Archive | May, 2015

Style And More

31 May

From the video for “Cheap Style” alone, one can easily see that Modern Vices embrace their good natured retro sound, but there is definitely a gritty underbelly to the tune.

It is hazy, loud, and brazen.   There is a garage rock feel to it, but it mostly feels like something The Doors might unleash like “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”  mixed with Steely Dan’s “Do It Again.”

No matter how you slice it, this is alternative rock, or just plain rock at its peak. Lead singer Alex Rebek, does not hold back here, growling and crooning in a way Jim Morrison would most likely be proud of. The lyrics of the song are lost within the psychedelic vocals and garage rock sensibilities, but that only makes  “Cheap Style” that more true to its retro nature.

“Cheap Style” is short and sweet and packs enough punch to carry one through on multiple repeat listens.

Discography: Modern Vices (2014).

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There’s a New Lord in Town

24 May

“Louisa” by Lord  Huron is delectably retro in a way that checks off many echoes spanning the 1980s

Most notably, the track has a strong 80s Bruce Springsteen vibe, from the jangling instrumental undercurrent, to the register of lead singer Ben Schneider’s voice. But even the melody and the impeccable storytelling lyrics have Springsteen written all over them. Springsteen’s 1980 song “I Wanna Marry You” comes to mind, with the falsetto of “Sad Eyes.”

“Louisa’s” chorus is spellbinding with Schneider reaching effortlessly up into his upper register. It’s the type of note expected from The Beach Boys, but here it is presented in a way that would make “Wicked Game” singer Chris Issak proud. That track, which was released in 1989 definitely shares a thing or two in common with “Louisa.”

A track that is a fusion of what it might sound like if Springsteen and Issak got together to write a song, Lord Huron’s “Louisa” is a tune that with its infectious melody will leave an impression on listeners for a long time.

Discography: Lonesome Dreams (2012), Strange Trails (2015)

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Rockin’ Tyrants

17 May

Get out of your seat! It’s time to dance! Right out of the gate, with an eleven second rollicking intro that is full of electric guitar wails, listeners will know that What Tyrants “Muffins” is here to get the party started.

The guitar heavy track is loud and crashing, brazen and full of bursting energy. Garage rock? You betcha. Besides the fast paced instrumentals, lead singer Sean Schultz growls and yelps with the best of them. A fuzzed out vocal performance that overall completes the infectious nature of the track.

But while “Muffins” would be considered garage rock by any standards, there are some elements of pop rock to it. The general guitar riff brings to mind the basis for Blondie’s “One Way or Another.” Yet that may be an element that not everybody would catch. Put the two tunes side by side and the comparison becomes more apparent.

“Muffins” rocks and packs a punch in under three minutes, standard of many garage rock songs. But by God, if you aren’t up and dancing or at least tapping your toes by the time the song is done, you may need to reconsider your life choices.

Discography: No Luck (2015).

Official Website:

Dream Love

10 May

With its slow pace and delicate, nearly broken, vocals Love Inks “ In My Dreams” is the stuff dream dreampop is made of.

This track is very bare bones in its minimal approach, slight instrumentation, a steady lone beat and lead vocalist Sherry Leblanc untouched, polished but raw talent on display, the tune has an 80s feel to it. Think The Motels “Only The Only”

It’s the sadness in Leblanc’s voice, a melancholy that is a match for Motel’s lead singer Martha Davis in “Only The Lonely.” It’s the pangs of mourning that hit you with lyrics such as these:

“Electric ghosts descend/falling with the wind/they live on canvas, not the wall/they disappear then fall”

There is a sense in both of these tracks, that there is a sorrowful feeling that is haunting the singers.

Crafted beautifully here by Love Inks, “ In My Dreams” is the type of dreampop that shifts to the moody side while still sounding pristine and beautiful.

Because out of sadness can come the most beautiful songs.

Discography: E.S.P. (2011) Generation Club (2013), Exi (2014)

Official Website:

La La La Love The Monophonics

3 May

The first seventeen seconds, or so, of Monophonics “La La La Love Me” sound like they have come straight out of The Moody Blues “Nights In White Satin” with its lush and dark instrumental tones. But once the vocals start, another throwback tune comes to mind.

There is clearly a lot of soul on this track and it is hard not to see some comparisons to “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procul Harum. This song may be more restrained in its approach and vocals, but it has the same sort of deep heart and soul that is poured into it, as well as a similar tempo. Though “La La La Love” definitely airs more on the psychedelic side.

Monophonics have been around the music scene for a while, yet “La La La Love” still sounds new to the band. Lead singer Kelly Finnigan’s vocals at times displays shades of Stevie Wonder helping to fuse the trippy element of the tune with pure soul.

Discography: Playin’ and Simple (2007), Into The Infrasounds (2010), Into Your Brain (2010), Sound of Sinning (2015).

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