This week we feature another local, and another out of town band…
Episode 23 – What ? Can you believe it!! And here we thought Sound cloud was going away Nope!
Two new artists this week State of Mind – Cleveland, OH and Paul Martin – Scranton PA
Jakesway were an original music project from Mehoopany, PA that self-released three albums with music that mixed rock, country and pop. The project was spearheaded by Gary Kashack, a veteran of several Scranton area cover bands until he and a handful of friends and collaborators started to go into SI Studios in Scranton with a goal to record and release the originals that Gary had been stockpiling over the past few years. Jakesway’s Reverbnation page gives as the project’s main influences Matchbox 20, Social Distortion, The Smithereens, and the GooGoo Dolls. With four such disparate influences, it’s not surprising that jakesway’s three albums all had cuts played not only on rock radio in Northeastern Pennsylvania but on pop and country stations as well. The project was put on hiatus a few years ago, and after recharging, Gary has adopted the stage name Gary Carl and recently released a solo country CD, Off The Grid, which may turn up on a future episode someday soon. For now, let’s highlight three tracks from their second album, the appropriately titled It May Get Loud – and this was definitely one release where we had trouble deciding on which three tracks to select because they were all too damn good.
Tracks: Unassuming Angels, You And Me, So Simple So True
Soul Exchange are a five-piece rock band from Stockholm, Sweden – a country more famous musically for giving us ABBA, a slew of notorious Black Metal bands like Dark Funeral, Marduk, and Dissection, and most recently the ever-popular and mysterious Ghost. Soul Exchange do list their fellow countrymen Ghost as both a favorite band and an influence, but outside of sharing a predilection for mixing pop songwriting with rock influence and some dark thematics, they don’t have much in common with Papa Emeritus and his Nameless Ghouls. The band – vocalist Daniel John, guitarists and brothers Hans and Thomas von Bell, drummer Benny White, bassist Patrik “Patte” Ekelöf, and lyricist Jens Joel Evaldsson – likes to describe themselves as “The sound of a new world being born, and the louder sound of an old world being destroyed.” Their second album, Bloodbound, caught the attention of North Carolina-based independent label Mervilton Records, which has released the album worldwide, and it’s most certainly caught our attention here on the show.
Tracks: Left Behind, Torn To Pieces, Hangin’ On
Iron Cowboy do most of their shows in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area as a cover band doing a lot of country and Southern rock covers, but they also have made the effort to record a few CDs of original music. One DJ that heard one of their CDs described them as “a cleverly disguised rock band with a steel guitar” – which to most fans of traditional or outlaw country would come off as a remark not much different from Tom Petty’s famous dismissal of bro-country as “hair metal with cowboy hats”. Iron Cowboy, however, have taken that DJ’s description and accepted it as 100% accurate. Since the release of the album from which we are highlighting cuts tonight, 2011’s Tattoo Of You, the band has expanded their sound a little with the addition of a second vocalist in Cathy Paty, who has graced their most recent releases, including a one-off cover of The Eagles’ “Seven Bridges Road”. The tracks we are highlighting this week from Tattoo Of You don’t have Ms. Paty or the pedal steel, but the idea of a rock band disguised as country still seems to fit – or could they be a country band disguised as rock? You decide as we listen to the following songs from Tattoo Of You: “I’m Thinking ‘Cause I’m Drinkin’”, “Please Believe Me”, and “Dead Man Walkin’”.
Durango Dogs are a hard rock band from San Francisco, California with an interesting history as to how their debut release, Raw Doggin’ Love, came to be. Band leader, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Eric Durango had taken his then-lineup of the group into the studio in April of 2014 with only three hours of time to cut as many songs as possible, only getting five tracks finished. Eric spent much of that summer adding overdubs to the existing songs, and then mixing and mastering them, only to declare the results nothing more than an expensively produced demo. He went back into the studio a year later with local legend Ed Jones, and together the two recorded ten songs, including new takes on the songs from the original demo, with both gentlemen taking on multiple instrumental duties. After the songs were recorded and mixed, the perfectionist part of Eric Durango’s personality decided that all of the guitar parts needed to be rerecorded from top to bottom – which they did… twice. Surprisingly, the finished album sounds more like a full band slogging it out in the studio in a couple of takes apiece, yet still sounds like a lot of time and energy went into it. Go figure! Representing the Raw Doggin’ Love album are the tracks “Devil Dog”, “Leviathan”, and “Yoga Pants Woman”.
