You Know is top notch and a pleasure to listen to. All of the songs on Whether Or Not You Know are very well orchestrated. The transitions between the melodies are seamless, emphasizing the lyrical content. The songs highlight the creative talent and energy each member of the band possesses as they perform together as a cohesive unit. Brilliant Buffalo Band!
Friday, June 18, 2021
George Puleo is a Buffalo music icon whose guitar playing never fails to entertain, amaze and impress. His latest musical project is the jazz fusion powerhouse The Damone Jackson Outcome. The band is currently working a new album called Unstable. George has lent his guitar playing talents to many recording projects recently and has released albums with Haiku, The Need, Gamalon as well as releasing a solo album. My first musical memory of George was seeing him sit in with The Tweeds (Talas). I wanted to share some of George's musical insight and his unique outlook on the world of music. George agreed to do an interview for me and I am happy to share it with you on my music blog.
1. Please describe your first musical memory: Watching The Beatles live on the Ed Sullivan show with my 2 older sisters in Feb. 1964.
2. Who or what influenced you to start playing the guitar?: A 1-string plastic toy guitar I found in the alleyway on the way to school when I was 5.
3. Who are your favorite musicians and bands from the past and present?: John McGlaughlin, Alphonso Johnson, Damone Jackson, Jimi Hendrix!
4. Is there any song or musical passage that never fails to move you?: The Look Of Love by Dusty Springfield.
5. What is your favorite guitar and amplifier? My modified Strat (Strats in general) and my Roland JC120/90.
6. What musicians would you be anxious to meet, past or present? Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Seal.
7. How would you describe your perfect day (musically or otherwise): Feeling appreciated, No Drama, Good Food! and jamming with the Damone Jackson Outcome.
8. How long have you been playing/performing with the guitar? 50+ years.
9. What is your next musical project? The 2nd release from the Damone Jackson Outcome which is almost done!!
10. How do you stay inspired? Gratitude.
11. Where can fans buy your music? Record Baron, 3048 Delaware Ave., Kenmore N.Y. 14217, Noon - 6pm Tues. thru Saturday. Discogs and all digital platforms.
Jason Moynihan- Guitar, Saxophone, and Ewi
Jack Kulp-Fretless Bass
Damone Jackson- Drums
Some of George's musical highlights include ...
HAIKU. Haiku included local musicians Jim Wynne on Bass and Keyboards, Hugh Arthur on Drums, George Puleo on Guitar and Spencer Bolden on Percussion. Track listing includes, Univibe, Diamond Butterfly, That Summer Night, Chasing Jeff Beck Down A Dark Alley With A Loaded Guitar, Silkie and Tempest. Artwork is from Haiku's 2013 self-titled release.
In 1993 George had the opportunity to record some songs that were not at all right for Gamalon with keyboardist Bob Volkman @ John Valby's studio, the end result was puleo so low. The cover photo is from Gamalon opening up for Larry Coryell in Rochester, N.Y. @ the Red Creek in 1991 or 92. George on guitar & bass/Bob volkman on keyboards/Reggie evans on drum sounds. http://cdbaby.com/cd/puleo2
Friday, May 14, 2021
Temple Garden - Austin, Texas
"Redshift" is the first album by the psychedelic rock band Temple Garden. Formed in Austin, TX after moving from Canton, OH in 2019. "Redshift" is the culmination of the music written and self-produced during 2020's lockdown by the band. Temple Gardem was formed when brothers Eric and Brandon Carbenia joined with James Cosner to create new music in their home studio. The release of the 13 track album is accompanied by a 4 part radio drama mini-series inspired by the golden age of radio and Orson Welles. The release of the album is supported by a music video for Redshift and several 360-degree listening videos that put you in the driver's seat of the patrol ship as you listen through the album's leading singles Redshift and Vacuum Sky.
