CD Reviews

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The Vacant Smiles - Lemmings

Simple and utterly infectious The Vacant Smiles know how to turn out raw unbridled rock. Formed from high school friends inspired by the DIY attitude fast and primitive three-chord aggression of 60s garage, the Melbourne quartet channel the electricity of their predecessors into their own adrenaline charged tracks. The group’s current line-up comprises of guitarist-vocalists James Lynch and...
 
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Dom Zilla - Chasing Days

With the rise of the “producer” in recent years, audience focus has slowly shifted from the front of house artist to the masterminds behind so much of the music we hear. As the internet draws back the curtain across the music industry, the spider web of songwriters, producers, technicians and artists is much less of a secret. In fact, this collaborative effort is...
 
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Leslie Cours Mather – Santa Baby (You’ll Be Mine)

After releasing two fine singles this year – the country-rocker “Countrified” and the take-no-prisoners “Hell Hath No Fury” – Leslie Cours Mather is lightening things up a little this holiday season with her original Christmas song “Santa Baby (You’ll Be Mine).” It’s a fun and flirtatious mid-tempo ditty that takes a look at Santa’s better half – or rather, at her...
 
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Christmas Music Releases Serve as Soundtrack for the Holidays

Sooner or later it seems just about every artist releases a Christmas album. This year there is a wealth of new holiday-minded titles that make perfect stocking stuffers. Artist: Pentatonix. Title: That's Christmas to Me (RCA). You might like if you enjoy: Pentatonix, Ray Conniff Singers. Tell me more: The 2015 deluxe edition of the Pentatonix collection "That's Christmas...
 
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Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson - Loved and Free

From the almost-Celtic road anthem “18 Going 75,” to the Southern-rock icon paean “Charlie Daniels,” Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson’s new album Loved and Free mixes influences of traditional and alternative country with a little bluegrass and a touch of the Irish feel that came into Appalachia in the 1930s. But this band also makes no bones about its loyalty to Jesus Christ and America, with...
 
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Chris Yakopcic - The Next Place I Leave

This is an absolutely stunning surprise, packed with great material, picking and music of the highest order. Yakopcic is a clearly talented acoustic/resonator guitar picker with a complete mastery over the instrument and the acoustic blues/roots US tradition. Based in Ohio, he was a finalist at this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis and though not...
 
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Nine Lies - 9Lies

I have to say it right at the start for those of you who skim these reviews. This album, “9Lies” kicks ass. Simply put. The belated follow up to their 2007 debut ‘Behind it all’, the Belfast, Ireland outfit ‘Nine Lies’ have truly found their niche and sound with this outing. Everything is in its place. Hooks. Monstrous beat. Melody. It’s all there. Listen to the previews and hear for...
 
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Celebrated Artists Make Eagerly-Awaited Returns

Fall 2015 has revealed a number of exciting returns for classic artists, including long-awaited returns by Jeff Lynne's ELO and British pop-rock outfit Squeeze, as well as high-profile releases from Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams, German hard rock outfit Scorpions and the first-ever solo album from ZZ Top singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons. Artist: Jeff Lynne's ELO...
 
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Tim McGraw - Damn Country Music

Tim McGraw’s said of his 14th studio album, “Damn Country Music” “It’s is all about passion, (taking him back to 1989) “when I came to Nashville to chase my dreams.” Country music has richly rewarded him over the past two decades and he honors the genre’s tradition here. The album gets off to a very traditional start with Celtic folk. The ...
 
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Cull - Aloft

If you write your own music, or do anything creative for that matter, you’ll appreciate the difficulties inherent in trying to find inspiration for your next project. Sometimes it comes from the most unlikely sources, and for Cull, that was certainly the case with their new album, Aloft. Inspired by the space under a loft bed purchased from everybody’s favourite...
 
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Angharad Drake - Sword

Purveyor of sweet dreams, Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Angharad Drake makes enchanting folk tunes. Lulling you into a peaceful state with her lullaby melodies, Drake elicits endless daydreams about love. Now, cutting deeper still into love’s highs and lows, her debut album Sword is one hypnotising listen. After releasing a bunch of EPs and playing plenty of gigs around...
 
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Chloe Collins - 5@15

You must give the debut Chloe Collins record "5@15" a listen. Five catchy, melodic songs by a 15 year old singer/songwriter who writes with the perceptive observation skills of someone twice her age. Unlike most hit songs these days which are written by committee and then processed and sanitized by big record business conglomerates, Chloe's songs are written by her...
 
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Bad News Barnes & The Brethern of Blues Band

A dozen tracks of complete hokum, as it clearly says on the album cover, from one of the USA's finest hoaxers and hoary frontmen. This guy is not just a comic with a challenging sense of humor, he's also one helluva singer/songwriter with an at times decidedly jaundiced eye on the skewed social and political world of modern America. I have to declare an...
 
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Top Artists Perform On DVD Films

What do the far-flung likes of the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Elliott Smith have in common? All are the focus of newly-issued films now available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital. Artist: The Rolling Stones. Title: From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990 (Eagle Vision). You might like if you enjoy: The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards...
 
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Vaporized - Self Titled

Crawling out from the Sydney underground VAPORIZED! bring the noise with their aggressively primitive debut cassette. Comprised of frontman Alan Gojak, drummer Tim Nichols, bassist Andréa Mandadakis and guitarist Ishka Edmeados VAPORIZED! have been menacing claustrophobic underground crawlspaces across Sydney’s pub circuit for over...
 
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