Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: “How A Stranger Is Made” by Luis Mojica

Luis Mojica is an artist who found his musical roots in New York City’s East Village. His first album, Wholesome, came in August 2016 following a tour with the avant-garde cello band Rasputina. That album featured beat boxing and vocals. A few years later on October 4th 2019, he released his second album “How a Stranger Is Made”. What did we think of it? Here goes!

This album is not for the faint hearted, the choices that Luis makes when it comes to what is on each track really proves interesting. Some of the compositions you’d expect to hear some roaring distorted guitar, yet this has been replaced with piano. This is not some album you can just skip through, no you’ve got to listen to it and focus.

There’s no doubt that Luis’ vocals are shining throughout this release, especially with the various layers present in “Shaman Food”. However at times it does feel like more could be added, but that’s just us. You’d almost expect a bigger wall of sound for some of these epic compositions.

The production of this album is excellent, the mix and master of each track very carefully done and it really pays off. Which can only be expected given it was done so by Grammy Award winner Justin Guip and Fredo Viola.

For musos, this album is something to listen to with deep concentration to really appreciate what journey each track takes you on. However for casual listeners and those with very specific palettes, it may be tricky to get into.

You can listen to “How A Stranger Is Made” by Luis Mojica on SoundCloud and Spotify. You can also follow Luis on Instagram and be sure to visit his official website!

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Review: “Hidden Gems” by Frances Ancheta

Frances Ancheta is an artist from San Francisco, CA. To date, she has released three albums. Her debut album “Now We’re Here” was released on July 16th 2008, followed by “Patterns” on December 31st 2011. On January 15th 2020, almost a decade later, she released her latest album “Hidden Gems”.

The eleven track album begins with “Strong Brave Soul”, a decent start to this release with a catchy melody for the chorus. The album flows with the sort of acoustic, singer/songwriter vibe. The third track “Back Again (You Never Went Away) has a really nice chord progression that really grabs your attention. A really sweet “West Coast” sound for sure is present here.

Track five, “I Remember Your Face” is where the album appears to change course. A sound that can only be described as an audible nod to George Harrison’s later work. Really nice guitar tone on it too! The following track “The First to Make Me Smile” returns to the previous vibe, not a bad thing, a noticeable shift back to the more acoustic James Taylor-esque sounds.

The other tracks on this album sort of have the same kinda sound, which is what you typically would want from an artist. However, the final track has something special in store for you! Yes, there’s some synth! A really nice touch adding some textures to the track.

All in all, “Hidden Gems” is a good release. It seems like a well produced album, the mixes are decent and it sounds professionally done. For those of you looking for some nice chill tunes for your playlist, this is the album you want to check out! Nicely done Frances!

Be sure to check out Hidden Gems on Spotify and YouTube. Follow Frances Ancheta on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. You can also visit her official website!

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REVIEW: “Forgiveness” by Deep C Divers

Happy new year one and all and what better way to kick off the new year than with a review! Deep C Divers are a rock band from Boston, USA. They’re made up of Deep Chinappa (lead vocals), Paul Erlich (lead guitar), Gregg Marcus (bass), John Bordage (Drums), Bruce Scofield (part-time bass). Today, we’re taking a look at their track “Forgiveness” – what did we think of it? Here goes!

The song kicks off with piano and solemn vocals. Let’s not beat about the bush here – it’s a ballad, what do you expect? The song subject is as it says in the title. There are themes in the lyrics including, but not limited to, religion. Sometimes the lyrics feel rushed in the lyrics and honestly often comes across pretty cheesy.

Musically speaking, it holds up relatively okay. The instruments sound dry, not much reverb or effects done post-production from what we can tell from the mix. The drums are well at the back of the mix. Though we’re pretty sure they were recorded live, the mix does not do it any justice. The bass holds the tune down really well. The form itself sound like a throwback to an ELO tune. The guitar feels a bit restrained in the solo, we’re not sure if the guitar was recorded live via an amp or through a direct interface but it sounds like the latter. The way the song is written sounds like it wants to kick off towards the end and it comes close but never really gets there. There’s some strings in the song but it gets lost in the mix. Everything is hiding behind the vocals.

So much potential in one song, yet falls short. Perhaps hiring a producer may serve them better. The track is okay, give it a listen and judge for yourself.

“Forgiveness” by Deep C Divers was released on December 16th 2019. You can listen to it on YouTube and Spotify. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to check out their official site!

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REVIEW: “Neon” by Pet Robot

Pet Robot was formed in 2017, the Brooklyn band consists of Nathan Lacy, Sam Phelps, Ray Clark and Dwayne Bush. Each providing their own influences culminating in their unique “Indie Disco Rock” sound. On November 22nd 2019, they released their latest single “Neon”. What did we think of it? Here goes!