The sci-fi concept of both the album and radio play follows a space patrolman named Miro who is exiled from a galactic armada due to a forbidden romance with the patrol ship's AI guidance system. He goes on a series of adventures through the universe as he flees the terrible Galactik Kommandoh and seeks a way to hide from the all-seeing eye of the Matrioshka Brain, a supercomputer the size of a planet that monitors the universe for the armada.
Musically, Temple Garden takes influence from everything from modern psychedelic rock like Tame Impala and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to classic progressive rock groups such as King Crimson and Magma.
Redshift by Temple Garden music review by Joe Tell.
First I must comment on the cover art, Temple Garden brilliantly uses sci-fi/pulp imagery create a mind-set before the music starts. After further exploring the CD art I found that the song titles further enhance the spacy artwork. Onto the music, the Intro is ominous and signals the start of the intense musical journey that is about to begin. Mourning Glory is a multi-instrumental, progressive, alternative rock track. The unique song uses a wall of sound to create a floating mood as the music plays on. For me the icing on the cake is a Zappaesque guitar solo that cuts through the mix like a knife. The next song, Android Babe (Luria), tells of a forbidden love between a man and a machine. What sounds like a mix between a keyboard and a guitar plays a melodic line that carries the song along until a psychedelic interlude/jam takes the song out. Galactik Kommandoh is an uptempo rocker that proves Temple Garden is a highly talented and well versed band. The main part of the song reminded me of Rush from there the song then morphs into another spectacular, spacy psychedelic jam which is then topped off with a fantastic Pink Floydesque saxophone solo. If that wasn't enough the song then uses a samba beat (wow!) to transition into the outro. This song has elements of jazz fusion, with its Jan Hammer like keyboard lines, heavy Led Zeppelin guitar sounds and amazing guitar/bass articulation reminiscent of 70's Yes. Galactik Kommandoh is my favorite song on Redshift. The title track, Redshift, is next and song is placed perfectly on the playlist to maximize it's impact. Redshift highlights the vocals and keyboards to create a haunting melody that will occupy your mind long after you're done listening. The intro for the next song, Starsea, conveys a feeling of loneliness and dread. As the verse music kicks in a feeling of hope takes over but the lyrics continue down a lonely path. The music blends the progressive rock sounds of classic Genesis and Yes. Vacuum Sky is another excellent progressive rock mind bender. A spacy guitar solo with plenty of digital delay brings in a high vocal part that dominates the rest of the track along with a wavy keyboard figure. Mr. Mikey's Megalithic Ziggurat is a fantastic title and the music matches the awesome title. Temple Garden impresses yet again with an intense, guitar heavy intro showing another side of the band. The band uses feedback and an overdriven bass line to create a sense of aggression. The guitar rules on this track as melodic lines and stinging solos weave in and out of the mix. The spoken lines reminded me of the end of the Rush song Rush:2112 theme song. This song is one of the best on the release. The Tower Of Infinity continues the previous song and serves to further the interstellar story line. The band performs another impressive musical backdrop. I was immediately intrigued by the title of the next track, I Left My Marlboros on A7C. I was happily surprised by the familiar and legendary When The Levee Breaks drum sound. The slap back sound peaked my interest and drew me into the instrumental music. This song showcases the excellent musicianship of each member of the band. The repeating percussion sounds are mesmerizing and they cut are short by an evil cackle. The Elders Of Tunkasilan is melodic but sounds somber and conveys of feeling of thoughtful sadness. Chameleon continues the mood with its hypnotizing mid tempo groove. A few spacy effects add to the soundscape. The groove builds in intensity and then slows down to a crawl ending with a huge bang on a gong. Vex uses a familiar sci-fi soundbite to set up the end of one of the most impressive debut albums I have ever reviewed. The final instrumental track creates the feeling that you are traveling through space and time on an intergalactic journey. Listening to Temple Garden's Redshift on a cellphone or a laptop does not do the music justice, I highly recommend wearing headphones when you decide to listen. Redshift by Temple Garden will take you on a musical journey and it is one of the best independent releases of 2021 so far, highly recommended! Check out the links below to hear and see more about Temple Garden.
