Album Leftovers Roundup – January 2012

Album Reviews | By on Jan 1st, 2012

We get a lot of albums to review here at ReadJunk.com. Sometimes there’s just too many to do full reviews of or we’re just too damn lazy. So each month or every few months we’ll do a Album Leftovers Roundup where we’ll give brief reviews of a lot of albums. Some of the bands and artists reviewed this time include: Banner Pilot, Gaslight Anthem, Banner Pilot, Dead To Me, Christopher Titus, The Cape soundtrack, Being Human soundtrack, Wheel Workers, Chuck Ragan and many more! Enjoy!


Alex Grantham – When I Was A Boy…
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Acoustic, folky singer/songwriter that plays just about every instrument. His vocals are kind of bland and boring at times. At one point I had to turn off the song “a Sharp Minor Suicide.” Holding a note for that long is irrating to me. “Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world…aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh”

Listen To: A Boy Needs His Exorcise
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The Atlantic Manor – The World Beneath This World Is Brightening
Record Label: Do Too

First track is some rambling about something and the next track is 15 minutes long. You lost me after the first track. This CD would make a great album to put some animals to sleep.

Listen To: Nothing
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The Bandar-Log – AK-747
Record Label: Self-Released
Buy on Amazon.com

It’s hard to pinpoint what style this band plays. Classic rock, blues rock, folk rock, indie rock. A mixture of a lot of things. Some songs sound decent, others don’t.

Listen To: Crows Called Liars, Grey Brothers
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Banner Pilot – Heart Beats Pacific
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Buy on Amazon.com

Banner Pilot’s newest album should give them more fans. Their songs are fast, catchy and get better after each listen. My only complaint is the songs aren’t really distinctive. This band is similar to other melodic punk bands like Dillinger Four, Smoke or Fire and Strung Out. If you haven’t heard of them yet, check them out on their site or on Spotify.

Listen To: Alchemy, Red Line, Western Terminal
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Bear McCreary – The Cape
Record Label: La-La Lands Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Bear McCreary has made his Elfman’s Batman-style score with the Cape. It’s fanfare-ish, old school superhero style score that’s stretched out onto 2 discs. Too bad this show got canceled because the music is very good.

Listen To: Main Title
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Benjy Davis Project – Lost Souls Like Us
Record Label: Rock Ridge Music
Buy on Amazon.com

Benjy Davis Project is a twangy alt-country rock music that is pretty decent. The music isn’t torturous which is a plus. Some of the songs sound like Bruce Hornsby a little bit, which isn’t a bad thing.

Listen To: Get High, Give It A Week’s Time
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Brent James – Moment of Silence
Record Label: Skiddco Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Cookie cutter, radio-friendly rock music that screams generic. This music would be best at doctor offices.

Listen To: Nothing
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Captain Nowhere – Party Time (Vinyl)
Record Label: Idiomism
Buy on Amazon.com

I don’t own a record player and don’t want one. Vinyl is annoying to listen to and think anyone who thinks it sounds better than something digitally is a pretentious, hipster douchebag. With that said, I’m pretty sure this music sucks anyway.

Listen To: Nothing
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Christopher Titus – Neverlution! CD/DVD
Record Label: Comedy Central Records
Buy on Amazon.com

I loved the TV series Titus and Chirstopher Titus’ stand-up is pretty good too. He seems to be more political than I remember though. This stand-up covers things like terrorism is over, black president, obesity, incidents at the supermarkets and DMV and other things. Worth a listening if you enjoy his humor.

Listen To:
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Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
Record Label: Side One Dummy
Buy on Amazon.com

I’m not really a fan of Hot Water Music’s music but it’s something about Chuck Ragan’s gravel-signing folk music that I like. Other punk musicians that have gone folk sometimes seems forced. With Chuck Ragan it comes natural. Love the fiddle playing on the album too. I think this is his strongest album to date.

Listen To: Nomad to Fate, Wish on the Moon, Meet You in the Middle
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The Copyrights – North Sentinel Island
Record Label: Red Scare
Buy on Amazon.com

Pop punkster’s The Copyrights have had quite a few albums out so not sure how this one stands up with the rest of them. They have a few punk songs that will people take notice but towards the end of the album it starts to fizzle out.

