My favorite little foursome out of L.A., The Ruse, is killing it with their new EP, Rebellion. Check out their new video for “Simple Grace,” a gorgeous, scaled-back, romantic number, one of two quiet songs on the EP. The black and white video is super sexy; and how cool is the wine-cigar-fire bit?
Yeah, I know. Long overdue. What can I say … life’s been crazy and it’s all I can do to keep up with breathing, let alone music. But, I do have a couple of tracks that have been burning up the old music machines around chez Krissie. And here they are, for your listening enjoyment.
1. Ruby Soho (Rancid Cover) – Jimmy Cliff
If there is any one person that I should thank for my love of music, it’s my Dad. He was my earliest influencer, and Santa gave me tapes as gifts when I was as young as 7 (point in case, Springsteen’s Born to Run). When I was about 10 years old, Dad, who I think was probably meant to live in the Caribbean, came back from a trip with Jimmy Cliff. He dubbed me a tape copy of Hanging Fire, and I must have listened to “Brown Eyes” a million times on my boom box. Since then, I’ve had a fascination with Jimmy, and was stoked to see him release a little EP of covers a few weeks ago. This fun, upbeat reggae twist on one of my favorite cult 90s classics is my favorite.
2. ‘Til My Heart Gives Out (Mountain Song) – The Lusitania
My friends over at Alternative Addiction gave me a heads up about this San Antonio, Texas band a couple of weeks ago and their 2010 album, Rain and Rivers, has been in rotation ever since. If you’re a fan of The Avett Brothers, OAR, or The Grand Magnolias, you’re going to like this band. Got a little country-bluegrass-pop-punk thing happening. As the temperatures drop, this is the kinda music that keeps me rolling down the river in mid-summer in my mind.
3. Bumps in the Night – The Ruse
Also putting out an EP within the last few weeks is my favorite little LA rock outfit, The Ruse. These fellas know how to put together a rock song, and the Rebellion EP is no exception. Two tracks, in particular, have reinvigorated my craving for guitar-driven rock n’ roll, and this is one of them (for the other, In Defense of the Rebellion, visit here). And I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again…Jason Young, their drummer, is my hero.
4. The Heyday – Somebody to Someone
There is no denying my love for infectious little pop songs, and no band writes more ear wormy, hand clapping ditties than The Heyday out of Colorado. The fellas put out a new single this week, and it is full of hooky goodness … Bonus: the god of production and songwriting that is Christopher Jak had a hand in it. If this song doesn’t make you wish for being 17 and taking a roadtrip with your best friends, I don’t know what will.
5. Holy Ghost – Flagship
This is actually an older song that’s been redone. I wrote awhile ago about two of Charlotte’s young, promising acts – Flagship and Campbell the Band – merging. They decided to ditch a new name and stick with Flagship. This weekend, they put up a video of them performing an older Flagship song, “Holy Ghost” … wow. Forget that every video they put up is outstanding in its production… I am so in love with Drake Margolnick’s voice. It’s just intoxicating. Mesh an already tremendous song with the players’ from Campbell the Band’s ability to write some melancholic little melodies, you have a hit just waiting to happen. Telling you now, watch these kids. They’re going to do big things.
I am a sucker for rock n’ roll of all kinds…but one of my biggest weaknesses is Brit rock, or faux Brit rock, as some may call it. I blame Lee Garrett, really, for introducing me to The Stereophonics a decade ago and making me fall in love… and ever since then, it’s just been an obsession.
I’ve been craving screaming guitar, thrumming bass and pounding drums like a pregnant woman wants pickles lately. Luckily, I’ve got the cure. Three cures, actually. And not a one of ’em British.
To help rock you through your long Thanksgiving weekend, let me introduce you to: The Midnight Youth, hailing from New Zealand; and two long-time go-tos for blistering rock, both out of California, The Golden State & The Ruse.
You’re welcome. Happy Turkey Rock.
THE MIDNIGHT YOUTH | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Recently, a New Zealand band I follow on Twitter mentioned The Midnight Youth and how they were releasing a new album soon; said they couldn’t wait for it. Can’t explain what it was about that tweet that made me click on the link, but I did. And I tripped into the rock n’ roll wonderland of The Midnight Youth. After watching their French Girl video, I knew I had to have more. A week later, their World Comes Calling album was released, and it has literally been on repeat ever since. I am hypnotized by lead singer Jeremy Redmore’s clean, soaring vocals that are reminiscent of the best 70s rock bands. If that didn’t win me over, the incredible, beatastic smashing drums and cymbals of Aidan Bartlett would have. This is 2011’s answer to arena rock. The whole album is tremendous, but I am especially in love with “Listen” and the title track – nicely captured in the video below. Seriously, you need to own this record, people. It is baffling to me that we are not promoting music like this in the U.S.
GOLDEN STATE | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Oh, Golden State. A stumbled upon this brit-esque band a few years back when I was looking for a track to round out one of my mix CDs. I’ve been following them ever since. Lead singer James Grundler started in a band called Paloalto that broke up in 2004, and Golden State got together soon after. They’ve released two full lengths, including their latest album Division, and a number of EPs (some that you can’t get any more), been featured music on “Deadliest Catch” in several seasons (particularly poignant was the use of their song “All Roads Lead Home” during the scenes during and following Captain Phil’s death). Again, win me over with vocals, woo me with guitar shredding and heartpounding rhythms… These boys have it. Today, they released their video for “World on Fire” and it just makes me love ’em more. Graceful, beautiful rock n’ roll.
Years ago, The Ruse came and played at The Evening Muse in Charlotte. I was instantly sold on them; the influence from Brit and Euro bands like U2 is fairly obvious, but their writing was what won me over. Absolutely gorgeous lyrics, and we all know I’m a lyrics girl. Then came their 2008 release Midnight in the City, which made #1 on my Top Ten list… And, might I add, spawned an iTunes free single of the week with “Beautiful Is Gone.” Last year’s Love, Sex, Confusion just added to my minor obsession, especially after the creative video for “I Can’t Stop” came out. They’re simply one of the best unknown rock bands in the U.S. So I was pretty excited to download their new EP, Rebellion, today… And I’m pleased as punch with it! This little five song EP is scaled back a bit from their previous records…less “wall of sound,” quieter guitars, softer edges, lots of melodic “whoas” and “ohs”…but it really showcases the songwriting and the individual band members contributions to the music. My favorite track right now is the hardest rocker on the album, “In Defense of the Rebellion” (quite appropriate given the political climate/Occupy movement going on right now), but I’m also quickly falling in love with “Ten Thousand Years.” Epic love story, really, and I’m one of those sappy romantic types. At under $5, you can definitely afford to drop $5 of your Black Friday spending money on this as a gift to yourself!