Search for the Hidden Gem (2014 – vol# 3)

Written by on March 27, 2014 in March 27, 2014, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Search for the Hidden Gem (2014 – vol# 3)

R.I.P Oderus!

Altered Five

“Gotta Earn It”
Style (Blues)

When I think Milwaukee I think brats and Bernie Brewer sliding into that vat of beer after a home run back in the day. Blues is honestly nowhere on my radar however. Luckily I came across this 2012 release just the other day and I’m glad I did. Jeff Taylor has a awesome blues voice reminiscent of blues from back in the day. And the guitar work from Jeff Schroedl is outstanding with a contemporary sound. Some blues are best heard in a dark, dank bar with rusty bar stools. This however is the type of blues I want to hear when I’m kickin’ it at a sunny Saturday jazz and blues festival sipping rose and chardonnay getting my groove on with my lady.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem)

Melvin Taylor

“Taylor Made”
Style (Blues / Jazz)

Expressive, comfortable, exquisite technique, effortlessly flowing from one note to the next is how I’d describe Taylor’s mastery of the guitar. There’s something special about a self taught musician (starting from the age of 8) who’s this talented and has been producing original music (and receive numerous awards) for over 30 years. I’ve had this CD playing in the office numerous times over the last couple days and if I didn’t have to plow through the pile of CD’s piling up I wouldn’t have taken this out of my CD player.

Rating 4 ½ (Hidden Gem!)

Digital Collapse

Style (Rock / Alt)

A short four song EP along the same genre heard on today’s alternative rock stations. The songs are OK but missing uniqueness to really get me excited.

Rating 2


“Wake the Dogs”
Style (Rock / Indie / Pop)

Dipping their collective toes into numerous musical pools, this German band has put together a new collection of tracks with influences dipping into punk, pop, a little anthem beer hall rock, and the contemporary alternative rock. I’m not at all familiar with this groups discography but since they’ve been around since 1993 I’m guessing the newer sound I hear is either resulting from fresh blood in the band or maybe pop’s picked up something from juniors iPod playlist. I’m not put off by what I hear although because the genre’s seem to bounce around a bit it’s not entirely something I’m gonna latch onto. I do dig the beer hall anthem style songs like “Into the Grey.” It’s always a good time in my opinion tossing back a few cold lagers yelling along with the band on stage banging out some raucous tunes.

Rating 2

Arrow Haze

“Music Factory”
Style (Rock)

An interesting mix of classic rock inspired style with a heavy dose of vocal reverb giving these tracks a dream like sound. I don’t know if this stuff sells in Belgium where this band is from but I’m not going to be too quick to toss this aside. Camping at Bombay Beach during the tilapia die off is a unique experience. A true bucket list topper for sure. However, that experience gets the TripAdvisor Double Gold when blasting this 14 track CD through the ol’Alpines in my 1976 Ford LTD station wagon. If the wagons a’rockin don’t come a’knockin!

Rating 2 (welcome to the side stage at the Salton Sea Battle of the Bands extravaganza)


“As Is” EP
Style (healing / spiritual)

I read online the concept for this 5 song EP was simply to record the songs “as is.” I’m all for the return to the basic mantra and I get recording songs “as is.” However, unless you’re really a talented musician, a broke musician with limited funds and recording time, or the Foo Fighters with an analogue 2” recorder with plenty of time and capital to invest in bulking recording equipment and expensive 2” audio tape recording “as is” really is a crap shoot. Tyagaraja’s song writing and high pitch droning vocals are desperately in need of some protools studio time. About the only thing I’m getting from this short EP is a damn headache. Note to self – pack ear plugs for the Healing Rock Music Festival. And don’t even get me started on naming yourself after a 1767 Indian Carnartic music composer.

Rating 1 ½ (I like the concept but giving me a headache is the opposite of healing)