Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Left Lane Cruiser has built a solid reputation as an undeniable force of rhythm and raw energy over the last decade. You can hear the band in action on “Claw Machine Wizard”, the title track from the duo’s upcoming LP, due May 19 from Alive Records. A blast of pure, furnace-hot energy, the tune bridges the distance between hill country blues and Black Sabbath. Drummer Pete Dio’s playing recalls the powerful, responsive (and jazz-inflected) work of Sabbath’s Bill Ward. Meanwhile, guitarist/vocalist Freddy J Evans IV reminds us that both blues and heavy rock took long crawls from the back streets to the main street, tracking layers of soulful grit in along the way.
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We are happy to premiere the Neal Morse Band’s rendition of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” from the massive new Morsefest 2015 set, out today via Radiant Records via Metal Blade/Sony. Morse, who helped renew interest in progressive rock as a founding member of Spock’s Beard, has always had wide-ranging tastes, as demonstrated by this rendition of a song that’s been performed by everyone from Richard Harris to Waylon Jennings to Donna Summer.
Today we reviewed New York ensemble Red Baraat‘s new album Bhangra Pirates and said “Bhangra Pirates is the most successful attempt to package that energy yet for Red Baraat, ecstatic and frenzied, turning each individual listening at home into a full audience.” In our book, that makes the record a PopMatters Pick as Red Baraat has finally managed to capture their astounding energy and virtuosity as performance artists on record.
Tel-Aviv duo Lola Marsh occupy a space in between indie pop, indie folk, and electropop with their beautifully melodic, breezy songs. It’s a thoroughly modern and engaging approach to pop music that highlights the superb songwriting chops of Gil Landau and the enigmatic vocals of Yael Shoshana Cohen. Lola Marsh’s tunes have stormed the Hype Machine charts, and their future looks bright with their debut album coming sometime this spring or summer.
Peter Mulvey is a true musical craftsman, developing and refining his approach through genre experimentation and 25 years of hard work writing and playing all over the world. Even after 17 albums, Mulvey’s creative juices continue to flow strong. Noted singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco who has produced Mulvey’s new album says, “Mulvey has been honing his craft for many a decade, and it shows. He can play some badass guitar, sing to touch your heart, and write a song that will knock you down, and by knock you down, I mean lift you up.”