Special thanks to Temple Garden for expressing interest in my music blog.
Temple Garden is an independent psychedelic rock band from Austin Texas. "Redshift" is our concept-oriented debut and will be released on April 30th, preceded by our title track single, "Redshift" on March 4th, as well as music videos, virtual reality listening videos, and an extended version that includes an Orson Welles style radio drama to be released with animated shorts on social media.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Waking Bear - Olympia, Washington
Recently received this message from Josh Lalley from the band Waking Bear. Wanted to give thanks and support to the band for sending such a nice message. Thank you Waking Bear!
Hey Joseph & Maria,
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this. You are appreciated! If you get nothing else from this email, please know that! We know how important music platforms like yours can be for artists, which is why we are taking the time to reach out to Joe Tell's Music Blog. If you have a moment we would love your input on our FIRST album "Trust Fall". Waking Bear is not your typical band. We focus on songs that uplift and spread joy using a pop indie rock sound familiar to the Pacific Northwest. We are not for everyone but if we resonate at all with you, we would appreciate any feedback and opportunities to work together. Our website will provide additional info if you’re curious to know more. Wishing the best for you and your continued work within this crazy and amazing industry we love so much.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Frontline - Delft, Netherlands
Review for Accidental Gathering by Frontline by Joe Tell.
The title of the EP, Accidental Gathering, is perfect for these turbulent times. Keep It A Secret is a straight ahead, in your face hard rock song. The uptempo song is a great choice to kick off the Frontline Accidental Gathering EP. The chromatic guitar lines keep the energy flowing and the explicit lyrics make the song that much cooler. Love Creeps features some heavy guitar and great soloing to start the song. The solos continue throughout the song as the energy and the key of the music moves up a little higher. Cheating Is Easy is a updated slab of the classic 70's rock sound complete with a melodic guitar solo, sure to please any rock fan. Tower Of Lies sounds to me like the most powerful and polished song of the set. Overall the band mixes the rock sounds of legendary bands like April Wine, Def Leppard, Foghat and Grand Funk Railroad together to create a unique rock sound.
Frontline is a hard rock band from Delft consisting of five enthusiastic band members; Thomas (vocals), Arti (guitar), Thijs (guitar), Steven (bass) and Jamal (drums). The band formed in the summer of 2018. Arti wrote a bunch of hard rock songs and was looking for the right musicians to perform them with. He found these through jam sessions in a medieval cellar in the city center of Delft. The band had some live gigs and a radio performance - before the pandemic kicked in.
Frontline did not let the pandemic interfere with their work. The EP ‘Accidental Gathering’ was recorded even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Bassist Steven explains: ’We separately recorded our instruments from the safety of our homes and then Thijs mixed them together..” The band has made a tight production - you wouldn’t tell the EP has been recorded from home, completely DIY. The song writing recalls old-school hard rock music. Arti: “My influences are mostly Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy and other hard rock legends from back in the day. Although everybody in the band digs that, the members’ individual tastes are diverse. For instance, Steven’s background is punk rock and Jamal’s more metal. This makes the band’s sound an interesting mix.”
The EP ‘Accidental Gathering’ is Frontline’s first release. Get ready for some spot-on hard rock vocals and guitar riffs. Lead singer Thomas: “Our song Let’s keep it a secret is one of my favorites! The riffs are awesome and the song will most definitely be stuck in your head all day.” It sure is a good teaser for their upcoming album, expected to be released in summer 2021. If you love rock music, make sure to follow this band to stay up to date. You’ll definitely want to add this EP to your favorites!
Thomas Kunst - vocals
Arti Flinkerbusch - lead guitar
Thijs Stoffelen – rhythm guitar
Steven Wijtenburg - bass
Jamal van Kastel – drums
For more information: