CD reviews by Hailey Van Meter
The Symphonies: Dreams, Memories & Parties
With an indestructible base of perfected crafted instruments, Emily Wells’ voice penetrates your eardrums and dances through every echo of your brain. Half-angelic and half-haunting, she brings a certain level of eeriness to a genre normally filled with dry lyrics and dull repetitions of sound. Every song on The Symphonies: Dreams, Memories & Parties disc is a wonderful mix of dedicated instrumentals and beautifully strange lyrics that form to be a wildly entertaining sound that is unrivaled by any other symphony out there. Wells’ has perfected the art of multiple instruments into one unique style that is impossible to copy and hard to forget.
After 4 tracks and 25 minutes of pulsating brilliance, Triclops!’ Cafeteria Brutalia ended with the same radiating energy that it started with. Mi Plisboy explodes off the CD with loud, bold and daring instruments with an introduction of John Geek’s somewhat retro voice. His calming tones are chaotic enough to compliment the band’s terrific instrumental base. Despite only having 4 songs on such a well-developed release, Cafeteria Brutalia is able to offer significantly long songs that don’t ever get boring or repetitive. Maybe it’s the drummer in me but I was intensely impressed by Phil Becker’s enthusiasm throughout the whole album. A fantastic drum line that’s paired with passionate guitar and bass is essential to make or break a band’s sound and Triclops’ definitely doesn’t disappoint in anyway. Sickroom Records should be proud of this band, their sound is truly infectious.
After looking at the black and red album art, I expected to hear music that was dark, lonesome and angry. I was surprised by something else all together. One Park Push is an upbeat song that’s slightly addictive in tone and lyrics. Jezebel’s title track, Victim shocked me further where the band shows their ability to slow down and simplify their sound. I’ve never heard such a sweet sound come from nothing but consistent guitar, basic drums and honest vocals. “Descender” starts up with perfect power chords that entrance you through the whole song and makes you wonder why Jezebel hasn’t ascended into the mainstream. The last track, “Svenska” was catchy and beautiful sounding. Jezebel’s 2006 release may be called “Victim” but lacks any negative connotations that have been associated with such a word. The star power of Jezebel lies in the beauty of their perfected simplicity that can only seem to improve through time.
South Florida Rockers
Dancing in the Combat Zone
With an ironic title that suggests having fun in serious situations, the South Florida Rocker’s compilation disc, Dancing in the Combat Zone provides fun as well as serious song associated with war. 51 musicians spread their talents over 17 tracks that all pay tribute to the men and women that serve in our armed forces. Unlike many albums based off of war experiences, Dancing in the Combat Zone doesn’t take sides on the issue. It covers everything from the courage of volunteering, the fright of the battlefield and the sadness of leaving the ones you love. Nobel and powerful, the South Florida Rockers helped put together a fantastic disc that not only is easy to listen to but helps benefit soldiers in need. Patriotic but honest, this album can be enjoyed by anyone and should be listened to by more people.
Peter’s Diner Late Nite Menu
Liz Nash’s disc, Peter’s Diner Late Night Menu rolled out of my speakers sounding like just another soft and delicate jazz-based album but it evolved into something much more. Nash’s first 3 songs, Man For Me, Danger and Amor are strikingly similar and ordinary in sound but the CD kicks it up a notch in the 4th track, Live. Liz Nash displays a bit of country tone that perked up my ears and made me turn it up in anticipation. Tracks that are filled with everything from upbeat tempos of strumming guitars all the way to slow-beat piano serenades, Late Nite Menu is a diverse sounding collection that begins unimpressive and ends with beautiful closing tracks that someone might hear at the local coffee bar on a Friday night. After hearing all 10 crafted tracks, I wanted another listen and oddly a cup of coffee.
Brilliant Ideas from Amazing People
We Gotta Move, the opening track of Iceage Cobra’s ferocious CD, Brilliant Ideas from Amazing People rocketed out of my computer speakers and really had me nodding my head in agreement to their clever disc title. Although the CD name may sound cocky, Iceage Cobra really does know how to rock. With some of the best guitar and drum cooperation that I’ve heard in awhile, I kept wondering how I lived in the Seattle area for years and never heard about them. Besides 12 kick ass tracks of good old rock n’ roll, Iceage Cobra throws in 2 “sensual interludes” to help you catch your breath and get ready for the upcoming amazement. I was so impressed by the instrumentals on this CD that I can’t say I really listened to all of the lyrics but what I did hear was exciting and slightly ironic. Brilliant Ideas from Amazing People is an awesome disc that I know I’ll be listening to when I need a jolt of adrenaline.
The first thing I noticed about Chantelle Tibbs was her beautiful handwriting when I read an attached sticky note that read “Enjoy”. What a simple way to introduce a listener to her music, with honest optimism. Traitor’s first track, Prescriptions matches her handwriting as it opens with a delicate introduction that sets the mood for the entire disc. Armed with an acoustic guitar and an angelic voice, Tibbs mesmerized me track after track with touching lyrics and stunning background music. With a strikingly honest voice and a refreshing sound, Traitor put me at ease and helped me drift off into a peaceful mood for the remainder of the day. The disc ends with a shout out to everyone that has inspired her or assisted her in her adventures. She’s down to earth with a heavenly voice and a sweet sounding guitar, so go look her up and prepare to be dazzled.
Below: Chantelle Tibbs