Category Archives: Random

Album Review: Big Nothing – Dog Hours

Bands like Big Nothing are hard to come by. I first learned of them back in 2019 and have been a fan since. Their style then was something that was just so enticing to my ears. Said release became one of my favorites and to this day is still in regular rotation.

Featuring Liz Parsons (bass/vocals), Matt Quinn (guitar/vocals), Pat Graham (guitar/vocals), and Chris Jordan (drums), Big Nothing has this distinctive charisma all in thanks to how they share vocal duties that coincides with the music they create. Their overall style, which clearly shows strong appreciation for various genres of music, results in an unique sound that teeters between indie punk and alt-country without missing a beat.

“Always On My Mind” opened up this 10-track album with an impactful yet chill song about inhibitions around courtship. I loved their regressed sound that the band managed to produce outside of traditional studio sessions all in thanks to stupid Covid.

I loved everything about “A Lot of Finding Out.” With so many proper Westerberg similarities, this track sucked me in immediately. It was personal and wholesome and catered directly to the listener.

“Still Sorta Healing,” all in thanks to Parsons, reminded me of early Juliana Hatfield in the best way. This track brought me back to the days when I shook off the grunge and started expanding on my musical tastes

The damper “Curiosity” was an alt-country stumble that truly hit at somber feelings. I’m almost afraid to know what this one was about. Truly a personal battle with the loss of great impact.

I feel the band came together the most in “Dog Hours.” This track was just great in every way. Without being overly complex, it carried a good sound throughout.

“Make Believe” had Parsons taking over lead vocals once again changing the dynamic of the album without distraction. I honestly look forward to this shift as it showcases the true talent of this band.

“Accents” just ruled. The hook on this track was so memorable it had me singing along at first listen. This track is going to get this band a lot of attention I feel. Seriously, scroll down and listen to this one.

In true alt-country form, “What I Wanna Say” closed down the album with a good story backed by harmony and twang. I loved the laughing and someone saying “done” at the end, but it just left me wanting more.

Dog Hours continued where Chris left off for listeners like myself who just simply wanted more jams from their debut. There was a clear in change in tempo and style for the benefit of the band. With a more intimate, pure sound, I feel more connected to this band. As much as I adore their debut, Dog Years is equally as impressive.

Call me corny, but they really should have called themselves Big Everything. Dog Hours without a doubt is one of my fav releases of the year.

Big Nothing links:
Bandcamp / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Lame-O Records

Album Review: Curtail – All Your Luck

I’ve known Jesse Sloan for a while now thanks to places like The Gurley House and It’s a Kling Thing.

I was a big fan of his two-piece Cherry Cola Champions and remember when he pulled me aside at some local show telling me he had something new he was working on and could not wait to share it with me.

Mind you that was a year or two ago, but I was intrigued the moment he told me of what he was working on.  My curiosity was finally satisfied when he told me about Curtail, a new band featuring some other familiar names in acts I adore including Eric Sandt (The Ground is Lava), Dan Corby (Bethesda), and Ben Hendricks (Annabel).

Cleveland’s Curtail dropped their debut All Your Luck at the end of May on Skeletal Lightning Records.  A supergroup of sorts with all angles of talent combined resulted in a hell of a listen.  I hate that I am just getting around to talking about it when it has been on regular rotation since it dropped over a month ago.  Still, it needs to be noted.

“Rush Hour” started the album off a bit reserved but with good measure.  Half way in, the song kicked it up a notch and made for a great listen overall.  “Smile” continued with the trend and the group vocals mad it so much more fun to nod my head to.  I especially loved Sloan’s erupted singing style throughout.

“The Lesson” is the track that completely won me over.  Taking queues from 90s alt- rock past, this song ruled in so many ways. This  is what New Radicals would have sounded like if they were an emo band.  Please note that I adore the 90s one hit wonder Gregg Alexander band so this is not a diss at all.  This song was catchy, emotional and perfect for summer listening.

I loved hearing “Good Year” as I felt I really related pertaining to the ups and downs throughout life.  This emo jam intermittently erupted into a grudge track  this former flannel wearing teenager approved of.

“Come Around” was an uppity, fuzzy jam that reminded me some of The Promise Ring.  Clearly the content was about overcoming, but brought forth in a positive way – at least musically.  This was one of my other favorite tracks on the album.

“Sleight of Hand” was another favorable song for me.  You could just head the fun Sloan was having singing this song.  I loved the many references only Northeast Ohioans would appreciate.

“Glow” completely moved into more of a chilled out that probably would have faired well to a crowd in a smoky, cramped venue in the 90s full of thrift store cardigans and Doc Martins.

“Skyscraper” easily could have been a Sense Field track that never was released.  This post-hardcore closing track was good on so many levels from the singing, the drumming, and of course the guitar playing that eventually faded out in a fuzzy departure.

For someone like me who grew up in the 90s and was obsessed with indie and alternative rock, All Your Luck really brought me back some.  Sloan and crew really dropped something special that deserves all of the attention of music fans.  Give it a listen, I highly doubt you will be disappointed if you still think music from the 90s was the best.

Check Curtail out on BandCamp and support the living daylights out of them by downloading All Your Luck.  I hope I can check them out live so I can give them all hi-fives for dropping one of my favorite releases of 2018.

 

 

Check It Out: Signals Midwest “Alchemy Hour” Video

I have had the pleasure of getting to know the dudes in Cleveland’s Signals Midwest for years now, so there is no reason why I would not be stoked on sharing their new music video for “Alchemy Hour”, a track off their latest release, At This Age.

Filmed by their pal Tommy Calderon, the video follows the band during their Fall 2016 tour.  Do not worry if you have noticed JR and Loren missing in some clips and Josh Voland as well as Ryan Williamson filling in when JR and Loren could not make some of the tour.  Just thought I should disclose that.  JV is good dude btw and carries leftovers with extreme pride.

At This Age was one of my top releases in 2016 and if you have not made yourself privy to it, you really should change that.

Check it out:

 

RIP Brandon Carlisle

  The music world lost a great man today who was also a brother and a friend to so many.  What is unknown is how it happened and many of us involved in the music scene are wondering why it had to happen.

Brandon lived the dream playing in Teenage Bottlerocket with family and friends. I was lucky enough to have seen him beat on the drums live. I never met him face to face, but my friends who have said he was straight up the nicest guy.  One of my pals even mentioned how Brandon remembered him from a previous band that opened for TB. 

Perhaps the biggest testament to the importance of this man was how much money was raised to help pal for his medical expenses. It was amazing to see so many contribute so quickly. 

Facebook has been flooded with memories of Brandon and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I spent some time reading them today. 

My conclusion?  He was a seriously good human. 

  
Everything will be ok. It’s just going to be sad around the scene for a bit. 

I hope Brandon’s family finds peace in his passing and moves on without forgetting a single memory. 

RIP Brandon.