New Feel Good Mixtape Will Make Listeners Feel Good

Courtesy: Persistent Heart Media/Indianola Records

Metal/Post-Hardcore and rap/hip-hop are two entirely separate entities in the music world.  So when one thinks of a rocker trying his hand at the rap world, the first thought would be that doing such likely wouldn’t be a good idea.  But on the new mixtape release from his rap/hip-hop project, Feel Good!,  former This Day Will Tell bassist Robby Tucker shows that it is possible for a rocker to enter a wholly different world and succeed.

“Weekend Life” is a surprisingly solid outing for Tucker, boasting more than enough material to please any basshead and beat lover.  Add in a largely positive lyrical vibe, and this release will be even more of a fan favorite.  It should be noted however, that there is more than enough foul language to qualify this release for a parental advisory sticker.  In other words, while it is a lyrically positive release, it’s not exactly kid friendly.  One of the more uplifting pieces on “Weekend Life” comes in the form of ‘Before The Show’.  Tucker writes here, “My life is constant celebration/Drinks are always pourin’/Yeah, you should hear it inside my heart/It sounds like lions roarin’/I couldn’t be happier/The sun even looks like it’s shining brighter/yeah, I’m so high on life/I don’t need smokes, like/here’s your lighter.”  The song continues on in this fashion.  And combined with the solid beats backing it, it stands out as one of the best tracks on the release.

‘Shiny and New’ is another high point to “Weekend Life.”  It’s a good opener, boasting a sound similar to the likes of Kanye West, Common, or even other rappers of that ilk.  The old school style music backing Tucker’s vocal stylings, along with the guest vocals would lead any casual listener to believe that Tucker’s a seasoned veteran to the rap game.  The album’s closer, ‘Something Like Jazz (Daydreamin’)’ is just a solid closer as ‘Shiny and New’ is an opener.  Just as ‘Shiny and New’ gives listeners an easygoing open, ‘Something Like Jazz (Daydreamin’)’ leaves listeners with an easy feeling after taking them on a musical and lyrical journey.  All combined this release proves that it is possible for an artist in one genre to try his hand at something entirely different.  And in those rare cases such as this, that attempt to branch out has proven successful.  It’s a record that both rap fans and fans of his former group, This Day Will Tell, will enjoy, too.

“Weekend Life” is available now.  It can be downloaded at http://www.mediafire.com/?1te84k5yh6qckkw.  And to get all the latest on Robby Tucker and Feel Good, go online to http://www.facebook.com/Feelgoodofficial.

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Dirty Heads’ New LP A Solid Sophomore Effort

Courtesy: Five Seven Music

The release of The Dirty Heads’ sophomore album, “Cabin By The Sea” was released almost a month ago.  Its release couldn’t have been better timed.  Much like its debut album, “Any Port in a Storm”, this new release is a good Summer road trip record.  Fans of the band’s debut album will welcome this release as the sound on both releases is so similar. 

The album’s real opener and title track is a nice easy going beachy island type of sound.  It’s a nice gentle open to the record.  It’s followed by the 311-esque ‘Disguise’.  The hip-hop style mixed with the horns make for an interesting Latin-tinged piece.  Following ‘Disguise’ is perhaps one of the album’s best songs in ‘Spread Way Too Thin.’  This song makes itself a fan favorite without even trying.  It’s infused with elements of Jack Johnson and 311. Front man Dustin Bushnell sings on the song “I, I’m spread way too thin/Everybody wants to know what’s happening/I, I’m spread way too thin/what’s the big rush now/tell me why you’re rushin’.  It’s just an easy going anthem that every listener will love for its theme of relaxation. 

The Dirty Heads show their more modern influences on “Cabin By The Sea” with many of its songs.  But there’s also an older school influence from the one and only Bob Marley.  The band does more than merely showing Marley’s influence on ‘Your Love.’  It pays tribute to Marley with the inclusion of one Kymani Marley on the song.  It takes that Marley influence and seamlessly fuses it together with its own hip-hop style on “Dance All Night’ for another of the album’s high points.  Matisyahu joins the boys on this one to add his own extra spice to the mix.

