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Archive for the ‘Rock on the Blog’ Category

Album Art for Trial by Fire

hard rock n. A style of rock ‘n’ roll characterized by a harsh, amplified sound and loud, distorted electric guitars.

It was probably a year ago when I first heard of Stonecollar. It was at The Nameless Pub in Somerset West. They have made such an impact on me with their electric performance and brilliant stage presence that I regularly went and have a look at their website and when I got news that they have released their first album, I made damn sure I got my hands on it as soon as possible.

Stonecollar is a hard rock band based in Cape Town and consists of:

Léshem Petersen : Vocals and bass
Sean Tait : Lead guitar
Clinton Jurgens : Rhythm guitar
Bryan Nicol : Drums

STONECOLLAR has already caught the eye of music lovers worldwide and achieved it’s fair share of accolades. This year hard rock fans around the world gave STONECOLLAR’s song, SQT, a rating of 4.9 out of 5 on the international website Garageband.com. Less than 5% of the thousands of songs uploaded to the sight make it into this range. SQT also scooped almost every award in the hard rock category, including Best Guitars, Best Vocals, Best Drums, Best Lyrics and Best Song. STONECOLLAR was the highest rated band from South Africa

It seems fitting that their first album release, which has been manufactured, distributed, songs and music written, recorded, mixed, mastered and produced was done by Stonecollar themselves, has been named Trial by Fire.

Set to have been released in 2010, they have scrapped a project from a recording studio after not getting a quality product that they have sweat and bled for; and so they had to start from scratch… again.
They have put a tremendous amount of effort in the production of this album and their passion is clearly audible. The music is hard and the riffs force you to automatically take a power stance wherever you are. Léshem Petersen’s vocals are  has a powerful and clear voice that spills out meaningful lyrics over the crashing drums and screaming guitars.

All the tracks on the album is great but if I have to force myself to pick out 3 tracks that really REALLY impressed me it would be:

Track #3: SQT
Track #5: Poison The Well
Track #8: …As The Crow Flies

Here is a sneak peek of SQT:

Pitted against other trendy genres like pop and indie, this is a hard rock band to keep an eye on, they are going to get better and better…

To get your hands on the album, contact any of the band members through their website:

http://www.stonecollar.co.za/

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Released earlier in March this year; The Red Blooded Years is aKING’s third album.
We got our hands on the Red Blooded Years when we were in Cape Town, and popped it into the CD player on the way home. At first I thought “Ja, OK, its pretty good”  Not being the type of person that judge on first impression (That privilege is reserved for people, not music) I had a listen to the album again and a third time.

So this is my review:

Personally I feel that the music / melodies were a “bit paint by numbers” nothing really artistic. It is actually a bit forgettable.

The lyrics are another thing. aKING’s lyrics were always the selling point to this band. In the Red Blooded Years it feels like the lyrics was the first priority and the music came after that. To quote from their webpage

We’ve written a lot of these songs starting on a keyboard and concentrated on the vocals a lot more, whereas in the past we found riffs we thought were cool and stacked vocals over them.

My favourite songs:

Cut-Throat Tongue & Razor – It’s a dirty rock with plenty of anger and it features the talented Dave Ferguson on harmonica.

Holding on – With lyrics like “The dream had run away with me and left a part of you behind”

Weak Man’s World – The best combination of lyrics and music.

I would suggest that aKING The Red Blooded Years is for the fan. You have to have completed the journey from their previous albums to fully appreciate this one.

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@TishCravesSushi and I were off to the @BaxterTheatre where we would meet up with @TheDramaKing and @Merlot_Girl for the Taste, Tweet and Theatre where @Solms_Delta would feature their wines before we experienced David Kramer’s #Breyani.

TheDramaKing and Merlot_Girl

Before you think I went mad with crazy names and loopy characters, let me explain… The Baxter Theatre has joined the social media ranks to create exposure to their venue and attractions by inviting the Twitter and Facebook community and encouraging them to flip open their laptops and tap away on their cellphones whilst sipping on the wonderful wines from Solms-Delta. It is a brilliant marketing plan, which I believe was a huge success.

Steven with some Cape Jazz Shiraz

It was a windy Monday afternoon when Tish and I headed off to Cape Town for some dreaded Christmas shopping. After mild success it was time to head over to the Baxter Theatre where we arrived were greeted by Jonathan Duguid who works for the Baxter but also is a radio host for UCT Radio.

Friendly familiar faces met us at the Solms-Delta stand where Steven and his team served us tastings of the Solms-Astor range of wines. The Astor range is their lighter more social range of wines that are easy to please for any occasion. The right type of wine to enjoy when you are meeting up with friends.

The wines are named after traditional folk music:
The Vastrap: A Semillon, Chenin and Clairette blanc blend which were refreshingly dry with hints of apple and citrus fruit.
The Langarm: A Pinotage lead Cape Blend with good tannin structure and ripe red fruit.
The Cape Jazz Shiraz: A delightful fruity sparkling / perle red wine which is wonderfully refreshing and low in alcohol.

TishCravesSushi Tasting and Tweeting

And soon enough, with glass in hand we met many of the Twitter community. I always love meeting people I follow on Twitter. It is like meeting people that you have been friends with for a while for the first time face to face. It was also a great time to make some new wonderful Twitter friends.

