Thursday, April 24, 2014

CD Review: Moonjune Records Unleashes New International Music

New York record label Moonjune Records is rolling out some new, exciting music that needs to be heard. On the slate to be released is the debut album from Belgian singer/pianist Susan Clynes, the long-awaited follow-up album from Catalan drummer Xavi Reija and the new album from Indonesian jazz-fusion guitar legend Dewe Budjana.

The debut album from Susan Clynes mixes together many musical styles to create a unique and attractive compilation of her talents. Beginning with "Life Is," Susan allows her voice to open the album as she is only backed by her piano on this passionate piece of modern classical music. She shows off her fun, rock n roll side on the playfulness of "Good Man," before returning to the classical appeal of "Les Larmes." She gets a little jazzy on "Ileana's Song" and experiments with her love for classical music on the instrumental "Pigeon's Intrusion." The album closes with more of Susan's exceptional piano and vocals on the showcase piece "Liner Blindness" and the layered sound of "Butterflies."

To find out more about Susan Clynes and her debut album "Life Is...," please visit
susanclynes.be.

Following the success of their first live DVD, "Live At Casa Murada," Xavi Reija's jazz-fusion/rock trio are returning with their first studio album in over five years entitled "Resolution." Xavi's compositions continue to push the boundaries of music as he breaks down the barriers between jazz and rock right from the beginning with the opener "Flying To Nowhere." The trio lock into a Rush-like progressive rock groove on "Macroscope" and head straight into the jazz-fusion of "Shadow Dance." The band takes you on a journey with the ten-minute sound experiment of "Dreamer," before returning to the more conventional sounds of "Unfinished Love." Reija, along with Dusan Jetovic on guitar and Bernat Hernandez bring out their heaviest rock sound on "John's Song," before finishing with the jazziness of "Gravity" and the jammy feel of "Welcome To The End."

To find out more about Xavi Reija and his new album "Resolution," please visit
xavireija.com.

Jazz-fusion guitarist Dewa Budjana just released his third solo album for Moonjune Records entitled "Surya Namaskar." Dewa is a member of the highly successful Indonesian rock band GIGI, but enjoys his escapes in to the progressive jazz/rock. This time, Dewa is performing alongside such talented musicians as Jimmy Johnson (James Taylor) and Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting). Dewa wastes no time diving into his jazz-fusion world as he takes you along for a ride, beginning with "Fifty," which also includes the help of Gary Husband (Level 42) on synthesizer. Dewa does an amazing job letting each musician find his own space to stretch out and explore. The songs "Lamboya" and "Kalingga" are must hears as the band work as a perfect unit to achieve this musical excellence. Guitarist Michael Landau joins Dewa on guitar on the song "Surya Namaskar" to create a wonderful piece of music to relax to and enjoy.

To find out more about Dewa Budjana and his latest solo album "Surya Namaskar," please visit
dewabudjana.com.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CD Review: The "Death" Of My Chemical Romance Gathers Hits Together

New from Reprise Records is the career spanning set entitled "May Death Never Stop You" from My Chemical Romance. After the announcement of the band's break-up in March of last year, the record label has been working on a "greatest hits" collection with input from the band members. The nineteen-song album includes the huge hits "Welcome To The Black Parade" and "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)," along with a few demos and a brand new song, "Fake Your Death."


Beginning with the newly released "Fake Your Death," the band's sound still has relevance in today's alternative rock market as they work their punk like edge into this mainstream pop gem. My Chemical Romance are not known as a punk band, but the early days of "You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison," shows that they could be as energetic and wreckless the likes of Green Day. On the flipside, they lay their hearts out on the line for the piano ballad "Cancer." The three demos added to this compilation are raw, but show a less polished sound that should have been shown more air time on their albums.


There is also a deluxe version of this release that features two hours of never before seen music videos on DVD. Collectors will also appreciate the release of 180-gram vinyl two-LP set. To find out more, please visit mychemicalromance.com.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CD Review: New Hard Rock Music From Gunpowder Gray, Mach 22 And Super Massive Black Holes

From Atlanta, GA comes the self-titled debut EP from Gunpowder Gray. The album was officially released on Record Store Day (April 19) in purple translucent vinyl. The band's hard rocking sound is heard right away in the title-song as they walk the fine line between hard rock and metal. Their music portrays a raw, hungry for attention feel as in the edgy, Buckcherry-like "Cummin' My Way." Lead singer Chris Heffernan flexes his vocal pipes during "Under The Gun," then comes screaming out like Judas Priest's Rob Halford for "Dancing With Death." The album closes with the classic feel of early Gun N Roses with "Saints."

Following the release of the new album, Gunpowder Gray has a couple shows lined-up in May in their hometown of Atlanta. To find out more about this new rising underground rock band, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GunpowderGray.


