Review: “Get Loose” by The Old Adage

Detroit pop duo The Old Adage (@TheOldAdage) look to dance their way up the charts with their newest single.  24 seconds into the video for “Get Loose”, the party gets popping and craziness ensues. It is a trippy video with the cocaine scene from ‘Scarface’ re-enacted, people in animal outfits living it up, a live dog wearing a shirt, and glitter everywhere. Directed by the tandem of Justin Collins and Randy Williams, “Get Loose” is a very wild wide for approximately four minutes and it appeared everyone making the video had a blast.

Siblings Mimi and Nino Chavez express a great deal of charisma in the video and show this is not their first rodeo. The group has been around the block several times having formed the band nearly five years ago under a different name and with lineup changes along the way. They have started to find their groove, though, with two records under their belt. The first being the EP Matches and last year’s full-length Cycles, the latter of which contains “Get Loose”. Both albums are available at the band’s website and major streaming outlets everywhere.

On “Get Loose”, Mimi’s vocals are on par with the other pop divas invading Ryan Seacrest’s Top 40 each week. The beats are on point with the vocals making for a dance track sure to get clubs worldwide jumping and bumping. Although the album containing this gem has been released without label support, if it gets in the right hands or heard by the right ears, there is no reason “Get Loose” cannot become a bonafide smash. The chops and professionalism are certainly there to make it happen.

Ultimately, this single and accompanying video are about escapism and letting it all hang out. Those who hear and see it will surely get that vibe real quick and have themselves an awesome time.  The Old Adage will do their part in making sure they bring the party at their live shows and hopefully, dance pop fans will show their support by viewing the video, buying the record, and spreading the word to make it the hit it ought to be.

Review: Two Years Later’s ‘Say It To My Face’

Columbus, Ohio’s alternative rock act Two Years Later (@2YLBand) ambitiously released two records in 2016 with the latest (and third overall) being Say it to My Face. As evidenced by the title, the record is themed as a revenge record with songwriter/lead vocalist/guitarist Jamie Rogers exacting payback against those who wronged her by way of melodic pop-punk music and a few ballads mixed in. In turn, these tunes can be relatable to others who have experienced similar dilemmas and seek healing, which they can also get through Rogers’ creative venting. Fans are forewarned that although disappointing relationships and/or life experiences are the norm on the album, one-third of the tracks is a departure of what they have heard on prior albums.

The title track is a brilliant clap-along 40-second intro to the album that takes one right to “#sorrynotsorry”, which was featured on the band’s first record. With its solid guitar and drum work, it is a rock anthem would fit right in on Alternative radio stations’ playlists. “That’s Not Ladylike” calls out the contradiction of women’s current beauty standards and Rogers’ vocals are on fire as she awesomely rants about the hypocrisy within mainstream and social media.

Say it to My Face’s fourth track, “Linger”, is different from Two Years Later’s trademark sound as it is reminiscent of the Santana and Michelle Branch collaboration “The Game of Love” sped up a tad. The song is one to salsa to and has potential to be a crossover hit across multiple formats. “Tonight, Tonight” is a standard part of Two Years Later’s playbook with sheer brilliance on guitar from Chandler Eggleston (also the tune’s co-writer), banging on-point drumming out of the group’s co-founder Zak Toth, and bombastic bass work and backing vocals by Mike Johnson. It is one of the album’s headbangers, making it a crowd favorite at live shows.

Yet another popular song at concerts that made the album is the call-out “Let Me Down Easy”, in which Rogers expresses self-depreciation for falling for false charms all the while chastising the culprit for his cons. Those not familiar with Two Years Later’s work should be warned that although Rogers writes and performs PG songs, this one contains strong adult language. Without approval of a radio edit, the song will not see the light of day on terrestrial radio stations. It makes those who love it obligated to hear it by attending a show or buying the album, but that is only a benefit to Two Years Later’s economic success.

An atypical track from Two Years Later, “California is Calling” slows the album back down as the ballad explores escaping a bad experience through an entire change of scenery. It also criticizes the antagonist’s actions and insufficient compensation attempts as the protagonist moves on with her life. Formerly a concert exclusive, “Never What You Wanted” is on millennials’ soundtracks as it deals with monkey wrenches getting in the way of society’s life manifests. The final tune on Say it to My Face is “Lullaby of Bitter Things”, which showcases Rogers’ vocals with some wicked ukulele playing. If the group wishes to take a huge risk, they can release it as a single and see it soar up the Adult Contemporary chart gaining them even more fans.

The band is on indefinite hiatus from touring and recording as for the time being, principal songwriter and lead singer Rogers is focusing on electronic/acoustic side project Kitty Pause. Thus, casual and diehard fans need to stay interested in the group’s work as it may encourage a reunion sooner versus later.  Much like Say it to My Face, when Two Years Later does return they will come back with a vengeance.

Review: Libby DeCamp’s Cross Sections

Multi-instrumentalist folk singer Libby DeCamp (@LibbyDecamp) lays all her cards on the table with her 2016 debut solo EP Cross Sections. Not only displaying talent, DeCamp expressed full creative control in that she wrote all six songs herself. In an industry big on hip-hop, country, and Top 40 pop rock right now, DeCamp’s contribution stands out as it is a dialed back, slower paced record for a country drive or relaxation after a stressful day. Listeners will learn quickly DeCamp poured her heart and soul into the EP as well as notice the craftsmanship and authenticity.

