Fluttr Effect

Fluttr Effect
Live Review

So, lets see. Guitar, check. Drums, check. Bass… Umm, I don’t see a bass. Is that some sort of electric stand-up bass over there? I don’t think it is, it does not look big enough. Well, moving on. Electric Marimba, check. Lead singer, check. Wait, what? Electric marimba check? What in the world? We have, drums, guitar, electric cello, singer and electric marimba. Who do these guys think they are, some sort of mish mash of Neoclassical-Baroque-Carnatic style? What does that even mean?

I am not really sure what I hear when they start playing, but I AM sure like it. I would try to describe their sound but I don’t have a commanding knowledge of any words in the English language. Instead I suggest you go hear them for yourself. You decide what they sound like.

I don’t really care how you describe Fluttr Effect. Just make sure you use the words “extremely” and “delightful” somewhere in that description. Oh, and use “Talented” that is a good word too. You might also want to toss in “catchy.” I mean; I don’t want to tell you how to write your own description of Fluttr Effect. Who am I anyway? But a few more… “Amazing vocals”, “well thought out arrangements” and “fun”

Do yourself a favor, go see them, listen to them, love them and Google Carnatic.

Rating: 7.8
To see for yourself go to http://www.fluttreffect.com

Duty Free

Duty Free
Live Review/CD Review
Barley House Concord NH
February 2007

I am pissed. I am SO pissed. I am not pissed because my puppy just piddled on the floor, although that wasn’t pleasant. I am PISSED at Duty Free. I went to the Barley House in Concord and saw this great band called, yep, Duty Free. They played amazing tunes just like a band should. They were, well, good little boys and girls, with out the girls part… and change good to talented… and boys to men, back again doing a little east cost swing.

Quite frankly they put on a magnificent live show. All the members of Duty Free are proficient at their instrument; guitars, bass, keys, vocals and drums. They kept myself and the crowd very much entertained. If they come back to my area, I will go check them out again. Yet, I am pissed.

I take one of their FREE Duty Free CDs, although I may have misunderstood. They could have said, “our Duty Free CDs” and I just thought there were totally free. Maybe I owe them money. Hey guys, if I was suppose to pay for this let me know. It is quite a fantastic CD full of amazing guitar solos with keys and sometimes trumpet added in. The songs mix it up between a Dave Mathews feel to an almost jazz approach. The bass player kicks my ass, not in a “stop hitting me” way but in that “good groove” way. Anyway, we are getting off track, I am pissed.

People were mad when Michael Jackson sold Beatles tunes to Nike so they could market their new cross trainer. And we all shine on like the moon and the stars and this is worse; Duty Free has a Beatles cover on their album. BUT, it is only singing… no drums, no guitar, no bass, no tuna fish sandwich, and NO harmonies. Just a guy singing a Beatles song, live. I am actually lying a little bit. They did have the crowd clapping… A little.

Now, here, this is where I really, really, get pissed. The singer doesn’t keep time! He speeds up, slows down, he is all over the place. One thing my dad always said is, “Don’t include a live Beatles song on a CD when you don’t follow the audience’s beat when they are clapping along.” Ok my dad didn’t say that, the way he phrased it was “Take out the trash.” Don’t get me wrong he is a fine singer, but WHY destroy this classic piece of music. And why put it on his otherwise terrific CD.

If the CD wasn’t free Duty Free, let me know and I’ll give it back. Just let me burn those 11 of the 12 songs to my I-Pod first.

Rating: 7.2
To see for yourself go to http://www.dutyfreejams.biz/

Drift Session

The MUSIC page of Drift Session’s website offers up a bevy of tracks with names like “Convex Blues”, “Black Candles”, “Dog Leg” and “On Holliday”. On Holliday? Is this quartet of funkers from Canada? Perhaps England or Whales? Don’t think so. Very few U.K. natives actually hang their hats in Lowell Massachusetts.

But it is just this kind intentional persona building exemplified by a group of New Englanders using a term like “On Holiday” which seems to be standard operating procedure for a band like of Drift Session. The band describes itself thus:

Drift Session's sound is a combination of the 60's and 70's era of classic rock, blues, disco, and island sounds, fused together with a modern tone. Our blend of sounds and tunes make for a rhythmic groove on an winding path. Basically, we’ll shred, swing, and drift through the night.

