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Aug 232013

review-of-our-wild-love-ep-uneven-beats-by-kisses-and-noiseWhen I reviewed “Low” some months ago I described it as falling somewhere between Muse and Depeche Mode. Uneven Beats continues in this new direction with veins of new wave, indie, and Top 40 twisting through the flexed, sinewy muscle of Brit-inspired alternative rock. Amid the bass, smothered in fuzz and distortion, thudding drums, twinkling keyboards, and layered waves of synthesizer, Crider defiantly belts, “They tied up my hands / They think that can hold me down.” Our Wild Love charges out of the gate and grabs you by the throat. It’s a new sound and they aren’t going to give you time to think about it.

Our Wild Love is Luis Mieja on guitar, Paul McCorkel on bass, and Duke Crider on vocals – all former members of Plain Jane Automobile. It’s basically PJA sans a drummer (Paul lays down some organic drumming here and there). As Crider puts it, “Our Wild Love is our new band. PJA is on permanent hiatus. James, our drummer, decided to leave PJA, so we sat down to discuss continuing as PJA or something else entirely. So two drum machines, some keyboards, and countless hours of learning and experimenting later, OWL was born.”

The music on Uneven Beats is stepped up from their successful previous band. It’s bolder, more daring – yet refined and mature. They’ve turned the corner as a group. McCorkel’s bass hacks and chisels at the meter with such intensity that it steps up from behind the scenes and puts its signature on every song. Meija’s usual guitar heroics are subdued, weaving subtle tones intelligently between samples and synth lines. Crider’s lyrics are more potent and stirring too. “I’ll bite, and kick and scratch the door / Then turn to stone and sink below the sea / I’ll camp out on the ocean floor / Just to get a glimpse from underneath” and “Gorgeous and lovely / Still battered and ugly /Explosions in my chest / Slow me down enough to / Catch my breath” convey both angst and passion, walking the fine line between poetry and nonsense that make rock lyrics so great (and tricky). Those tracks – “Money” and “Sleepwalking” respectively – are brilliant. “Money” might be the most pop-y and upbeat. It shimmies and swaggers its way into your heart through your ears. I found myself whaling (screeching?), “Steady feeeeeet / Make uneven beeeeeeats / You’ll go running to the money / to the money.” The somber entrance of “Sleepwalking” feels like it could be The National. This song is big and has heart. It reminds me of Coldplay only in that they were able to create grand and sweeping pop with the simplest of moving parts.

Pull all of this together with subtle songwriting nuance, dress it up with top-notch production and Uneven Beats leaves the Orlando scene, injecting itself directly into the mainstream musical conversation. Little touches adorn this EP from head-to-toe giving it an incredible sheen. From the modulated voices at the beginning of “Low” and the seamless change of gears at the end of “Disappear” that moves it into a sloshing, sludgy electro rock jam to the slick, sentimental outro of “Sleepwalking,” Beats proves itself to be an excellent listen over and over again.

Listen AND buy Uneven Beats Now!

Our Wild Love on social media:




Nov 262012

Cover for the single, Low from Our Wild LoveFounding members of Orlando’s Plain Jane Automobile, Duke Crider, Paul McCorkell, and Luis Meija, regrouped as Our Wild Love. They have a new song available for free on their Bandcamp site called “Low”. If you’re a fan of PJA’s take on alternative Brit pop then you might want to sit down. Our Wild Love is big and new with the sound of “Low” landing somewhere between Depeche Mode and Muse. This is a bit of a departure for the band and this tune alludes to something exciting for the Orlando music scene.

Listen or Buy “Low” Here

Jul 082012

Dylan Miles, 6 year-old drummer on stage in OrlandoDrumming sensation and future thunder god, Dylan Frechette, aka Dylan Miles aka Dizzles aka The Dylan Miles Experience, teamed up with Rion Smith, drummer of the now defunct Shak Nasti and all around journeyman percussionist for an incredible drum duet at The Plaza Theater Live in Orlando, Florida. The concert was a throw down and local talent jam session in honor of Rion’s 39th birthday, but little Dylan stole the show.

