Gill Brothers Band’s Debut LP Is A Strong Start For The Band

Courtesy: Slang Church

Up-and-coming southern rock act Gill Brothers Band released its self-titled debut Tuesday through Slang Church. The record is an interesting presentation that fans of said genre will find worth hearing at least once. This is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal in its own right and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted plays into the album’s engagement and entertainment in its own way. All things considered, they make the album a new addition to this year’s field of independent and rock albums that is worth hearing at least once.

Gill Brothers Band, the debut record from its namesake act, is a presentation that will appeal to fans of the southern rock realm. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the 35-minute album, the arrangements exhibit influences from a wide range of southern rock acts whose own music also shows clear blues influence. Speaking more specifically, a song, such as ‘Small Block’ (which comes late in the album’s run) presents not only a southern rock sound, but a stylistic similarity to AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what with the chromatic riffs and the distinct vocal style in the verses. Interestingly enough, the song’s choruses lend themselves to comparison to works from Foo Fighters, making for quite the intriguing duality. Even with that being the case, the overall arrangement is well-balanced and makes itself stand out among the rest of the record’s arrangements.

On another note, ‘Rest In Piece’ actually has a very subtle tribute to a well-known Metallica song in its secondary guitar line and steady bass drum beat. Whether that similarity was intentional is known only by the band. Regardless, that great tribute (subtle as it is) alongside the arrangement’s more southern rock leanings gives this arrangement its own unique identity separate from that in ‘Small Block’ and from the rest of the album’s arrangements. It further shows the importance of the record’s overall musical arrangements to the album’s overall presentation.

As if everything noted is not enough, the arrangement featured in ‘Nobody’s Fool’ does its own share to continue showing the variety in the record’s arrangements. In the case of this arrangement, one cannot help but make the slightest comparison to works from the J. Geils Band in the song’s verses. The choruses meanwhile lean more in the noted familiar southern rock sense. Maybe the J. Geils Band comparison is just in this critic’s ears and mind, but even if that is the case, then so be it. This critic does hear it. The blend of those two distinctly different styles and sounds once again makes clear the variety of the musical content featured throughout the album, and the importance thereof. When it and the other arrangements examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements (which exhibit influences of Black Crowes, Zac Brown Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd) the whole makes clear just how important the album’s overall musical content is to the record’s presentation.

While the musical arrangements featured throughout Gill Brothers Band unquestionably do a lot to make the record worth hearing, they are just part of what makes the record work as well as it does. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add to the noted appeal. Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘By Your Side.’ In the case of this song, it is another ode to a former romantic interest. That is made clear in the song’s lead verse, which states, “If I had the money/I’d buy you a boat/We’d take it out on the clear lake/Oh how we’d float/But money isn’t the answer/At least that’s the way it should be/I swear we used to laugh/So easily/Is it wrong/To mourn for love/Makes me sick/To sing this song I’m thinking of/Now the memory/It stays with me/And the feeling passes by/Down that highway/If I’d had it my way/I’d still be by your side/Would it be alright/Could I stay by your side?” The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion, with mentions of wishing for closure along the way. It is a familiar topic that is made more interesting when it is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement. That is because the mood set through the Reckless Kelly style musical arrangement is not as melancholy as one might think. Rather it is more semi celebratory as it recalls the happier times.

‘Rock and Roll,’ which is one of the album’s singles, is yet another example of the importance of its lyrical content. In the case of this song, it finds the song’s subject wondering if the path that he took in life was the right choice. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “The property is going to s***/It’s a hit/Do you think you’ll stick around next time you’re down/I tell you what, buddy/I’m short on your money/Hold up/Get down/I’m turning licks into honey/I just can’t decide/Did rock and ruin ruin or save my life?/And I just can’t decide/Did rock and roll ruin or save my life?” The second verse adds to that sense as it states, “I’m running out of steam/I can’t remember the dream/The Gisbon’s in the case/And I’m watching TV/Pick up the slack/Could you please run it back?/I’m riding alone/I’m riding right off the tracks.” In other words, this is someone who is headed in the wrong direction. It’s a familiar topic, though not overly familiar anywhere in the music industry. Again, considering the song’s musical arrangement, this theme becomes even more interesting, considering the theme’s contemplative nature. Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme continues to show, in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. It is its own theme that stands apart from the others featured throughout the album that will engage and entertain audiences in its own way.