“Cabin By The Sea” is a good beachy record for a sunny Summer day.  For fans who want a little more, the rap stylings of ‘Mongo Push’ and ‘Smoke Rings’ will get them moving, too.  Del The Funky Homosapien joined the band on ‘Smoke Rings’ for what is the album’s most hard edged song.  It’s definitely not a song for children.  And while it’s not a rap song, the same applies to ‘Best Of Us.’  The more mature themes of these songs and the language are not suitable for younger listeners.

“Cabin By The Sea” is available now in stores and online.  Fans can download an exclusive deluxe edition via iTunes.  The band is currently touring in support of the album.  NC based Dirty Heads fans will get a chance to see the band live this Summer when it performs Saturday, August 18th at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.  Fans can get a full list of the band’s tour dates and more online at http://www.dirtyheads.com, http://www.facebook.com/DirtyHeads, http://twitter.com/#!/dirtyheads, and on its official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/DirtyHeads.

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Hell on Wheels is one hell of a show in its first season

Serials seem to be all the rage on television nowadays.  All of the big four have at least one serial.  And even the big cable networks have their own serials.  Even cable movie channel, AMC saw some time ago that it couldn’t survive on modern movies alone.  So it picked up Breaking Bad.  Now, it’s got another hit on its hands with the new hit drama, “Hell on Wheels.” 

“Hell on Wheels” is a good fit for AMC.  That’s because its serial status aside, it comes across more as a movie than an actual television show.  That’s not an entirely bad thing, either.  It’s one more piece that shows–even as violent and sexually explicit as it got at times–that Westerns are still popular, even in the twenty-first century.  Season one sees Confederate Civil War veteran Cullen Bohannan joining Thomas Durant’s Union Pacific railroad as it makes its way westward across the United States.  Bohannan has joined the railroad in an attempt to hunt down the men who killed his wife and his son.  Things aren’t easy at all for Bohannan while he’s in the railroad town of Hell on Wheels.  The whole time he’s there, he’s constantly at odds with Durant’s head of security, Thor “The Swede” Gundersen.  That’s not all, either.  Not only does Bohannan have to deal with Gundersen, he also has to find Lily Bell, whose husband was working with Durant to plan the Union Pacific’s route.  He also has to help take down the renegade Native Americans who killed Lily’s husband and derailed a train.  There’s even what seems to be a bit of a budding romance between Bohannan and Lily.  One can’t help but wonder though if anything will happen, considering how Season One ended.

Season One’s finale in mind, the writing behind “Hell on Wheels” makes for stories that both male and female audiences will love.  There’s more than enough action amd beautiful cinematography throughout Season One to keep the attention of its male audiences.  The drama of Durant and Gundersen backstabbing each other for their own devious purposes and the possibility of romance between Bohannan and Lily will pull in female audiences.  There’s also the growing romance between Elam Ferguson and Eva that said audience will also grip said audiences.  Of course, it should be noted that considering the mix of explicit violence and sexuality, “Hell on Wheels” is not proper for younger audiences. 

The violence and sexuality aside, there’s something about “Hell on Wheels” that makes it stand out from other tv shows.  It’s been noted by one source that “Hell on Wheels” comes across more as a movie on television than a standard tv serial.  That’s actually a good description.  The combination of cinematography, stories and acting all combine for a serial that has its own identity.  Rather than doing the standard sparknotes style “previously on” opening, each time, each new episode picks up right where the previous episode left off.  That straight forward opening forces audiences to watch the previous episodes.  And audiences who do watch each episode are handsomely rewarded with a show that is one of the best serials on tv today.  Now with Season One on dvd and blu-ray, audiences can only hope that after such an outstanding first impression, the show will continue to hold up its reputation when it reutns later this year for its second season.

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