Reviews roundup – Wildflower vs. Ecliptica vs. The Music Therapy Experience vs. Hangover Subject vs. Talisco
At The Station
Indie folk hippy jam meets pop band. That’s not exactly a catchy tagline, but it seems to sum up Wildflower. Yes, they seem to be hippies, but they seem to favour nineties indie college pop as their starting point.
They’ve only been together since last year, although Tiffany Petrossi, who takes care of lead vocals & guitar, has a few albums out under her own name. Here she is joined by Alecia Petzinger, Paige McRae, Dee Moe, Robert Allen and Dan Shafer in a new amalgam.
Musically, they gel well, and songs like ‘Buttercup’, ‘Rainbow Ground’ and ‘Caravan’ are sure to find favour with Lilith fair followers of a certain spectrum.
Austria now for some metal, courtesy of a band who sound nothing like Sonata Arctica despite the name they’re trading under. Maybe they did in their early days, but on this release, it’s a more melodic metal sound, rather than out an dout power metal.
They also have a slight pop sensibility to their sound, which could work either way when it comes to developing a fan base, but I must admit, that I found it quite refreshing. Songs like ‘Welcome To The Show’, ‘Need Your Love’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Medication’ certainly have the guitars in place, but as is shown on the bonus track – a cover of the Roxette track ‘Sleeping In My Car’ – they know how to write a good melody.
They throw some male / female vocals into their mix, which really works well, and they’ve even got an eighties power ballad under their belt in the shape of ‘For Good. A really excellent release, which deserves to be widely heard.
THE MUSIC THERAPY EXPERIENCE
Make It Home
John P. Kline, Ph.D, is a right show off. He’s not only a clinical psychologist, but he’s also a musician who plays electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, vocals, harmonica, banjo, and also does most of the arranging, engineering, production, composition, and songwriting on this record. Git.
He believes that playing and singing is good for the soul, and has decided to expound this theory through the medium of melodic progressive(ish) rock. He also throws in some classical, new age and Celtic vibes, just ot mix things up. Kline has already released six albums prior to this one.
There is no doubting that he is a talented musician, as are the other players he’s brought to the party. And there are a few good tunes here to boot. Of course, some of them aren’t, but if you happen to be passing by ‘Drive to Mobile’, ‘Another Round’ or ‘Doctor Who?’, stop and give them a chance.
Before It’s Too Late
Hillbilly Sound World
Blues rock from France. And blues rock which comes replete with gritty vocals, nods to the early seventies, when blues started to meet metal and riffs galore. Which makes me happy.
They veer towards metal sometimes, verging on Zakk Wylde territory at times, but again that can only be a good thing, and with more than a few good riffs blasting out hither and thither, the boogified sound of ‘Straight To Hellfire’ and ‘Four Dollars Blues’ makes for a mighty fine noise.
This is album number three, for the French power trio, founded back in 2002, and on the basis of this, they should be getting snapped up for sumer festivals, wherever loud guitars are welcomed.
Finally, we’re heading back to 2014, for some French electro folk, which is geting a rerelease this year of 2016. No, I don’t know why, especially as the album is out in April, but the tour was back in February.
This is / was his debut album, and it’s the kind of Mobyish sound that works well as product placement. So no surprise to read the press release, to discover that one of the tracks, ‘Your Wish’, has been used Google, HBO Europe, Vice US, Vodaphone Ireland and AT&T, with ‘The Keys’ used by Toyota for a US TV campaign. Which is, apparently, nice money these days.
So there are lots of dancey beats, but aligned with some old fashioned synths, and even some actual guitars. It’s very commercial sounding, or at least it sounds commercial to me. But I have no idea what “the kids” listen to these days, but his non threatening mix of melody, electronica and acoustics seems to work very well to my aged ears. Synthpop done right.