‘Nobody’s Fool’ is yet another example of the important role that Gill Brothers Band‘s lyrical content plays in its overall picture. In the case of this song, its lyrics come across as a statement of someone who is looking forward as he looks to the past, determined to make changes. This is inferred in the song’s chorus, which states, “When I get off this mountain/Tell you what I’m going to do/Take the things that made me stronger/And give them all right back to you/When I get up off my a**/And do the things that I should do/I’ll see the things around me changing/Seeing me and you change, too.” The mountain is a metaphor for life, and how the song’s subject is having to “climb” it. It is another familiar topic presented in a unique fashion that is also accessible to audiences. When it is considered along with the equally relatable themes examined here and with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no question about the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When the album’s musical and lyrical content is collectively considered, that whole makes the album all the more engaging and entertaining. It is collectively just part of what makes the album stand out. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the album’s presentation is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect. The production ensures that the best is brought out of each song, expertly balancing the instrumentation and vocals within each track. That balance makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable, too. In turn, it ensures listeners will find themselves paying more attention to each arrangement and each lyrical theme, thus immersing themselves into the record that much more. Keeping all of this in mind, Gill Brothers Band proves itself a positive start for the up-and-coming country/southern rock act.

Gill Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album is a mostly successful offering from the up-and-coming country/southern rock band. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are each familiar in their approach and sound, but still boast unique minutiae that makes them all the more engaging and entertaining. The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as its musical arrangements. Audiences will connect with that aspect of the album as much as the record’s musical content. The album’s production produces a welcoming general effect that ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s content. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album an overall welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums.

Gill Brothers Band is available now through Slang Church. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/gillbrosband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Filmspeed debuts new single, ‘Brain Dead’

Courtesy: AGR Publicity

Independent rock band Filmspeed debuted its latest single this week.

The band debuted its single ‘Brain Dead’ Friday.  The upbeat tune presents a musical arrangement that mixes old school and modern guitar rock sounds whose whole makes it instantly infectious.  A close listen leads to comparisons in part to works from Black Crowes, Buckcherry and to a lesser extent Led Zeppelin.  The important thing to note here is that even with those noted influences in mind, the song’s arrangement still manages to maintain its own identity.

‘Brain Dead’ is available too stream and download here.

More information on Filmspeed’s new single is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at http://www.facebook.com/Filmspeed.

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The Magpie Salute’s ‘High Water II’ Is A Flawless Follow-Up To 2018’s ‘High Water’

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Mascot Label Group/Sony

Roots rock band The Magpie Salute released its third full-length studio recording Friday, and the 12-song record is an enjoyable follow-up to the band’s 2018 album High Water.  Throughout the course of the record, audiences get musical arrangements that easily liken themselves to works from the likes of The Allman Brothers Band and its offshoot acts – The Derek Trucks Band and Tedeschi Trucks Band – as well as hints of Black Crowes.  The Black Crowes comparison should come as no surprise, considering the fact The Magpie Salute members Chris Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien also performed and recorded together as part of Black Crowes.  The album’s lyrical content offers audiences just as much to enjoy as its familiar roots tock sound.  ‘Gimme Something,’ which comes early in the album’s run is just one of the songs featured in the album that supports the noted statements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The same applies to ‘Lost Boy,’ which is featured later in the album’s run, and ‘You And I,’ which comes just ahead of the album’s midway point.  Each song shows in its own way why the band’s continued familiar roots rock sound and its respective lyrical content is so important to the album’s whole.  When each of the songs is considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole of High Water II proves to be another record from The Magpie Salute into which listeners will enjoy “diving.”  Yes, that terrible pun was intended.

