The Soft Bombs

The Soft Bombs an electro-rock band from Nevada in the USA is the quartet of Michael Padilla (Guitar / Vocals), Ryan Sheridan (Bass / Backing Vocals), Ben Bodine (Drums / Vocals) and Ryan Brodie (Keyboards / Vocals).

The Soft Bombs - Electro rock from the USA

The Soft Bombs

The Soft Bombs, as with the suggestion of the A Clockwork Orange reference in the image above may lead you to expect, on the surface deliver an ambience of calming embrace which pulls in references from synth rock and immediately on hitting play the listener knows these are a band who know how to write melodies. Although formed as a solo project back in 2010 it wasn’t long before additional players were added with the complete line-up coming together in August 2011.

With expeditious writing and fusing of the keys The Soft Bombs drop in hints of psychedelia which adds to the brushed compositions. Whilst it is all very calming on the surface there is an underlying tension which gives the music a sense of menace that adds much to the value of the material. This is music to take in long draughts as the more it flows so the brain floats into the space, entranced by the movements contained within the tracks.

A new LP – Altered Sierra – is scheduled for release in January, an LP I look forward to hearing in full.

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Embrace the Light – The Soft Bombs is available on iTunes*.

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Hemlock Shaw

Hemlock Shaw from New York in the USA is the experimental songwriter Henry Schiller.

Hemlock Shaw - experimental music from the USA

Hemlock Shaw

Stretching threads of sounds like a spider spinning a web, the material becomes ever more complex and variable and this is one of those occasions that the longer the track runs the more it benefits.


Whilst there are understandable blocks, it is as the music extends that the interplay becomes more intricate, with each seemingly disparate element sliding into the scene and the listener is left with a sense of perplexity as to how it all expands to fill the head with flashes of imagery.

Hemlock Shaw is not seeking to alienate, neither is he attempting to befriend, rather deliver material that stirs each individuals imagination, it is however challenging the listener to slough off preconceptions and expectations whilst allowing themselves the time to let their mind wander.

It was over six months ago that I received the introduction and once again with fortuitous timing Hemlock Shaw is in the process of releasing a new EP in the next couple of months. I have had the opportunity to listen to one of the tracks from the forthcoming release and I can assure you that Henry hasn’t suddenly found the mainstream.

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Che Prasad

Che Prasad is the solo creator from San Anselmo in the USA who delivers alt-rock and blues.

Che Prasad - alt R'n'B from the USA

Che Prasad

Combining influences from across the globe, along with a disparity of strings Che Prasad utilises his talent and awareness to deliver music which reflects an underlying political perspective.

Whilst wrapped in the umbrella of R’n’B, the output itself has a global reach and reflective, providing an exhilarating journey into a genre I generally find somewhat insipid.

Utilising additional players and voices where appropriate Che Prasad is able to capture the focus as the listener wonders where the material will next lead. That isn’t to say it is a journey without direction as evidenced by his debut eleven track LP – Shiva Me Timbers – which has a natural flow to the material which ranges from the mainstream, through Sea Shanties to classical Indian sub-continent.

The idiosyncratic, slightly comedic lyrics are not overtly aggressive, more of a tempter for the audience to wrestle whilst around it lays a delightful construct of instrumentation for the audience to enjoy even on a non-engaged level. However to not work with the words and the sounds is to miss the full value of the out-put.

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Shiva Me Timbers – Che Prasad is available on iTunes*.

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Kid Tested

Kid Tested from Cleveland in the USA is the alt-indie rock trio of Shawn Mishak (Vocals / Guitar), Dominic Ricciardi (Bass) and Jim Beil (Drums).

Kid Tested - alt indie from the USA

Kid Tested

Offering a disparity of garage rock distortions to a range of genres gives Kid Tested an earthiness, yet beneath the surface lay experienced musicians who despite the manic nature of the sounds are absolutely in control of what they are delivering. A wealth of experience on the live circuit is reflected in their recorded material which contains that same sense of realism.


Whilst predominately playing music at a rapid tempo, they are also able to slow the sounds down considerably and in many ways the distortions and melodies combining gives the outfit a fun quirkiness despite that, inevitably for me, I prefer when they hurry through the tunes.

I also particularly appreciate how they have stayed true to their initial premise and rather than chasing a larger more mainstream audience Kid Tested has elected to remain off the radar, as undoubtedly there is the quality of playing and composition which if they took away the distortions would find this ‘radio friendly’. So it is with heartfelt thanks I say – I for one appreciate the choice to stick to their guns and long may they continue so to do. Recordings are rare, though I do believe a new LP is coming out in the middle of 2014.

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The Controversy

The Controversy is an ethereal-indie band from Los Angeles in the USA. The two players, Laura Vall (Vocals / Keys) and Thomas Hjorth (Guitars / Vocals) form the nucleus and on live performance  Jesper Kristensen (drums) and Spencer Wright (bass) complete the line-up.

The Controversy - ethereal indie from the USA

The Controversy

Serenely gliding through the room, The Controversy, explicate delivering complexities within a format that settle easily on the listeners ear. Apparitions of sound float euromythically into the ears feeding a sense of calmness, whilst captivating the brain in the purity and variance.

By no means easy compositions and what marks out The Controversy is, the way that they are able to take the intrinsic and make it everyday, enabling the audience to wallow in the luxuriance.

This is material of the highest quality that deserves wider recognition and it is a pleasure to introduce a band who I was first made aware of back in February 2012. In some ways a a salutary lesson of the realities of the music business, despite The Controversy having won numerous awards through 2012, they remain at the fringes as a band as they appear to have taken their eye off the ball expecting global success to naturally follow. Whilst having been able to leverage the coverage to afford them the opportunity to write scores for Films, Television and Video Games, they have also to their credit, dusted themselves down and are currently in the process of completing a second LP and I wish them all the best for the future.

website

Real – The Controversy is available on iTunes*.

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