Search For the Hidden Gem Vol #6

Written by on July 29, 2011 in News - Comments Off on Search For the Hidden Gem Vol #6

Search for the Hidden Gem (2011 – vol# 6)

By Mike Cavanaugh 

I’ve been on the road for a while visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I’d like to petition the State of Washington to put up a surgeon’s general style warning sign upon crossing the border informing visitors it rains (A LOT) in Washington, sometimes even during the normally dry month of July, and that rain in summer causes depression and extreme irritability in Californians. 

  K. Page and Sleepwalker’s Parade

 “Between the Bridges”

  Style (Indie) 

I understand the desire to be different artistically, putting forth effort desperately trying to carve out a unique niche within a convoluted and crowded pool of musicians, but when I come across crap like this I really have to ask if there is a musical award for the band known to write the most suck ass music with the most negative sales potential.  I don’t know anything about these musicians but I sure hope someone within the group listened to their parents and got a college education, because making a living with these songs, unlike like being a bike messenger or a barista, isn’t going to pay the bills for long.  Maybe I’m being too cynical and I’m missing the point of these 8 horrendous tunes, and they were created to serve as the apocalyptical zombie dance party house music.  After all, K. Page vocally vibrates her notes so spastically I think even the zombies would get dizzy listening to her, and maybe dizziness is a zombie’s wonder drug.  I know I’m getting dizzy and I’m not digging it.

 Rating 1 (the jazzy song had potential then abandoned ship)


  The Brothers Comatose

  “Songs From the Stoop”

  Style (Bluegrass)

 Bluegrass is one of those music genres for me that if the songs are well written, with good texture and context, and are brought to life when performed live, becomes an infectious experience.  And The Brothers Comatose has this effect on me.  I came across these guys while visiting Healdsburg in Sonoma County a couple weeks ago during the Summer Music on the Square, which occurs every Tuesday, and this quartet was an enjoyable surprise.  I’m not sure how big their musical catalogue is, but each song The Brothers Comatose played within their two hour set, not to mention the two encore songs, was played superbly, bringing about a fun, lively, raucously danceable evening.  As for the CD, and mood is a little more low key than the live set, but I like that because it allows me to feel the emotion behind the songs, letting the lyrics paint their imagery and the superb musicianship of the string instruments shine brightly. 

 Rating 4


   Hey Perro

  “Eastern Ideas of Death”

  Style (Punk / Metal) 

I’m not crazing about the CD title but hey, maybe these guys are practitioners of Hindu and Buddhist spirituality and that’s all good, but since I don’t hear any chanting in the songs I think it’s a nonsensical title.  However, that’s my only knock because I like what I hear.  The bio is brief but accurate, indicating this is not quite punk, and not quite metal.  In my ears it’s a little bit Death From Above 1979, Fu Manchu, and guitar riff style ala 80’s Iron Maiden.  Some interesting crossbreeding to say the least, but the musical influences that melded this grungy Frankenstein creation put together the right parts and ended up with a nice piece of music.  Another thing I really dig is the high energy level and how it sounds like each song was specifically written for the live performance. 

 Rating 3 (nice job)


  CJ Sleez

  “Valley of the Shadow”

  Style (Rock / Metal)

 When a CD and press kit come across my desk with the lead singer scantily clad in lingerie and seductive posed I notice, but I’m also watchful for the ever possible all fluff and no fold.  Surprisingly, and much to my liking, CJ isn’t a slow moving seductive  tattooed runway walking vixen but instead explodes into the fray as a ferociously aggressive and raw vocalist, belting out her lyrics with balls.  Playing through the CD I hear influences from the 80’s hard rock and speed metal bands from the 80’s (Metal Blade label bands), which may explain the thinness I hear in the production, and because of those influences it may indicate the thinness is intentional.  The guitar is rippin’ (I really dig the riffs and solo on “In the Flesh” and “Burnout”), the beats and bass are powerful (the bass lines remind me of Steve Harris), and every tune is geared for motion. 

 Rating 3 (new music to load into my iPod and hit the gym to bang out some reps)   



 “Talk About”

Style (Reggae)

I’m not a fan of Reggae because I find the rhythms and lyrical content in most songs to be too recycled from the past, but for some reason this doesn’t bug me.  By no means are these 13 songs breaking new ground in the reggae genre, but I find Mishka’s music to be comfortable and relaxing without coming across as recycled or wishy washy.  I currently don’t own any reggae, another indication I’m not a fan, but I’m keeping this one in my collection for those afternoons I’m kickin’ around chillin’ by the pool relaxing with an adult beverage.  

 Rating 3 (maybe I’ve turned a corner)