The Magpie Salute’s second High Water album and third overall album is another impressive recording from the roots rock super group, which features members of Black Crowes and the Chris Robinson Band.  That is thanks to its musical and lyrical content.  That is proven early on in the 47-minute record’s run in the form of ‘Gimme Something.’  This song’s musical arrangement is driven largely by the time keeping of drummer Joe Magistro and keyboardist Matt Slocum.  Pipien’s work on the bass joins with the work of Magistro and Slocum to make the song even more infectious while Robinson’s gravelly vocal delivery adds even more of a unique touch to the song.  Those lines, joined with the mtulti-guitar approach to the song, makes the arrangement in whole a work that is certain to become a fan favorite both on disc and in live settings.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, of course.  The song’s lyrical content sits against that catchy, mid-tempo arrangement to add to the song’s interest.

Robinson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I wanna see summer skies around me/To hit my soul when that beam of light comes shining down (Only you can see this)/Ph, the pressure fills me/The clouds, they light up the night sky/The moon, it hangs like a portrait of me facing upside down (You don’t believe it)/The ground is shifting/Gimme something/To take me far away from here/Gimme something/To lift this cloud/Gimme something/Got to take me higher/Gimme something/Deliver me now.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “This world could be such a beautiful baby/But the politik disease keeps driving us underground (I don’t believe it)/We cannot accept it/Long is the day and Long is the night/I light the way ‘cause I feel like it’s gonna be alright (No, you don’t believe it)/Never can accept it.”  He returns to the chorus again from here before launching into the song’s third verse, in which he sings, “Peace comes your way (ah, well)/When you live by love and harmony (oh, harmony)/And I’ll show you today/these cards I deal/And bring you to my game.”  He comes across here as saying that he wants something better than what the world is right now and ho bad things are because of forces such as the people in Washington D.C. for starters.  He ends by reminding listeners that things can be better if people would just come together.  Sure, this is hardly the first time that any band has presented such message of frustration and the desire for people to unite.  The thing is though, it is still a message that everyone needs to hear, considering where the world sits today.  Considering this and the overall positive vibe in the song’s lyrical and musical content, the end result is a song that is easily one of High Water II’s most notable works and one that shows so well, why the album is another hit from TMS.  It is just one of the album’s notable works, too.  ‘Lost Boy’ is another entry featured in the album that shows why the album’s musical and lyrical content makes the record so appealing.

Whereas ‘Gimme Something’ presents an upbeat, positive vibe through its combined musical and lyrical content, ‘Lost Boy’ is a much more reserved piece in the exact same way.  The song, which features famed singer Alison Krauss making a guest vocal performance, is a deeply emotional work that will tug at listeners’ heartstrings through its very country blues approach.  Even more interesting here is that Robinson’s vocal delivery here actually sounds just like the late great Tom Petty.  The addition of Krauss’ gentle backing vocals enriches the song even more, making its emotional impact even more powerful.  Even more interesting is that while the song is far more reserved than much of what is featured in High Water II, that reserved nature is key because this song really is a ballad of sorts; almost a lullaby of sorts.  It is actually a very positive piece in its own right.  That is made clear through the lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement.

Robinson sings in the song’s lead verse, “Young man, how you’ve grown/You’re soon to be on your own/And I’ll miss you like I’ve missed most of my life/I see you once again/Much more than a friend/Much more than someone to pass the time/Lost boy, in-between/Seldom heard, rarely seen/Lost boy, let me tell you what you mean to me/It’s okay/to get a little lonely/In no way let it get you down/There’s more than one way/Come on, get to know me/Lost boy, let me tell you what you mean to me.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Not so long ago/I had come to know/The long, dark night/It put me to the test/Nothing I can say/To change the time of day/And you’ll shine a little brighter than the mist/Lost boy, turn around/Lift your head, hear the sond/Lost boy, let me tell you what you mean to me/It’s okay/If you get a little lonely/In no way, let it keep you down/There’s more than one way/Come on, get to know me/Lost boy, let me tell you what you mean to me.”  This is an extremely touching work, needless to say.  The song’s subject seems to be trying to comfort someone, perhaps a son or maybe even a runaway.  There is no booklet with any notes to explain the story behind this song,  That aside, it is clear that this song is meant to be a soothing lullaby type work that will put at ease, someone who is going through a lot of emotional strain.  That gentle approach, both musically and lyrically makes this song its own unique and important addition to High Water II.  As unique as the song is, it is just one more of the album’s most notable works.  ‘You And I’ is just as notable as ‘Lonely Boy’ and ‘Gimme Something.’

