Artist Review: FRND CRCL – “Famous” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

It’s refreshing when a band like FRND CRCL hits the scene to remind us that melodic pop/punk is still alive and well. This articulate quartet of professional musicians not only have a solidified signature sound that is raw and melody-driven, but relentlessly fun and energetic as well. And their newest single “Famous” demonstrates their ability perfectly.

Accompanied by a colorful official music video with some clever meme-themed editing, this song launches into a dangerously catchy chorus that will have a very hard time leaving your head. Combining an indie pop-punk sound reminiscent of genre juggernauts like Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, Neck Deep and others of a similar caliber, FRND CRCL hones a unique style that is memorable, personal and elegantly crafted. The four musicians blend diligently and really showcase a type of self-awareness that most bands lack nowadays. Despite the song title, this band is humble and doesn’t portray an arrogance that leads you believe that they’re out just to chase fame. These dudes have fun with what they’re doing, and this song sends that vibe pretty much instantly.

With a pounding rhythm section, crunchy guitar chops and dual vocal melodies at the forefront throughout the song’s duration, “Famous” sets the bar high for the band and really delves into the band’s ability to write a catchy riff with melody choices that fit like a glove. The verses have a punchy groove and really gives you that rare feeling of intrigue when it comes to tightly knit songs angled more towards the newer era of pop-punk, but still maintains that wit and charm the genre has been known for since it started exploding back in the mid-to-late 90s. Overall, FRND CRCL puts forth a balance and composure that showcases each member’s influence in the band, conjuring a solid rock sound that sustains both originality and familiarity. “Famous” from the very first listen will be very difficult to get out of your head: and will stick with you long after it’s over.

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Artist Review: Chuck W – “Get Your Shit Together!” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

With an exercise in innovation, experimentation and musical stimulation, Long Island’s Chuck W brings forth 4 years of in-depth puzzle pieces in every track of the frenetic, lo-fi synth-travel signature sound of his Get Your Shit Together! LP. An album that not only grabs you with persistent musicality, but imagery as well.

This instrumental album is comprised with a vast array of musical elements that range from clever looping samples, atmospheric textures, groovy tempos and jazz-infused outbursts that top off with a theatrical and at-times industrial edge. The track “Monoarm” is a grungy and multifaceted set of layers that sends us on an audio and visual journey. The ambient mood that underlies in this frantic track really demonstrates Chuck‘s dynamic behind the mixing board, as well as his songwriting structure that touches on many tangible elements that gives this song the push that it needs to enter your brainwaves. It’ll stick with you in a way you can’t really explain, but it’ll easily have you enticed to explore the rest of this album with your antennas for detail up. The rhythmic groove on this song is not only notable, but downright necessary. There are no blanks to fill on this track – Chuck covers all bases on “Monoarm” and really delves into detail that gives him undeniable versatility.

Veering over to the soundtrack-worthy “Jazz For A Rainy Day”, this creepy track lends an arm to a more theatrical take on Chuck‘s signature touch. This one gives you visuals and it really dives deep into the clever songwriting structures that is made apparent throughout the album. This keyboard-driven track really adds a fascinating parallel to the other songs on the album and really adds more concept to this multilayered musical journey.

Get Your Shit Together! is a nostalgic landscape of audio imagery that is immediately gratifying to the experimental sides of our brains. It has a wit and charm that speaks solely through instruments, structure and textures. Once you give this a listen, you won’t quite be the same again. But you’ll keep coming back to this album to go through each measure of detail, trying to capture every puzzle piece of the in-depth structure that Chuck W conjures throughout this album’s duration. You can’t go wrong with this album – there’s nothing else like it.

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Listen to “Monoarm”:

Listen to “Jazz For A Rainy Day”:

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Artist Review: Leaving Zero – “Get Your Body Moving” & “Coming Back For More” Singles

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Some bands know how to grab you by the ears from the very first listen. They say first impressions are the most crucial ones, and can make or break a career when attempting to launch. In this case we have Memphis-based Hard Rock quintet, Leaving Zero, who immediately has hit the ground running.

