BLOODY RED BARON – February Reviews

Posted on 11 February 2018

Bloody Red Baron

FEBRUARY REVIEWS

by Mike Baron

BURGESS MEREDITH: A Dimension of Sound

Burgess Meredith is a garage pop 60’s-influenced rock & roll band from Austin, TX.” A little bit garage, a little bit of mad pop science, beginning with “When We Were Born” which has the dense velvet sounds of the Heavy Blinkers, with stacked harmonies. This record is like a circus train pulling into town with a mad calliopist perched on top of the engine like that guitarist in Mad Max: Fury Road. More calliope in the Jellyfish-like “Wendy,”with some country twang lurking in the bushes, as in “In And Out of True,” with its Nashville twang. The drummer sounds like a top fuel dragster revving up on “Outside,” but most often, those keyboards are at the heart of every song. “The Man From Abilene” feels like a Brian Wilson song from the Brian Wilson album, and the band bares its rock fangs on “Just One, Cool Daddy,” when the guitar breaks out.

An outstanding record filled with grace and pop flourishes.

Four and a half stars.

The Foreign Films - The Record Collector

THE FOREIGN FILMS: The Record Collector

If Mozart walked among us, he might be Bill Majoros, the Canadian behind The Foreign Films, whose 2007 release, Distant Star, set an almost impossible bar to hurdle, combining elements of glam, rock, and orchestral pop into a swirling masterpiece as memorable as anything by XTC or ELO. A mere eleven years later, he has released this three disc set. It’s one long shiver up your back, beginning with the orchestral “Shadow In The Light,” dripping with glockenspiel and cello. Those celloists, Kirk Starkey and Anna Jarvis, are all over this record.

Majoros sings with hushed urgency, and paired with Kori Pop, the results are magical. The jangle of spy chords appear in “The Sun Will Shine Again” and again in “Teardrop Town,” and “Lucky Streak,” with a dash of Bryan Ferry. “State of the Art” is rockier, with a Beatlesque chorus. “Northern Love Song” echoes those reclusive Finns, Bookends. Throughout, Carl Jennings’ enormous bass is in your face, quoting Horace Silver on “Falling Like A Star.”

“Sweet Sorrow” swoons with echoes of Burgess Meredith and the Corner Laughers in the harmonies, and ELO and Field Music in the structure. Finally there is the thirteen minute suite, “Fall of the Summer Heart,” containing Brian Wilson touches, and comparable to Brian’s own “Rio Grande,” with its shifting dynamics. Majoros sings about love and loss and although the music sometimes ventures into the morose, so does Pet Sounds.

Five stars.

 Blank Pages - Before Your Summer Fades

BLANK PAGES: Before Your Summer Fades (FDRLABEL.COM)

Blank Pages, not to be confused with the Christian band of the same name, is a trio out of Southern New Jersey that shares a similar melodic esthetic with John San Juan and his band the Hushdrops. They have an instantly identifiable sound, a little cool, a little angular, irresistible. Greg Potter writes the songs, sings in a blue collar voice. Not Bob Seger low and mighty, but a regular guy on the assembly line who astonishes, as in “Greg! I didn’t know you could sing!” “Take the Stage” is superior song craft and a great introduction to their cool yet hot, angular and propulsive sound, punctuated by Potter’s ferocious guitar. Dig those power chords on “She’s Got the Knack,” and the solo on “It Is What It Is,” which takes off like an air raid siren. That song should be Judge Judy’s theme, not Beethoven’s Fifth. “Lost and Found” draws blood from the Byrds and Nashville, with its country twang, and runs right into “That’s Too Bad.” One of the bets power pop releases of the year.

Four and a half stars.

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Mike Baron is the creator of comic books Badger and (along with Steve Rude)  Nexus.  His latest book is “A Brief History of Jazz Rock” – more on Amazon CLICK HERE.

Baron has an exciting, just announced new project coming out in 2018 and just hit its Kickstarter goal.  It’s called Q-Ball and it’s an espionage/martial arts thriller with explosive fight scenes, written by Mike Baron and drawn by Barry McClain.  CLICK HERE to check it out.

He has written five novels in the last few years, all available on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/184-5348781-8830168?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Mike%20Baron.  Visit his website here:  http://bloodyredbaron.net and on Wikipedia here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Baron

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