McCauliffe Brothers Band – It’s Likely – Also, Free Song Download!

"It's Likely" album cover, great shoegazer songs with a free downloadAlbum: It’s Likely
Artist: McCauliffe Brothers Band
Label: Independent
For Fans Of: Slowdive, Shoegaze, Radiohead, Heady Pop Rock

Reviewer: Dave


The McCauliffe Brothers asked me to review one song.  Just one. The title track of their album, “It’s Likely”.

It’s no small thing though. “It’s Likely” is 7 minutes long and heady. You don’t get to needle-drop, listen for 10 seconds and then make a decision. You get drawn in. It starts out pretty simple with a standard guitar-bass-drums-vocals combination that could fit in anywhere, but there’s more to it than that. The playing doesn’t have the polish of a major label, but you can tell it has integrity.  There’s a dreamy vibe that slips in-between a 90′s pop rock feel, verging somewhere between the shoegazer sound and 311.

It’s a good song. You know what I did? I kept listening. It’s a good album. Solid musicians with good songs and decent lyrics. “I Won’t Hide It” is more poppy sounding. It’s like the mellow second hit song that a major label would promote on a successful album. My favorite is “Late Night”, a clever song that seems like it’s creeping up on you.

FREE SONG ALERT – The band is good enough to provide “It’s Likely” as a totally free download, so you have no excuse, go check it out now! 

Here’s a short statement about “It’s Likely” from the band:
This song has been the centerpiece for the band’s live set since 2008. Critics have described this song as “epic”, “the guitar solo is a must hear”, “the band’s Stairway to Heaven”. The band has a comparable rock/funk instrumentation style to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and 311, mixed in with the spacey, head music vibes of Radiohead.

A Call for birthday songs from Gestalt Digital

From Gestalt Digital:

The theme is “Birthday Music” (I said “Happy Birthday” before, but it doesn’t have to be happy). This should be fun, interesting, pretty, spastic and possibly a little promotional. It can be anything you want. If you record your dog snoring and title it “Sleeping Dog Birthday”,we’ll include it… at the end. ;)

Just send us a song and we’ll release a Various Artists Album digitally, and we’ll even set it up on Kunaki if people who want a physical copy.

If nothing else, make up a silly side project name like GrandMaster Squash and have fun with it!

The Deal:

The Compilation will be available digitally on iTunes, Amazon, eMuisc and every where else that Gestalt Digital has access to.

Copyright is all yours and will be listed properly on the album and meta-data.

95% of any income generated by your track goes to you. In the case of a full album sale 95% of the income is split between the number of artists on the album.

Gestalt will keep the remaining 5% of any income to help cover administrative costs.

Payments will be disbursed when income is greater than $10, or in 6 month increments if the balance doesn’t reach $10.

We’d like to do 10 artists per volume, and it depends on the number of tracks I get. If I get 13 tracks, it’s a 13 track album, if I get 18 tracks, it’s 2 volumes with 9 tracks.

Review: Nick Minnow – Plant Music: (an untested hypothesis)

Nick Minnow Plant Music, music reviewAlbum: Plant Music: (an untested hypothesis)
Nick Minnow
Mooster Records
on band camp, on Facebook and Record Label
For Fans Of:
Elan, IZ, fun prog-pop jazz music
Dave of Gestalt Digital

Nick Minnow’s “Plant Music: (an untested hypothesis)”

Plant music… I can’t help think of Dethklok’s album “Dethwater” that was declared not to be for humans but for fish only. This album is nothing like that.  At all. It’s just the concept of writing an album for another life form that makes the connection. This is a concept album of high-strangeness, and yet of just six short songs. It’s almost over with too quick.

I think I’m a fan. There I said it. I’ve heard this album a few times to review it and now I’m becoming a fan.  Here’s why.

Fences/Kisses – Has a fun, visually evocative groove. It makes me see things in my head. Different things every time, but most often cartoon characters walking through a bizarre landscape.  I think maybe the plants are transmitting thoughts to me while the song plays. I’m frightened yet fascinated.

Tenric Excalibur – Have you ever heard a song where it sounded like the different parts were talking to each other? Strangely, there is just a little bit of gritty dubstep aesthetic in this, like it was written while a dubstep party was going on down the block.

Plantae Imploration – Is this prog-pop-experimental?  It’s fun, I’m not sure what to call it. That’s why I like it.