It’s beautiful dream, I will admit. I read this description, then close my eyes and imagine an updated Wild Cherry or perhaps Blind Faith with a harder edge. Maybe I am just too hopeful in my imaginings. Alas, clicking on the above mentioned track yields not much more than the tried and true, wak-a-tik-a guitar rhythm which is the stock and trade of every axe man who has learned how to play bar chords and is saving up for a Wahwah pedal—can’t you just see the jar on some bookshelf in Lowell being filled with loose change and Rock n’ Roll fantasies?

“Convex Blues” is very much the same, but when the vocal kicks in, I am put in mind of a more forced and wearier Groove Child, a New Hampshire band that achieved some local acclaim when I was in high school…twelve years ago. It was that crazy couple of years in the mid nineties when my contemporaries had discovered Mom’s beads and Dad’s granny glasses and hippy nostalgia became more prominent than the original wave of actual hippy culture ever had been. I guess we can blame bands like Groove Child and others in that vein for stealing those couple of years from America’s youth. Perhaps not Phish, but Phish culture and Phish nation.

We can absolutely blame this stable of jam band retreads for handing down a stock-pile of influence to current ensembles like Drift Session. I am not saying that this is a completely worthless band, and if you enjoy recordings in witch the snare drum is right at the front of the mix, than these Mp3s are for you. But one might hope that this group would take some time out and learn to speak with it’s own voice before resurrecting the wak-a-tik-a another time.

Rating: 3.9
To see for yourself go to http://www.driftsessionband.com/


Robby Roadsteamer

Band: Robby Roadsteamer
Album: Collection of Random Videos
web: roadsteamer.com

Ok, So Robby has done a little collection of four videos. Um, yeah. Um. What can I say. Um... ummm... they are videos... they have some guitar and off key vocals.


Tab The Band

Band: Tab The Band
Album: Long Weekend
web: tabtheband.com

What ever you do do NOT confuse these guys with the soda. It says so right there in the band name. It shows they mean bussiness. TAB... The BAND. Do NOT get in the back to future agument with these mo' fo's. Or maybe that is not what they meant. Maybe it is a comand, Like, Make guitar tabs of this band.... or run a tab for the band at the bar. Personally I think they like Tab the unpopular soda... it doesn't matter though. So, you are welcome. I just wasted minutes of your life reading an explanation of a band name, but, when all is said and done; who gives a crap. The music is important, not the words used in a title. remember that, as you read this... the music is king, not my words.

Swing it baby. You can hear the roots of rockabilly in the tunes. Not in the "Big Bad Voodoo Daddies" way. No, they are not your 1940's swing but with tats. Picture more ACDC covering a Brian Setzer tune, a post Stray Cats tune... but with less sucking sounds. Almost like The Strokes but with a working mic.

I suggest picking up the album Long Weekend; it comes out sometimes soon... Do you want to know when? Look at the their website. I found the album a wonderful thing to listen to while vacuuming my house. I danced around with the music blaring, the vacuum sucking and the dog chasing my feet. I loved every tune, not a single one sucked like my vacuum.

Go see them live
Sep 13 2008 9:00P Great Scott (RECORD RELEASE SHOW!!!!) Boston, Massachusetts


Three Day Threshold

Three Day Threshold
Against the grain

Three Day Threshold sent me a few mp3s from their album Against the grain.

I am NOT going to review them. Nope, Sorry guys. I refuse to review this "cowboy, fast-almost-punk, toe tapping, dancing in a circle, get drunk, get in a fight" music. Just because I like the songs, it DOESN'T mean I am going to tell YOU that.

I am going to go put my head phones on, sit in my closet and get really really drunk while listening to Three Day Threshold... then maybe I'll go stab my neighbor or get a tattoo on my ass. Fuck you.


Quiet Loudly

Quiet Loudly

The guys in Quiet Loudly must love me. They allowed me, after a little begging, to hear 5 tunes from their upcoming 11-track album. I am told that I am the first person to hear the tunes except for the people in the band. I feel special. Like I'm in the band or something... Do i get any drink tickets?

These tunes have some pretty serious guitar playing going on. One second you have individual notes plucked out in a thin solo. The next second you hear what can only be described as "humped guitar noodle sandwich with onion beef rainbow" I guess that is not the only way the music could be described. Now that I think about it; I doubt anyone would think to describe it like that; but I assure you, the tunes sound exactly like that "humped guitar noodle sandwich with onion beef rainbow". Punk jazz? Acid pop... right, whatever.