Listen To: Hard-Wired, Expatriate Blues
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Dansewolf – Smoke N Mirrors
Record Label: d16 Productions
Buy on Amazon.com

Dansewolf is a rock and roll band that sounds like the female singer has a bad nasal cold. When I hear music like this, it just makes me think of all the bad rock bands that played in the background of 80s movie.

Listen To: Nothing
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Dead To Me – Moscow Penny Ante
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Buy on Amazon.com

I used to like Dead To Me when Jack_Dalrymple when was in the band. Chicken is fine but I really prefer when Jack was in the band. Jack brought a sent of poppiness to the songs as well. The songs are harder with Chicken taken over the helm. This album has a few decent tracks (below) but overall I still prefer their first album.

Listen To: No Lullabies
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Dirt Mall – Pacifuego
Record Label: DayKamp
Buy on Amazon.com

Rock and roll and not that special. The music isn’t bad or anything, it’s just not that original or something to rave about. I didn’t want to skip any songs if that helps this review at all haha.

Listen To: Calling All Clowns, I am The One and Only
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Ernie Halter – Franklin & Vermont
Record Label: Rock Ridge Music
Buy on Amazon.com

Ernie Halter is a singer/songwriter from California and has some feel-good style songs. This is a singer/songwriter I could listen to; he sort of reminds me of Griffin House and Mat Kearney a little bit. He’s a little bit slower and bluesier. I digged most of the songs on here.

Listen To: Hard To Let A Good Love Go, Yes I Am
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Eyes Set To Kill – Broken Frames
Record Label: Break Silence Recordings
Buy on Amazon.com

I don’t know what it is, but I can’t stand screamo bands that have female singing in it. First there’s screeching/screaming from a male vocalist and then a female singer comes on and it sounds like you’re listening to pop radio. It’s an awful combination. This band is sort of nu-metal too. Barf.

Listen To: Nothing
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Floating Opera – Pony Up A Go-Go
Record Label: Spectral Operator Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Wow this album came out in 2008 and I’m just reviewing it now. So unlike the band above, this is a band that knows how to use a female singer. The music is kind of cheesy but in a good way. It reminds me a bit of the Go-Gos and Wilson Phillips. Yes, that Wilson Phillips. But like an indie pop sort of version of them. Not bad.

Listen To: Ice Storm, Pony Up A Go Go
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The Gaslight Anthem – iTunes Sessions
Record Label: Side One Dummy

Before Gaslight Anthem exited Side One Dummy, they recorded some cool cover sessions with iTunes. They do awesome renditions of Pearl Jam, The Who, Tom Petty and others. Definitely worth listening to.

Listen To: State of Love and Trust, Baba O’Riley, Refugee
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Glad Hearts – The Oak and the Acorn
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Folky, acoustic music that would be better if they had a better vocalist. The singing is just too whiny for my liking. But beside that, the music is peppy and nice to listen to.

Listen To: Raise Those Roof Beams, Come July
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Good Morning Milo – Through The Chaos & Clotter
Record Label: JM Studios
Buy on Amazon.com

Teeny bopper style rock that all the little kids will enjoy at Warped Tour. Not even sure this band was on the tour but seems like they would fit in nicely. With that said, I wouldn’t listen to this.

Listen To: Nothing
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The Gozerians – Squatter
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

5 song sampling of NOFX/Guttermouth style punk rock songs. Their first song “The Squatter” immediately got my attention. The rest of the EP is just as good.

Listen To: Squatter, Hey Psycho
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The Hacks – On Record With…
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Honky tonk, rockabilly band with a touch of punk rock and surf music. I particularly like track 3 “Stand Down” and the mixture of punk rock and the awesome surf guitar playing. This album is only 7 tracks but still worth checking out.

Listen To: I’ll See you Right, Stand Down
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Hafdis Huld – Synchronised Swimmers
Record Label: Ok! Good Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Hafdis Huld is the former Icelandic singer of GusGus. This is her second solo album and it’s good, if you like this sort of thing. This would be fitting music for a quirky indie romantic comedy that starred Zooey.