Right. So that’s the situation. This album is hard to define and categorize. It’s not rock or prog or pop or jazz or… well, by the open nature of experimental music, it is experimental, but it contains elements of all those genres. It has a light heart and a complex soul.

Here’s a quick note from the record label Mooster Records:

Nick’s first record with Mooster will be the Free Jazz/Electronic/Mood/Wobble Funk/ Rock exploration of “Plant Music: “An Untested Hypothesis)”. This unique EP is a concoction of electronic blips, prog-esque drum patterns and amazing song structures devised to stimulate those silent friends that wait patiently for hydration in the corner of your living room. But careful kids! As it says in the name, this is an “untested hypothesis”. Mooster Records will not be responsible for any viridiplantae destruction!

This comes from the News section of the Mooster Records website:

Nick comes to us from the lower left portion of the mitten of Michigan. Besides being a member of countless bands (The Minnows, Paris Airshow Disaster, CB Tucker Band, The Bottom Boys, Brandon Harrod and The Young Turks, and The Freebase Masons) he is also a close personal friend of everyone at Mooster Records, and also a former resident of the palace known as Hanafuda Manor where our fledgling label got it’s start.

And we’ve got this info from Facebook:

Hometown: Midwest Represent
Record Label: Mooster Records (Chicago) Gaseye (Nashville)
Nick Minnow plays lots of instruments. Possibly too many. Odds are, you’ve probably been in a band with him. Some songs are silly, others, not so much.
Current Location: Somewhere in the Midwest.
Press Contact:
Booking Agent: Brandon Harrod at Mooster records

CD Review: Cognitive Dissonance by IZ


IZ Cognitive Dissonance, prog-metal guitar music

Album: Cognitive Dissonance
Artist: IZ
Label: Infinite 7
Website: IZ on Facebook
For Fans Of: Progressive, prog rock, prog metal, Dinosaur Jr, Motorhead
Reviewer: Dave Goff

Michael Serviolo is an incredibly prolific Denver, CO artist with a wide range of music projects. From punk to lounge/jazz , he has played and toured nationally and played with Local Threat, Peace Core, The Core, Acid Ranch, Jux County, Hoe Down and The Perry Weissman 3, as well as playing studio guitar for Andy Monley, Dan Kaufman, Superstar Explosion, DJ Leah Luna, Mike Jourgensen and Tom Mesnik and others.

With a background like that, he is certain to have an eccentric taste in music. This shows prominently in his two current and long standing projects, IZ and Elan. Elan is currently an experimental electronic-based duo with Chris Steele that has had a variety of other members in the past. IZ is wholly different from anything else Michael Serviolo has done.

Though IZ is really his project,  he joins with a great cast of characters to produce some guitar-based, progressive metal influenced, gritty surreal madness. (I pulled the line-up from the IZ facebook page and pasted it below) On this release, Cognative Dissonance, there is a feeling of unpredictability and moodiness that demands to be in the foreground. The other day I had my player on shuffle and “Dream Song” came and after a moment I stopped what I was doing, completely distracted. I ended up re-playing the song, then going back to the whole album and playing it all the way through. If you are a music geek with a prog-rock bent, this release will definitely tickle your bunny phone.

The Cast of Characters: Michael Lance Serviolo-Guitar, Bob Gumbrecht-Bass and Gabe Maldonado- Drums

On IZ Self titled :Michael Serviolo-guitar and vocals, Dan Allen-guitar, vocals and space drum, Adrian Romero-bass, vocals, kazoo and keyboards & Scott Young-drums.
On IZ ”.”: Michael Serviolo-guitar and organ, Bob Gumbrecht-bass & Ron Smith drums.
On IZ E M Michael Serviolo-guitar, Tom Sublett-bass and synthesizer & David Kerman-drums.

This next bit also comes form their Facebook page as their Bio.

