A lot of music passes by the desks at inReview.net. Unfortunately, not all of the music receives a review. Sometimes it is due to our current lack of writers. Sometimes we receive music that simply does not fit our site. Sometimes the music is not that good, and we choose not to review it. While the albums listed below did not get a full review on this site, perhaps this small preview might introduce you to music you may have not heard about before.
Most of the music below won’t be heard regularly on a radio station and may not hit the big charts. But all of it is good music that deserves some more spins. If something sounds intriguing, I am sure you know where to go to listen to sound clips, or even entire songs. So you will find such links lacking here. In the meantime, I suggest you give these five offerings a chance.
The Violet Burning, drop-dead
The Violet Burning has been playing throughout the U.S. and Europe for over ten years. Though my exposure to this modern rock band has not been through regular radio airplay, I have caught the live set a handful of times over the years at summer festivals and have always enjoyed what the band offers. Valentine’s Day 2006 set a good backdrop for the Northern Records release of drop-dead that lyrically contains the many dimensions of love. Don’t get me wrong. The deeper thought-provoking message behind the introspective lyrics translates beyond a bunch of love songs.
Musically, I would describe the album as classic rock meets modern alternative rock with a definite European flavor. While the music of drop-dead holds its own, others have described the music as recommended for fans of bands such as The Smiths, The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, and U2. I tend to agree. Maybe it is because I like this type of music that this CD has spun a few times since its release. Or maybe it is because the music is good and a nice break from my other discs. Either way, I am not upset that this CD crossed my desk.
Flatfoot 56, Knuckles Up
Though the Celtic Punk genre has apparently been around for a while, Flatfoot 56 was my first introduction to the style of music. I love Celtic Rock music, and at times Punk music fits into my listening habits as well. So after reading the promo material that arrived with the disc, I eagerly put the pre-release CD in the player not long before the June 17, 2006 release of Knuckles Up on Flicker Records. My favorite on the album is their rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Not long after the May 15, 2007 release of Jungle of the Midwest Sea, a good sophomore effort, I was finally able to experience Flatfoot 56 live. To be honest, I have not paid too much attention to the lyrics, but the music makes me want to dance. Though listening to the great mix of mandolin, bagpipes, and more all being formulated into a mix of Punk and Celtic Rock, I was not sure whether or not to do an Irish jig, or to skank. What I did note was that this band has great live energy, and I hope to catch them again next time they are in town.
Leigh Nash, Blue on Blue
f you are a fan of Sixpence None the Richer, perhaps the August 15, 2006 release of Leigh Nash’s solo debut, Blue on Blue did not pass by your radar screen. Others may not be aware that the former lead singer of Sixpence has brought her ethereal voice and wonderful charm into a solo effort as well as the occasional touring. Soon before the release, we were hoping for an interview with this seasoned musician, but it did not pan out. The release was put out on One Son Records, Leigh’s own label.
Blue on Blue may never reach the critical acclaim that Nash received with Sixpence None the Richer. But this is a good next step for Leigh, who brings in life changes of love and motherhood into the lyrics. Though I am not one who puts female musicians on the top of my listening list, I am glad that the poetic lyrics and enchanting voice are continuing.
Parker Theory, Leaving California
Through my connections with Switchfoot, I was familiar with San Diego based indie rock band Parker Theory before the promo package reached my desk. Leaving California, on Rescue Records, was released in Japan on April 4, 2007 and in the U.S. on May 15, 2007. The three-piece outfit produces great harmonies with a positive energy. The eclectic album, while nothing eye opening and new, is filled with a variety of sounds and topics, resulting in an album where the songs don’t all feel the same.
It’s true that the music of Parker Theory may have not yet filled the radio airwaves. And though they traveled to Japan this past Spring, I don’t believe they have made it to my area of the east coast. But their Myspace page reports that record labels from Brazil and Sweden have released the album. These guys are worth checking out no matter what area of the world you happen to be.
Christafari, To The Foundation
The reggae sound of Christafari has been around since 1989, yet most of the music found on the ten album releases generally does not get heard on the radio. Fans of reggae, Latin and world music will enjoy the often-eclectic music this band produces. Over the years, Christafari has released music via several record labels. To The Foundation was released in April of 2007 on Lion of Zion Entertainment that was started in 1999 by Mark Mohr, the main man behind Christafari.
Admittedly, To The Foundation does not spin in my player as much as other discs. Yet the blend of traditional roots and contemporary dancehall reggae with a positive message is a nice change once in a while. The lyrics and music put me in a better mood each time. Radio airplay may be lacking, but over the years this band has toured all over the U.S. and throughout many corners of the world and has received numerous awards. Give them a listen and let us know what you think!