Listen To: Action Man, Daisy
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Hardboiled Wonderland – As Small As a World and Large As Alone
Record Label: Gonzo Multimedia
Buy on Amazon.com

I no fucking idea what this is, but it sucks.

Listen To: Something else
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The Hat Madder – Rogue Notes & Phones
Record Label: G.T.G Records

The Hat Madder is sort of a mix of psychedelic rock and indie rock. The first two tracks are a mess and unmemorable, but the third track “Let The Good Times Last” is Weezer-eque. If they stick to songs like that instead of the experimental stuff, they will be better off.

Listen To: Let The Good Times Last, Let You Down
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The Heat Tape – Raccoon Valley Recordings
Record Label: Red Scare
Buy on Amazon.com

The Heat Tape is singer/songwriter Brett Hunter (from the Copyrights) and this is a collection of lo-fi punky songs recorded in his mobile home. And by lo-fi, I mean REALLY lo-fi! I usually hate stuff lo-fi but this is pretty damn good! I actually like this more than The Copyrights.

Listen To: Spend It, Rich Man
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House of Heroes – Suburbia
Record Label: Gotee Records
Buy on Amazon.com

House of Heroes are an alternative, christian rock band. The Christian crap isn’t too apparent, except in tracks like God Save The Foolish Kings. Christian or not, the band sounds good for the type of music they are doing. Vocals are decent, and the songs can be catchy. It’s just not something I’d want to listen to.

Listen To: Relentless
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Ingram Hill – Look Your Best
Record Label: Rock Ridge Music
Buy on Amazon.com

Ingram Hill’s sound is something you might hear on the alternative radio, if the music on there wasn’t paid with payola. Poppy rock music, good singing, and songs I didn’t feel like skipping. Would I listen to this band on a regular basis though? No, probably not. Ingram Hill is still a band worth checking out if you like alternative rock.

Listen To: Broken Lover, Lady Gray
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Jed Davis – The Cutting Room Floor
Record Label: Eschatone Records
Buy on Amazon.com

It’s hard to describe this music. Lo-fi psychedelic rock or experimental? I don’t know, but have read that Jed Davis has been involved with some classic punk bands like Ramones, Agnostic Front. Just don’t go expecting to hear something like this because this isn’t that.

Listen To: Enough
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Jeffrey Nothing – The New Psychodalia
Record Label: Suburban Noize Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Mushroomhead’s vocalist decides to put out a solo album. Maybe he should go back to Mushroomhead? Actually no, stop making music might be better.

Listen To: Nothing
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The Latebirds – Last of the Good Ol’ Days
Record Label: Second Motion Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Based on the music and the album cover, I sore this band was from the USA. Nope, they are from Finland and have an rootsy, alt-country style. Think Band of Horses but slower. On the second disc, they play with Leon Helm, David Rawlings and Kris Kristofferson. They must be doing something right to attract those big names.

Listen To: Last of the Good Ol’ Days, Summer Becomes Fall, The City of New Orleans
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Lex Land – Were My Sweetheart To Go
Record Label: Intelligent Noise Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Lex Land doesn’t have a set sound, as she explores multiple genres ranging from alt rock, electro pop and loungey jazz. “Oh My” is more of the alt rock style and I think I prefer that style the most. The rest of the album is mostly acoustic, piano-driven slow songs. Eh.

Listen To: Oh My
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Lights At Sea – Palace Walls
Record Label: Barrett Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Lights At Sea is instrumental rock which doesn’t make it that exciting to listen to. I think these guys would be perfect for a grungy movie score though.

Listen To: Palace Walls
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Lionize – Super czar and the Vulture
Record Label: Pentimento Music Company
Buy on Amazon.com

Classic rock meets funk/reggae? You’d think that would sound cool but I don’t know what to think about Lionize’s latest album. Their songs feels like an Urge or Fishbone songs I would skip. Too jam-band for my liking.

Listen To: Superczar
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Locksley – Be In Love
Record Label: Feature Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Locksley seems like a band I might like because they have a Brit Rock sound and that’s what I’ve been listening to a lot these days. They have a newer album out now and that sounds just as good as this.

