Drive

SKU: 0665-2
Label:
Inside Out Music
Category:
Art Rock
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"Alternative Rock is not a genre that graces my ears very often, but as always, they are open; as is my mind. The funny thing is, any time I am exposed to something I wouldn't normally find myself listening to, there is always something about that band that has my wanting attention for one reason or another, be it the sound of the vocalist, the mixing, or those infectious hooks in the chorus. For its genre, the ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN (formerly AGUA DE ANNIQUE) is perfectly postulated and is a leading act, with their non-repetitive writing (something I hear too often in commercial rock), excellent vocals and songs leaving you burning with an urge to sing along.

Their latest release, "Drive", is no exception; as an album, it proves to be versatile, with no two songs sounding identical, but every song keeping the rhythm and mood to make the album fit piece by piece. "We Live On" feels like a typical pop-rock track, upbeat and driving, with an extremely powerful vocal performance in the choruses by Van Giersbergen. "Treat Me Like A Lady" does not want to be treated like a lady, and takes a noticeably heavier tone, brimming with attitude. "She" begins ever so modestly, making us think we're brought back to some level of calm, but explodes into an incredibly fast-paced chorus for such a Rock band, and includes yet another infectious chorus; something that is fast becoming an obvious highlight. "Drive" – I adore the sound of the bass in this song, the way it is dislocated from the drums, adds another dynamic. Van Giersbergen's even more stellar performance in the chorus demonstrates her large vocal range and versatility. Save for electric bass, "My Mother Said" is an entirely acoustic song and is the softest, most heartfelt song on the album; the band's namesake flawlessly demonstrates her ability to fit her voice around any song to emote any mood wants. "Forgive Me" is especially different, demonstrating unusual chord progressions, totally different instrumentation, and revealing even more, the extent of control that Van Giersbergen has over her range. "You Will Never Change" is upbeat and punchy, through-and-through with an – okay, let us just assume that every song on this album has an infectious chorus; definitely one of my favorites on the album. "Mental Jungle" begins with a strange, Arabic-sounding vocal melody, also featured on the chorus; I do indeed also love this chorus, as well as the interesting chord progressions. Quite easily the most unique song on the album, it strays from the pipeline rock sound that this record has been purveying. "Shooting for the Stars" takes the cake for the 'radiorock' track on the album, where every note, every beat, every lyric, screams commercialism and airtime. Not necessarily a bad song, but not the most interesting on the album. The album closes with "The Best Is Yet To Come" which makes me thing, Anneke has even better music to offer us in the future? The song itself takes first place on the album for me; the presence of the overdriven guitars and bass compliment her voice perfectly to create a powerful and catchy, yet Heavy Rock track, with interesting and unpredictable licks and hooks.

Van Giersbergen and her band are quickly cementing themselves as one of Europe's currently most powerful and gorgeous-sounding rock groups, whom don't necessarily always cling to the commercialized, radio cliché sound, although no doubt perfectly suited to long air time. Coming from a metal head who listens to a fair share of female singers, I believe she could sing anything she wanted to, and the band of musicians that have got together and recorded this organic album with her have done so masterfully, and I'm not sure if the best is yet to come." - Metal Temple

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  • The Japanese jazz scene is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Long written off as just a scene filled with copycats of American and European artists, jazz fans around the world are now discovering that there was some amazing music being created there.  Some of the musicians like Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi crossed over into the world jazz scene but for the most part many of the musicians there only gained popularity in Japan.  One of the most important Japanese jazz labels from the 70s was Three Blind Mice.  It was started in 1970 by producer Takeshi "Tee" Fuji.  The label adhered to strict audiophile standards and all of the releases on the label featured exemplary sonics.  The music of Three Blind Mice tended to fall into three facets of jazz (they would crossover from time to time).  Some of the artists play very traditional straight ahead jazz.  Frankly while this stuff appeals to audiophiles its not that appealing beyond the sonics.  There was also an experimental side to the label featuring a lot of free jazz blowing.  The third aspect, which to my ears is the most interesting, is the area where the label explored modal jazz, often with an electric element.  Very little of it would be hard card fusion, but a rock element would sometimes be present.  This falls into the realm that has been broadly tagged as "kosmigroov".The label only existed in the 70s and the rights to the catalog has now passed over to Sony Music.  Think Records in Japan has started a limited ediiton reissue campaign of the Three Blind Mice label.  They arrive in mini-LP sleeves and are manufactured using Sony's proprietary Blu-Spec process.  We are cherry picking titles we think should have your attention.  More will follow in the near future.Green Caterpillar has long been a favorite of audiophiles and now fans of kosmigroov have caught on to it.  As a result prices have soared over the years.  Even the old CD reissue goes for $$.The album features Masaru Imada, a jazz pianist of some reknown in Japan.  This features his trio expanded into a quintet with the addition of guitarist Kazumi Watanabe and percussionist Yuji Imamura (see Air).  Typically Imada worked in a standard piano, bass, drum configuration but on this one he really lets his hair down.  Parts of this album feature Imada playing electric keyboards and he's wonderful but the real spice to this lineup is guitarist Watanabe.  The album consists of 4 long tracks.  The title track is the show stopper.  It settles into a funky electric rhythm and then Kazumi lets it rip.  Easily one of the best albums on Three Blind Mice and essential.
