Maxxess – Authenticity / Offroad


Genre:  Electronica/ Instrumental Progressive Rock/Metal


Review:  Offroad is the latest release from German guitarist Maxxess.  The combining of sonic elements and music, creates very intriguing atmospheres.  It sounds organic yet, at the same time, strange and unfamiliar.  You can really feel the energy and the power behind it.  This merging of many musical styles presents a moody collage, demonstrative of his great musical spectrum.


In general both Authenticity and Offroad are an intriguing marriage of progressive instrumental guitar and electronica.  The album is an easy to listen to, and the playing is first class.  It is not just an excursion into otherworldliness, it is also a celebration of the mixing of different genres of music.


Tracklisting:  Authenticity – Elements; Crypto; Authenticity; Red Earth; Spyrit; De-Layed; Trance-Lation.


Offroad – Pulse; Miracle; Offroad; Crazy Blue Thing; Adrenaline; Sleepwalk; Q.E.D.; Avebury Henge; Slow Motion (Live).


Personnel:  Maxxess – Guitars, bass, drums, keyboard.


Similar Artists:  Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Adam Law


Playing Time:  Authenticity – 56:08; Offroad – 62:32



The Well Wishers – Under The Arrows / How I Won The War…



Genre:  Power-Pop/Punk


Review:  Ex Spinning Jennies founder Jeff Shelton’s new band The Well-Wishers brand of power-pop sounds purely American in scope and attack.  In a nutshell, Jeff has it all down to a science as he is the one who arranges and composes everything including the keyboard backing parts.


The band pursues a punk/power pop vibe that lies somewhere between the Beatles and Green Day.  Throughout the frontman’s penchant for incorporating catchy hooks, loom as an attractive and substantive attribute.  In sum, Jeff elevates the tried and tested formula into a mark of authenticity.  That notion alone speaks proverbial volumes.


Tracklisting:  Under The Arrows – In Search Of Alter Egos; Double Vision; Break It Up; Before The Race Was Run; Lost At Sea; Lucky You; Waiting Alone; Peace & Quiet; Fourth Of July; Brain Trust Odyssey; Only Sky.


How I Won The War… - Grey Skies Black; Seashells; Merilee; Hope Is Fading; After Dark; The Optimist; I’m In Love (Slight Return); Broken Glass; Resistance Is Futile; It’s True What They Say About Girls; Soldering.


Personnel:  Jeff Shelton – Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards; Nick Laquintano – Drums; Chris Brown – Piano, strings, vocals; Justin Weis – Lead guitar.


Similar Artists:  Green Day, Beatles, Kinks


Playing Time:  Under The Arrows – 41:30; How I Won The War… - 40:45



Calusa - A Form Of Love


Genre:  Garage rock/power pop


Review:  The music Calusa play features a garage punk type gala, spiced up with snappy pulses and vocalist Joel’s edgy choruses.  However it is Chris’ right handed voicing and broad comprehension and implementations of the rock vernacular that serves as the prime accelerator throughout.


Grady is all over his kit on the buoyant opener FRBRUVTKNMY, yet he grooves out to soothe and relax the listener’s psyche within certain regions of sound on the later tracks, largely aided by Chris’ airy guitar chords.


Nonetheless, Joel and co. generate a mixed bag of sounds, where capacious group-based performances attain equal involvement.


Tracklisting:  FRBRUVTKNMY; 13 Words For A Ten; A Form Of Love; Sexy To Be Strong; Peace Like A River; Have You Lost Your Interest, Or Have You Lost Your Phone?; Gamekillah; Vanina; Heysada; Dog & Pony;


Personnel:  Joel Carlson – Vocals, guitar; Chris Valenty – Guitars; Fred Hanson – Bass, backing vocals; Grady Appleton – Drums.


Similar Artists:  Pixies, Some Assembly Required


Playing Time:  34:47



Krome - Krome


Genre:  Heavy Metal/Rock


Review:  Krome is four piece band from California, with their full length just released.  I have received their demo which has four tracks from the album.


While the demo is a grungy rock cd with some metal influences, it is truly an album for the rock masses.  It is true enough for the most hardcore elitists, but it is catchy enough for the flowery rocker.  The music is a celebration of bombastic flare done right, but most of all shows that the underground will remain an unwavering pool of untapped talent.


Tracklisting:  Taken; Wild I Roam; The Knife; Blind; Bleed; Far Away; Down Before; End Of The Last Days; Sin; Why.


Personnel:  Randy Pilot – Vocals, guitar; Joe Dagilus – Lead guitar; Steve Bray – Bass; Brian Sowers – Drums


Similar Artists:  Alice In Chains, Godsmack



Kraig Kilby - Satori

Genre:  Nu-Jazz/Jazz Fusion


Review:  A strong jazz trombonist can thrill any audience through his tone, technique and creative powers.  Over the years however, we’ve heard some who just don’t make the grade, mostly through poor tone quality or lack of imagination.  Kraig Kilby represents the epitome of a jazz trombone player, and gives us a prime example of what the instrument can do for contemporary jazz.


He’s got all the elements in their proper place, and seems quite free with his delivery.  It seems to come from the heart as he fills each selection with a warm balance of technique and buttery tone.  It is however the trombones lovely voice that stands out so eloquently, with a mystically eerie tone.


Tracklisting:  Incantation; Lately; Sometime Soon; Musing; Lonebone; Satori; Ketchee; Strawberry Point.

Personnel:  Kraig Kilby – Trombones, keyboards; kalimba, small percussion; Paul Jackson – Bass; Michael Clark – Drums; Lyn Haet – Harp.