Dylan doesn’t have a band yet but he transforms every session and performance with other musicians into the Dylan Miles Experience. On a particularly prolific weekend for a kindergartner on summer vacation, Dylan laid the foundation for a cover of Phish’s “Fluffhead” with Andrew Ranieri, former frontman, lead guitarist, and co-founder of Orlando band, Sonor, then worked into a blues groove with local greats, Shak Nasti:

Mar 302012

bloody_jug_band-coffin_up_blood-album_art_kisses-and-noise-blogThe first time I saw the Bloody Jug Band was at Orlando Calling. Instantly, I was attracted to what seemed like an Outlaw Country meets Marilyn Manson approach. Their soon to be released Coffin Up Blood reveals much more than my early comparison denotes. Macabre themes are intertwined with the edgy country that embodies an outlaw vibe, but the music is more of an Appalachian horror story – like Bill Monroe joined The Misfits.

The songs are rooted in bluegrass tradition, delivered with rock attitude, and smeared with ghoulish themes. They do to bluegrass what Tiger Lillies do to cabaret: make it dark and visceral. The first track, “Graverobber Blues” stomps out of the gate with the usual bluegrass toolkit: guitar, mandolin, harmonica, washboard, and even a washtub bass, but the thudding backbeat and driving rhythm guitar add a modern rock dimension. The scene imparted is less about tracing her little footsteps in the snow and more about following a trail of blood through the swamp to a pile of corpses.

“Chained to the Bottom” is bolstered by the powerful backing vocals of Stormy Jean – one of the stronger contributors to this 7-piece band. Producer, Justin Beckler – one time member of Thomas Wynn & The Believers and producer for Matt Butcher and The Lonesome City Travelers to name a few, does an incredible job blending the large band together into a cohesive unit with a unique sound. Cragmire Peace’s throaty growl is counterbalanced by Jean’s classic, yet ghostly country croon and the incredibly adept bluegrass band is mixed together to create a very new sound. If musicianship is being credited, Bloody Rick Lane’s freight train harmonica is worth the price of admission alone. This dude blows harp and singlehandedly pushes this outfit into the realm of heavy hitters.

“Boy Named Lucy,” is something of a Grimm’s Fairytale adaptation of “Boy Named Sue” and is something you would expect from a band like this, but other tunes such as “Reaper Madness” and “The Pain” highlight Bloody’s talent and Beckler’s spot-on production. These songs push out of a niche genre and have a nearly cross-over pop quality. These guys are doing something cool here – from cartoonish horror to killer country – Coffin Up Blood demonstrates what BJB has to offer.

Reaper Madness by The Bloody Jug Band

The Bloody Jug Band are having their CD Release Party at Will’s Pub on Saturday, March 31st at 9:00 pm. Check them out and pick up a fresh copy of Coffin Up Blood.

The Bloody Jug Band Official Website

Bloody Jug Band on Facebook

Written for Tampa’s Premiere Music Blog, Suburban Apologist @SubApologist

Aug 232011

gravereturn-orlando-punk-rockLocal punk music is not usually something I get into. I mean, I love the music and the fact that it’s out there; it means people’s heads are in the right place and music isn’t completely losing its balls, but local punk acts are generally too numerous to sift through for the gems. Local punk bands become local rock bands once they develop some dynamics and grow more adept at crafting melody. Rarely do purists polish their sound to be a true, solid punk act. But, now the current socio-political climate is begging for punk music to rip through and amp up awareness and angst.

My desire for antiestablishmentarianism led me to Grave Return. This band is a culmination of years of local circuit experience. Members have been in bands like Racin’ for Pinks and The F Pipes to The Shaking Hands and Shyster. It’s not that Grave Return is highly political or anything, but their sound is steeped in classic SoCal spirit. They cite Adolescents, Descendants, and Agent Orange among others as influences and the first-wave California punk shines through on songs where Guitarist / Vocalist, Matt whiting takes the lead:

Black Surf by Grave Return

Most of the buzz is around Grave’s SoCal leanings, but I also hear dashes of northeastern punk like Dropkick on anthemic tracks that Vocalist / Guitarist, John Grimaldi shouts through. GR mixes the right portions of classic influence, modern cues, and loving spiritual guidance from Jamie Gillis to create a powerful and resonant brand of music.

