As it's the beginning of the year and the music business is mostly shut up tight, I do not have much that one could call material to review. However a couple of labels have managed to get me some material through the holiday backlog of mail.
Switched: Ghosts in the Machine
Good modern rock that does a very good job at rising above the melange of a pack that exists in the current market. It's well performed, produced and written. And this is a key thing; their lead singer can actually do his job so there is less shouting and more singing. In other words the melodic parts sound genuine instead of an afterthought; as on 'Like Suicide'.
There is quite a bit of catchiness kicking around as well. The riff and beat of the CD's opening track, 'Save Myself', kicks some serious arse and any handbanger worth his salt would be hard-pressed to resists its allure. The release will include an additional CD of b-sides, rarities and live material (12 tracks). This is, by far, the best release I have heard from the Corporate Punishment label. They have a bit of the Soundgarden about them with a twist of a modern sound on some tracks. An impressive release whatever you think it sounds like.
Charlie O and the Houserockers: Trouble in the Southland
Down home Southern blues (not blues rock) is what is on order here; with tales about soul stealing devils, heaving drinking and bad women. The band, more like an old West posse, has a whole range of voices and talents. From the picture they range in age as well. The band features a myriad of experienced musicians who are said to be very impressive live. Oh yes, and another thing that is most impressive about this release; the quality of the recording and production. I have heard quite a few decent sized label acts whose sound does not hold a patch on this self-released CD.