There is a cover of "Walk on The Wild Side". I love it. I am a fan of Lou Reed, but it always bothered me that this song by Lou is really a desperation song but to me, Lou sounded sort of happy. Quiet Loudly took the despair inherent in the tune and smashed it in your face. Think of everything that was wrong with the Marky Mark version and reverse it's polarity to goodness. If Quiet Loudly reduced the song length from the 9 minutes it currently occupies to 4 minutes; Not only would they have a radio hit, but they would also destroy what makes their version this song a masterpiece.


See them live at TT The Bear Aug 22 2008

The Rationales

The Rationales
The Going and The Gone

When I do reviews, I NEVER talk about the production quality, I never talk about the recording method, and I never talk about mixing. I feel it is unfair to judge local acts on recording gear and say, "hey this doesn't sound pro" Well of course not you fool; the band isn't pro. They most likely recorded their tracks in a bathroom, with a Fisher Price mic, and that mic was plugged into a 1980's cassette deck... one of the really cheap cassette decks, the ones that only had a fast forward and no rewind. So, as a rule, I NEVER talk about recording quality. Well, this review is the exception that proves the rule.

This album was recorded at Q Division and produced by Ed Valauskas. Ed, I have a little note... You ARE a pro, and the recordings are pro; but turn down the lead vocal just a smidgen. That is it. carry on.

Now, I have totally offended The Rationales by insulting their mixing preferences and I doubt they will be inviting me over their house for a game of Monopoly any time soon.... but lets see if I can win them back. Maybe if they keep reading they'll forgive me, they might even like me, and maybe send me some money for this cool pyramid scam... i mean, money investment tool, I found.

The music by The Rationales is great. No no... lets use a better word then great... how about, Honorificabilitudinitatibus. (meaning "the state of being able to achieve honors." See, I can be pretentious and use big words). The arrangement of each song is full. They have a wall of sound aproach without all the doubling and sounds great. (crap, i used the wordgreat again). Lets try this; The meiotic undertones... nah screw it... The album sounds great!

If pop music, the Stones and alt county were to get mixed with the band the Oneders... You might approach the sound of the Rationales... but really just think Wilco. oh, and if you don't know the Oneders(pronounced Wonders); Tom Hanks will come stab you in the ear with an ice skate.

Go check them out live... Make sure to yell Honorificabilitudinitatibus at the stage.



The Sneaks

The Sneaks -
In an Instant EP

Don't you just love to skip? I do. I like to skip, I like the Brady Bunch, holding hands, unicorns, smiles, bubble gum, rough-mind-altering sex and pretty flowers. All of these things go great with listening to the albumIn An Instant by The Sneaks. All of them go with the music except one, unicorns; fucking stupid unicorns. I bet The Sneaks hate unicorns.

I like the way all the songs roll along. They constantly are pushing forward. Solo's are kept brief, harmonies kept clean, guitar tone kept simple, and the drums are hit correctly. Wait, what... did I just say drums are hit cor.. what do I mean. Is that like telling a band "You look like you are having fun"(I.E. you suck). NO not at all. The drummer does exactly what he should be doing. He is there, serving you the song on a golden platter of beats. ( what the hell am i talking about)

Weezer. I'll say it. They sound like Weezer; and thats a good thing. (I bet Weezer hates unicorns too.)

You can find out for yourself if they are any good live; go to their CD release show.

June, 26 2008 at Church
81 Kilmarnock St, Boston, Massachusetts
Cost : $7




The Hot Box
The Histone Code EP


The band name... I assume it is a sexual innuendo. I hate that. I mean, unless you are planing on showing your boxes, lets not bring them up and lets not talk about them; you do that and I won't talk about my third nipple. Actually, I've changed my mind... show me your box and I'll show you my 3rd nipple. I have to warn you, it sort of looks like a piece of pepperoni stuck on a paper bag with duct tape... well actually, it looks like that because that is exactly what it is. Don't judge me.

The Histone Code; Hot Box's 5 song EP is currently spinning on my cd player. It is Amazingly-magical and mystically-memorizing and well, ok i lied; The EP is not spinning in my CD player, it is more of... "Whirling" on my i-pod.

I sometimes feel like the band is not playing the same song at the same time. It is like, they couldn't agree on what song to play. Like they are fighting a battle. Somehow it works though and sounds great. Almost like how jazz is freeformed. I wouldn't call it math rock, or elitist Berkley grad crap or Frank Zappa on grape soda. It keeps you interested. Un-pop. That is it, un-pop.