Rocket Summer by Grave Return

The band is currently on hiatus as drummer TJ Weeks awaits the birth of his daughter. They will be smashing faces again in October.

jamie-gillis_porn-star_kisses-and-noise-MORE AWESOMENESS FROM GRAVE RETURN:

Follow Grave Return on Facebook

Orlando Punk Rock on BandCamp

Listen to Grave Return on SoundCloud

May 162011


Your Tomorrow is a smart, polished, and dreadfully sad collection of music. The album surges out of the gate with a single-worthy tune in “You Were Only A Song.” Despite the charging bass and pitter-patter of the floor tom driven rhythm, the core essence is almost mournful. Even moments that seem somewhat uplifting come across as sorrowful. When singer, Duke Crider, belts “Hallelujah / We can begin again / Hallelujah / We can begin again” - first as a croon then as a howl – it sounds like a moment of redemption or triumph, but feels like a desperate cry. The entire album plays like brokenhearted critique of a lingering past love.  It’s a clever mix of passionate catharsis wrapped up and energized in swirling waves of atmospheric guitar and piercing rhythm; a polished alternative pop feel that disguises the melancholy weaving through the lyrics.

Tomorrow really starts to dig its heels in when another power single, “Close My Eyes,” slides into the title track. “Your Tomorrow” starts with a delicate organ intro and transitions to a soft guitar melody before the vocals, drums and bass drop in. Luis Meija‘s layered and technical guitar work hints at mid 90′s Jonny Greenwood throughout the album, but slaps you in the face on this track. Following the chorus – at nearly the 3-minute mark - is a quiet shift led by a Bends-ish, reverb-y guitar progression. Distant strings and light piano notes accompany the guitar until it roars back along with layers of Crider’s howling vocals screaming over each other.

Following the albums title song is “Stones,” which to me signifies a transition for the band. The album is rock-solid, but “Stones” is some next level shit. Your Tomorrow is a testament to why PJA is doing so well and to their staying power, but “Stones” is the type of song that begs the question; why aren’t they world famous?

Visit Plain Jane Automobile online

Dec 162010
Luis Mejia of PJA

Luis Mejia of PJA

Orlando Alt Rock powerhouse, Plain Jane Automobile, dropped by their home base venue this past Saturday. The band recently emerged from being sequestered in a downtown Atlanta basement as they recorded their upcoming album, Your Tomorrow. Although band members mentioned needing to hit the road to tighten up, they sounded pretty damn good as they focused on a set of mostly new material. I’ve always said that PJA sounds like Supergrass if they borrowed Radiohead‘s equipment from The Bends. I’ve heard them described as Brit-pop, but they are miles away from Oasis or Blur by packing the punch of Small Faces or maybe Gang of Four and the finesse of  Kasabian or The Verve.


Visit Plain Jane Automobile’s website

Check out Plain Jane Automobile’s MySpace page

Apr 162010

Record Store Day (It’s like Christmas, but based on something tangible and rational) is an event to revive the beloved perusal of vinyl, cd’s, posters, and random rock related chotchkies. Remember that? The sad thing is I can’t think of many record stores anymore. Sonic Boom (is that what it was called?), CD Wharehouse, Peaches, Murmur – all gone. I know where I will go: Park Ave CD’s. I will go and relive my childhood tradition of staring at album covers and realizing I don’t have enough money to get everything I want. So join me, won’t you?

Independent record stores all over the country will have exclusive and special deals – from be able to pre-order the new Pumpkins EP, Teargardern by Kaliedyscope: Songs for a Sailor. I know one of the deals at Park Ave will be a Bouncing Souls 7″ vinyl. Only 500 will be pressed and distributed and Park Ave CD’s is one of the few places to get it (or wait in line for it).

If you don’t take my word for Record Store Day, listen to my boy Josh Homme:

Feb 042010

mailPerennial purveyors of the rock ‘n roll rhythm and blues review, The Legendary Joint Chiefs will be playing the BackBooth this Saturday, February 6th. Eugene and the rotating cast of Chiefs bring their Stax Records meets James Brown brand of fun, funk, and soul – not a crappy nostalgia band, but a living, breathing, dancing, singing tribute to the glory of the Memphis early to mid 60′s sound – along with axeman Kevin Maines to the party. The Kevin Maines Band was overhauled with the addition of new members to add some funk, blues, and thunder to their southern jam sound. This is a can’t miss local event.