Similar Artists:  None


Playing Time:  34:35


Buzz Bahdur – Horizontal Life

Genre:  Nu Jazz Guitar


Review:  Among the multitude of jazz guitarists developing individual voices through traditional guitar sounds exists a smaller group of players who view the instrument as means to a different end.  Buzz’s improvised soundscapes still lean towards thematic development, and doesn’t entirely eliminate the concept of melody from the process, but he’s just as likely to create a slowly evolving but static wash of sound, as heard on New World Bliss.


What distances Buzz from other guitarists is his collaborative nature.  While this is not a group record, Buzz only truly stretches out on Trance Migration.  Horizontal Life constantly stretches the imagination and challenges the boundaries of jazz.


Tracklisting:  Cut To The Chase; Solaris; Trance Migration; Tilly; Chanduli’s Voyage; What Happened Last Nite; Secret Life Of Plankton; After The Rush; Dance Of Shambu; New World Bliss; Searching For Way; Meeting In Caracas.


Personnel:   Roy Venkataraman – Guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, synthesizer; plus guests.


For fans of:  Terje Rypdal, Eivind Aarset.


Running time:  1:13:43


Emiliano Sicilia – Devotion Materialize

Genre:  Instrumental Rock/Industrial Metal/Bluegrass


Review:  Emiliano is a complete package ready to rumble.  His music sounds like a direction is still being sought between the adrenaline fueled instrumental rockers and the vocal led progressive industrial metal tracks.  The unlikely epic Splatter On A Bluegrass gains momentum throughout it's eight and a half minute course, and the musicians throw into the looped locomotive mix the sounds of a distant distorted guitar, twisted banjo plucking and dense bass rhythmic lines, until it all crystallizes into a new blend.


Seeing how this is Emiliano's first full length album, we can expect wonders from him in the future.  Devotion Materialize is very recommendable for all fans of instrumental rock and industrial metal.


Tracklisting:  Cyber Room; Splatter On A Bluegrass; Neurosaloon; The New Reality Suite; The Green Mirror; 3000 Zombies; Thermodynamic Hypothesis.


Personnel:   Emiliano


For fans of:  Static X, Rob Zombie, Joe Satriani


Running time:  49:20


Dig Trio - Dig Trio

Genre:  Jazz Rock


Review:  Dig Trio is a jazz rock, guitar/bass/drums trio.  Gustavo’s guitar is the main solo vehicle, which is memorable despite its chameleon-like nature.  There is plenty of room to stretch, but Gustavo’s innate sense of construction never loses sight of the bigger picture.  Peppering linear phrases with attractive chordal voicings.  David creates tension by taking things ever so slightly outside, but never at the expense of melodic development.  This quality is showed by Mauricio, one of today’s most distinctly musical drummers.


With the number of guitarists flooding the scene these days, it is hard to stand out, but Gustavo does just that on the album, further evidence of a vibrant independent scene.


Tracklisting:  Sanguessuga; Hearts and Minds; Next Week; One Day At A Time; Just B; FFUTS; Glove Loser; Baiao Do Adeus; No More Illusions; Collect Call; N-Gene; Toka Gang.


Personnel:  Gustavo Assis Brasil – Electric guitar; David Pinto – 5 string bass; Mauricio Zottarelli – Drums, pandeiro; Garo Saraydarian – Trombone (tracks 6 and 9)


Similar Artists:  Stekpanna


Playing Time:  64:28


The All Nighters - Dance 'Til Dawn

Genre:  Instrumental Surf Rock/Indie


Review:  One can only imagine what The All Nighters have done for Bellingham’s surf scene.  This quartet has created a mélange of gypsy swing, 70s rock, punk and surf. Dance ‘Till Dawn is an impressive second endeavor by the band.


Throughout the record, Jimmy’s lead guitar swings mellifluously along with Jeff’s rhythm guitar riffs. Bobby and Gabe’s pulsing rhythms and steady hands complete the unwieldy ensemble.  The bands authoritative voice rides along the ebb and flow, anchoring the compositions between indie and surf.


Tracklisting:  Escape From The Nuthouse; Swingers Club; Cruisin’ & Rockin’; N20; Crackerjack; Riding With Outlaws; Showdown; Sex Maniac; Starfish Lagoon; Glory Boy; Surf Detective; Drink The Night; Oceans Of Time.


Personnel:   Jimmy Kastelic – Lead guitar; Jeff Kastelic – Rhythm guitar; Bobby Lind – Bass; Gabe Taylor – Drums; James Taylor – Slide guitar; Dylan


For fans of:  El Ray, Toploader.


Running time:  39:46


Cherry Overdrive - Clear Light

Genre:  60s Blues Rock


Review:  Cherry Overdrive are fine group of musicians with a warm, zesty feel to their rock which give listeners some excellent music.


There is a distinct bluesy, kitschy feel about this music, and each musician gives his very best in performance.  Did You? is a wonderful track that deserves much air time on the radio, and so is the selection titled Hey Sugar. For those rockers who want to hear something refreshingly new, this CD will fill the bill nicely.


Each song is perfectly performed by musicians who care what they are saying musically and want to share those special feelings with the listeners.


Tracklisting:  What It Takes; Sheryl’s Faith; Shake It Up!; Reptiles; Did You?; Venture; Hey Sugar; Clear Light; Don’t Trash My Tale; Hit The Right Note; Sharks; The Fall.


Personnel:   Lene Kjaer Hvillum – Vocals, guitar, percussion, glockenspiel; Cecilia Cresso – Lead guitar, backing vocals; Jirasol Pereira – Bass; Jeanne Dahl Mikkelsen – Drums; Heinzz – Space farfisa, echo-hammond; Lorenzo Woodrose – claves.


For fans of:  L7, Donnas.


Running time:  42:36