IZ EM (Infinite 7) By John La Briola
Who / What: IZ Music Genre: Rock Maybe for his next trick, illusionist David Blaine will arrange to have himself sewn up in the rotting carcass of an elephant. He could eat Funyuns, watch TV and beat off in there — then emerge triumphantly at the next Republican National Convention, weeping messiah-like as red, white and blue confetti showers down with the indifference of acid rain. Similarly dark, sinister and claustrophobic, guitarist Mike Serviolo’s new batch of IZ tunes sutures together a monolithic beast with surgical sleight of hand. Assisted by lab partner/drummer Dave Kerman (Thinking Plague, 5uu’s, Bob Drake) and bassist/synth wiz Tom Sublett (Uversa), Serviolo grafts minimalist prog metal with fusion, free jazz, atonal noise and splatterpunk. Referencing every six-stringer from Rhys Chatham to Ace Frehley, this inventive trio excites the loins as much as the lobes. Complex time signatures might dominate “Screaming Baby Cyborg” and “Land of the Broken Toys,” but it’s the album’s gut-driven elements that are enough to make Houdini proud 

19ADD – Gaia

Watching 19ADD play feels like a very clever musical prank is being played, and they’re nice enough to let you think you’re in on it. (but you’re not really)

19ADD GAIALine-up / Musicians
- Matt Blanks / bass
- Jared Emery / guitar
- Eric Pereira / drums

Releases information
Released on Level 36 Recordings.
Recorded by Jake Montenegro, Matt Blanks & Chris Jenkins
Mixed by Jake Montenegro @ Blue Collar Audio
Mastered by Lord Baltimore Recording Studio
Distribution by Morpheus Records

From the 19ADD Website:
19ADD is a Instrumental Progressive Metal Trio from Denver Colorado that combines complex compositional structure & time signatures with ambient soundscapes and intricate instrumental playing. The band is known for their explosive, high-energy live performances and visual projections. Orginally forming as a free-form noise rock trio, the group eventually began incorporating more styles of music into their sound including Jazz, Electronic, Industrial, Experimental Rock & Progressive Metal.

Various – Splicing The Icy Expanse – Else Product

Album summary:  One of the best constructed albums I have ever encountered.  Each track leads into and compliments the next, creating a gestalt feeling of greater intelligence and dark tension.  My suggestion is to listen with headphones and get every last morsel.  Each track has its own textural/experiential review.

Various – Splicing The Icy Expanse – Else Product

1.Haunted sound laboratory  – Ghost in the blood (live)

Beginning with heavy breathing and a heartbeat, this track builds tension slowly and deliberately.  The tones build and fade in hideous repetition and the breathing is joined by what sounds like a chamber being loaded.  Occasional whining sounds add to the over-all tension.  After seven full minutes you begin to beg for that final sound you keep expecting, but that release is denied you.  The tension does not fade.

2.440mz – mk2

You almost feel as if this track is going to lift you up out of the difficult listening of the previous, but no… There is still something foreboding about mk2.  The beat is well-constructed and the background tones set an uncertain mood.  You wonder if this track is making you nervous and yet you find yourself tapping your foot and head bobbing a bit to the beat.  This is a brilliant blend of possibilities.

3.Mink – Ride (danny hyde remix)

The filters kick in with synth vocals and scratchy insectoid messages bouncing from ear to ear.  Then, surprisingly a female voice drops in.  The voice is lovely and the lyrics interesting, but the key is in the composition.  The voice is not the sole messenger, but rather a part of the overall composition, a compliment to an already capable communicator.  Every beat, every word, every sound and tone is placed perfectly.

4.Marblehead – Much More Than You

There is something about this track that creates a sense of place and movement, movement across the remains of a battlefield, or some urban trauma.  When the sample kicks in “Oh My God, you really can do it…” you wonder if someone has just displayed an ability that is so much greater than even they expected.  This is one of those moments when I am glad not to know the source of the sample.  I have a feeling that the story the song implies is so much more interesting that the movie the samples came from.

5.Black Sun Productions – Vultures and Vagaries

At first, the flute-like reverberations make you feel as if this track may bleed away some of the tension and discord built up listening to the previous tracks.  The undercurrent of the other tones in this piece give you the sense that something else altogether could be in store.  One sound has a short alarm-like quality, another is voice that reminds me of a recording of a launch count-down being hand-spun on a turntable.  Where is this going?  It turns out, you are already there…

6.Mort Douce – Black Mirror Reflections (tactile mix)

Echo and reverb slide down the ribs of a slinky and expand and intensify, bringing you to a deeper and deeper trance state.  Unlike some new-age meditation CD, this trance may leave you quivering and twitching, pulse quickening and inner-self unsteady.  It builds upon itself and travels upward, bring to mind a semi-truck speeding down an audio-experience highway headed straight for your forehead.  Just as you begin to move out the way, it passes you by, unharmed.