Listen To: Days of Youth, The Whip
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Michel Legrand – The Music of Legrand
Record Label: Silver Screen Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Michel Legrand fans will appreciate this one as Legrand re-visits a lot of his classic works spread out on two discs. You can pieces from Thomas Crown Affair, Summer of ‘42, Wuthering Heights, Brian’s Song, The Three Musketeers and a lot more! I haven’t really heard his music before so this was a nice compilation to get started with his work.

Listen To: Thomas Crown Affair, Summer of ‘42, Three Musketeers
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Midwest Avengers – Headbanger Hip Hop
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Midwest Avengers play hip Hop and heavy metal. The last time I listen to something like this, Anthrax and Public Enemy were bringing the noise. And Midwest Avengers isn’t either bands.

Listen To: Nothing
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Musikanto – Ghost Pain
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Mike Musikanto’s debut solo album will make you think of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. His vocals are something to pay attention to and overall songs are top notch. I like the twangy, folk/classic rock style. Ghost Pain seems like it would be a good driving album.

Listen To: I Aint Your Rock, I Don’t Even Know About It, Howl
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Polar Bear Club – Clash Battle Guilt Pride
Record Label: Bridge Nine Records
Buy on Amazon.com

I’ve seen Polar Bear Club in the beginnings a few years ago. Clearly they have grown as a band. They had a hint of Rise Against in their music, which is never a bad thing. Their harder, faster material is their strongest stuff but hearing their slower songs shows that they got the chops to go far as a band.

Listen To: Killing It, Screams in Caves, Life Between The Lines
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Potluck – Rhymes and Resin
Record Label: Suburban Noize Records
Buy on Amazon.com

I don’t like today’s rap. Think it’s unoriginal, too thug-ish, and just pure shit.

Listen To: better rap music.
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The Psycho Kid – Hypocrite Land
Record Label: Logan Ave Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Psycho Kid try to sound like Green Day and The Ramones. Don’t all punk rock bands though? This album is actually pretty good and deserves to be listened to if you enjoy the old school, melodic pop punk rock.

Listen To: Hypocrite Land, Do You Want Me To, Extra Life
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Richard Wells – Being Human Series 1 & 2
Record Label: Silva Screen Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Being Human is a horror-drama starring the soon to be superstar Aiden Turner, when he is set to star as Kili in the Hobbit in 2012. Richard Wells composed the music for the BBC 3 series, and not too familiar with his work. He’s composed this, some other sci-fi type of series and movies. The music has a dark, suspenseful element to it, considering the subject matter. Not a stand-out score but a decent one.

Listen To: Being Human, A Wonderful Thing, Leaving
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Riverboat Gamblers – Smash / Grab
Record Label: Paper + Plastick Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Riverboat Gambler’s latest offering is a 4 track EP from Paper + Plastick Records. The EP is a nice blast of short songs for fans to enjoy until their next release. I like “Parasite Friends” and songs that aren’t so distorted. Not really a fan of the over the top garage rock/punk stuff.

Listen To: The ‘Ol Smash and Grab, Parasite Friends
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Roy Jay – Fairfax Avenue
Record Label: Rock Ridge Music
Buy on Amazon.com

Singer/songwriter Roy Jay’s album from 2010 is filled with a lot of bluesy, twangy rock tunes. His music sort of reminds me of a bluesier version of Jimmy Buffet or James Taylor. This album would be ideal to play during the summer time I think.

Listen To: Fatal Mistake, Birds of Paradise
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Sacred 13 – Jagged Regrets
Record Label: M4 Music Managment
Buy on Amazon.com

The vocalist competed in a Guitar Hero competition. He’s also trying really, really hard to sound like James Hetfield. It’s not working.

Listen To: Nothing.
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7 Months Later – Time to Decide
Record Label: Envision Music Group
Buy on Amazon.com

There’s not much to say about this melodic, hard rock group. Music is decent, but not something I’d want to listen to. The album gets boring pretty quickly.

Listen To: Outlines
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The Shell Corporation – Force Majeure
Record Label: Riot Rock
Buy on Amazon.com

The Shell Corporation features ex-members of Time Again, A Wilhelm Scream, Madcap, The Briggs and Le Mu Le Pur. The band has a melodic punk sound, but doesn’t really offer anything new in the genre. There are a few songs worth checking out but I felt this album was forgettable.

