From Columbus, Ohio – The Slang
There is much to like about this band from Columbus, Ohio. To start with, I feel The Slang is a great name for a band. I also really like the EP cover. Stuff like that, however, does not make a band good or bad.
The band is the work of John Bobo, who is the songwriter, plays several instruments and vocalist, and John Newsome is the bassist. They are currently touring their EP with additional members Matt Thiedt on guitars and keys and Michael Dillon on drums.
Musically, this alternative/power pop band has a sound reminiscent of the late 90’s; energetic, loud but not noisy, and a wall of sound. I am not 100% certain but I believe it was also a requirement of the 90s that every song had a keyboard in it. Furthermore, in that era, 9 out of 10 bands and radio stations were “alternative”. While I poke fun at the era, I still turn the volume up when music from it plays… admit it, you do too.
Compositionally, they don’t blow me away. In a good way, they have a typical late 90s sound. They cover that style exceptionally taking “the same old thing” and making it fresh, vibrant and alive.
Technically, the work is exceptional. It was recorded at The Cutting Room. The EP is well produced and mastered having been done by successful, seasoned engineers. (Mixed by Mark Needham, who has done work for Imagine Dragons and Tokyo Police Club, and mastered by Brian Lucey, who has done work for The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys.)
Qvalia – This is the Color of My Dreams
The 7 song collection runs a total of 25:10. It is officially released today. If I have anything bad to say about it is that it is only 25 minutes long. The artwork and the liner notes are very nice. It is nice to see that some artists still provide the consumer with something more physical. I am going to do something I don’t normally do. I am going to give you my take on each track. Frankly, they are all that good. Let us start with the tracks and a little bit about each:
Strong and Powerful
Musically those two words seem to be a good summing up of this musician. His music is strong, thick and full of energy. While his music is not all the same, he certainly puts a lot of punch and bang into each tune. Truly exiting stuff.
He has a very strong voice and shows it off well in Let it Shine. The tune is what I would call a powerful blues rock tune that reminds me of the better music from The Blues Brothers movie. It has both driving horns and guitar. The song just moves.
He also sent us Your Love which, while still powerful, has more of an eighties Huey Lewis and The News swingy power-pop type of sound. If you like music that is more southern rockish in sound, you are going to love the driving force of Simple Man. I especially like the hard harmonica in the song.
I would honestly say that of the three tracks he asked us to review, I really liked each and every one of them. You can find out more about this talented musician at:
Check out the video for Let it Shine
We became aware of this artist because of Indie Music Bus. If you are an indie musician, you may wish to check their site out.
- Latimer House Releases 7″ Red Vinyl Single (indienation.fm)
- Today We Shine the Spotlight on Megan Landry (indienation.fm)
- Rebecca Black Wants to Surprise You With Her New ‘Rockish’ Sound by Brian Anthony Hernandez of Mashable (dontime.net)
Disclosure – This may be a paid review. John “Lumpy” Lemke is a freelance writer who accepts paid work. While Lumpy does accept paid reviews, he does not accept submissions unless he is free to express his honest opinion. Lumpy does not write negative reviews. If he receives submissions which he feels would justify a negative review, he simply turns down writing the reviews. Lumpy does not solicit payment for reviews and only accepts such reviews with the conditions above and from organizations which exist to promote independent artists and labels. Lumpy would NEVER write a review on material he would not be willing, given proper permissions, to play on his shows. Lumpy funds Indie Nation out of his own pocket. Any funds received from paid reviews are used to offset the cost of this site’s operation. This site has never posted a profit and, if there ever are surplus funds, they will be used to buy material for listener give-aways.
Alternative, Blues, Rock, Punk, Pop and More – Call it Latimer House
While the headline is about a single, that is just the starting point. I urge you to buy the single but don’t to stop there. Get the full album as well. Birdcage Walk and Until Then are both great tunes but how much can I tell about only two songs?
Let us talk about the album for a bit. Once you check out the album, you will still want the single because the B side is not on the album AND Birdcage Walk is a remix. Personally, I like it when the singles are not the same material you get when you buy an album. You can find all the band’s work discussed in this review at their Bandcamp page.
Let me start by saying that I had brief doubts about this album when I gave it my first listen. It was one of those experiences where it was a bit different and not exactly what I expected. When I discovered the band, they were described as “pop”. While pop may work, they are much more eclectic than just pop. Putting labels on music may help with marketing and sales but it threw me momentarily. The overall experience was one of being unexpectedly pleased. It was better than I expected.