7.Si Dredlingre Goryrapp – Lavender Sketched

This is the glory of music that understands subtlety.  Hums and tones, hints of messages, breathes of alien awareness, of something reaching out to you from the void.  Panning and composition make you believe that the presence being built in this track is all around and very sentient.  If only you could concentrate on it fully, you would understand, but the message stays just outside of reach…

8. Blackcell – Spawning Magnetic Storms

We are given a beat to follow, but the promise is that you may not be comfortable with the place it takes you to.  Sharp strikes of the symbols quicken the pace, staccato fuzz tones complete the driving sense of movement.  A voice starts.  It is difficult to understand as it bleeds through distortion and effects.  You wonder if the voice is telling a story, or giving commands.  The pace quickens.  Are you following it, or being chased by it?  This is a maze and you no longer know the way out.

9.Kuxaa N-Sum – Lamentor Demorte

What?  What is that whispering?  But no, it’s gone before you can decide.  A keyboard riff begins to set the mood, a wet-sounding synth bassline brings everything forward.  Stand on an immense vista and turn, looking at the expanse of land around you, feeling the spirits as they pass just outside of vision.  The voices come back.  The clear message blots out everything else “Thou Shalt Not Kill” but you know there is more.  The whispering returns, then fades.  The message is there, but you just can’t grasp it.

10.Not – To Taka Gra

This is the tune that brings everything back to the world you know.  It has the feel of a European rock experiment.  When described simply, it seems out of place, but the break it provides is perfect and leads to the last portion of the album.  Short and percussive, the vocals are in what sounds like might be Polish, very listenable.

11.Life’s Decay – Gloria

A dirgey organ sound followed by a beat made with resounding drums and bells introduces soft female vocals.  The back-beat has an almost military feel, though slow and understated.  Almost as if this young lady is showing you the bodies of the lost after the battle is done.  Beautiful and fragile, this song is a wonderful exercise in juxtaposition. iii vs Kilgore Gore

The simple knocking beat sets the stage for Kilgore Trout’s spoken word.  Let it do it’s work and the beats brings the pace of the song to one of danger and touches the lyrics’ slow progression, deepening the sense that you need to pay attention.  This is one of the shortest tracks on the album though, so I hope you got it quick.

13.Bad Wolf – Die Ostara Satan America

Squeals and crashes make up the bulk of this track.  Compositionally, this track comes closest to filling the category of Noise, recalling some truly experimental works of Merzbow or Non.  It has elements of abrasiveness but you know it is just part of the intent and charm of this track.  It is almost as if Bad Wolf is daring you to listen intently and make it through the entire track.

14.3z13 – They Don’t Know

Quirky and impulsive, this track seems downright playful in comparison to everything else on the album.  Some of the sounds are cartoon-ish, and the beat is steady as it guides you through an animated landscape that all comes into clearer focus when you realize that the two samples come from DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? By Phillip K. Dick.  Brilliant, conceptually and compositionally.

15.Haunted Sound Laboratory – Polymorphic Lull

Haunted Sound Laboratory are back as the CD comes near a close.  The initial sounds remind me of the ambient background sounds of a digital pinball game, but then the backwards-sounding voice begins to grate through an incomprehensible dialogue.  This track is also perfectly placed; the tension is beginning to drain, the message has begun to sink in, the listener can begin to rest, but the story isn’t over.

16.The Insektys Isotope – Searching For Life In The Ethane Oceans

Now we begin to see this sonic travelogue for what it is; a tour through alien worlds both born and unborn, searching for life along the icy expanses of worlds with ethane oceans.  With this track you truly feel as if you are moving slowly through an ocean of gas and fluid with signs of life and transmissions all around you.  The goblin-esque sounds that occasionally flit through this piece solidify the over-all feel of that something completely foreign is being encountered.

It is a brilliant close to a brilliant album.

Sentinel – Self Titled

Sentinel comes from the so-cal area, putting their roots close to another favorite of the shoegaze; The Autumns.  These two bands represent two opposite sides of the shoegaze continuity.  Whereas The Autumns have a pretentious artsy dream-pop sound, Sentinel has a very accessible alternative indie-rock sound.

Tarabud’s vocals are ethereal and dreamy, but confident and strong as well.  Kim Deal is as likely to come to mind as the Cocteau Twins.  The guitar work has a lush sound without becoming wall of sound or droning out. Sometimes the songs are a bit too similar, and it would be nice if the vocal range were stretched a bit, but the obvious talent and skill make me think that the next album will be amazing.