‘You And I’ conjures thoughts of Country Joe McDonald and to The Allman Brothers through its musical arrangement.  The song’s verses are more gentle and laid back, and do indeed conjure thoughts of Country Joe McDonald.  The song’s stronger chorus sections are more akin to The Allman Brothers Band’s works.  The song’s lyrical content is just as interesting as its musical content because it leaves listeners wondering and talking.  On the one hand, it comes across as a love song, but on another hand, it also comes across as possibly a break-up song.  This is inferred as Robinson sings in the song’s chorus, “The feeling is over.”  This after he also sings, “You and I overcome/Others block our way.”  He does also note, in the choruses, “But this feeling keeps on falling over me.  When this is considered against the mentions of two people walking under the clouds at night and so much more, one can’t help but assume that this is a breakup song.  What is interesting is that while it comes across as a breakup song, it does not come across as the standard breakup song.  It comes across in a hopeful tone rather than the typical sad note.  It is a good change of pace for such a matter.  To that end, that change of pace both lyrically and musically makes this song worthy of its own attention.  When it is considered alongside ‘Gimme Something’ and ‘Lonely Boy,’ the trio goes a long way to showing why High Water II is such a positive new offering from The Magpie Salute.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is a record that is a wonderful salute in its own right to classic and roots rock fans.

The Magpie Salute’s third full-length studio recording High Water II, the follow-up to last year’s High Water is a strong new offering from the roots rock super group.  That is due to its musical and lyrical content throughout, as has been evidenced through the three songs examined here.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is an album that roots rock fans will enjoy just as much as The Magpie Salute’s most devoted audiences.  High Water II is available now through Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music.  More information on High Water II is available along with all of The Magpie Salute’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://themagpiesalute.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheMagpieSalute

Twitter: http://twitter.com/themagpiesalute

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

More information on this and other titles from Universal Music is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.universalmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UniversalMusicGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/UMG

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Give Up The Ghost’ Is A Solid Start For Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights

 

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

A little more than a month ago, a little band by the name of Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights released its debut EP Give Up The Ghost. The five track record is the type of presentation that shows how easily today’s unsigned band could be tomorrow’s next big mainstream hit.  It shows this through the diversity in its musical arrangements and the depth of its collective lyrical content.  From the infectious southern rock riffs and happy-go-lucky lyrics of ‘Hollywood’ to the Foo Fighters-esque arrangement and equally playful lyrics of ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ to the Jimmy Eat World style arrangement and thoughtful lyrics of ‘Burn It Down’ and beyond, this record is a solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is a record that leaves listeners hoping this band won’t give up the ghost any time soon.

Paul Johnson & The About Last Night’s debut EP Give Up The Ghost is a strong start for the Mississippi-based unsigned rock outfit.  That is due to the solid mix of musical genres on which the band touches over the course of the record’s five-song, 18-minute run and its lyrical content.  The record’s penultimate song ‘Hollywood’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement is easily likened to arrangements composed by Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, The Black Crowes and other similar acts.  Band namesake and vocalist Paul Johnson even conjures thoughts of Buckcherry front man Josh Todd (at least in this critic’s ears) through his vocal delivery here.  When that is set alongside the amalgam of musical influences evident in the song’s arrangement, it makes the arrangement instantly infectious and certain to be a fan favorite.

