Album Review: Bombadil – Hold On

Bombadil - Hold OnI was told Bombadil, who hail from Durham, NC, were a pop-folk act that I needed to listen to.

Seeing they hail from the same state as a certain Brothers band that I adore enough to tattoo their cover art on me, I figured why the heck not.

I cannot say I’d heard of Bombadil prior to checking them out, but after doing a little research, I learned that they have been around since 2005 and caught the attention of Ramseur Records thanks to their MySpace page.  Next month, the band is dropping their fifth full length album on  titled Hold On.

I was not sure about “Coughing on the F Train” when I first listened to it.  The song reminded me of an 80s track mixed with a storyline Beck might have created in the 90s.  Overall, it was catchy, but just slower in some areas.  One song in and I already started to wonder if this band had any folk in them (Note: Their older material has a much heavier folk appeal to it from what I have listened to after writing this up).

“Amy’s Friend” cleared my question up immediately.  This track was a gentle duet that clearly has swooning abilities with great harmonies throughout.

I enjoyed “Bill You For Your Trash”, especially the guitar solo towards the end.  I could not help but think of Simon & Garfunkel in a sense while listening to this track.

“I Can’t Believe in Myself and Love You Too” made me just want to crawl in a hole with a bottle of something strong.  What a sad track.  I can not say I dug the backing vocals though, it was almost too much.

“Framboise” was one of my favorite tracks on the album.  It was almost like listening to something from the 60s.  I loved the mix of French and English singing on this track.  I secretly wish this song would have morphed into a “Bohemian Rhapsody” of sorts.  The explosion at the end I was waiting for, never happened though.  Still, very creative track.

“Love You Too Much” carried one hell of a Motown feel.    Robinson’s vocal range on this track was impressive to say the least.  I have the feeling this track is ten times better live.

I laughed to myself when I saw the title “Rhapsody in Black and White” given my previous thought regarding Queen.  I was not too sure about this track.  It was almost too weird.  I understood the premise, but was this serious or satire?  Also, can I just comment how much Robinson sounds like Pete Townshend?  I can not tell you how long it took me to find the perfect comparison, but while listening to this song, it finally struck me.

“Honest” should have been called “Brutally Honest”.  If this was not a personal confession of revalation, then Robinson has one creative ass thought process.  This track easily could have been a Brand New track.  I am not sure how many of you will even understand what I just stated, so allow me to clarify:  This track was super heavy on the emo, even with the random electronic breakdown towards the end.  This was an amazing, powerful song that I was not expecting.

“Love Is Simply” closed out the album with a very well put together composure.  There was so much going on in this track.  I candidly thought of Flight of the Concords, but only due to the singing styles.  This track was pro-love, at least I think it is.  The burning bag comment kind of threw me off.

Bombadil has their own unique approach to pop-folk with a more subtle sound that in turn is quite comforting and catchy at times.  I really think their genre is a lot broader than they get credit for.

Plenty of people are going to get into this band with Hold On as it almost caters to everyone.  With plenty of creativity in creating their own style, I can admit that I am now a fan.

Jonathan Richman

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records To Release Jonathan Richman Singles

JoJo_17-hr_photo_credit_Rory_EarnshawI am so stoked to be able to share this:

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records have started their own record label with the same name and first on their roster is the amazing Jonathan Richman.

Seeing that I am huge fan of them both, I could not help but stop what I was doing tonight to share the good news.

Jonathan Richman is easily one of my favorite singer-songwriters out there.  His career reaches all the way back to the 70s with the Modern Lovers and has continued over the years with him turning more into a solo artist.  I have always appreciated his upbeat outlook on life as well as got a kick out of seeing him in There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin.

Blue Arrow Records is a brick and mortar record store staple on Waterloo in the East Cleveland neighborhood of Collinwood. Owned by the good folk Pete and Debbie Gulyas, the store has been selling vinyl and other music related formats/memorabilia since 2009.  I adore that store (and the owners) and have found some incredible gems there over the years including a lot of Richman’s catalog.

The Gulyas’s actually used to own a shop on Coventry in Cleveland Hts. and met Richman in the area some 18 years ago.

Over the years, a friendship was formed between the Gulyas’s and Richman.  Just a few years back, Richman asked the Gulyas’s to help sell merch on an East coast tour.  It just makes sense that this is happening.

On March 1st, Blue Arrow will release 7-inch singles by Richman, “O Sun” and “Keith”.  There are plans for a full length to drop in the Fall as well as extending the label to other acts in due time.

Click on the album covers below to place your pre-order today at Blue Arrow Records ($10 each – Ships in April):

O Sun 7-Inch Single  Keith 7-Inch Single

Richman is actually playing the Euclid Tavern on March 8th with Tommy Larkins on drums.  If you know what is good for you, you will make it and see him perform.  It is a show not to be missed.

Cleveland’s TurnStyle Films Drops Trailer For “Draw Hard”

DRAW HARD

Cleveland’s very own TurnStyle Films just dropped a trailer for their well-deserved documentary about local illustrator and comic book artist, John G.