For example, at first, I cared not for This is Pop with simple very popish rhythms and melodies. It was just too popish but… two minutes into the tune, I began to appreciate the sarcasm of the delivery. By the end of the tune, I was loving it. (The video is also very good as well.) In my opinion, it is the best choice of the ten to kick the album off with for it quickly sets the tone… the listener should expect something slightly different, not over the top , crazy different but like a novel new flavor added to coffee, something pleasantly refreshing and not part of one’s daily routine.
The band drives much of their music with guitar rhythms but it is all the interplay that gives them a sound with a bit of an attitude. They syncopate well and in their own style. It is a refreshing break from typical. While I don’t like genres and don’t fully agree that they are pop, I totally believe they should be popular because they are producing great music.
While the ten song collection does fit the descriptions above, it is much more than that. The musicians do a great job of combining material familiar to the listener while spicing it with novel and unique sounds, rhythms and melodies. It is just great music. Toss it into that genre.
This is not just another alternative band. This is not just a pop album. This is not going to be the best album you ever bought. However, it a collection of worth which you will enjoy. This is a solid collection of songs that makes one want to follow the band.
2014.08.25 – Tech Net News and Opinion
Brian thought it might be a good idea to try and break the news up into more organized groups. After only one show’s worth of hindsight, I would have to agree that it seems like a great idea. It certainly seems to encourage more conversation from the chat room and I already know it made it much easier on the post edit.
We opened with some Sarah Donner. They were live tracks recorded with her permission at this year’s 2014 Gen Con. The tracks were Going Under and Fossil Girl You can find out more about her at:
Introducing Melvoy – A Great Mix of Sound
I am on my third full listen of Melvoy’s new album. I am as pleased with it as I was on the first listen. The music is a nice blend of surf, rock, and Latin. The music and vocals are wonderfully solid and full. The work is well produced and has a terrifically thick sound. While it is hard to assign a genre to this artist’s work, it certainly deserves the label of excellent. The 11 track release, Irrelevant Elephant, is something I think you should check out. It is impossible to listen to this album and not allow some of its amazing energy to positively impact your mood. In short, if you even remotely enjoy this style of music, you are going to fall in love with this album. Put your ear buds in and get the salsa ready!
I Am So Glad Geek Is Kewl
Back in my day, being a geek met wedgies, being bullied and being the but of many a joke. Fortunately one of the things I got geeky about is Aikido. I think that started to change when Gates landed a fashion model.
Lilly Allen give the geek a positive spin with URL Badman. Check out the kewl effects in this video.
So remember, “a broadband champion” is an awesome thing to be.
Today’s Pick is Jim’s Big Ego with Stress
For today’s pick I chose Stress by Jim’s Big Ego. You can find out more about the band at the links below.
- How to Never Feel Stressed at Work Again (greatist.com)
- National Stress Awareness Day – Life Yoga (5 Tips to Reduce Your Stress) (oneikasyogalife.com)
- Stress Happens! (fingerprintwriting.wordpress.com)
A Remix Contest
I received and email yesterday from Louise Quinn. She was letting me know that the band, A Band Called Quinn, is hosting a remix concert for their song, Forget About It, which is one of the tracks from the multimedia show Bidding Time. Bidding Time is a show for genXers and supported by Creative Scotland. You can check out show dates at bidingtimermix.com
If interested in entering the contest, you can listen to the original mix here. The “stems” for you to remix with are available here. The closing date for this contest is April 18th. You will email your entry to email@example.com. Last but not least, quoting her email “The winning remix shall be released on Tromolo Records & the winning remixer will receive tickets for the show, a tour round the set & drinks with cast & crew as well as their very own rabbit mask!”
- A Band Called Quinn – Forget About It + Biding Time (remix) UK Tour (hispanicbusiness.com)
Today’s show features the music of The Griswolds. We opened with Mississippi and Heart of a Lion. We liked their down under sound so much we decided to also end the show with Red Tuxedo. Links for the band are at the end of the show notes.
Remember the days of youth when you wished you could fly a Veritech fighter? I do. Thanks to Ninja Division we have a Robotech Kickstarter. It only took them about six hours to meet the goal of 70,000
Quinton Hoover has passed away at 49.
The Examiner was the first to bring this to our attention.
Direct link to Quinton Hoover’s art on the Gatherer
Fantasy Flight Games releases another Battlestar Galactica expansion for the hit board game. Forbes has all the details on the expansion.
Pizza hut enlists professional video gamers. This article also comes to us from Forbes. David “Walshy” Walsh teams with Pizza Hut to promote a new Xbox Kinect app.
You can find out more about The Griswolds at:
- Tggn 4-16-2013 (indienation.fm)
- No need to get off the couch. Gamers can order Pizza Hut using Xbox Live (venturebeat.com)
- First Online Purchase Ever Was A Pizza Hut Pizza, In 1994 (huffingtonpost.com)