Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 3)

Written by on March 18, 2010 in March 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2010 – vol# 3)

Spring and the time change are on the horizon, and so is the opening of the 2010 fishing season!

Flying Machine

Self titled

Style (Alternative)

I’ve got no idea where this is heading.  Vocally I hear a singer with a mid/high range and a strong desire to show off high notes where those notes aren’t needed.  Or more to the point, I hear a singer performing like a Duncan yo-yo sounding like a 14 year old boy trying to sing through puberty.  Musically, this is opening act material at best and fits the mold for the typical “no more than dozen” rule: a few friends and family, wives and girlfriends, and bartenders hoping the next band is better because no one is drinking with this stuff playing.  Though there is some ability showcased on the instruments, the song writing is stale, decidedly missing the mark and far left of the much coveted toe tapping sing along material.

Rating 1 ½ (vocals are killing this)

Zera Vaughan

“The New Seed”
Style (Indie / Singer Songwriter)

The pacing of these songs reminds me of that annoying senior citizen not sure where the street they want is so they drive slower than the speed limit and slow to a crawl as they pass every intersection.  I’m a fan of singer songwriters, and Ms.Vaughan’s soft lullaby vocals and decent looks are charming, but this snail’s pace meandering crawl, off into No Mans Lands, when are we going to get there, timid delivery leaves an awful lot to be desired.  Playing through the CD I have a hard time believing these 12 songs live would be useful for anything other than lulling the crowd into a boredom induced coma so their wallets and drinks can be high jacked. Additionally, listening to these songs I don’t get the sense of confidence from Ms.Vaughan and my gut instinct tells me on stage she’d have a tough time holding the listener’s attention given her severely soft vocal projection and overall cottony production displayed on this CD.

Rating 1 (project from the diaphragm so the person in the back can hear you)

Red 9

“The Host”
Style (Hard Rock)

A little light having only 8 tracks, and abstractly Red 9 musically reminds me of Alice in Chains, just a little, with a coarse callused edge.  Driving me nuts though is the timing, which sounds a count or two too slow.  With slowness being the main attraction/distraction, these songs might be useful to have on in the background if trying to jam a rusty nail through a stiff piece of wood without using a hammer and no time frame; not smooth, pretty, or polished, but with time eventually the job should get done.  I find the songs having some potential but driven by my mood if I’m interested in something roughly shaped and not in a hurry to make its point.  Business wise, my big concern would be related to the live set, because that’s where bands make most of their money.  Given the slow pacing it’s highly probable the energy level on stage will be of the same manufactured quality, which ends any desire I have for sticking around to hear the end of the set.  Aside from the music, these guys need some help with visual presentation because the promo picture of the trio standing knee deep in pacific surf with suits had me guessing new age jazz or maybe some offshoot indie rock band.  Seems to me these guys are going a long way to make that sales pitch pan out.

Rating 2 (just OK given the right mood at home)

Painted On Water

Self titled
Style (World)

This is a compilation featuring Turkish duo of Sertab Erener on vocals and composer/guitarist Demir Demirkan.  First and foremost I really dig the musical creations from Demirkan but cannot stand the vocals from Erener.  Demirkan’s guitar playing fusses together effortlessly a blend of world and modern jazz influences, and along with the outstanding piano playing provided by S.Tuluc Tirpan, alone has the makings for a truly wonderful instrumental CD.  However, the inclusion of Ms. Erener’s vibrato vocals, which are too high, are killing the organic emotions pulsing through the music because her vocals lack the required depth and character needed for these songs.  Overlooking the intention of the songs, Ms. Erener instead delivers her high pitch vocals as if she’s trying to get the part in some off Broadway musical.  This is the one time I wish CD’s came with split tracks because then I could mute Ms. Erener’s vocals and enjoy the musical ensemble in the manner it’s best suited.

Rating 2 (love the music but wrong choice of vocalist)

Jon Mikl Thor

“Sign Of The V”
Style (Rock)

This CD proves that old rockers, if not dead already, are more comical as they age and can’t let go of those bygone days when someone cared.  A former bodybuilder and B actor in horror flicks during the 70’s, Thor’s newest CD stumbles into the mix like Grandpa Munster using a ham radio wearing a Conan thong talking about his usage of ExtenZe and Red Bull.  Just thinking about that makes my stomach churn.  These songs are so poorly written and arranged, not to mention exhibiting by far one of the most elementary examples of unusable musicianship I’ve heard since coming across Fifi Larue’s BS, plus appalling production value.  This stuff is hard to take seriously.  Playing through this garbage it’s hard to comprehend how the NHL Vancouver Canucks planned to use the first track “Vancouver Millionaires” as a promotional tool.  Someone in the organization might want to check the credentials within their media department before making these kinds of decisions next time.  Then again how can’t songs entitled “I Want More,” “Pump Energy Man,” “Power Us,” or “Stay Young, Feel Young” not be considered anthems by other old muscle heads slinging weights getting their biceps and pecs all yoked up while popping HGH and wanger pills.  Something tells me Canada likes its home grown parities.

Rating 1 (this stuff is too funny but horrendously intolerable)