Overall, this might not be the CD that will make you decide you’ve found your newest favorite band, but it is the one that will make you think you are hearing potentially one of the next biggest bands in the genre.  I definitely wouldn’t miss a show if they were in the area.

For Fans of : Shoegaze, Cocteau Twin, The Breeders, Belly
High Point : “The Muse”, “Royal Way
Reviewed By : Dana

Randevyn’s “SolTrain” is a milestone!

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Artist : Randevyn
Album : SolTrain
Label : Sin J Entertainment

There is a lot of new R&B out there.  Unfortunately, a rise in quantity often signals a drop in quality. Sometimes you have to just grit your teeth, throw it in the player and see if any cream rise to the top.

Randevyn’s “SolTrain” isn’t just cream, it’s ice cream.  This disc made me say things with adjectives like “cool” and “sweet” and “smooth”.  I do a lot of previewing new music in my car and, honestly, it was hard to take this one out of the ride.  Not only does it flow and keep you tapping and humming, but it also keeps you entertained with sketches dropped in as extra tracks.

The highest point is near the end of the disc with a mid-tempo, extremely tight track named “Dear Farrah” featuring Cassius, one of the many recognizable names on this album.  The entire album keeps moving you along until you get to the perfection of this track.  This artist truly is one of the best new soul singers in years.

For Fans of : Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hamilton, Maxwell
High Point : “Dear Farrah”, “SupaNatural”, “Missin You”
Reviewed By : Diggy Bishop

Take a Spin in an Ostinauto

Artist : OstinAuto
Title : The Whole World Spinz Anyway
Label : Swanson Sound

Ostinato is a musical term describing a repetition of a musical segment.  OstinAuto is a band that bases it’s songs around repeated lines from the piccolo bass, which is kind of like a 6 string electric cello.

I keep thinking Austin Auto, but that would have nothing at all to do with this band at all.

The album is reminiscent of the styles of artists like The Police and Paul Simon with vocals very similar to Natalie Merchant.  The explanation of the band name above would make me think that this release could be boring and repetitive but I can’t really find that fault with it… Not any more than any other pop music anyway.

This is a very pop sounding CD.  Each song is well written with engaging lyrics and an upbeat musical style.  Stylistically, it nmoves around a bit by including unexpected elements, like the almost Celtic sound showing up in “Hold Me”, giving the songs an ongoing freshness throughout the album.

I think fans of the above mentioned artists would enjoy “The Whole World Spinz Anyway” and I highly recommend it for them.

For Fans Of : AAA, The Police, Natalie Merchant, Neo-Folk-Rock
High Points : “Hold Me”, “Paper Chain”, Lost At Love”
Reviewed By : Brock

Never Sleep Again… I might not.

Erotic - Never Sleep Again CD

Artist : eROTic
Album : Never Sleep Again
Label : Gestalt Records

This is the second eROTic album we’ve had the opportunity to review and it shows incredible growth and signs of a band maturing into it’s sound.  The production quality has improved, though could still use some work, and the compositional “feel” of the album is tight.

This is the story of one man’s descent into depression, alcohol and drugs and his eventual return to this dreary world.  I wouldn’t say it had a happy ending, but it does end less bleak than it began.

As someone who has been down that path, I understand.  The hell of day to day existence is held back by the prescribed hell of doctor’s insistence of  medication.  The drugs dull the pain but the pain is still there.

You can hear the pain and anguish in this disc, it gnaws at you and makes you angry.  Angry, not sad.  This is not a mopey goth disc, it’s angst-filled industrial metal with vocals that compete with screaming guitars and heavy basslines.

The final track “Lovers” is epic at over ten minutes.  It is the songs that evens out the feel of the rest of the record.  It is still heavy, but brings hope back into this dark world.  The shared vocals on this track work really well, far batter than on the Ozzie cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”.  This is my favorite track on the record, but I love the emotive heavy quality of songs like “Three Years”, “Mezcal” and “Cum Again”

“Cum Again” is a hell of a regretful break up song with lines like “What wouldn’t give for the chance to f#ck you one more time, how I\’d love to feel you again, I wish you were still mine.”

All in all, this is an amazing album.  It brings together a story of depression, angst and anxiety is very heavy tones and creates a mood that is at once deeply personal and yet very aggressive.

EROTic, keep up the good work.

For Fans of : Nine Inch Nails, Gravity Kills, Type O Negative
High Points : “Three Years”, “Mezcal” and “Cum Again”
Reviewed BY : Dana