The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it notable.  Its lyrical content, like its musical arrangement also conjures thoughts of the aforementioned acts and will put a smile on any listener’s face with its tribute to all of the things that make the south great.  That tribute is evident as Johnson sings, “You know I like to see my toes in the sand/You couldn’t drag me away from Dixieland/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood/Keep me in the south where the weather is good/Southern girls doin’ like they should/Don’t take me/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I always see how they like to put us down/Don’t really care for the big town/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood.”  Plain and simple, this is a tribute to the band’s home state and region, being that the band is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  That upbeat, playful tribute, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes the song in whole one of the record’s best offerings if not its best.  Collectively, they make this song a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost such a standout offering and solid start from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It is only one of the songs that serves to support these statements.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another song that shows why this record stands out.

‘Hollywood’ with its simple title, lyrical content and musical approach is a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost a solid first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  It musical arrangement and lyrical alike are both so infectious thanks to their simplicity.  As impressive as it is, it is only one of the songs included in this record that makes the EP stand out.  ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another example of what makes this record worth hearing.  As with ‘Hollywood,’ that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The alignment of the song’s guitar and keyboards couples with Johnson’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Foo Fighters.  Drummer Zach Lewis’ time keeping adds to that comparison even more.  From start to finish, the song’s arrangement easily keeps listeners engaged.  It is only one part of what makes the song so enjoyable.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

Unlike the lyrical theme presented in ‘Hollywood,’ this song’s lyrical theme clearly centers on a woman.  That is inferred easily in the song’s chorus in which Johnson and his band mates sing, “She’s in love/With a fast car/Burn out…./She’s a new American story…little worry.  Deciphering the full extent of the words is difficult without lyrics to which one can refer.  However, between this and other elements that can be deciphered, it becomes clear that Johnson and company are singing about a woman.  That is especially certified in the song’s final moments as the band sings in unison, “She keeps my fantasies alive”  All things considered it is clear that the band is paying tribute to a woman or a certain type of woman.  It stands completely apart from the theme of ‘Hollywood’ and the rest of the record’s songs, and is just as upbeat as those other themes.  Keeping that in mind, when this tribute is set alongside the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the pairing makes the song in whole stand solidly on its own merits; merits that make the song yet another example of what makes the EP such a surprise.  It is not the last of the songs that stands out on the record either.  ‘Burn It Down’ is notable, too.

‘Hollywood’ and ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ both show in their own way that Give Up The Ghost is one of this year’s top new EPs.  The songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes stand out from one another just as much as they do the record’s other featured songs.  As much as they stand out, they are not its only key compositions.  ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the record’s key songs.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  This time around, listeners minds will go to Jimmy Eat World in listening to this arrangement right from the song’s outset.  This critic easily could be wrong, but the song’s lyrical content seems like a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That is inferred as Johnson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I dropped out of school to find my way/A dirty kid in football games/A loser on the street/Had a hunger for the underneath/A family divorced too much to bear/The misinformed will meet you there/Like the liars and the delphines/Is there nothing left for a kid to believe…the pain of knowing I may never feel better off than where I started.”  The story continues in the song’s second verse and ends with a mention of a “21-gun salute to disobey” in the finale.  The song’s chorus, in which the song’s subject seemingly looks back on the past in another way, adds even more depth to the song.  When this is all considered along with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes fully clear why this song stands out.  Collectively, the depth of that musical and lyrical content—and its distinct identity separate from ‘Hollywood,’ ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ and the record’s other two songs—shows even more why the EP in whole stands out, too.  When it is joined with all of the EP’s other offerings, the record in whole proves, once more, why it is one of this year’s top new EPs, an equally solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights, and a record that will leave listeners hoping the band won’t “give up the ghost” anytime soon.

Give Up The Ghost is a surprisingly impressive first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights.  The record only spans five songs and 18-minutes, but in that run, the record exhibits great musical and lyrical diversity.  From start to finish, each song presents its own identity, separate from its counterparts.  From fun-loving to truly in-depth, the songs present a wide range of emotions in both music and lyrics.  All things considered, the record proves to be one of the year’s best new EPs, and gives hope that the band won’t “give up the ghost” any time soon.  More information on Give Up The Ghost is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pauljohnsonmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pauljohnsonandtheaboutlastnights

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pauljohnsonsolo

 

 

 

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