Black Heart Saints- “Alive”(2017)

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Josh “Mr. Sexy” Ross – Vocals
Mark Sean – Guitar
EJ Laurel – Bass
Nathan “Nasty Nate” Flores – Drums

The end of waiting is here!!

Black Heart Saints has triumphantly released their album “Alive” at long last!!

Some may remember the review I did for their EP in January 2016. Now they are back.

And it has more scorching hits on it than a Texas summer heat wave. Finally, and I mean  FINALLY a full length album to review.

Nine tracks and two covers. An excellent way to get a band’s discography off the ground and running. A fascinating intro and lead off track that will make you stop whatever it is you are doing and listen intently as it busts into the next track called “One Last Thrill” which has recently been played at live shows to get your blood pumping and in the mood.

I cannot say enough praise for the rest of the tracks that follow, such as “Travelin’ On” (which is the album’s lead single) and “Quicksand” and “Call To Arms”. The latter couple of the aforementioned tracks becoming my personal favorites.

The sweltering voice of vocalist Josh Ross, aka Mr. Sexy, captures the heart and soul of the term best described as American rock and roll. With a cast of uber talented musicians with Mark Sean on guitar,  Nasty Nate on drums, and EJ Laurel slinging  some heavy bomb beat on the bass guitar.

Sean’s guitar solos are a force!! He has molded the craft on his instrument into a shining gold star. EJ Laurel also lending a hand with some backing vocals. Everything comes all together in one mighty strong effort that will keep your attention from beginning to end, and have you wanting more.

And I cannot forget the special guest appearance musician of Haydn Vitera on violin for the tracks “Quicksand” and “Call To Arms”. (Just between you and me a tour combining VITERA with Black Heart Saints would an excellent show.)

“Come Together” by The Beatles and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder does not disappoint. And I also believe it exudes great light on the band’s own personal musical influences, and they are vast.

I am excited to see where this will lead them. They start a tour in a few days which will lead them to Sturgis this year and back again. So keep an eye out for them as they hit the road.

And you will see what I am talking about through and through.

Solid album. Again another 4 Black Hearts out of 4. ♥♥♥♥

Check them out at:

Black Heart Saints

 

 

 

 

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The Reverent Few (2016-EP)

Vocals: Paige DeChausse

Guitar, Vocals: Nick Boettcher

Guitar, Vocals: David Jimenez

Bass: Amanda Darnell

Drums: John Kalny

This EP is your once in a lifetime shining star. It is also the exception to my rule.

For your absolute listening pleasure to the point of audio orgasm, comes along a blues/rock band with their leads hailing from Chicago, Illinois area transplanted into Austin, Texas just a couple of years ago or so.

The Reverent Few is truly a local treasure. A hidden gem from much of the world. And its the job of reviews such as this, to speak the word to the rest of the listening world to spread what has turned into the year’s best EP purchase of 2016!!!

Exploding out of the gates with a seriously addicting and toe-tapping tune of “Marjorie” to the soulful tear-producing ballad of “I’ll Bring The Wine (Why Can’t You Love Me),” The Reverent Few is the complete definition of magical mastery in music. An all-star collection that is sure to reach the deepest parts of your soul. It truly is sexy soul with rock and roll.

Worth every cent. Check them out here.

Ten snake bites out of ten. YOU NEED TO BUY THIS NOW!!


One-Eyed Doll: Witches (2015)

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Kimberly Freeman- Guitar, Banjo, Lead Vocals
Jason “Junior” Rufus Sewell- Drums, Bass, Synths, Organ, Mandolin Backing Vocals, “Ember” sermon

The album “Witches” by One-Eyed Doll was released on the 24th of March. One-Eyed Doll also currently supporting the album with a cross-country tour through May 2015.

I had the opportunity to catch them at the Heart of Texas Rockfest 2015 during the SXSW Music Festival as they swept through the state and across the southern United States. I was fortunate enough to land my hands on the album days before the official release. So to bring home a physical copy of the album was quite the treat. And I’ve been deeply involved with it for the last week and more.

