Pete Doherty Grace/Wastelands album review

Pete Doherty

I’ve been waiting in the wings for awhile now for Pete Doherty to release a solo album, and finally that day has come. For me, his best performances have been the times that I’ve seen him play on his own with just an acoustic guitar and his voice. However, with debut solo album Grace/Wastelands, there’s a mix of some of the acoustic Pete Doherty that is endearing and raw and also songs filled with the colorful musicianship of a full band …

Pete Doherty

I’ve been waiting in the wings for awhile now for Pete Doherty to release a solo album, and finally that day has come. For me, his best performances have been the times that I’ve seen him play on his own with just an acoustic guitar and his voice. However, with debut solo album Grace/Wastelands, there’s a mix of some of the acoustic Pete Doherty that is endearing and raw and also songs filled with the colorful musicianship of a full band.

With all that’s been written in the media about Pete Doherty and his personal life, the highs along with the extreme lows, it would be easy to cast aside the idea that he might actually be a talented songwriter and musician. Grace/Wastelands is a great example of an artist at work – doing what he does best. This album excites me. For someone like Doherty who is young and in the public eye as much as he is, to release such an eclectic mix of songs so far away from the current chart releases is to be applauded. Grace/Wastelands should be listened to and digested like a fine wine.

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Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy album review

Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy

I can’t believe it. Guns N’ Roses is finally set to release the long awaited ‘Chinese Democracy’ on November 23, 2008. MySpace is currently streaming the album in its entirety – which I’m listening to now. Axl sounds good…at times great and sometimes not so good…the band sounds good – with some excellent guitar solos …

Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy

I can’t believe it. Guns N’ Roses is finally releasing the long awaited ‘Chinese Democracy’ on November 23, 2008. MySpace is currently streaming the album in its entirety – which I’m listening to now. Axl sounds good…at times great and sometimes not so good…and the band is tight – with some excellent guitar solos. Even if you’re just mildly curious, it’s worth checking out. There’s certainly a mixed bag of music, and I’ve found myself listening to some of the songs more than once to get a better feel for them.

Guns N’ Roses on amazon.com

Chinese Democracyon amazon.co.uk

Opening track “Chinese Democracy” has a cool intro, and rocks out with cool vocals – Axl sounds great, using the lower register of his voice.

The vocals are questionable on “Better”.

There’s a mix of the old, familiar “Axl voice” from the days of ‘Appetite for Destruction’ and ‘Use Your Illusion’ throughout ‘Chinese Democracy’, and a more… theatrical … voice, like on piano based “Street of Dreams” and “This I Love” – which includes a great guitar solo, and dare I say – a harp? Are they the new “November Rain”? Wow – “If The World” grooves with a fat bass and a mix of funk, rock, contemporary jazz feel, an electric Santana/Slash-like guitar solo, an acoustic spanish-like acoustic guitar solo, and a soulful, high pitched vocal delivery by Axl. Hmmm. Different. I’m undecided on this one. There’s A LOT going on here. I *think* it could grow on me.

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The Sound Of The Smiths review + competition; listening party links

The Smiths

Very few music fans who were around during the mid-eighties were indifferent to The Smiths – you might love them or hate them, like Marmite really, but you were unlikely not to have much of an opinion …

The Smiths

Very few music fans who were around during the mid-eighties were indifferent to The Smiths – you might love them or hate them, like Marmite really, but you were unlikely not to have much of an opinion. This is what drove their success of course – the fans were the kind of fans who would queue for hours, days even, to get tickets for gigs or the latest release.

With that kind of adoration, the fact that there was also a bunch of people going around saying how much they hated them (not simply didn’t think much of, or even actively disliked, but hated) only served to intrigue the uninitiated, who would then be all the more likely to buy the latest single/album/gig ticket to see what all the fuss was about, and would then either end up slagging them off at every opportunity or queuing for hours in the rain in Wolverhampton hoping to sneak in to the show.

Not that you could do much to get away from them during their heyday, they were everywhere, Top of the Pops, NME, Smash Hits even. For a few years, the Smiths simply were indie music – not that there was too much competition – never forget this is the era that gave us the Wonderstuff and Neds Atomic Dustbin.

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Inchworm ‘Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing’ review + CD Release Show, Chicago!!

