The North’s Career Is Headed In The Same Direction

@TheNorthBandUK is a Sheffield-based quartet consisting of Christian Meadows, Si Shaw, Zak Richards, and Joel Haddon. They were named the NME Band To Watch in 2013 and best believe, the new year should be one in which they break out. The group has been putting together some old-school, rib-tickling rock n’ roll for the past couple of years.

The group’s influences include Oasis, Kasabian, Paul Weller, among others. When thinking of similar artists, fellow English band The Rifles also comes to mind. Although they are without a record deal at this time, given the sample of tracks in their arsenal (notably “No Man’s Land”, “Mistakes” and “Shotgun Lover”), they should have numerous companies looking to work with them in the future.

The North have nowhere to go but up when it comes to their music reaching more and more consumers in 2014. They are already #1 band in their region on ReverbNation, so they must be doing something right. The group has a widespread social media footprint with presences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. The track above is a mere taste of what they have to offer the public in the new year.

Advertisements

Longwave’s Frontman Returns With A New Musical Act

Steve Schiltz now leads @hurricanebells, a group that emerged after the hiatus of ex-RCA group Longwave. The former band released two records under that label and although they were highly regarded, the radio programmers did not show the band much love. To this day, Longwave has yet to yield a Billboard Top 40 hit along any chart.

Hurricane Bells has been active since 2009 and has technically already charted in that Schiltz contributed to The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack, which reached the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. An EP was released three years ago and more music has been released since then. Schiltz has a bevy of contributors to the act and when on tour the band is a quartet. It is unknown when the group will be back on the road, but from the Facebook buzz regarding the group, attendance is mandatory at their live shows.

From the views of the video above for one of the group’s most notable tracks, Schiltz has surpassed the success of his prior band. Longwave received a raw deal from radio stations, but marched on making respected music on their terms. This is a results-driven business, however. Hurricane Bells appears to be doing quite well and in 2014 the momentum should continue.

Band In First Year Of Existence Is Destined For Sophomore Success

What a year it has been for Manchester, England’s Puppet Rebellion (@PuppetRebellion). Until this past January, the band did not exist and they are highly regarded for their latest record and their live performances. Based on the chatter going on about the group, 2014 is bound to be bigger and brighter.

Puppet Rebellion consists of vocalist Simon Monaghan, Paul Trochowski and Craig Gibson on guitars, drummer Chris Carcamo, and James Halliwell on bass. This past summer, the EP Chemical Friends was released, receiving praise from journalists and music aficionados throughout the UK. One of the bands biggest accomplishments thus far was having their music played during a Manchester United match. They are without a record deal at this time, but if the accolades keep coming they should have several offers thrown their way very soon.

The new year brings a new record titled No Means Yes that is due in the early part of 2014. To make oneself familiar with what to expect from the band, take a listen to Chemical Friends at iTunes, SoundCloud, and other online retailers. Furthermore, survey the group’s performance on local TV series ‘Quality Control’ as seen in the video above. Puppet Rebellion plays back to back shows in their home country (Liverpool and Birmingham on January 17 and 18, respectively). Rock fans in those areas are advised to check out those gigs as the only way to really know what the fuss is all about is to see it live. This quintet is garnering a buzz and it is only a matter of time before a world tour is warranted. Puppet Rebellion’s future is now and it looks and sounds awesome.

With Some Backing, New York Artist Will Have Multiple Adult Top 40 Hits

Soloist Caitlin Mahoney (@cmahoneymusic) has created a beautiful work of art with her latest EP West for a While. The singer’s performances should remind music lovers of another respected singer-songwriter, Norah Jones. Jones scored several Top 40 hits across multiple charts with her brand of Adult Contemporary tunes. With her latest effort, Mahoney has proven she has the songwriting and performing skills to follow suit.

Although from Florida, Mahoney’s music hub is in New York City. This is a town that it is difficult to be discovered in, however, given her effort as heard on tracks from the EP Mahoney is up for the challenge. The title track is a catchy little gem that is ready for the airwaves, clocking in at under three minutes. Additional tracks, “Wrong” and “Your Are a Safe Place” do not disappoint and are worthy of airplay. As a matter of fact, Mahoney has some spins under her belt at college radio stations. It is only a matter of time before major labels take notice leading to play on other stations.

Regarding live events, Caitlin Mahoney has one more 2013 gig left. She will grace the stage of The Path Cafe in New York City on December 27. After that, she extends her brand with a tour of Germany after the first of the year. If she is playing in your town, Mahoney is worth the curiosity to see what she brings live. The album West for a While is recommended listening and can be found at her Facebook page, Bandcamp site, among other outlets. Above is a video for a track that is not featured on the record, but is worth checking out as it features vocals from fellow musicians Jo Kroger and Kat Quinn. Spreading her wings internationally, Caitlin Mahoney’s career is bound to soar in 2014.