Chances are if you live in Cleveland, you have seen his drawings more than one time.  He is the man behind the sandwich of the month artwork for Melt Bar and Grilled, has done many fliers for local concerts, and is the illustrator for the underground comic  The Lake Erie Monster with artist Jake Kelly.

Judging by this trailer, this is going to be an amazing documentary about one of the most talented men in Cleveland.  I can not wait to see it.

4-Way Split Review: Sundae Bloody Sundae

Sundae Bloody Sundae4 bands, 4 songs, all emo.  That is what Sundae Bloody Sundae is all about.

The 4-Way Split was put out by Skeletal Lightning last November and easily has the ability to make you take a break from life and check your feelings.

Don’t worry, it’s ok to do that – we are human after all and this split is not all that sad.

Featuring new and unreleased music by four talented acts, Sundae Bloody Sundae is a great comp to be listening to if you are looking for a little variety by some bands you may have overlooked at one time or have not even heard of.

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die‘s “Fat Heaven” will depress the shit out of you and make you hungry possibly for a donut.  Man, what a downer of track.  I seriously think listening to this with your head down, walking slowly in public and avoiding all eye contact is the only way to listen to this tune.  I loved it.  There is a reason so many people dig this band…

Rozwell Kid did an impressive cover of Spirit Night’s “The Weather”.   I can’t lie, I thought I liked the original more, but the more and more I listened to this track over and over,  Rozwell Kid’s own Weezer-esque twist on the original won me over.

Kittyhawk….oh Kittyhawk.  You make my heart bleed.  Listening to “Soft Serve” turned me into just a pile of mush.  The thing I loved the most about this track is the 90s feel I sensed throughout.  Dare I say, but the dual vocals remind me of The Cranberries a ton.

Two  Knights‘s “Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz” was a little technical, a little instrumental, and plenty interesting to listen to.  Starting off uppity, things soon slowed down with a self-reflection of sorts.

At a whopping $3 to download or $5 for a flexie, I think this would be well spent money to any music fan out there.  This will last a lot longer than a sundae, especially if you are me.

Tracklisting (Two-sided):
Side A:
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Fat Heaven”
Rozwell Kid – “The Weather (Spirit Night)”

Side B:
Kittyhawk – “Soft Serve”
Two Knights – “Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz”

Pressing information
1,000 copies –
– /250 White Flexi w/ screenprinted hand-numbered covers (Available exclusively at FEST 13)
– /750 Clear Flexi w/ full color cover.

Album Review: Various Artists – Todd Is My Co-Pilot

Dirt Cult Comp - Todd C. Is My Co-PilotJust before the end of 2014, Dirt Cult Records head honcho, Chris Mason, decided to drop some tunes for all to hear on a comp called Todd Is My Co-Pilot.

Apparently a few years back, Mason and his pal Walker decided that someone needed to make a Todd C. comp for all to hear.

What once was a booze-fueled conversation between pals turned into reality as Mason reached out to tons of bands and many of them sent in covers to be included.  Maybe it did not go as quickly as he and Walker had intended, but one day Mason realized he had more than enough to make their idea a reality.

So who exactly is Todd you ask?  He’s actually Todd Congelliere, the founder of Recess Records and also  the one-man show / front-man for bands such as The Underground Railroad To Candyland,  F.Y.P. and Toys That Kill.

I am sure if you are a fan of punk rock, you now know who I speak of. Even if you are not, you should check out this comp and become familiar with Todd C.  This dude packs tons of talent.

Todd Is My Co-Pilot features covers by amazing acts like The Brokedowns, Iron Chic, Low Culture, Sundowners, and even Mike Watt and the Secondmen.

Vacation did a great rendition of “Dead Inside” while Iron Chic put their own twist on Toys That Kill’s “White Lies”.  I loved the fuzzy bass on this track.  Apocalypse Meow’s clean cover on “Illegitimate” was very close sounding if not a little slower but still awesome.

Full Sun was an act on this comp who I have not really gotten to know, but after hearing them cover Toys That Kill’s “31 Year Old Daydream”, I realize that needs to change.  The very 80s female driven punk rock sounds were perfect for this take and invited me to check out their original material.

Hearing The Plurals cover Todd C’s “You’ll Hear My Voice” instantly reminded of the very interesting video I saw for this song that was full of Kewpies.  Check it out here.

Of course I need to talk about Mike Watt & the Secondmen’s take on “No One”.  I was so stoked to see Watt and crew on this comp and to be honest, their version of the track  was….well…experimental-ish.  It was like Primus meets Ween meets Toys That Kill.  I still dug.

This is not just some half-assed idea when you look at who all contributed.  The best part about this comp?  Dirt Cult released it for free.  Zero cheddar.  Nada.

So what the hell are you waiting on?  Either head over to the Dirt Cult Band Camp page, or click below and proceed to download.  It’s pay what you want, so do your thing and hope no one finds out how much of a cheap ass you really are.  More importantly, enjoy.