Most recently I took the album with me at an excursion to the grocery store. Plugged into my ears, I listened intently as I browsed up and down the aisles. Being there long enough for me to go through the album in its entirety, twice. Needless to say, it is the only thing I’ve listened to since then.

The complexity of the album grows with each track through the conceptual idea of telling the story of the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria that actually took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.

I even love the fact that the tracks are listed on the back of the CD cover in Roman numerals. Eleven tracks in total. 43 minutes in length. Exactly 43 minutes.

I did read in another article/interview that Kimberly Freeman mentioned that the lyrics are based on historic research from what was saved in Salem, as well as her own point of view from each person that was involved in the hysteria.

The first track “Ember” begins with this somber feeling which transports you back into 17th Century Colonial-American period. A preacher’s voice can be heard victimizing its congregation that the Devil is in fact real.

As it builds and continues right into the second track “Prayer” which takes on a tone of its own. A chilling account of the different main characters of the story being told, with their so-called prayers as they suffer from the situation that has befallen them. The screaming and snarling heard vocally gets your blood pumping and it blows your mind to what it had to be like for the children of Salem to have “suffered” what they went through.

(Personally though, I would like to know if they did or did not sample a part of Walt Disney’s “Snow White” for a line or two behind the music. I could be way off.)

“Black In The Rye” brings One-Eyed Doll back to their usual metal sound. The interesting bit would be the theory of the rye being diseased by something called “Ergot” which has the same properties as the drug LSD. They lived off their land, and the theory could be that the crops were suffering this disease and it could give an explanation as to why the children of Salem were going through their fits of insanity and bewitching. An interesting theory indeed. This track is currently being played live on stage during their current tour.

“More Weight” taken from the actual words of one of the many who were executed for witchcraft. Giles Corey however was pressed to death, having stones laid upon his body until his body was crushed by the weight, rather than hanged like the others. Instead of confessing as his accusers were wanting, he insisted more weight of stones be pressed against him until he finally perished.

So far this is my favorite track on the album. As well as bits from “Prayer.” I find the lyrics to “Prayer” incorporating the different point of views to be totally haunted. Again with “Stillness” the lyrical content has successfully either caused tears to come forth or send shivers up my spine and literally cause me to fall to the floor… of which I am certain that if the 17th Century Puritan ministers would have seen it, would have thought that “I” was bewitched.

Other tracks give off this kind of Blues feeling with the prominent instrument being a banjo. Tracks such as “Remember” and “Stillness” show off the refulgent and undeniable talent of the duo. ONEEYEDDOLL_color1_resized

Kimberly Freeman’s vocals are spot on and both nostalgic and memorable. Captivating, strong, and very lethal in a sense to be able to tell the story of the entire album track by track. Knowing that “Junior” is basically the band’s “Jack of All Trades” when it comes to musical abilities. He includes his majestic music playing many instruments on the album.

The idea of having a concept album works! With each track like its own chapter of the story, you’re transported away with pleasing music and astonishing story telling by Kimberly Freeman. You spend all of those 43 minutes immersed in your own mind wondering what it would have been like to have been alive during all of the events that took place.

I personally believe that this album will be raising awareness to the story told. A story that is sadly and unfortunately no longer told in schools today, but was in fact discussed during my school days as a youth. Once a person listens to this album, it will cause Internet searches to rise in numbers so that they could earn more information of what honestly happened.

The album is a definite must have. I would score it an actual 103 out of 100, due to the chills and scares it gave me while listening to it sincerely the first time. The tears, the shivers, and the wondering.

Plus, there is no other feeling like getting chills up and down your spine when you listen to music, getting goosebumps, and having the strongest desire to weep while you’re in the bread aisle of the local grocery store.

So whether you are interested in the history of the Salem Witch Trials or just a fan of good music, then don’t hesitate and buy the album. It can be purchased by Standby Records.

http://standbyrecords.merchnow.com/

You simply cannot pass this album by.