Album Review

On Repeat:Hold On by The Cardboard Crowns

In a few days’ time you will get a fresh batch of tracks from the frenzied energies of four rugged gentlemen adorned with their signature crowns of cardboard who balance thought provoking lyrics with hard hitting melodies. A splash of Ska flavour accentuates their punk sound. A multilingual masterpiece with a little something for everyone, Hold On will keep you reaching for the repeat button and has the potential to 180 any foul mood or fear.

 

The title track Hold On, opens the album strongly with tempo changes, memorable lyrics (we couldn’t get this one out of our heads for five months!) and strong vocals blending great harmonies. This track really showcases the Crown’s dynamic abilities.

The lead single, Little Voice builds with a strong bass back beat. The Cardboard Crowns have found a nice balance of catchy yet hard hitting music where your brain remembers them long after the song is over.This song speaks to that “little voice” or conscience that is suppose to help us but sometimes does more harm then good.

Silence seems fun and carefree but carries a great message of not wasting the life you are given because there is only one. There are instrumental solos that intermix in this party sounding track. Take away message of this impossibility catchy track is find your own path in life because in the end its up to only YOU!

Upbeat Vacances starts off reminiscent of a beach classic but half way through transitions into a gritty rock song with an important reminder that we shouldn’t live our lives focusing on fear.

Si-Triste comes out swinging with hard hitting drums, fast guitars reminiscent of the Real Mackenzie’s. The boys really showed their diversity by using a guitar’s strings to simulate that classic bagpipe sound.

Bring your dancing shoes for the appropriately entitled track, Dance. Where we are encouraged to not waste time with worries and just dance our cares away. Take away lyrics for this song for us are “it’s such a lonely road to trade heartache for battle lines”. Love the killer instrumental solo leading into a key change.

Silly Hearts is a walk down memory lane for the narrator. With a very danceable beat, gang vocals and highlights an awesome build in momentum to flawless harmonies. This song is crisp, dynamic and pulls on the heart strings.

Take the Blame contains poignant lyrics it stops the listener in their tracks. Using a simple melody and allowing the vocals to take center stage helps drive the important lesson home. This song will keep you thinking long after it’s over. Using vivid imagery the listener is left with very sobering desire to take up the torch and keep fighting the good fight.

Tired sums up many thoughts our generation has on a regular basis. This speaks to the struggle of balancing passion projects and the need and will to do whatever it takes to survive. That it seems you’re not working on your own goals and can feel unmotivated, especially when unexpected events happen. Tired highlights some key guitar and drum riffs. The musicality alone will motivate you!

Starting out with a familiar intro (we’ve heard it live) but the Cardboard Crowns seems to gain inspiration from the classic swing line from Royal Crown Revue’s Hey Pachuco for the intro to Panic. Listen to their music enough and you start to realize lead vocalist Rat Crown has a distinctive sound. During Panic this is evident yet is almost missed because of the tempo of the song. With Panic running short at barely 1:45, it sounds as though he had too much to say and not enough time in which to deliver the message. There is a very important message to be learned from this song, about complacency.

The ending track, Strangle slows things down for a bit. Cantering a Ska beat builds as the songs’ dynamics range throughout the track. It has a very punk rock edge that will resonate with many listeners.

Our stand out track on the album is Silence and Take the Blame.

Hold On was well worth the wait! The Cardboard Crowns continue to prove their live shows and lyrics are a cut above the rest. This is the album that will greet you at home after that bad day at work and always be able to put a smile on your face. The kind of therapy you can always afford and nobody can judge you for it.

Their first single Little Voice can be heard on their sound cloud page here.

Check out the DIY Crowns swag contest on their Facebook page!

Upcoming concert dates including their CD release party at Lee’s Place in Toronto on March 10th, 2016. To check out more dates see the tour poster below.

2016 shows for the Cardboard Crowns

To connect with the Cardboard Crowns on social media: Facebook Twitter

Coming soon: Feature photos of the Cardboard Crowns, Show Review of their April 22, 2016 show in Kingston ON.