Inchworm - Sheep In Wolf's Clothing

It’s so refreshing putting on music that when the first breath of a note begins, you can already tell the sweetness of what’s to come. Inchworm captures that sweetness with ease throughout “Simple Days Without Money”, the breezy, catchy opening track on their EP ‘Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing’ …

Inchworm - Sheep In Wolf's Clothing

It’s so refreshing putting on music that when the first breath of a note begins, you can already tell the sweetness of what’s to come. Inchworm captures that sweetness with ease throughout “Simple Days Without Money”, the breezy, catchy opening track on their EP ‘Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing’.

I’ve been an Inchworm fan for awhile now – ever since dedicating a whole Band Weblogs Podcast Show to the Chicago based band – which is a very rare occurrence, and it’s great to hear their music again after being away from it for awhile. It’s always a good personal ‘test’ so to speak, when a band that stirred you the first time you heard them gives you that same exciting feeling the next time you listen to their music after a long break. There’s just an all around wholesome sound that Inchworm brings to the table – similar to The Band – endearing vocals and harmonies, quality musicianship and well written timeless songs.

“Green House Grown” swings along with a wonderful rhythm and piano with harmonies reminiscent of The Band. “You I Aim For” is another sweet, classic sounding track on the EP. “Learn to Grift” steers the listener in a different direction from the previous Americana feel of the other tracks. A more modern/indie sound along with superb drumming. “Waltz Through the Ashes”, as you can gather from the title, is a darker track with standout, sultry vocals and cool guitar parts – and tone – throughout.

“Silent Observers” is an appropriate closing track. I love the rustic sound of the piano at the intro, and the vocals waste no time coming in. There’s a great build to this song, with its humble beginning, then the beautiful harmonies, excellent dynamics, soaring guitar, steady bass and then gradually building up to a somewhat experimental grand finale. Brilliant.

This EP is HIGHLY recommended and goes into my “great music for sitting around a fire at night” category.

‘Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing’ Track Listing:

Simple Days Without Money
Green House Grown
You I Aim For
Learn to Grift
Waltz Through the Ashes
Silent Observers

If you happen to be in the Chicago area on October 10, 2008 – I’ve got the perfect night out for you. Inchworm’s CD Release Show!! If I could be there, I would.

10/10/08
Darkroom
2210 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL
Time: TBD
w/ Swell and Sleep with the Fishes
$8 adv, $10 door

Inchworm Official Website
Inchworm MySpace

By: Jenny May

The Watson Twins – ‘Fire Songs’ album review

The Watson Twins

The first time that I saw The Watson Twins was on Later…with Jools Holland a couple years ago when they were in the UK touring with Jenny Lewis …

The Watson Twins

The first time that I saw The Watson Twins was on Later…with Jools Holland a couple years ago when they were in the UK touring with Jenny Lewis. Their presence on stage was almost spooky – identical twin sisters with their matching long dresses and dark hair. The appearance was memorable and it’s good to see them out on their own now, with the release of their debut album, ‘Fire Songs’.

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Deborah Bonham – ‘Duchess’ album review + videos

Deborah Bonham

Deborah Bonham is set to release her latest album, ‘Duchess’. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Deborah Bonham yet, she has a soulful, bluesy voice that at times reminds me of …

Deborah Bonham

Deborah Bonham is set to release her latest album, ‘Duchess’.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Deborah Bonham yet, she has a soulful, bluesy voice that at times reminds me of Bonnie Raitt, Lulu, Janice Joplin and even Paul Rodgers. She grew up in England, but her music could easily be mistaken for an American blues/rock band.

It was great to find out that the late Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham had a sister who sings – and Deborah does sing – with a soulful passion, often missing from the top 40 charts. ‘Duchess’ has an old school feel that will bring back memories for music lovers who can’t get enough of the blues.

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The Rushes new Corners EP review + watch video

The Rushes

I’ve been really enjoying The Rushes new ‘Corners’ EP the last few days. It’s been the first disc that I grab when I want to listen to music …

The Rushes

I’ve been really enjoying The Rushes new ‘Corners’ EP the last few days. It’s been the first disc that I grab when I want to listen to music.

The singer really can sing. I like his voice – and their 70’s/80’s rock style harmonies and melodies have been pulling me in with each listen. I’m also quite intrigued with the subtle vocal effects, and the sound is very well mixed.

Watch The Rushes – “Corners” video:


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