    $29.00
  • This is the first North American release for Move, the fifth album in the Freak Kitchen discography.  Freak Kitchen is led by renowned guitarist/vocalist Mattias Eklundh. The band describes Move as "More metal, more experimental, more fascinating… will please the fans and will without any possible doubt convert the newcomers." It is also the first album to feature drummer Bjorn Fryklund.  Intense guitar driven music that blurs the fine line between progressive rock and metal.  Essential for fans of Frank Zappa, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai."Freak Kitchen return with their fifth album, a new drummer and bass player. The first noticeable difference is the inclusion of double kick drums at the beginning of the opening track "Propaganda Pie." They definitely add an extra metal "oooomph" to Freak Kitchen's sound.Of course Eklundh fills the album with crazy, off-the-wall, impossible to play solos and licks. His playing alone is worth the price of the album. But that is not even the best part, as basically every song on the album is extremely catchy and memorable. These are the type of songs that get stuck in your head for hours.The lyrics generally deal with real world issues, such as sweatshops ("Logo"), divorce ("Seven Days In June"), and drug addiction ("Herion Breakfast"). The topics are serious, but generally the music is upbeat; they are addressed in a somewhat sarcastic way, although a few songs could be considered 'depressing.' Probably "Seven Days In June" and "Razor Flowers." The latter track is sung by the bassist, and he does a great job.Move is definitely not 100% TR00 METUHL, but it rocks, and it has the high quality of musicianship that metal fans enjoy, so it should appeal to many a listener." - Metal Archives
    $14.00
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    $11.00
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    $20.00
  • "History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience. Although this was John Coltrane's debut for Atlantic, he was concurrently performing and recording with Miles Davis. Within the space of less than three weeks, Coltrane would complete his work with Davis and company on another genre-defining disc, Kind of Blue, before commencing his efforts on this one. Coltrane (tenor sax) is flanked by essentially two different trios. Recording commenced in early May of 1959 with a pair of sessions that featured Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), as well as Paul Chambers -- who was the only band member other than Coltrane to have performed on every date. When recording resumed in December of that year, Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) were instated -- replicating the lineup featured on Kind of Blue, sans Miles Davis of course. At the heart of these recordings, however, is the laser-beam focus of Coltrane's tenor solos. All seven pieces issued on the original Giant Steps are likewise Coltrane compositions. He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos -- the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed "sheets of sound." Coltrane's polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre -- turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc's title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of "Countdown" does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers. Tellingly, the contrasting and ultimately pastoral "Naima" was the last tune to be recorded, and is the only track on the original long-player to feature the Kind of Blue quartet. What is lost in tempo is more than recouped in intrinsic melodic beauty." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00
  • "There is something about those nights with friends outside by the fire with music filling the air. Sitting in the dark watching flames dance or the heavens shine is a very hard experience to convey with only words. That and going on adventurous and epic quests in between those nights.  Italy’s Vexillum try to capture moments of this by infusing power, symphonic, and folk metal into one album to create such different aspects of a big story. The Bivouac is truly an epic journey laced with intense and calming moments. What I interpreted while listening is that every song is the adventure and the times of rest. They have recreated the atmosphere between tracks of being there with sounds of the fires, horses, ambient talking, flutes playing, etc. Then they ramp up to full power and hit you with soaring vocals and galloping drums.  A great example of this is the transition from the songs ‘The Hunt’ and ‘The Dream’. There are melodies and folk tidbits weaved throughout the record but this is above all power and symphonic. Feel good; raise your sword to the sky for victory, metal! There’s always room in my life for this kind of metal.There are a lot of layers and effort in to making this album organic and sounding as if someone just turned on the metal switch in a medieval village and gave everyone access to guitars, synths, and drum kits. ‘The Marketsquare of Dooly’ has moments where you can hear barters and people laughing to build the atmosphere like I’ve been talking about, ending back around the fire after another day of travel. One way or another, you’re going to find yourself back to hearing the crackling sparks and the sounds of bottles and horses. Vexillum is the mix of the band Rhapsody with an alto version of Jarmo Pääkkönen (Excalion), wearing kilts. That is really dumbing it down but it’s what I felt while listening.Anyone who is a fan of epic power metal with soaring vocals and whaling melodic folk solos with hints of flutes and bagpipes is going to like, or perhaps love this band.  The production is solid and there is a lot of depth when it comes to the layering of tracks. A little hidden treasure from the land of inventors, artists, lovers, vineyards, and pasta." - Xplosive Metal 