For a band just starting out with their first two singles, these guys are an absolute mind blow. Their first single, “Get Your Body Moving”, does complete justice to the song title. It’s a heavy concoction of frantic guitar progressions, fierce tones, a heavyweight rhythm section, and a masterful vocal approach that steers the track into mid-to-high range ferocity. Drawing reminiscence to influential rock bands like Shinedown, 3 Doors Down and Stone Sour, Leaving Zero combines many versatile elements that deliver up a signature sound that is recognizable and original in their own right. Chris Autry’s vocals are authentic, full of attitude, and really delves into the band’s overall artistic merit as the cog of the machine. With a dangerously catchy chorus at the centerfold of the song, “Get Your Body Moving” does exactly what it advertises.

Moving on to their subsequent single, “Coming Back For More”, we get the same punch and precision as the predecessor, but this time with a more driving tempo and upbeat key signature. This one has a little more adrenaline but sustains the same amount of charm as the first single. Focusing more on the technical skill set of the drums and guitar work at the helm, this tightly fit track is comfortable like a leather glove and never lets up on the insatiable energy. Autry comes out swinging once again with more tasty vocal melodies that soar through each verse and reach a climactic feat by the time the chorus shows up. It’s a perfect follow-up to the last track and continues to showcase the band’s signature sound and each member’s influence on the overall execution of each song.

One of the most notable factors of these singles is the high quality production value. For a band honing their craft with a prominent hard rock sound in this modern era, the pre and post production is beyond the norm and exceeds expectations for a band just starting out. It sets the bar high for the band, and they are more than ready to reach those heights very few bands in this era really do. Both of these songs have mainstream potential and Leaving Zero is definitely a band I can see labels taking an interest in.

I’ve been in many bands for the last 23 years, and this is the type of group I’d love to write/jam/perform with. And trust me…I’m picky. Leaving Zero is just starting out, but not without a bang. Fans of this band will be impatiently waiting for a full length album, just like we are. You won’t regret giving these guys a listen.

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Artist Review: Alpha Circle – “Circles” Single

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

It’s a breath of fresh air when we come across a band or artist with true authenticity. A collective group with a nostalgic signature sound that brings us back to the good old days when good old fashioned quality songwriting was on the priority list. Alt/Rock quartet Alpha Circle is one of those cases, and for good reason.

With ambient reverb-accompanied guitar swells, a groovy rhythm section and intelligently crafted clean vocal melodies, this band’s newest single “Circles” is a massive sigh of relief in comparison to what we hear in today’s music market. This quartet of professional musicians come together to deliver a track that is not only effective, but sustainably catchy in its own right from the very first listen.

Alpha Circle is a rare find, a group that is true to themselves in a way that brilliantly reflects on their music in a way that shows the band in its forefront of artistic merit, musicianship quality, and versatility all wrapped up into one tastefully catchy package. With clean and crisp vocals driving the song forward from the very second “Circles” begins to play out, this track truly demonstrates the collective cog of the machine between all four musicians that bring their own diverse additives to the table. The rhythm section is tightly knit and cruises through each measure, the dueling guitar tracks are very effective and deliver their own standout when it comes to the track’s atmospheric textures, all topped off with vocal melodies that are especially strong in the chorus – which is definitely the highlight of this song.

One thing that is made apparent throughout the duration of “Circle” however is atmosphere – a feel-good vibe that not only carries the song, but pieces it together perfectly as well. It’s the type of song that never gets old. It utilizes an almost oldies sound, more reminiscent of 90s Indie Rock, with the perfect touch of today’s more favorable rock-infused touches. It’s a tasty combination that truly delivers up a sound that is flavorful, eloquent, and original in its own right as well as familiar to the music listener in search of nostalgia.

Another factor of this track is the authentic production value – there is no cheesy auto tune or post production theatrics needed to enhance the song into some electronic mess. It’s four musicians playing what they love, and each member shines on this single without the overuse of studio antics. A rare quality in today’s music industry.