If This Indie Band Keeps This Up, They Will Be Taking The World By Storm

Derby, England’s Eva Plays Dead (@EvaPlaysDead) is a proud, independent, DIY hard rock band that has been creating highly regarded performances all across the country. Given the scorching performance in the video for “Secret”, it will not be long before the quartet will be touring other countries as well. Rock fans all over the globe now have a chance to hear their work as their debut full-length record from Artifex Records, ‘Guilt Trips & Sins’, is available now at digital retailers such as Amazon and iTunes.

Formerly known as BuryTheLadybird, the foursome consists of Tiggy Dockerty on vocals, bassist Zach Shannon, drummer Seb Boyse and Matt Gascoyne on guitar. The change in the group’s sound compared to when they started prompted the name change. The band lists some of the most popular acts in music as their influences. The band is inspired by the likes of Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, and Rancid. Singer Dockerty, however, also lists classic soul performers Etta James and Etta Fitzgerald as influences. This demonstrates Eva Plays Dead’s ability to draw from various genres and styles to create a hybrid of music that fits in with what gets played on rock radio but they can claim as their own.

The band is getting known in their homeland for their live shows and next Thursday December 12, they will play a hometown Christmas show at the Victoria Inn. If you are in the area and have a chance to see them for their final booked gig of 2013, please do. Based on how they jammed in the featured video, it is sure to be a show no one will forget.

Review of OneFortyThree, Ted Stevens & The Third Rail, and Dave Buker & The Historians at The Tree Bar – Columbus, OH 11/15/13

On a brisk Friday night, bands brought their unique and distinct sounds to the venue formerly owned by the late CD 102.5 FM Director Andy Davis. Each one delivered heat showing that high quality music is alive and well at local venues. The future of the independent music scene is looking very bright after seeing and hearing these artists in action. Music aficionados should follow suit and these are acts that deserve the credit for a job well done.

Image

Opener OneFortyThree (@OHonefortythree) sounds every bit as great live as their digital tracks advertise. Lead vocalist/guitarist Matthew Berger was spot on with the stage presence and had the lively crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Their female backup vocalist made her live debut with the group and did an exceptional job. Here is hoping the momentum continues and she delivers for years to come. In addition to performing with a new member, OneFortyThree introduced a track performed for the first time, which along with breaking in a new bandmate is not always the easiest thing to do. The entire band delivered music-wise and even provided some comedy, albeit at the expense of the always-in-trouble Chris Brown.

Similar artists: Kajagoogoo, Ben Lee, Ben Kweller

Image

Louisville-based Ted Stevens & The Third Rail (@tedstevensmusic) was like stepping into a time warp to the 1970s and that is a good thing. The Classic Rock trio is unlike anything Yours Truly has heard live since forever. Stevens pulled off the ultimate rock star outfit with a white polka dot shirt and leopard print sneakers. After the show, Stevens was clad in an awesome leather jacket oozing with uber charisma. Only in rock ‘n roll, people. Drummer Tony Gantt was solid behind the kit in a controlled frenzy and Kirk Kiefer was on point handling bass duties. The band’s catalog would be perfect for airplay on Columbus’ rock station Q-FM 96.3. “Hometown, Hometown” and “Live Forever” are two of the group’s best tracks performed and are available to listen to at their ReverbNation and Facebook pages. Here is hoping Ted Stevens & The Third Rail go on to have more success out of Lousiville than the now-defunct Parlour Boys and local legend Peter Searcy, artists who did not see the chips fall in their favor long-term.

Similar artists: Taxxi, The Black Crowes

Image

Lastly,  the buzz-generating sextet Dave Buker & The Historians (@DaveBukermusic) performed. The group was recently featured on the local PBS affiliate’s series ‘Broad & High’ and also was highlighted on the city’s premier independent radio station CD102.5. The band’s folksy sound mellowed out the crowd from the high brought on by Ted Stevens & The Third Rail, and it worked to perfection. The musicianship was superb from all six members and even with a crowd that had long filled out, no one mailed it in. This confirms the professionalism of the band, which should lead to landing shows with larger fanfare.

The group recently released What Can You Bring Back To Me?, an LP that took a year to record between two different studios over 100 miles apart. Tracks like “Molecules” and “A Ride Home” are ideal tunes to take one’s mind off of a bad day or to calm a fussy baby. Dave Buker & The Historians have a future in music for the easy listening, family-friendly music lovers and art house film soundtracks. Not everything has to be at turbo tempo to be good music, and these six musicians get that.

Similar artists: Annalibera, So Hard

It is in indie music lovers’ best interest to be on the lookout for these three groups for years to come as their futures seem very bright after brilliant performances. If these artists were so good at a small-sized venue with minimal sound and a tree stump in the middle of the audience, just imagine the possibilities if they receive the privilege to perform at more spacious settings such as Skully’s, the LC Pavilion, and The Newport. The music industry is littered with whitewash and what was heard and witnessed last night is so refreshing one can not wish nothing but the best for all three.

*Band photos courtesy of each group’s respective Facebook pages.

Big Apple Band Taking A Major Bite Out Of The Industry

New York-group Black Statues (@BlackStatues) are on their way to becoming a serious player in the independent music scene. They may not have a record deal right now, but after hearing “Tie One On”, their debut single, it should not be long before legions of underground music enthusiasts get a taste of what this quartet has to offer.