    $13.00
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    $5.00
  • Evergrey are back and better than ever!  I think the general consensus is that as the band became more and more popular the music became a bit more commercial and the production slicker.  Tom Englund has gone back to the basics and its clearly the right move.  Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) have returned to the fold and production has been handed over to Jacob Hansen.  This is a return to the "classic" Evergrey sound - that perfect balance of melody and heaviness with the right amount of "prog" injected when necessary.  COMEBACK ALBUM OF THE YEAR!  BUY OR DIE!"One of the leading names in the power/progressive metal world is the Swedish five-piece, Evergrey. Forming in 1995, the band has released eight full length albums, with number nine releasing this fall. The band has been known for relatively dark lyrics and concept albums since their debut, and because of this fact, it was very difficult for me to get into their music. I can easily count the amount of times I thought “I should listen to Evergrey” on one hand. Though I wasn’t well versed in their discography, what I had heard was moving quite slowly, was downright melancholic, and just couldn’t catch my attention. That was until the Hymns for the Broken album landed in my inbox.First off, the notable changes in the lineup, with the return of Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) grabbed my attention immediately. Though the band briefly spoke about the addition of the two previous members on their Facebook, “What can we say? We missed each other.” I truly believe that this decision, and the amazing mixing by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear) and production quality are what set this album up for its coming success.The album kicks off with a very eerie intro track, then jumps into the first single and video, “King of Errors”. Even without being an Evergrey fan in particular, I have always known who Tom Englund was, as his voice is so unique and legendary in the industry that I couldn’t ever really escape it. This song is a great display of the power and ability he has as a vocalist to truly bring a wonderfully written song to an entirely new level. The blend of the guitar riffs and keyboard work is perfection to say the least, but when the awe-inspiring guitar solo hit, I knew this album had me by its teeth.Immediately following is another one of the strongest tracks on the album, “A New Dawn” with a strong and hard-hitting guitar and bass riff that doesn’t ever really let go throughout the song. This song features one of the more beautiful keyboard solos on the album, but yet again that guitar solo just comes out of nowhere and destroys any solo I have ever heard this band release. “Black Undertow” is another perfect example of why Englund is so well-respected in the music world. It begins with his chillingly lower vocal range, but builds back up to where he truly shines. This song not only features another soaring and strong chorus, but the rhythm work between all instruments keeps it dark and eerie, though the keyboard lightly dances above it all.The title track to the record explodes into this phenomenal musical intro, but fades just as quickly as it hits. Boasting some of the strongest, most emotional lyrics on the album, the song hits a chord in many personal ways. “Scream loud, these hymns are for the broken,” are just some of this crowd enticing chorus that Englund sings flawlessly throughout. Bringing the album to a close is the over seven minute song “The Aftermath” which begins in a ballad-like fashion, but builds to a very strong finale. The tempo remains slow, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The last half of the song is entirely instrumental, and the conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.If you can’t tell, I can’t think of a single moment on this album I don’t absolutely love. As someone who could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just ‘fandom’ talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. Easily a current contender for album of the year, it’s so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don’t doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well.This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!" - Metalholic 
    $15.00
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    $13.00
  • Hyperdrive marks a new era for Knight Area.  The long running Dutch progressive rock band had previously released four studio albums and toured Europe and USA extensively, performing at all major prog rock festivals.  1n 2012 the band welcomed guitarist Mark Bogert as well as legendary bassist Peter Vink (Q65, Finch, Ayreon) into the fold. With these newcomers onboard, Knight Area introduced a heavier element and fuller sound to their repertoire.  All the classic symphonic rock traits of their previous albums are still clearly evident but the songs on Hyperdrive are more immediate and concise.The band invited noted prog guitarist Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) to participate as a special guest on one track.  Joost van den Broek, who is known for his production work with Epica, Mayan, and After Forever, mixed the album.   Rounding out the package is startling artwork by Gustavo Sazes.