Breyani is a traditional Malay dish, which was brought to the Cape by Malay slaves during the late 1600’s. It’s a mixture of rice, meat, onions, ginger, and spices all mixed together.
David Kramer uses Breyani as a metaphor to describe the different cultures, background and music styles that make South Africa the melting pot that it is today. Accompanied by his group armed with Ghoema drums, banjos, guitars, tambourines, accordion and saxophone, just to name a few, they were playing traditional Afrikaans songs as well as their own. With their unique Cape Jazz style mixed a multitude of other music styles, we were transported away on musical journey and I had a tremendous attack of nostalgia when they sang songs like “Bitterbesiebos” and other traditional Afrikaans songs.

David Kramer made me proud to be a South African. Our differences should not be seen as a means for animosity but rather as way to show the world the synergy that we can create when we stand together.

South Africa is indeed a lekker Breyani!

Booking for David Kramers Breyani on Computicket http://www.computicket.com/web/event/david_kramer_s_breyani/201356173/0/16037542

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I’ll be taking the ROCK on the Blog down a different route this week with an artist that makes as style of music that is more elegant and feminine, Louise Carver.

I wont lie… I kind of have a crush on Louise Carver and say what you will, because I’m a typical Rock and Roll lad, but there is something about this beautiful artist with her presence and powerful vocals that really attracts my the crowds eyes and ears.
Cape Town born, Louise Carver was trained from a very young age in classical vocals and piano and has reached success at an age that many other artists could only dream of.

We went to see her performance in Cape Town at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. It was one of the last shows in their winter concert series held at the Silvertree Restaurant. R135.00 per person got you in and includes a glass of Durbanville Hills white or red wine with a starter. We squeezed past the tables and were placed at the back of the restaurant, right behind a pillar… sigh… and apart from setback of not being born with X-ray vision, I’m nearsighted as well! (I so wished for a table closer to the stage). When we asked for another table, we were informed that the whole restaurant was booked out and that unfortunately there will be no other tables available and so reluctantly we accepted and took our seats. I did however move over closer to the fireplace where I had a better view…

After the starters Louise and her band got on stage “I’ll be playing some of the popular songs as well as some of my hidden gems tonight, you know those songs that do not get as much airtime as the rest, but do have a  special meaning for me.” Off she goes with beautiful melodies and really heart-felt songs. The piano and a single backup guitar, vocals and light percussion amplify her perfectly.

My favourite songs of the evening were “Empty Fantasy” and “Impossible Love” but all her songs were excellent. She is truly a professional at what she does.

Apart from writing and performing music, she also started her own jewelry range, called the Louise Carver Collection. She is creative and business savvy!

Currently I’m listening to her new album “Looking to the Edge” which has the current hit song “Zulu Boy” on it.  I am even more amazed at her talent. Her albums are available at most music outlets and “Silent Scream” remains one of my favourite.

Go S.A. music!

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I have been a Prime Circle fan for quite a while now and recently I got my hands on the new Jekyll and Hyde album. It was bought at the very last-minute from Music Moods. They were already closing the doors as I walked in, so I just had about three minutes to decide! Had a quick listen and it sounded good… Deal or no Deal? – Deal!

I popped the CD in my car stereo, so that I can get the feel of the album while I’m driving. Immediately I was bombarded by crashing cymbals and an electric intro on guitar “Oh yes, this is going to be good”  I thought and off I sped on a journey with Prime Circle at the helm. 

Prime Circle consists of:
Ross Learmonth on vocals and guitar
Neil Breytenbach on keyboards
Dale Schnettler on drums
Marco Gomes on bass
Dirk Bisschoff on lead guitar

Jekyll & Hyde Tracks:

  1. Closure
  2. Broken Promises
  3. Breathing
  4. Everything You Want
  5. All Of Me
  6. Turning in my Sleep
  7. Never Gonna Bring Us Down
  8. I’m Ready
  9. Worth the Fight
  10. Not The Same
  11. Turn Me To Stone
  12. Jekyll & Hyde
  13. Brothers (Bonus Track)

The Jekyll and Hyde experience:
The album jumps out at you right from the start with the fist-clenching 1st track “Closure”  then starts taking a turn to a touching piano intro with “Breathing”. Just as you thought you caught your breath, the band picks up the mid-section of the album with solid rock tracks like “Everything you Want”  and “All Of Me”. Delving further down this musical rabbit hole; it turns to the melodic “Turning In My Sleep” to the speaker busting  “Never Gonna Bring Us Down”  and then down to heart-felt “Turn me to Stone” and finishes with a very dark “Jekyll & Hyde”

Produced by Theo Crous (who worked with artist like aKING and Chris Chameleon), mixed by Kevin “The Caveman” Shirley (Led Zepplin, Iron Maiden and Aerosmith) and mastered by George Marino (Fall Out Boy, Metallica). Here is an album which was created to showcase Prime Circle’s hard rock roots but now with a more melodic side as well. It just shows the diversity of this leading South African rock band.
The album is a split personality between edgy hard rock and great emotional ballads. The album leaves you spent; exhausted and hungry for more.

Currenlty the popular single “Breathing” is getting plenty of air-time on 5FM and other radio stations. I hope to see other tracks get similar publicity.

Prime Circle: Jekyll and Hyde is hard and tough as granite but also extremely well polished.

A job well done guys!

Check out their website: Prime Circle on www.primecircle.co.za

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