Next from Philadelphia comes the debut album from MACH22 entitled "Sweet Talk." They are the former winners of Guitar Center's Onstage with Slash contest and their album will be self-released on May 6th. The band members are not new to the musical community having all worked with other bands, but are now ready to branch out on their own. The ten-song release begins with the head-banging, hard-hitting sound of "Constant Denier." MACH22 lock into a King's X-type vibe on "Don't You Give Me," before speeding up for the quick-pace metal romp of "Backslider." The album finishes up with the slow, mainstream rock jaunt of "One Trick Pony" and the final shot of adrenaline of "Nevermind."

MACH22 are heading out on the road in May making an appearance at this year's Rocklahoma festival. To find out more about MACH22 and their new album, please visit mach22music.com.


From Canada comes the heavy metal Super Massive Black Holes with their full-length debut album "Calculations Of The Ancients." The album will be released on April 29th through Minotauro Records and showcases the band's talent for mixing musical genres with hard hitting metal music. Beginning with "(Sub-molecular) Transmogrification Of The Oriphy" they band are ready to take on the metal world with four minutes full of tempo changes and amazing musicianship. The band showcases some classic prog-rock roots with "Dyatlov Pass Incident," before moving on to the neck breaking attack of the "Distance Of The Great Attractor." While the musicianship is outstanding, the vocals seem like an afterthought show that they are not needed as with the enticing instrumental "Mathematics Of Emotion." The album closes with the epic journey of "Ghosts Of Bhopal" as the screaming guitars tell the story of this prog-metal masterpiece and the Pink Floydian feel of "Lift The Veils."

To find out more about Super Massive Black Holes and their new album "Calculations Of The Ancients," please visit www.smbhmusic.com/.

Monday, April 21, 2014

CD Review: Wishbone Ash And Clearlight Return With Two New Crowning Achievements

Classic rock band Wishbone Ash are celebrating their 45th anniversary this year with a brand new studio album and North American tour. The tour began April 15 in Florida and covers the U.S. Then in July they head over to Europe for a couple of rock festivals before hitting the U.K. in October and November. All this renewed energy is due to the band's new release entitled "Blue Horizon." It is their 25th studio album and the third release to feature the current line-up of Andy Powerll, Joe Crabtree, Bob Skeat and Muddy Mannien. The ten songs feel like an anthology of Wishbone Ash's recordings as all of the elements that have mad them so successful are present on this album. The prog-rock feel of the opener "Take It Back" and the fuzzy guitar shuffle of the ZZ Top sounding "Deep Blues." They slow things down for the dreamy feel of "Strange" and the adventurous lyrics of "Tally Ho!," then showcase their early days with the classic rock appeal of "Mary Jan." The album closes with the slow-burning, seven-minute build-up of "All There Is To Say."

For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about Wishbone Ash's new album "Blue Horizon," please visit wishboneash.com/.

Another legendary progressive rock band with a new album is the French rockers Clearlight. Their latest release, "The Impressionist Symphony" strays far from the rock their earlier albums as the band gives a classical piece for the ages. It is Clearlight's first album of new material in over three decades and features members of the bands GONG, The Muffins, Spirits Burning and more. The music just takes hold of you and brings you on a journey through the influencial sounds of classical composers Ravel, Satie and Debussy. The album begins with a progressive feel during the opening of "Renoir En Couleur" featuring the outstanding guitar work of Steve Hillage. The wonderfully exciting piano of Cyrille Verdeaux on "Degras de la Marine" will give you shivers, before takes off with the spacey synthesizer sounds of "Van Gogh 3rd Ear." The album closes with the elegant, gentle feel of "Monet Time (duet)."

To find out more about the latest album from Clearlight, please visit www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15659/Clearlight-Impressionist_Symphony.html.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

CD Review: Folk Musician Judy Collins Feels Right At Home "In Ireland"

American folk icon Judy Collins recently released her new live album, "Live In Ireland" through Cleopatra Records on CD and on DVD. The album was recorded at Dromoland Castle in Ireland for a PBS Broadcast on September 29, 2013. The twelve song CD release features many of her classic originals mixed with cover songs and a few Irish hymns.

Her voice still sounds so strong and pure after fifty years in the music business, beginning with the Irish favorites "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "Gypsy Rover." The audience seemed very still during the powerful ballad "Barbara Allen," but things began to pick up during "Grandaddy," which featured the young step dancer Emily Ellis. Her cover of Harry Chapin's "Cat's In The Cradle" brings delight to the audience, before inviting singer Mary Black to perform with her on "She Moved Through The Fair." The album closes with the gentle covers of "Innisfree" and a stunning mostly acapella performance of "Danny Boy.

Judy Collins will be performing live from now until the end of the year. For a complete list of tour dates and to find out more about her new album "Live In Ireland," please visit judycollins.com.