“Circle” is a more than solid single that is driving Alpha Circle forward with diligence and are determined to bring the masses a future of unforgettable music releases. Once you take a listen to this song yourself – you’ll definitely see why these guys are well on their way to something much bigger.

Connect with Alpha Circle:

Listen to the single:

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Artist Review: The Jive Aces – “Diggin’ The Roots Volume 1 & 2” LPs

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Don’t just go back to your roots – dig them!

We’ve heard a lot of today’s takes on classic songs from many new age contemporary artists, as well as tribute bands and cover artists putting their own spin on yesterday’s hits from many calibers of genres with a fresh additive or two. Some do it well, some fall flat, and then there’s the few and far between gem that comes out swinging with the charms of both yesterday’s and today’s most influential eras wrapped up into one super tight package. That, my friends, is The Jive Aces.

This UK-based band are definitely not a bunch of randies by any means. Renowned worldwide for their high-energy spectacular showmanship, this elite group has garnered an enormous following from a combination of acclaims including their viral video for the track “Bring Me Sunshine” and for also being the first live band to reach the final rounds of “Britain’s Got Talent”. Since then, The Jive Aces have firmly established themselves as the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band, and show no indication of slowing down their momentum anytime soon.

So with a résumé like that, you know there has to be something of theirs worth putting on your playlist. And their 2-Volume LPs Diggin’ The Roots are shining examples of their tightly knit signature sound of songs we’ve all come to know and love over many, many years. Boasting into today’s production value while maintaining that old school influential charm, we get a more than solid performance on both records comprised of eclectically professional musicians that absolutely own their roles on every track to deliver a sound that not only resonates with the classic each song became long ago, but with a whole new realm of energy and technique that gets us to appreciate them all over again in a whole new way, in a whole new era.

Diggin’ The Roots is exactly as advertised. They are tracks that have brought on endless inspiration and appreciation among a majority of today’s prominent artists and are the roots to their stories. On The Jive Aces Volume 1 record, RockinRhythm & Blues, we get a tastefully blended album of 13 tracks with many flavorful additives. Classic tunes on Volume 1 include smash hits “Jump, Jive & Wail”, “Feelin’ Happy”, “I Want You To Be My Baby”, and many others of the same caliber. Led by lead vocalist Ian Clarkson, who also takes up roles on trumpet and ukulele, his clean and vibrant voice in the forefront of every song really solidifies the band’s approach. The right rhythm section really paves the way for the rest of the band, and really puts the proper backing behind Clarkson’s effective vocal takes and melody placements. With hot piano leads, an anthemic brass section and funky fiddles added to the mix, this fresh look at some of our favorite Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues tracks will definitely get you up off of your feet and own the dance floor.

On their Volume 2 record, Hot Jazz, we get the same Jive Aces vibe with their tight grasp on 13 more classic tunes that combine equal parts originality and familiarity, just like Volume 1. Staying true to form like the previous chapter of this 2-part release, we get an instrumentally versatile execution of fan favorites from the classic Jazz era that includes “Jeepers Creepers”, “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” and “It’s Been A Long, Long Time“. Both of these records absolutely compliment each other and bring a brand new timeless edge to every perfected measure. The showmanship factors are undeniable and one thing that screams from these releases are the words “INCREDIBLE LIVE SHOW”. Diggin’ The Roots really brings out each member’s musicianship abilities and when put together, collectively bring out a stick dynamite just ready to go off at every event they play. And their devoted fan base and successful career milestones reflect that. But one of the most notable things about The Jive Aces is their authenticity – there is no wacky autotune, no oversaturated production techniques, and absolutely no cheat methods whatsoever being used. This band can produce live exactly what they do in the studio, which is a rare thing in today’s digital age of music.

The Jive Aces are the breath of fresh air you’ve been needing for a long time. They are a standout of their caliber, and once you take a listen to both volumes of Diggin’ The Roots, you’ll see and hear exactly why they are the UK’s number 1 Jive & Swing band.

