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Alt Rock





Kerouacs @ Johnny Jackson

Just when you though rock’n’roll was dead, The Kerouacs have found it! Dragging obvious influences from the early 60’s and 70’s tunes you grew up loving. These guys are pumping out driving rock songs, pairing them up with freight train harmonies, energetic bass lines, and a killer onstage presence. They effortlessly succeeded in knocking the roof off kilter at The Baltimore House in Hamilton last Friday night. As their set progressed, so did their energy, with each member getting increasingly more animated - most interestingly, singer/guitar player Elias Regier, whose limbs seemed to freeze up – think back to Bugs Bunny helping Yosemite Sam find gold. Not only are the dudes playing killer tunes, but they’re also having fun doing it, and it shows! If you’ve never seen ‘em, your chance is coming up soon; they’re playing 05/30 @ Johnny Jackson.-Courtney Chalapenko

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Guantanamo Baywatch defies genre with new album

Portland’s favorite power trio Guantanamo Baywatch has made a big leap since the days of their previous album, Chest Crawl. Most notably, there is an almost complete disappearance of their trademark surf sound. On their new record, Darling…It’s Too Late, the band has made the transition so easily it’s as if this shift of direction was where they have always been headed.

The album is a myriad of varying genres and styles, sounding like a tribute to the golden age of early Rock ‘n’ Roll. There are still quite a few instrumentals here, even the occasional glimpse of their old selves as on “Raunch Stomp” or “Mr. Rebel,” but even then they’re injected with a grittiness closer to country-fried Rockabilly.

The production is bigger and cleaner, and the band sounds more confident than ever, with Jason Powell’s vocals coming to the forefront for the first time where it had previously been buried or served a secondary role to his guitars. The guitars, as always, still play an integral part to their sound as does the thunderous rhythm section, especially shining on “Beat Has Changed” with a solo not unlike something from early Ricky Nelson.

The record feels like a glimpse into the world of pop music and Rock ‘n’ Roll in America during the late 50s and early 60s. The band explores everything from Country gospel à la Don Gibson on “Boy Like Me” to R&B torch songs on “Too Late,” and the Live at The Whiskey a Go Go swing of Johnny Rivers on “Sea of Love.” In fact, it’s like the band’s history lesson ends just before the advent of the British Invasion. The album even closes with what appears to be the sound of the Fab Four on the not-so-distant horizon with “Do What Want You Want.”

While their albums and singles have always been stellar, Guantanamo Baywatch up until now has always been best experienced as a live band. But Darling…It’s Too Late is a statement, proving they can be just as potent of a force in the studio. Every second of the record feels like it was handled with care and made with a deep enthusiasm and love for music. Darling…It’s Too Late is out now on Suicide Squeeze. 

-Cody Alexander





Michael Rault @ Silver Dollar

Shake, Rattle and Roll with Michael Rault. He is a talented, multi-instrumentalist that gives his listeners an era-blending modern take on familiar sounds from the 50’s , 60’s and 70’s. A recent Toronto transplant from his native Edmonton, Michael Rault puts his creative perspective into perspective with his latest album release “Living Daylight”. There is nothing fuzzy about his sound, he commits to claim it! A pioneer of dynamic rock n’ roll, transforming rhythms and beats with an undeniable brilliant pop vocal and heart piercing guitar riffs, every track is is a hit! So put your dancin’ shoes on, “Living Daylight” has us moving from top to bottom. The opening track ‘All Alone (On My Own)’ is captivating, shaking you up with tambourines, clapping hands and familiar charming vocal harmonies. ‘Real Love (Yeah)’ coats you with heavy guitars that peak and valley to talkative keys that beat to the oohs of “real love”. ‘Too All My Friends’ takes it down a notch with vocals that sway to romantic keys and easy-acid guitars. Michael Rault is currently on tour, see him Saturday May 23 @ the Silver Dollar before he jumps the border showcasing his sounds in the USA.

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Song Premiere: Megan Slankard - What It's Worth

The San Francisco based alternative folk rock artist, Megan Slankard is gearing up to release a new album entitled Running on Machinery, due out on May 19th. We're very excited to be able to premiere the title track from the record!

Running on Machinery is a power-packed folk track that tucks away its folk sensibilities deep beneath an outgoing, heavy alternative pop rock compositional style. If you listen closely enough, you can hear that the song still encompasses an acoustic guitar rhythm deep within it. Slankard's voice is strong and confident and we really enjoy that she took a chance with this track to do something that is not traditional. It doesn't matter what genre she decides to put herself under, Megan Slankard exhibits that she understands great music production that puts out a really strong final recording.

A lot of independent artists like to make awesome bedroom recordings, but that style isn't for everyone. Slankard put out a high quality studio recording that was produced by Alex Wong. However a Bay Area artist chooses to express themselves, we're all for it.

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Texas King @ Drake Hotel

Pop enough to sing-a-long to, rock enough to jump around to, and just enough groove to soothe your soul to. Texas King, hailing from London Ontario, got the crowd enlivened during the CMW showcase at the Gladstone last week. With lush, sizzling guitar tones, raspy vocals, and an on point rhythm combo, these guys became an energetic delicacy to see perform live. With their catchy lyrics the crowd sings-a-long alone to, “Come Find Me". They’re tight, greasy, and there’s - without question - no shortage of dance moves. Head on out to The Drake Hotel @ 05/17 and see on hell of a show!-Courtney Chalapenko 

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