Reviews roundup ~ Christopher Phipps ~ Intelligent Music Project ~ The Walk-A-Bout ~ Feverseed
Sunset Summer Memories
Nope, me neither. But if you spent the nineties going to banging discotheques and frugging to the latest hits then you may recall London Exchange who had a monsta monsta hit. My nineties involved compensating for losing the eighties by sucking on the biggest corporate teats I could find. So I was not banging discotheques.
Anyway, Christopher Phipps was in London Exchange and has carried on releasing music into the wild with this being his latest. And it’s about as far away from nineties dance as it’s possible to be.
What it is, is introspective singer / songwriter stuff. It’s good singer / songwriter stuff, though. Very stripped back, very acoustic. He’s got quite a delicate voice which works well with songs like ‘I Didn’t Love Her’ and ‘I’m Going To Love You Forever’. In many places it’s quite mainstream indie pop in tone and you could hear some of these songs coming out your radiogram without sounding out of place. He knows his way around a good hook and a melody and it makes for an extremely listenable record.
One of two records he recorded during lockdown it’s sibling is a solo electronic project. called “Into The Great Divide” under the name sILENTsTORM .
INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT VI
The less feeble minded amongst you may have twigged that this is VIth Intelligent Project Music release, the brainchild of Milen Vrabevski.
As with the previous releases it’s teetering on the edge of soft prog / melodic rock and is absolutely hoaching with guest performers. Some old, some new but the lead vocalists are Ronnie Romero (Rainbow), John Payne (ex-Asia), Carl Sentence (Nazareth ex Persian Risk) and Richard Grisman (River Hounds).
Add is drummers with the pedigree of Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow) and Todd Sucherman (Styx) and there is no doubting the pedigree of the musicianship. However, I must admit that this one isn’t as memorable to me as some of the previous offerings. Maybe he’s running short of good songs but a lot of the material sounds quite samey.
There are exceptions with the likes of ‘Your Thoughts’ and ‘That Something’ getting my finger hovering over the repeat button. But, for the first time, I found myself zoning out in places. I’m also slightly confused by the vocals from Ronnie Romero. Something is missing. Either that or he’s trying something different but they don’t burst through in the same way as all the other material I’ve heard him perform.
John Payne, however, is always a treat. Give that man more work! It sounds as though I’m damning this record with faint praise but don’t get me wrong. It’s still good. Just not as good.
Shred The Evidence Records
Hmm. But for why?
Well, for whatever reason, New York based band The Walk-A-Bout have released a single featuring a cover version of INXS track, ‘Afterglow’.
Some of you may recall it was one of the singles off “Switch” the record they made with JD Fortune eight or nine years after the death of Michael Hutchence and it’s a song that was a tribute to him. It was co-written by Desmond Child so it was never going to suffer from a duff tune.
And so it proves as The Walk-A-Bout take a pared back approach to things with a string trio and acoutic instrumentation. It’s quite lovely. They’ve put a live version of their own song ‘Hero’ on the flip and are putting it out as a a limited edition 7″ vinyl version as wella s all the usual digital gubbins. It’s nice.
Let Yourself Down
Staying in New York and we have an EP from Feverseed, led by singer-songwriter George Panagakos and bassist Chris Crosby.
And there thing seems to be modern melodic rock.
The opening track ‘Let Yourself Down’ is quite a moody wee beast before they go a bit pop punk in ‘Beat Me’. Possibly my favourite thing about this EP is that the three main tracks are bolstered by a Radio Edit of ‘Beat Me’. It’s a song that lasts two minutes and six seconds and the Radio Edit clocks in at 2:06. I’m assuming they’ve take out some potty mouth moments.
The third and final track is ‘Imprint’ and it’s probably the best of the bunch. It’s certainly the most memorable and melodic, bordering on early Radiohead power ballad. The whole thing is well produced and performed although I’m unsure whether they will manage to stand out from te crowd. Although, to my credit, I’m invariably wrong.
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