The track begins with a sort of lo-fi track, before shortly hitting you with the full weight of the band. A strong start indeed and gives you a clear idea of what to expect from Pet Robot. The track is groovy, there’s no doubt. The way the singer approaches this song seems to be at odds with the track’s groove, or so you may think initially – but it works.

Throughout the song there is much to be admired, there is very carefully placed keyboards right at the back of the mix providing for a much welcomed base for the band’s sound to build on – with great effect! Little licks here and there from the guitar really pay off throughout the track and sits very well alongside the bass’ tight groove. Indeed, the whole band works together clearly.

Overall, a great song for devoted fans of any sort of Indie. Job well done Pet Robot!

“Neon” by Pet Robot was released on November 22nd 2019, you can listen to it on Spotify. You can also follow Pet Robot on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and be sure to visit their official website!

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REVIEW: “The Last Christmas Drink” by Ben Sheers

It’s that time of year again, where some artists are releasing their own festive tunes. On November 17th 2019, Ben Sheers released his latest single “The Last Christmas Drink”. What did we think of it? Here goes!

The track doesn’t waste any time in getting started, there is the classic Christmas sleigh bells sound that lays right in the back of the track throughout. However the one element that stands out for us is the really nice guitar tone, either a twelve-string or a chorus pedal – either way, it’s a really nice touch and really makes this a very nice listening experience. Ben’s vocals fit the track very well, the layers of vocals provide a superb soundscape at certain points throughout the track.

The picture the lyrics paint is pretty much what you’d expect from a Christmas track. However we felt the song has its own distinct charm, almost like Ben’s your pal at the bar saying “hey folks, the last drink is on me”. Overall, the mix provides a nice, chill vibe making for a pleasant listening experience that is almost guaranteed to put you in the festive mood!

“The Last Christmas Drink” by Ben Sheers was released on November 17th 2019, you can listen to it on Spotify and YouTube. You can also follow Ben on YouTube.

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REVIEW: “Let’s Stay Outside (Stash Konig Remix)” by Lost American

Lost American is a music project started by the artist Chris Kelley. It also includes Shorn Keld of Orto Grut (on keys) and Simon Mille (on drums). On November 15th 2019, the group released a remix of their track “Let’s Stay Outside” which was done by renowned producer, remixer and DJ – Stash Konig. What did we think about it? Let’s find out!

The track begins with some beautifully mixed synth tones, building up slowly before it gets right to the groove. Chris Kelley’s voice really fits the track perfectly and it’s at certain times you can hear the magic that Stash did when he remixed the vocals. Indeed Stash’s work on remixing this already classic track almost creates a whole different song, yet this remix retains the character and charm of the original.

The synth pads towards the end of the track really add a whole level of definition and it’s this, along with Chris’ vocals that really make this track superb. It’s clear from even both the original and this remix that Chris and the rest of Lost American have done well to draw from their influences in post-punk but not to copy, oh no, they own it and make it their own. In an age where too many copy their heroes, Lost American tips their cap to them and owns it.

“Let’s Stay Outside (Stash Konig Remix)” by Lost American was released on November 15th 2019. You can listen to the track on Spotify. You can also follow Lost American on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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ALBUM REVIEW: “Something New” by Gerry Cea

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gerry Cea moved to New York City in the mid 80s before moving to Miami, Florida in the early 90s. It was there that he founded, along with his family, the Café Prima Pasta restaurant. By the age of fifty, he had taken a great leap forward and decided to make moves in the music industry. The result of these moves is his 12 track album “Something New” released on August 2nd 2019. What did we think of it? Here goes!

When this album starts, it hits you with great soul. The first track “It’s Ok” has a great vibe and an excellent flow to the track. The slide guitar is an excellent addition, a rare inclusion in many releases these days. Many of the tracks from this album have the same kind of feel and theme, which is good because it shows a level of consistency and doesn’t leave listeners confused as to what the artist is trying to say. The third track “Sad to Say Goodbye” is a great example of the production value of this album, killer vocal harmonies and guitar licks that add just that little bit extra that makes these tracks so memorable. The track “I Got News for You” ever so slightly breaks the mould adding a bit of a punch to the album. The guitar solo has got that classic “Strat” sound.

Something else that is seldom heard these days is the use of piano in a more prominent setting than just simply chords. However there are times when there are two instruments soloing at the same time, one such an example is towards the end of the first track “It’s Ok”. This practice can sometimes provide stellar results if done correctly, in this instance there is that attempt (that’s for sure) but at times it falls flat and sounds slightly chaotic.

Overall, the album is a solid release. Most has been done to perfection, the mix sounds great and it’s a very professional sounding release. There are many tracks here that would definitely fit many playlists. We’re sure it’s only a matter of time before Gerry Cea hits the mainstream.

“Something New” by Gerry Cea was released on August 2nd 2019. You can listen to the album on Spotify and Bandcamp. You can watch the official music video for the titular track on YouTube. You can also follow Gerry on Instagram.

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