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Saturday, November 04, 2006


“It scares me so that I can do without your love"

I posted the track Disco Boy by The Paper Faces during the first months of this site's inception. Since then, the song's become a hit on Swedish radio and the band has gone on to release their first ep. I like to think I had a little something to do with that (aren't delusions of granduer great?). Anyway, their new song has just been released and, although it's not in the exact same vain as Disco Boy, it's an equally catchy follow-up. The band meld a healthy dose of Swedish pop with some 60's elements (as well as a strong new wave influence). The piano in particular adds a little something special to this song. Sort of like a strange amalgamation between McFly, Melody Club and The Rolling Stones.

The Paper Faces - Breakin' Up

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Ella Rouge - Ella Rouge
Release Date: October 26, 2005
Label: Moby Dick

Ella Rouge’s debut fades in with a spacey synthesizer line reminiscent of the Who’s Baba O’Riley, which quickly transforms into the mini prog-rock sing-along That’s Me With The Gun. As album openers go, they really couldn’t have done much better. Ella Rouge wears its seventies influences on its sleeve. And why not? Lead singer Ludvig Anderson is the son of Benny Anderson, one fourth of Abba, one of the biggest seventies groups of all time.

Ella Rouge revel in the classic piano rock of vintage Billy Joel and Supertramp. They’re at their best delivering songs like Eldorado High and Jekyll N Hyde, pop-rockers with the kind of indelible melodies that would make them hits in any generation. Similarly, L.A. Dogs sounds like Rob Thomas at his funkiest and Light The Fuses 82’s is an anthem in waiting. Like their inspirations, Ella Rouge have a softer side as well. Some of these moments work brilliantly (the old fashioned power ballads Famous Jack and Holly Golightly), while some do nothing more than slow down the band’s momentum (Manhatten and Gender Jaded).

With limp bands like Five For Fighting and The Fray currently locking up the radio, Ella Rouge should take their place as the rightful superior in this trend of piano rock. While the album isn’t perfect (a different -and tad shorter- running order would take care of that), it does herald the arrival of a band with limitless potential, a band who realizes the importance of classic pop melody. And, in these times of blippy catchphrase songwriting, sometimes that’s all it takes. B+

Key Tracks: Eldorado High, That’s Me With The Gun, Jekyll N Hyde

Friday, November 03, 2006


“I cannot have your feelings"

Lash hail from Gothenburg, Sweden (the city I first saw the glorious Ark in this past spring) and specialize in melodic, elegant pop music. They don't have an album out yet but instead have released five eps (one of them released just last week, actually). Head is from their first release and proves to be quite the pop/rock workout. I must admit the lyrics above are a bit of a crap shoot, as it's hard to understand exactly what Andreas is singing. Whatever it is, it sounds great... whether it's dirty or clean or whatever! Plus, one of the best promo shots I've seen above... gotta love it when bands put a bit of effort into posing!

Lash - Head

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


“Eldorado high, won't you let me linger"

Ella Rouge are a new band from Sweden who seem to love the seventies. This is, of course, wonderful... as their music is carved from similar territory as England's The Feeling. Lead singer Ludvig Andersson is the son of Abba's Benny Anderson, but don't expect the music to sound the same (though that definitely wouldn't be a bad thing). Eldorado High (though strongly mimicking Robbie Williams' Jesus In A Camper Van in the verses) is pure rock and roll nostalgia. With a soaring chorus and catchy piano refrain, it will linger with you for a long time. Expect an in-depth review of the band's debut album soon.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell III - The Monster Is Loose
Release Date: October 31, 2006
Label: Virgin Records

Meat Loaf returns fourteen years after the second installment of the Bat Out Of Hell Trilogy with the grand finale. And, I’m saddened to report that The Monster Is Loose is more akin to The Matrix: Revolutions than The Return Of The King. After two stunning rock/schlock operas, Mr. Loaf seems to have lost the plot.

The record begins with enough epic flourishes to hint that great things are ahead. The opening title track is a nice stab at bringing Meat Loaf’s trademark fist-pumping rock into the new millennium. But, things quickly veer off from there. Whereas the first two parts of the trilogy masterfully hedged the line between “kewl” and “annoying,” the majority of Monster ends up being pretty obnoxious. Lowlights include a dreary cover of the Steinman-penned It’s All Coming Back To Me Now (I hate to say it, but Celine’s version positively lords over this new one) and ridiculous tracks like Blind As A Bat and In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King (from an aborted Batman musical - aborted for a reason). These songs are at least memorable. Most of Monster is completely forgettable, a feat that actually deserves some praise given the overblown kitchen-sink production and endless running times.