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Album Review- Global Citizen by Cardboard Crowns

With a delightful mix of gang vocals and surf beats, Ottawa’s own the Cardboard Crowns balance punchy melodies and provocative lyrics on their latest release Global Citizen. With lyrics that pose contemplative questions as hooks wash over hard hitting beats demanding another round of listening. Settling into their sound, Cardboard Crowns are not afraid to play with their musical landscape. The performance of Generations begs the listener to ponder their relevance to the world today, while the upbeat waltz of Hats Off is performed as a thank you to their many supporters over the years and a special shout out to the most loyal, family. This song also boasts some awesome percussive mouth action (we think!).

Sun and the Stars claims, “the most pop punk” track of the album.

Where Shut My Mouth and Your Son tackles the difficult subject of inconsistent relationships with key individuals. This song exemplifies ones struggle with various “demons” we all face and gives a voice to many of the insecurities that can be faced growing up. Taking a serious topic and pairing it with gang vocals and an upbeat tempo elevates some of the seriousness while being cathartic for the writer and listener alike.

Even embracing a Latin flavor of Ole, which is also Global Citizen‘s only all French track! Exploding with a strong horns section this track’s infectious beat will stay with you regardless of your understanding of the lyrics.

The title track, Global Citizen and Pulling Teeth seem to have a similar theme. Talking about the effect of mindless advertising and its effects on society psychological well-being as companies often cast aside the individuals as their main concern is about the bottom line.  The songs on this album are equally danceable and intelligent, allowing access to a greater audience.

Esthetically the album artwork is very unique and speaks to Cardboard Crowns‘ ability to tap into their loyal supporters. The cover of Global Citizen is comprised of pictures of family, friends and fans in their own rendition of the bands’ trademark cardboard crowns!

Check out the video to the first single off the album, Hats off below and come out the Mansion in Kingston as the Cardboard Crowns come back for another unforgettable show on March 28th 2015. Tickets available here. The Facebook event is here.

Poor Young Things in final days of Pledge Music Project

With a slight edgy Bruce Springsteen feel, Poor Young Things’ second album, The Head, The Heart, The End, boasts 13 tracks of sweat, energy and determination. “This record is a reflection of getting older and thinking about that” recalls singer/guitarist Matt Fratpietro* as he describes their current release.

Songs detailed on the album The Head, The Heart, The End represent the typical inspirations of most rock bands but also the fight of growing out of the idealistic fantasy of a young rock and roll band.  How transitioning into a long term musical presence can not only be challenging, but filled with doubt, tribulations and achievements. That it’s often challenging making a living in an arts based occupation. This is reflected in their songs “Sign Of The Times” and “Revolver”

Thunder Bay natives, Matt Fratpietro – Guitar, Vocals, Michael Kondakow – Guitar, Vocals, Dave Grant – Guitar, Vocals, Scott Burke – Bass, Konrad Commisso – Drums; relocated to Toronto to be more accessible to the music scene, this was rewarded with signing to Bumstead Productions. Coming of a year of touring their follow-up album in clubs and festivals across this wide country they have started to record the third installment. This upcoming release from the band is anticipated with high expectations after the mixed reviews. Going the way of many artists a Pledge Music Campaign is in its final days to help with the expenses of recording.

Within their Pledge Music campaign there are many perks you can purchase to help the band offset recording costs. Highlights include, a signed guitar, a full house concerts and music lessons from members of the band! There are a handful of more unique offers, many of which have been already claimed by long time fans of the band, including the ability to buy the soul of Konrad, play street hockey against them or give Dave a hair cut during their next tour cycle. Amongst the many signed options there is a chance to be background “head clappers” or purchase a unique art piece created by one of the band members proving they are multifaceted artists.

In the final days of the campaign, they are at 65% towards attaining their goal. Everyone loves new music, especial music they can relate to. Listen to Poor Young Things, they are not only relatable, but driven, determined and talented raw rock n’ roll. Often what you see is what you get. Lets help them achieve this often overwhelming goal! Head over to Pledge Music and search their name or click the link below.

Link to Pledge Music Campaign http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/pooryoungthings

Poor Young Things Official Website: http://www.pooryoungthings.com/

Sentences ending with * denote material taken from Poor Young Things official Bio.

Album Review of Coda and Jacket debut EP from Matt Webb

Matt Webb is known for his work in Vancouver’s own, Marianas Trench who has made waves over the past two years with two back to back tours across Canada. Matt released his second solo EP entitled Right Direction on February 4th, 2014.

