Real Rock Report

October 20, 2010

BENVENUE – JEAN ELIZABETH EP (REVIEW)

Filed under: Rock And Roll — J.S.L. @ 703p10

San Francisco based Benvenue debut EP (that would be extended play people, because there are really only eight songs out of 11 tracks) Jean Elizabeth at its best moments sounds like the much underrated Samiam (Samiam was pre Foo Fighters… ya dig)? With some nice touches of Living Colour thanks to the fantastic Bass player Mr. Tommy Aldo Sonin. Calling Benvenue metal in any capacity does them and the metal community a disservice, they are alternative hard rock… nuff said on that deal. There are some big nasty guitar hooks on some of the tracks but where Sid Slater really shines on guitar is on the more moody psychedelic meandering he peppers this record with. Moon on drums, sounds nothing like Keith Moon so don’t worry. Moon is good with this unit because he has a nice post punk feel that gives this music a nice tight hit. Francis Blay is the singer and he is very strong and very good. Most importantly for me is I really get the sense that Blay and the rest of Benvenue get actual joy from the music they play it’s very apparent on these recordings and I am looking forward to catching these kids live if I get the chance. If you wan’t a really good intro to this new band go to I-tunes and buy Here’s To You, 21/8, No Way, She Did and Come with me (for a little of the mellow after the rock storm). She Did is the obvious single but for my money it’s all about No Way. No way? Way.  In truth Jean Elizabeth is very well produced, however I think this is one of the few bands I have heard in the last few years that could carry off the super produced record. The only slight misstep for me is the kinda boring acoustic version of Dark Streets, I like acoustic songs but there has to be a point to them and this one doesn’t go anywhere and the production is blah.  I think these guys have a really good shot of building a fan base. I really like this band and I will be keeping tabs on them. What’s up with the bay area putting out the best music in 2010?

3.5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

October 12, 2010

THE NEW CZARS – DOOMSDAY REVOLUTION (REVIEW)

Filed under: Rock And Roll — J.S.L. @ 703p10

The New Czars are a trip. A trip worth taking but you must be patient, this record was released in September but I am reviewing it now because it took me many listens to decide what the heck I was listening to. It’s all rock and roll but there are many touches of pop sensibility and for lack of a better term neo psychedelia. The music is updated for 2010 but could stand easily with Alice In Chains, Soundgarden even good old Guns N’ Roses. Greg Hampton is brilliant pure and simple with ridiculous guitar playing that is like bucket head or bumblefoot but less annoying than either can sometimes be. Coupled with fine strong rock vocals that while having a 90′s feel, still sell 2010 and beyond with no problem. Oh did I mention that Hampton produced this big jumble of rock love? Well, he did and he did a great job with a record that I’m sure he understood would take some time to be fed to the rocks masses. When you decide to not compromise (not just say that you don’t or won’t) it takes guts and it just takes time. Time for word of mouth to spread that this is new (but with lots of old cool sounds mixed in like 80′s phase and flange on guitars)! Time to listen (like I did) ten times before you realize that you are listening to a complete picture, a complete vision that was executed deliberately and thoughtfully to transport you to a new place with form and function but with a lack of the usual and obvious boundaries. The only slight let down for me is that the lyrics are not nearly as brilliant as the music but hey what are you gonna do. Joined on drums by David “Chili” Moreno and on bass by Paul Ill a rock guitarist dream rhythm combo… nuff said. Oh and Adrian Belew blayed some of his crazy ass 6 string bass but so what right? I mean he’s no big deal right?…Wrong. These guys have worked on many famous people records including one of the worst records of the past ten years (go ahead guess, I know you wan’t to) and this record is better than most if not all of them so I won’t mention their names. This is one of those “album” records as apposed to “single” aka “commercials” records, which means each song works into the next seamlessly. You can visit them at Myspace but if you read the comments… well don’t say I didn’t warn you. All the songs rock but my personal favorites are Why Do U have 2 lie?, Time Stops, Don’t Watch Me and Keep On Going. Real artists continue to grow and now that Hampton is working on his own thing I have a feeling he can do something amazing. This is a great start.

3.5 (out of 5)

J.S.L.

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