The lead-off track ‘Elroy’ starts off with some amazing bluesy guitar work along with DeCamp’s seductive vocals. It is noticeable right away the Detroit singer-songwriter is inspired by Norah Jones and perhaps Jewel. Although the song sounds peaceful, as evidenced from the lyrics the tune is violent in nature as DeCamp sings, I spit out my teeth, now the blood in the sink is boiling back at me.

On ‘Black Suit Man’, DeCamp provides a song which fits right in with the 1920 and 1930s. It is arranged and performed in such a manner that if one closes their eyes, it will be like being transported back in time to that era hearing this on an old school radio or live at Radio City Music Hall.

Cross Sections’ third song ‘Old Witch’ is the record’s most modern sounding track, worthy of radio play on Alternative and Hot AC stations and will have people hitting the repeat button for sure. It is also tied with ‘Charlie’ for the shortest tune on the album. Speaking of which, ‘Charlie’ is a sad song about a man grieving over the loss of a loved one. The organ and accordion work brilliantly as listeners empathize with the man and try to picture the tragic scene.

‘Put the Kettle On’ slows the pace down a couple of notches and is notable for its drum work and, of course, DeCamp’s sultry voice. It would be right a home on the Soundtrack from George Clooney’s hit film ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’. It could work on modern Country stations as a single with some Patsy Cline influence heard within in. The fifth tune ‘Seattle’ is the EP’s longest and would fit a modern-day romantic drama’s soundtrack like a glove. DeCamp has written and performed songs that cross genres, but Cross Sections does not veer all over the place as she elected to travel in just a couple of lanes on the album.

DeCamp got the chance to perform in Ohio recently with Jack and The Bear and has a couple of shows in her native Michigan coming up this month in Detroit on January 12 and Ann Arbor exactly two weeks later. Starting this past November, physical copies of Cross Sections’ proceeds go toward Sacred Stone Camp which fights against the DAPL. Thus, the EP’s buyers can support two causes: clean drinking water for citizens and pure, unadulterated independent music. DeCamp has created a CD gung-ho folk aficionados will want to add to their collection.

Artist on the Rise: The Wet Darlings

@thewetdarlings are an American quartet who currently call Columbus, OH home. The band has been performing self-described ‘indie sludge pop’ for a half-decade. They have released some great music over the years, but from the looks of things this is the year things should take off for this down-to-earth foursome.

The Wet Darlings are comprised of guitar-playing brothers Bill and Joe Patterson, drummer Aaron Bishara, and vocalist/keyboardist/ring leader Jenny Lute. The track “Bicycle” consists of Pixies-esque rock by Bishara and the Pattersons combined with Lute’s alluring voice. Lute is on the list of strong Ohio frontwomen, including ex-Phantods singer Gretchen King, former Frostiva members Leslie Jankowski and Trinae Rose, and Vanity Theft’s Alicia Grodecki.

The band has done right by the hometown fans by playing in central Ohio every so often to make each performance in front of Columbusites meaningful. No matter what municipality one is in, there are some local bands who play too often and try too hard that they wear out their welcome real fast. Ultimately, those artists do not last very long as in a short time the music consumers have seen all there is to see, which may not have been much to begin with. The Wet Darlings are the polar opposite of this. They are a group that, no matter the size of the crowd or venue, give 100 percent effort onstage without coming across as overexposed. In the entertainment business, it is about leaving the audience wanting more. Also, for a group that is highly regarded around the city, they have high standards and put on a stellar performance the rare times they take the stage.

The group is currently recording a full-length record likely due out late this year or early next year. Furthermore, next month the band is heading out on the road for a couple of gigs in New York, the number one media market. Before they do, however, The Wet Darlings have one of their rare in-town performances on Saturday, April 12 with critically acclaimed trio Nick D’ & The Believers. Because they do not play often, indie music enthusiasts need to make a serious effort to attend one of these shows to have a brush with greatness. Please check out the song “Vampires” as featured in the video above to see what you are missing.

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.

You Can’t Think of Riot Grrrl Music Without This Group

Alternative rock outfit L7 had a lengthy run, starting in 1985 and having last played together in 2001. They had a couple of Top 40 Modern Rock hits, with this video representing the song that peaked at #8 on Billboard’s chart. Heavier than groups like The Bangles and The Go-Gos and edgier than The Runaways and Vixen, L7 helped in paving the way for women who want to rock just as loud as raunchy male groups. Harlow, Kittie, and Hole are three musical acts that benefited from the existence of L7, if not surpassing the popularity of them.

Singer and guitarist, Donita Sparks, has gone on to form her own band, known as The Stellar Moments. They released a record as recently as five years ago. Look for the track “Infancy of a Disaster” on YouTube. I am sure more great in-your-face rock is to follow from this controversial, pioneering figure.

This Track Has an Uphill Battle, But Top 20 Should Be Doable

This female-fronted band has yet to have a single hit the Billboard Top 40, but on Mediabase’s Active Rock Chart this tune is at #46. The track has been used in commercials and should have more views and spins and maybe with time it will. Being on an indie label, it will be a daunting task. Is it your cup of tea? There is only one way to find out.