The group was founded three years ago by transplants vocalist Maude Quill and guitarist Edward Raison. Both are veterans of the business having played with other artists many years ago. After working on the demos for their recently released album, the pair recruited keyboardist Steven Vallone and then drummer Joe Izzo. From there, it was time to find a producer for their recordings. That’s where legend Earl Slick, who has worked with the likes of David Bowie and John Lennon, came into play. With Slick’s production chops and the mastering of Randy Merrill, the release ‘Gloss Cannon’ became a reality.

The record is available now at the band’s official site as well as CD Baby and iTunes. Track “Tie One On” is only one of the group’s great efforts to take the scene by storm. It is a beautiful hybrid of current indie and old school rock, complimented by Quill’s haunting vocals. Don’t take this blogger’s word for it, though. Survey the video to see and hear the raw sounds of Black Statues right here. If you can, it would be worthwhile to see Black Statues live. The group has some one-offs booked in the New York area. Independent music lovers should want ‘Gloss Cannon’ and its first single to catch on so the group can bring their ingenious sound to stages everywhere.

Stripped Down Indie Rock Done Right

Columbus, OH-based One Forty Three (@OHonefortythree) is a group that has been plugging away for seven years, but are on the verge of a breakthrough. Per the group’s Facebook page, they have done gigs featuring highly regarded groups A Day To Remember and Permanent Me. Their YouTube videos give raw versions of their tracks that stand on their own as brilliant works. The video version of “Tune In” has TV and movie soundtrack written all over it. The EP version, featured on the current release titled O’ You Evil, could also be a single heard on Alternative radio stations. Speaking of which, if WWCD 102.5, the hometown’s premier independently-owned Alternative station, should be playing this track as this fits right in with the tunes currently in rotation.

O’ You Evil EP is actually the quintet’s second release this year, following the album ‘This ‘Reaction, released in June. That is a very bold move, however, the group is clearly optimistic regarding putting out so much new music in a short span. There can never be too much high quality music, though.

In addition to a big year in terms of recorded music, the group has a full plate of local one-off live events planned for the next few months. For their next show, they will play at the famous Tree Bar (formerly Andyman’s) on Friday, November 15. Avid indie music lovers should take a look at the video and check out their music on Bandcamp to make an informed decision to come see what One Forty Three brings to the stage.

The Bloody Nerve Have The Bloody Nerve To Break Music City Stereotypes

Nashville-based duo The Bloody Nerve (@thebloodynerve) is not your typical group coming from Music City, U.S.A.. When people think of Nashville, they think of honky tonks, country line dancing, cowboy hats, and yeehaws. Guitarist Stacey Blood and vocalist Laurie Ann Layne shatter the image that outsiders have of their hub. Curious minds can read about the band on their Facebook page and will learn that both members were not even born in Tennessee. They do, however, know that to make a splash, going to the music capital of America was a smart route to go. An even smarter route: not trying to be a typical Country & Western act, which helps them stand out even more. In this current scene, originality is a breath of fresh air.

Speaking of which, on the tune “Find Ya Love” (the featured video), Layne’s haunting vocals match up beautifully with Blood’s guitar playing. The video’s budget is not huge, but it did not need to be. It features Layne’s luscious blood red lips in a near-embrace with the microphone with shots of Blood on guitar and walking around town. The video and song tell a good story without the bells and whistles of other videos, which often distract from the songs.

Is there a touch of country in The Bloody Nerve’s music? Sure, being in Tennessee has its influence on some of the group’s tracks. “Place To Hide” is a track that sees Blood handle the majority of the vocals and it definitely has some state roots, but it is a Blues-influenced track versus Country. “Local Honey” is the group’s most Country-influenced tune, but it a fun-sounding track that is atypical of their brand.

The Bloody Nerve have an EP titled ‘Red’ available that can be downloaded at their Bandcamp page with a free tee shirt for the purchase. Not only will indie music lovers get some great songs to listen to, they will receive an early Christmas present. The EP is a brilliant demonstration of the variety within the band’s music. With the holiday season among us and even in this questionable economy, consumers of the alternative to the mainstream are best served in investing their dollars in this band. There is a curiosity about what this group can pull off next.

Talented Pop Singer From Down Under Brings The Vocal Thunder

Bred in Sydney, Australia, Emmaline (@iamEmmaline) is a singer and songwriter who will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. She began writing music at 16 years of age with old school influences Etta James and Nat King Cole on her mind. Fast forward to now, her experience and inspirations have led to her latest effort “Love & Understanding”, with over 11,000 hits on YouTube and counting as well as accessibility on iTunes.

The single, if it obtains North American distribution, has potential to climb the Top 40 Pop and R&B Charts. There is a hint of the Erykah Badu and Gwen Stefani influences Emmaline touts on her official Facebook profile. It’s only a matter of time before she takes the world by storm. Do not expect any meat dresses or twerking to garner attention, though. Emmaline looks to be in the music game for the long haul.