The record improves toward the end, with the gothic Monstro segueing into the Elton-boogie/choral orgy of Alive, the album’s best song. But, it’s not nearly enough to kick some life into Monster’s indifferent finale. Perhaps he’ll find another project befitting his unique talents and recapture some of the glory of his past works, but Monster isn’t it. Throw it out, this Meat Loaf’s stale. C-

Key Tracks: Alive, The Monster Is Loose, Monstro
I've decided to test out a new #1 Hits feature today. My thinking is that it would be great to know which songs/artists are most popular with my readers. That way I can make sure I keep posting things that people are actually interested in! Plus, it will be fun to see which song "wins" each week. This may crash and burn and become irrelevant, but please vote for your favorite track of the week (for last week) and we'll see if it catches on!
Track of the Week (Oct. 22nd-28th)
Free polls from


“Don't make me wait for so long"

Introducing the first Polish band to be featured on this site. And, they're a good one, too. The Car Is On Fire's new single is the kind of breezy electronic/acoustic number that manages to be at once danceable and chill-out. It's a simple song but builds towards the end to become more and more anthematic. The band's about to release its second album on November 17th in Europe and (hopefully) around the world soon after. And, judging from the promo picture, the song's success is even more startling from a band with no heads.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Monster Mash

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - The Time Warp

Michael Jackson - Thriller

I'll end this countdown with a trio of Halloween songs that everyone must have. I can't imagine a Halloween going by without listening to these (and watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show). I hope everyone (that celebrates it) has a great Halloween. Carve those pumpkins and don't eat too much candy!!

The Official #1 Hits Halloween Playlist:

Tim Curry - Anything Can Happen On Halloween

Sonique - I Put A Spell On You

The Similou - Haunted House

Dave Matthews Band - Halloween

Michael Hutchence - The Passenger

Blondie (ft. Coolio) - No Exit

Cher - Dark Lady

Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban (Soundtrack) - Double Trouble

Sparks - The Ghost Of Liberace

Giorgio Moroder - Chase

Allstars - Things That Go Bump In The Night

Prodigy - Breathe

Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween

Rob Zombie - Superbeast

David Bowie - Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

Aerosmith - Boogie Man

The Who - Boris The Spider

Superheroes - Ghost

Robin Black - Hellraiser

Aqua - Halloween

Alice Cooper - Feed My Frankenstein

Michael Jackson - Is It Scary

Pop*Star*Kids - Dance Like You're Dead

Kylie Minogue & Nick Cave - Where The Wild Roses Grow

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Halloween

Yoko Kanno - Next Time

The Faint - Southern Belles In London Sing

Meat Loaf - Back Into Hell

Heaven 17 - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Smashing Pumpkins - Tear


“Monkeys need to dance and so do you”

I've got an older track for you today. Johnossi are a Swedish rock duo whose sound is pretty raw but still uses great pop melodies. Man Must Dance is probably their most instant song and was a hit on Swedish radio a few summers ago. it's got a real classic sound to it, reminding me of something I've heard before... but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's one of those songs that will definitely stick with you after only one listen. The guys are about to embark upon a European tour and recently (well, somewhat recently) rereleased their debut with two bonus tracks.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Monday, October 30, 2006


“When you touch me, I feel gorgeous”

Valeze are about to release their first ep and, although this particular song is not on it, it's still a release to watch out for. The band play punky dance pop reminiscent in tone to early No Doubt but with a punkier edge. Lead singer Tiffany Randol has been described as "Axl Rose with tits," which frankly scares the hell out of me. This song, though, is ridiculously catchy and reminds me of a throwback to late nineties bands like Garbage and The Start. And, the band looks fantastic in that picture.

Valeze - Gorgeous

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the eps here.)

Song #30

Smashing Pumpkins - Tear

This song used to freak me out so bad when I was younger. I think it's the minimalist opening, like a dark, empty hallway. It may not be directly related to Halloween, but it is eerie and will always remind me of this time of year.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


“Take, take some time, remember who you used to be”

Another Season are a new, young Toronto-based band (what is it with all of this great music coming out of Toronto?). They adhere mostly to the 80’s, synth driven sound that so many bands nowadays favor. It’s not a bad thing, as they sound both polished and catchy. Belfountain is my favorite track from the ones I’ve heard, even though it doesn’t appear to be on their debut album. Still, a band to look for in the future…

Another Season - Belfountain

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #29

Heaven 17 - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Here's a dance cover to add to the list of death-obsessed (yet fun!) music for Halloween. Gloriously cheesy and anthematic, it's a perfect compliment to the original rock version.