    $14.00
  • Rhino Records will release a 2CD Anthology featuring Steve Howe solo works outside the borders of his various band involvements. the collection, called Anthology: A Solo Career Retrospective. This set will provide 34 tracks in all, many of them receiving a new 2015 remaster (see track-list below). An impressive booklet will be included as well with the expected essays, credits, and photos.Track-List of Anthology: A Solo Career RetrospectiveCD1:01 So Bad (2015 Remastered Version)02 Lost Symphony (2015 Remastered Version)03 Pleasure Stole The Night (2015 Remastered Version)04 Pennants (2015 Remastered Version)05 Look Over Your Shoulder (2015 Remastered Version)06 Surface Tension (2015 Remastered Version)07 Sensitive Chaos08 Running The Human Race09 Desire Comes First10 Luck Of The Draw11 Maiden Voyage12 Walk Don’t Run13 Momenta14 The Collector15 Just Like A Woman16 Buckets Of RainCD2:01 Distant Seas02 Curls & Swirls03 Meridian Strings (2015 Remastered Version)04 Simplification (2015 Remastered Version)05 Rising Sun (2015 Remastered Version)06 Westwinds (2015 Remastered Version)07 Ultra Definition (2015 Remastered Version)08 Ebb and Flow (2015 Remastered Version)09 Dorothy10 Sketches In The Sun11 Diary Of A Man Who Vanished12 Devon Blue13 King’s Ransom14 Bachianas Brasileiras No.515 Beginnings (2015 Remastered Version)16 Mood For A Day (with The English Chamber Orchestra)17 Sharp On Attack
    $22.00
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    $14.00
  • "Talking Heads found a way to open up the dense textures of the music they had developed with Brian Eno on their two previous studio albums for Speaking in Tongues, and were rewarded with their most popular album yet. Ten backup singers and musicians accompanied the original quartet, but somehow the sound was more spacious, and the music admitted aspects of gospel, notably in the call-and-response of "Slippery People," and John Lee Hooker-style blues, on "Swamp." As usual, David Byrne determinedly sang and chanted impressionistic, nonlinear lyrics, sometimes by mix-and-matching clichés ("No visible means of support and you have not seen nothin' yet," he declared on "Burning Down the House," the Heads' first Top Ten hit), and the songs' very lack of clear meaning was itself a lyrical subject. "Still don't make no sense," Byrne admitted in "Making Flippy Floppy," but by the next song, "Girlfriend Is Better," that had become an order -- "Stop making sense," he chanted over and over. Some of his charming goofiness had returned since the overly serious Remain in Light and Fear of Music, however, and the accompanying music, filled with odd percussive and synthesizer sounds, could be unusually light and bouncy. The album closer, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)," even sounded hopeful. Well, sort of. Despite their formal power, Talking Heads' preceding two albums seemed to have painted them into a corner, which may be why it took them three years to craft a follow-up, but on Speaking in Tongues, they found an open window and flew out of it." - Allmusic Guide
    $6.00