Connect with The Jive Aces:

•Link to Volume 1: http://jiveaces.com/album/518834/diggin-the-roots-vol-1-rockin-rhythm-blues

•Link to Volume 2: http://jiveaces.com/album/518835/diggin-the-roots-vol-2-hot-jazz

•Official Website: http://www.jiveaces.com

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Artist Review: Katie Veltri – “3rd & Fairfax” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Taking a very simplistic yet nostalgic approach, acclaimed singer/songwriter Katie Veltri has put an anthemic spin with her brand new single, “3rd & Fairfax”.

Katie is no novice-leveled musical dabbler. From releasing a well received full length album this past year and also tackling legendary covers like John Lennon’s “Imagine” and others, Katie has independently constructed herself an enormously impressive platform since she hit the ground running. Her newest single, “3rd & Fairfax”, is a brilliant demonstration of her versatility, angelic vocals and lyrical structures, as well as overall craft.

With beautiful piano progressions that tailor’s to a more rotund low end soundtrack worthy approach, his track is definitely one that makes Katie a very noticeable standout. It’s peaceful, magical, and isn’t convoluted with an array of overproduced elements or multiple instruments to take you away from Katie‘s vocal spirit. It’s a song that really brings you relaxation, fascination, and a multifaceted aura to her presence that is rare among today’s artists. This single is the perfect example of that old saying: less is more. We want to hear Katie, without the unnecessary noise, post production theatrics, or any sort of distractions. We want to hear an artist’s overall craft and signature sound that can really grow on you – and make you wanna delve deeper into an artist’s catalogue, as well as future prospects. And “3rd & Fairfax” is definitely a song that will entice you into finding out more about Katie; be it her music, passions, or personality.

This single is currently available on Spotify and other platforms, and we highly encourage our readers to really give Katie the attention she truly deserves. Her artistic merit is genuine, her musical factors are addictive, and she’ll definitely be an artist you’ll be sticking with once you get a grasp onto her overall sound.

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Artist Review: Circle The City – “Home” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With a dynamically Alt/Indie-Rock infused sound with a knack for subtle sweetness and multifaceted writing techniques, Canadian quartet Circle The City really puts a naturally boasted change to the game with their current buzzing single, “Home”.

Based out of Sarnia, Ontario and comprised of a powerhouse lineup featuring Riley Thompson (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Harold Collins (Guitar), Nathan Yeadon (Bass Guitar)), and Jesse Mootrey (Drums/Percussion), these four versatile musicians brilliantly delve into a chemistry that really shines through their flavorful, catchy signature sound and songwriting structures that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity; giving their audience a taste of something fresh yet still identifiable.

With a cleverly executed mix of sultry Jazz vocals, melodically thorough guitar compositions, funky jazz breakdowns and a pounding rhythm section that is tightly crafted, Circle The City is anything but the next ordinary run-of-the-mill band you’ve heard far too often. This female fronted group has a balance and composure that really sustains a foundation that’ll grow on you from the very first listen.

Their single “Home” is a perfect demonstration of this. The song has a Jazzy vibe that is seductive, engaging, and really visceral with an aura that showcases their style in a way that is not only effective, but very memorable as well. It’s the type of song you’ll keep coming back to time and time again, and find new ways of appreciating it. It’ll also entice you to also check out their discography of prior releases, as well as their future prospects. The band delivers up a sound that’ll capture your undivided attention, and stay with you.

And that’s another notable fact about “Home” – their staying power. The ability to stay with you even after the song is over. Similar to movies that are not only re-watchable, but also gets better every time. And that’s one of the defining factors of the power that this single gives off. Another key element for this track is the natural production value. There are no post-production theatrics or noisy plugins that take away from their naturally gifted sound, and really shines the spotlight on each band member’s ability. You get to hear true chemistry from the band as a whole as each measure comes together beautifully with a writing style that really resonates with a brilliant original take on the Alt/Indie and Rock influenced genres. Once you take a listen to “Home” yourself, you’ll see (and hear) exactly why Circle the City is an absolute standout of their caliber. The single is currently available on several digital music retailers and streaming platforms. You’ll be more than glad we sent you in their direction.

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