For those of you who are maybe not familiar with his solo work, the following is a good account of what you have missed out on thus far.

Showing a passion for not only guitar, 604 Records signed singer/ songwriter Matt Webb’s strengths debuted in his 2011 release of a seven song EP, Coda and Jacket.  With an overall pop sound Matt breaks away from expectations with this collection of originals that travel a wide emotional range. Touching on love, loss and his passion for performing music, Coda and Jacket gives us the listener a glimpse into Webb’s psyche. Pop driven the songs are fairly upbeat and get your toes tapping. Currently awaiting the arrival of his second EP in the mail, there is a bubble of anticipation, to see where the extensive touring and experience with Marianas Trench has taken his inspiration and music.

Here is a link to his break out hit, Bad Girl <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/4Tk2k3AvAU4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

 

 

Semi-Truck album cover Artist: Silvergun & Spleen

Album:Semi Truck

Released:September 2012

Rating: 4/5 Maple Leafs

No stranger to hard work the members of Silvergun & Spleen have placed their hard-earned cash into the production of their recently released EP, Semi-Truck. Boasting catchy- yet sometimes hard beats, rhythmic hooks and powerful vocals to back-up well written lyrics. I can tell they are taking chances on this sophomore release. Changing up their sound and throwing everything they have into this album. There are points of raw emotion that demand you stop and listen. At times sounding very progressive meshing very electronic sound with hard hitting accents. The music sometimes needing no words, layered with passing traffic in the song ‘Highway Night Life Intermezzo’ paints a vivid picture of late night driving on tour. Silver Gun & Spleen ask thought provoking questions and deal with real emotions such as betrayal and doubting one’s self. This progression of sound does not compromise their alternative sound. With a vintage look to the artwork of this album, Silvergun & Spleen members are anything but! Merv, Vern, Chris, and John intrigue me both with the awesome complexity of this album in lyrics and melody; but also showing no signs of holding back. To not be afraid and pull from their many inspirations and create a sound that after the last song makes you want more! With intense energy Silvergun & Spleen are ones you want to keep an ear on, maybe two!

Within Rust “Born” Album Review

Within Rust, a quartet of drWithin Rust bandiven young men from Canada’s West coast began in early 2012. Nolan Scott (Vocals), Mattew Gage (lead guitar), Taj Wheeler (Bass) and Lewis Scott (Drums) are all very talented at their craft and take multiple roles within the band. Writing a three song EP that is heavy in nature but well put together. They balance the heavy with some light in the song Algorithms taking a break from both vocals and instruments to highlight their instrumental playing ability. “Watch Me” boasts lighter vocals and more of a rock sound. This song has been cleverly mixed with electronic elements that continue to pop up throu_Born_ Front coverghout the three song set. Alive with Ease has a haunting quality to it, but of the three this is the one that sticks with me Not the best it could be yet. Through out the EP multiple layering of many instruments works. An interesting first effort, I want to hear more to see if they have staying power and how time and experience will influence their sound.  

Silvergun & Spleen “Semi-Truck” Album Review

Album Cover

Album Cover

Artist: Silvergun & Spleen

Album: Semi Truck

Released in September 11, 2012

Rating: 4/5 Maple Leafs

No stranger to hard work the members of Silvergun & Spleen have placed their hard earned cash into the production of their recently released EP, Semi-Truck. Boasting catchy- yet sometimes hard beats, rhythmic hooks and powerful vocals to back-up well written lyrics. I can tell they are taking chances this sophomore release changing up their sound and throwing everything they have into this album. There are points of raw emotion that demand you stop and listen. At times sounding very progressive meshing very electronic sound with hard hitting accents. The music sometimes needing no words, For the track “Highway Night Life Intermezzo”, layered passing traffic with the music, paints a vivid picture of late night driving on tour. Silver Gun & Spleen ask thought provoking questions and deal with real emotions such as betrayal and doubting one’s self. This progression of sound does not compromise, but compliments their alternative roots. With a vintage look to the artwork of this album, Silvergun & Spleen members are anything but! Merv, Vern, Chris, and John intrigue me both with the awesome complexity of this album in lyrics and melody; but also showing no signs of holding back. To not be afraid and pull from their many inspirations and create a sound that after the last song makes you want more! With intense energy Silvergun & Spleen are ones you definitely want to keep an ear on, maybe two!