Harpo have been in existence since 1974, initially as a cover band back in the days when you could play bars up and down the East Coast and into Canada and make a decent living doing it. (Yeah, there was a time when that was possible.) Their Facebook page’s biography displays a litany of all the trials and tribulations the band has gone through over the past 44 years going on 45 – personnel changes, car accidents that sidelined their singer for over a year, breakups, reunions, and a few independently released albums. Chances are, if you lived in Pennsyvania, you’re familiar with the name even though you may have never heard a single note of the music. When the band was originally making records in the Eighties, they would have fit in very well with the string of hair bands that dominated MTV back in the day – but no major label ever picked them up. This week we highlight cuts from their album Harpo Live: Go Heavy Or Go Home, originally released in 1997 and reissued over a decade later by the Italian label Time Warp Records (supposedly a grey-market “bootleg” label if Discogs.com is correct). Songs like “Chain Reaction”, “Tuff Love”, and “Tumblin’ Down” give good indication of how radio-ready Harpo was determined to make their music throughout their long career.
Highlighted Tracks: Tuff Love, Too Much Is Just Enough, Hearts Cold.
FALL OF MAN
Fall Of Man are a relatively new band from Los Angeles, CA. They formed in the early 2000’s and first rehearsed as an instrumental trio while they seeked out a frontman for their band. Enter, ironically, a frontwoman in Erica Barile, who had been hanging out with the band at their rehearsals since day one (she was friends with most of the band at the time), then started filling in at band practice while they searched for a permanent singer. Not long afterward, she ended up being the defacto vocalist. Imagine Evanesence without the piano, the ego, and the penchant for mopey goth ballads, or even Flyleaf without the preaching, and you’ll have a decent idea of what Fall of Man sounds like. Or better yet, you could listen to the highlighted tracks we present from their most recent release, the 2016 EP Hallways And Doors. The band is presently working on their third full length album.
Highlighted Tracks: Hallways And Doors, Lullaby, Breathe
For those of you that don’t know me and are new to my page Continue reading bands – knowledge you can use
By CJ Marsicano
After a technology-postponed one-week delay, Up Front And On Fire returns not only right out of the starting gate, but making a bit of a left-field turn by featuring NEPA-born aspiring country artist Dani-Elle Kleha (who goes solely by her first name professionally).
Continue reading Up Close and On Fire Ep 11 – Danielle – CD Review
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
The band for this week’s episode of Up Front And On Fire left me in a bit of a conundrum. I was presented with five of their releases to go through for this week’s episode of the show. Unfortunately, two of them were not properly tagged, so they couldn’t be reviewed. Bands, please double-check your ID3 tags in your mp3 files before you send them to radio stations, podcasts, and blogs, and submit your track listings to Gracenote as well if you’re sending CD copies to stations – it only takes five minutes to do this in iTunes. (ten if you’re careful with your typing!)
CANEDY The name of Carl Canedy should not be unfamiliar to most metalheads, whether it is the drummer of the long-running metal trio The Rodz, or as a producer for such classic metal albums as Anthrax’s Spreading The Disease and Possessed’s Beyond The Gates. Continue reading Up Close and On Fire – Canedy – CD Review
Written By CJ M.
Produced by Spitfire and Kickazz
Candlelight Red are a four-piece modern rock band from Williamsport, PA with two full-length albums and one EP to their credit. For this week’s episode of Up Front And On Fire, I’ve decided to concentrate on their most recent release, Reclamation, released in 2013 on the Imagen label. (The band is still active, having toured with a renewed vigor in 2016, and are planning new material in 2017, per a New Years Day post on their Facebook page.)
The quartet of vocalist Ryan Hoke, guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Edge, bassist/vocalist Jamie Morrat, and drummer Brian Dugan hits all the right touchstones for 21st Century mainstream modern rock – a vocalist that alternates between clean melodies and grimy screams with ease, downtuned guitar work that features tight crunchy rhythms and fluid leads, and drums that do their job of keeping the beat and knowing just the right places to bust out the right kind of fill.
The production on Reclamation is also listener friendly, enhancing the band’s main sound with ambient and unobtrusive keyboards, leaving Dugan’s drums dry and compressed for a truly heavy sound (rather than the excessive cement room echo sound from certain 80’s metal records), and occasionally throwing in a shade of reverb on Hoke’s vocals for emphasis. If this band doesn’t find themselves at a higher level in their career before 2017 ends, there’s something wrong.
Like A Disease