Search for the Hidden Gem (2013 – vol# 1)

Written by on February 7, 2013 in February 7, 2013, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2013 – vol# 1)

These are dark times folks.  No more football until August.  NOOOOO!!!!

10 Years

“Minus the Machine”
Style (Rock)

What is up with that name?  Does the band name change if they’re together for 15 or 20 years?  Band name aside I’m diggin’ the songs on their 6th studio record.  In my ears the songs have a particular mainstream quality without being too commercial and overplayed.  The production is top notch with each song screamin’ to be played live on stage.  Maybe there’s something in good productions I’m drawn to like a moth to a flame, but this is a great example of a band getting it right with their production to maximize and enhance the potential of each song.  Each time I played through this CD I’m envisioning them live on stage.  The song writing structure beginning with the title track and continuing through to the last song is very well done and consistent.

Rating 3 ½ (really impressed with the vocals)

Hollywood Kill

Style (WTF???)

This is why the digital age sucks balls because anyone with a protools program, a Macbook Pro, five finger discount sampling ability, and delusional belief they have something musical the public should hear can record crap like this when they should be doing something more constructive like laundry.  Seriously, those dirty cloths aren’t going to wash themselves.  Don’t be so cruel man!!  Help out all those socks desperately screaming for attention and a little detergent and a cling free dryer sheet.  Plus if you get your laundry done then you’ll have clean clothes for the apocalyptic doomsday whenever it comes to fruition.

Rating 0 (and stop using Hollywood in your band name)

Death Valley High

“Doom, in Full Bloom”
Style (Rock / Indie)

The band’s ridiculous gothic doom and gloom poser look with stupid blood bandages are absolutely ridiculous and they should be ridiculed in public for this look until they change it.  Musically though the songs aren’t terrible.  Living here in SoCal I’d categorize the songs as late night KROQ sounding minus the overplayed mainstream effect.  The energy is uptempo, the vocals are in tune, and the music fits well with the alternative music genre.  Missing however is the much needed commercial hook to draw the fireflies in close, but the base core sounds like it’s there, and with more time and development there may be some promise for the future if the overplayed KROQ music palette is the desired musical course.

Rating 2 ½ (not bad but the poser look has to go!)

Stevie Tombstone

Style (folk / country / blues)

I really love Tombstone’s smooth and easy flowing low key vocals and how masterfully they’re mixed with the acoustic guitar playing.  I’ve played this CD a few times and each time I hear these 11 tracks I can’t but feel like I’m sitting on a porch hearing someone spin a yarn.  The songs and lyrics are simple and comfortable and exceptionally performed with a rich and perfect fullness.  Too many times the pickle barrel gets over stuffed and those fat pickles get dented and smooshed and aren’t as appetizing as the perfectly shaped pickles.  This new CD by Tombstone is filled with the perfect amount of quality vocals, excellent lyrics and top notch easy picking acoustic guitar.  No smooshed pickles here.

Rating 4 ½ (HIDDEN GEM!!)

The Cheats

“Pussy Foolin!”
Style (punk / rock)

Ah yes, some good ol’ raucous rock and roll music that screams the need for a pint with a Jameson chaser, lots of jumping around hollering at the top of your lungs, and if you ain’t having a good time get the fuck out attitude.  I love how this monster takes off and never lets off the accelerator until the very last note.  Fire breathing and knife throwing require a calmness and steady hand.  This is fire breathing and knife throwing gassed up with rocket fuel missing a few little piggies.  Music with this much energy, fun songs, and a great lively attitude always puts a smile on my face.