Listen To: False Bills of Goods, Dust to Dust
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Snatch Magnet – Screw, Nut & Bolt
Record Label: Snatch Media
Buy on Amazon.com

I guess band names are getting harder and harder to choose from. Besides the Snatch Magnet name, the heavy metal/hard rock seems like they are stuck in the 80s. Raise your devil horns, get your Jovi hair just right, squeeze your fat jelly rolls into those leather pants and bang your head to outdated music. I did like the song “Multi-girl” but other than that, rather just listen to bands from the 80s instead of groups that wish they played then.

Listen To: Multi-girl
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So Adult – Rookie (Cassette)
Record Label: ?

I don’t own a cassette player and haven’t in over 10 years at least. Why are people still making tapes? There was a download offering for this as well but it’s a broken link now. Oh well. Not sure what this band sounds like.

Listen To: No Idea
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Striking Back – Presents The Restless EP
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Striking Back have a similar setup of each song. Start off slow or quiet, and then its a loud/heavy chorus. Makes their music predictable.

Listen To: Restless
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Tools of Creation – Adventures in Chaos
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

I can’t take too many hair metal bands seriously. But if I were to listen to some hair metal bands from the present, these guys would probably be it. For fans of Bon Jovi and Motley Crue.

Listen To: Too Much Isn’t Enough, Bridge Too Far
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The Trews – Hope & Ruin
Record Label: Bumstead
Buy on Amazon.com

Canadian alternative rock that caught my ears right from the get go with “Misery Loves Company.” But after that second, the album is hit or miss with me. Stick to the alternative, pop rock side to your music and drop the lame hard rock stuff.

Listen To: Misery Loves Company, Hope & Ruin
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Tristan Clopet – Purple EP
Record Label: Sussex Recordings
Buy on Amazon.com

Am I listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers? Tristan Clopet seems to be, that’s for sure.

Listen To: Proximity Bomb
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Union Street – This Is
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Union Street is a Finnish ska/ 2 tone band lead by Female vocalist Kaisa. The music is boppy, fun and easy to skank to. It’s a shame that this EP is only 4 tracks. Fans of The Hotknives, Mark Foggo and Dancehall Crashers will appreciate this.

Listen To: City Lights, Best Night
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The Unit Breed – Always Distance The Lonely (Vinyl)
Record Label: Idiomism
Buy on Amazon.com

Another vinyl I can’t listen because I don’t own a record player. Based on songs I’ve heard online, I would have trashed this band anyway.

Listen To: Nothing
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Veda Rays – Gamma Rays Galaxy Rays Veda Rays
Record Label: Alleged Records
Buy on Amazon.com

Veda Rays immediately makes me think of late 80s, early 90s alternative rock acts like U2 (the early stuff), The Stone Roses, Echo and the Bunnymen and Jane’s Addiction. There music is a bit gloomy but in a good way.

Listen To: All Your Pretty Faces, Honey Pot
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The Wheel Workers – Unite
Record Label: Self-released
Buy on Amazon.com

Wheel Workers are somewhat unique, just based on the first song “The Mop” alone. Their style is a combination of indie, dixieland, folk, jazz, alt-country. It’s really hard to describe their sound but I like it. The rest of the album is more in line with just indie rock but this album shouldn’t be overlooked.

Listen To: The Mop, Open Door, Sidewalks
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Wisdom in Chains – Everything You Know
Record Label: I Scream Records
Buy on Amazon.com

This is the time of hardcore I like! Bands that sound like they can kick your ass, but also can play well in a band. Their music is similar to Sick of it All, Madball, and other NYHC style bands. Many of the tracks are short so that should please the ADD hardcore fans.

Listen To: Bully, Chasing The Dragon, Cost of Living
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Zachary Cale – Noise of Welcome
Record Label: All Hands Electric
Buy on Amazon.com

Another singer/songwriter that should turn a few heads. Zachary Cale’s third album has a few acoustic folk songs, a few acoustic instrumentals. I don’t mind the instrumentals because they sound interesting & good.

Listen To: Day For Night
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