Search for the Hidden Gem (2011 – vol# 4)

Written by on May 26, 2011 in May 26, 2011, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2011 – vol# 4)

Search for the Hidden GemWith Judgement Day only days off, it’s likely the spaceship will be quite full when it takes us away, so I’d like to remind everyone to please take a shower the night before and don’t forget to put on deodorant.

Sonic Shock

“Hell to Pay”

Style (Rock)

A young band from Canada kicking out their brand of sleazy gutter guitar rock circa GNR’s “Nice Boys Don’t Play Rock and Roll” mixed with a little punkish attitude of Nashville Pussy, and I do detect a little classic metal influence of Black Sabbath and Megadeath in their song “Elvis.” Musically I like what I’m hearing, but I’m getting really tired of band bio’s with “post-apocalyptic music scene” proclamation BS. I know it sounds cool and tough, but like teenage premature ejaculation I think there’s a lot to learn before announcing you’re musically on the cusp of inspiring future generations and destined to reinvigorate any music scene. So just stop it! You’re a young rock band that’s written some serviceable tunes with potential but there is an awful lot of improvement needed to take this dog and pony show to the next level.

Rating 2 ½ (only 8 tracks on the disc)


“No Apologies”

Style (Alternative)

This is straightforward alternative rock that gets played on radio stations around the country, and to be honest it’s not too bad. The production value is top notch, the song writing is catchy, the rhythms are powerful and energetic, and the singer is dialed into his range and he’s not afraid to use it. What really caught my ear is how the music comes across as a cohesive unit with nothing sounding out of place or having to be played down a notch so it doesn’t outshine the whole. Playing through the CD my instinct tells me this band’s sound has a good connection with their core fans and it has the potential to reach new ones quite easily. I checked out the band’s videos and pics on their webpage and it looks like these guys have good energy on stage.

Rating 4 (something for the FM playlist)

Pecas de Bravura

“Pieces de Resistance”

Style (Instrumental)

This one has been on my desk for a couple months because I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. But because I felt the musicianship warranted a mention I feel compelled to dive in and give it go. The bullet point description is that this is a musical collaboration between Eder Bergozza on piano and Marcos De Ros on electric guitar. My description is that this is a blend of contemporary piano and shredding rock guitar with a Brazilian flare. An interesting mix to say the least, but having played through it a couple times I’d conclude these style juxtapositions don’t work well together. There are many noticeable areas where De Ros becomes the main attraction and takes the lead with gusto and intensity, which is fine, but in the process Bergozza is shoved into the shadows to wallow in background obscurity, never receiving lead reciprocation. This duality contradicts the word “collaboration” so I’d prefer to call this an accompaniment project. As I stated prior, I admire the musicianship of Bergozza and De Ros. Included with the CD is a DVD of the concert these two performed. I skipped through the DVD and this is definitely not the type of musical performance to warrant expensive recording costs. After all, once you see 20 seconds of two dudes sitting down playing their instruments haven’t you seen all the footage you really need to see?

Rating 2 (based only on musicianship)

Betty Moon

“Rolling Revolution”

Style (Rock)

From the start of this one I feel like I’m tiptoeing through a midfield. Moon, who in some ways resembles a flame tattooed version of Betty Paige, starts off her new disc with a disastrous rendition of Mother Love Bone’s song “Captain Hi-Top.” This obviously puts me in the mood to rip this apart. But as I cautiously move onward I’m relieved to hear Moon follow up the opening musical mess with what I feel is vocally and musically her strength, a sultry jazz seductiveness in the songs “My Stupid Dream” and “Elegy.” Effortlessly Moon’s low-mid range weaves its way through the melodies drawing you in to stay a while. But I’m not totally at ease and my trepidation is on alert as I venture into the upbeat rock tempo songs of “C4 Yourself” and “Trouble Loves Me.” And as I feared, I’m feeling snake bitten with these rock tempo songs because Moon’s vocally reaching and she’s flattening out, leaving her no choice but to employ studio effects to cover up what’s missing. Thinking the worst is over I get to the last song, a rendition of “Somebody to Love” made famous by Jefferson Airplane, that ends this CD in a thud. Miss Moon may never read this review nor take the advice I’m offering, but it really isn’t good marketing strategy to sandwich your 10 song CD with your two worst songs. Think of it this way: the filling in an oreo cookie is just OK on its own, but sandwiching between two tasty cookies makes the whole package awesome and iconic.

Rating 1 ½ (R.I.P. Betty Paige)

EP’s make me nervous because band members are here today gone tomorrow. However, two EP’s caught my attention and I feel they deserve a little love.

  1. Scattered Hamlet’s “Hillbilly Harmony” (4 songs) – energetic rock and roll with a southern rock edge. If these guys don’t rip it up live on stage it’s not because the music sucks.
    Rating 2 ½ (only because it’s an EP)
  2. Testing Tomorrow’s “The Pull” (5 songs) – rock and roll with some killer grooves that are easy to get into. I’ve had this one blasting in my ride for the past week and I really like what I hear from these guys.
    Rating 2 ½ (only because it’s an EP)