You hear Hot Box and you are expecting POP. Where is the pop? They never deliver the pop and that is what makes this interesting. You are waiting and listening, waiting for them to fall into a little Pop Box. They never do and that makes me smile.(Please note the use of the term "Pop Box"; it was not intended to be clever; unless, i guess, you think it is clever; then the intention was always present for the cleveriness)

The review is over. Excuse me while I go for a jog with my Hot Box filled I-Pod... Maybe you'll see me, Look for the girl running with a smile and blond hair; approach her and ask if she has a little Hot Box for you to check out. You must check them out.


SEXCoffee Band

I just pooped in my pants. Just a little; not much. I am a little uncomfortable now. I mean, I don't know if I need to change my panties, i am not really sure. I am afraid to look though because i am almost 100 percent sure it is going to be shit.

I feel the same way about SEXCoffe Band. I listened to 1 song and I am uncomfortable. I don't really want to hear anymore because i am pretty sure it will be poopy panties.

If you like poopie panties, check em out

Brendan Boogie Band


The only reason I am reviewing these guys is because they are playing a show at the Abbey with the Steve Gutenband (the band i just reviewed like 2 minutes ago) on may 27th.

They have one song on their myspace profile and they have a disclaimer written about it.
A NOTE ON THE JUKEBOX SONGS: Okay, so people have been bugging us about getting songs up. So Nate and Brendan grabbed a little digital recorder, a tamborine, and a few shots of Jameson's and recorded some very very VERY rough versions of a few of the tunes. Yes, we're aware they sound like shit. But hopefully, you will hear through the crappy sound quality to the genius within.

I love the song. This band is a umm..... no no, lets start that again... this band,no... i just can't put it into words; ok, I want to have their sea babies. It is true. I want to meet them in a magical land of fruit treats and milk and have their music impregnate me with sea babies.... What are sea babies you might be asking??? well... go use wikipedia.org

They are good, they are great, They are some members from the ex-band from Boston scamper. I really might go to this show.

the Steve GütenBAND!


Ok, i've never heard this band except the three songs on their myspace page. So is it really fair for me to review them? HELLZ yes it is.

Does this music suck? No... do I want to hear more or see them live??? maybe... They play march 27th at The Abbey and I might go. Ya know, I might go. Like when your friend's band is playing and they beg you to come and you say "hey, i might be there." Then the day of the show comes and you just stay home and eat bacon instead.


Apple Betty

First off, i need to say these ladies are very nice in person. Now, normally when someone starts a review like that, they proceed to bash the band. Well, I am not going to do that.

I like em. mix punk with a little rockabilly. And, yeah, mix in girls singing. The tunes are a little pop but not in that annoying Hanson way.

Why is it that when I hear or see a "girl band" I almost always get turned off immediately. It is not the term, you could call them "chick band; dickless; boobie empowered; band of only woman" WHATEVER. It is not the term, but the entire concept of only girls in a band. I always assume that it must be some marketing thing. Sort of like when a band claims Frank Zappa as their major influence. I don't dislike girl bands, it just always makes me think of what their "musicians wanted" ad looked like "Girl drummer and guitarist looking for chick bass player that rocks and has pro gear."

They have just released a new album ABCD and based on the tracks avaible on their myspace page. Go take a listen, it is pretty good!


The In Out

The In Out

I think I am listening to a band I like, The Fall. Sounds like maybe their album "This Nations Saving Grace" but not the album, just the tracks they decided not to put out on the album. Ya know, the junk of a great band. Some bands junk is another bands poop cap that they pass off as gold.

The In Out song "Lawn Trousers" (you can hear on it in their Myspace page) sounds exactly like The Fall... exactly like... I mean, I think it could be a song by The Fall. Maybe it is, Hell, The Fall put out 30000 albums, there is no way i could know all their songs.

So; if you like The Fall, you'll most likely want to go buy another Fall album before you listen to these guys. If you don't know who The Fall are... umm.. go buy "This Nations Saving Grace." If you want to check ou The In Out; go ahead but you'd be better off buying an album by The Fall.



Golden West Motor Lodge

I want to hate these guys so badly. There is just something, that makes me want to hate this band and set them on fire. However, I don't; I kind of like their music.

The song "prettiest girl in the world" is my favorite song for some reason. I actually have it loaded on my I-pod(and has five stars). I was redoing my bathroom over the weekend, putting in crown molding and painting the walls. That song, for some reason, played two times in a row. I didn't really mind and I didn't skip it(I actually sang along). Maybe it was the 10 beers I had consumed, maybe I have bad taste in music, maybe I was breathing in paint fumes in an uncirculated area for 3 hours.... I like that song.


You can listen to a bunch of their mp3's on their website. I suggest going and downloading a bunch of their music. If you don't like their sound; huff some paint