Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Hover" by The Sleepover Disaster

The Sleepover Disaster says their sound is rooted in the Shoegazer genre. Rooted it may be, but they incorporate many other influences as well. Songs like the opening track Friend recalls sounds of Slowdive mixed with Chris Issac sharing vocal and rhythm guitar duties sometimes, but songs like Funnel Cloud might have you believe The Sleepover Disaster is heavily influenced by Morrissey. Overall, "Hover" shows that the band has songwriting abilities that would rival any group in their genre.

Luke Giffen is the guitar player and songwriter, and proves that less is more with his songwriting. Always melodic, and simplistic. Luke is aware that the best songs are the simple ones, and "Hover" is full of simple, but great, songs.

Vince Corsaro keeps great time on drums throughout the CD, and only throws in a fill every now and then, as if to say, I have chops, but I also have restraint, and will only play what is needed for the song.

Eric Peters helps drive the music with his bass playing, and although the music has a ton of room, he sticks with the basics and never gets busy, a sign that he's a good player and has nothing to prove to anyone.

The Sleepover Disaster has been very busy since their inception, they have toured with some very notable bands, been part of more than a half dozen compilation CDs, and released several of their own CDs, including "Loud is the New Quiet" in 2004, and "The Oceanographer EP" in 2005. In 2008, The Sleepover Disaster signed with Devil in the Woods Records (home to bands like The Aimless Never Miss, Buildings Breeding, and Light FM) and "Hover" is their first release with Devil in the Woods.

All of the songs on "Hover" are great, but the song that stuck out to me the most was Edward Said with it's airy and spacious guitar lines, straight forward drumming, driving bass, and great lyrics like, "You don't want to live your life like you mean it."

The CD closes with a song called Songwriting for Dummies, repeating the words "wrap it up in a melody", and I think that sums up what they've acclompished with every song on "Hover."

Learn more about The Sleepover Disater and pick up a copy of "Hover" at :

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Radio Drama" by Radioboxer

I was headed out to run some errands and figured I'd check my mailbox on the way out. What's this? Radio Drama by Radioboxer I guess I'll pop this in the CD player while I drive. Two problems with that: 1) The songs are really good and my concetration quickly left the road and got wrapped up in the music. 2) The beginning of the CD is so energetic that I found myself all charged up and doing well over the speed limit.

That being said Radio Drama makes for great driving music, or for just hangin' around the house music. Long story short, it's just a really good CD. It combines the energy of punk music with pop and rock, while occasionally throwing in some latin flavor for good measure.

At times during Radio Drama, Vanessa, Radioboxer's vocalist, makes you believe that you are listening to Gwen Stefani's side project, but on songs like Reckless Behavior she makes you think it's Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star, but when you get to songs like The Killer, which switches back and forth between a bossa nova and a rock song, you are reminded that you're listening to something you've never heard before.

Vanessa sings with a sex appeal and urgency throughout Radio Drama that draws you in to every song and makes you pay close attention to what she has to say.

J Dazza on bass, Gian on keyboards, Esteban and Santos on guitars, and Tekila 23 on drums make up one of the tighest and most interesting rhythm sections I have heard in a long time. They are definitely all good rock players, but they also show proficiency on their instruments by switching to latin rhythms from time to time.

The fact that they threw in a short, what sounds like, keyboard and accordion interlude called Ice Cream For Hard Times, and they follow it up with the dreamy Lejos Del Cielo, which has an unexpected trumpet solo followed by rock guitars, shows the incredible versatility of Radioboxer.

From pop, to rock, to latin rhythms, Radio Drama has it all. Great singing, great playing and great songwriting. I enjoyed the entire CD, and I deeply respect Radioboxer for refusing to use a "formula" for songwriting and just doing whatever flows naturally instead. Radioboxer definitely stands apart from most other bands.

Even though Radioboxer is an undeniably unique band, songs like Placebo Effect show that they also draw influences from current bands like The Killers and Motion City Soundtrack.

Radioboxer is a relatively new band, and if Radio Drama is a glimpse of things to come, I can't wait to hear what they do next.

Definitely check out Radioboxer at: and grab a copy of Radio Drama.

Oh, and just in case you needed another reason to check out Radio Drama, the CD opens with an intro called Run Away From Home & Join The Traveling Band.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"Outpost" by Telagraf

Telagraf is a lofi melodic pop band from NYC, and their first release, a five song EP called "Outpost", has a full sound even though there are only two members, Théa Laforestrie (vocals, keyboards) and Tod Williams (guitars, backing vocals, electronics, bass).

"Outpost" incorporates elements of rock, jazz, dubs, breaks, and drum 'n' bass with a strong vocal element and some acoustic influences, and is a very spacious sounding album.

Théa displays her talent for interesting vocal harmonies throughout "Outpost", and Tod only plays parts that give to the sound of each individual song, never attempting to showcase himself, he consistently gives each song room to breathe.

Even though Théa could adequately handle the vocals throughout the CD with ease, she steps aside for the beginning of "That's Weird" to let Tod set the tone of the song with his vocals, which make you feel like he's telling you a secret that you're not supposed to know.

Telagraf knows what they are doing musically, and they show that on the song "Luv School" where halfway through the song there is a somewhat dissonant guitar solo, that if recorded by any other group, would be considered amateur, but it makes sense when Telagraf does it. Every word sung on "Outpost" and every instrument played is deliberate--there is a place for everything.

The lyrics on "Outpost" are well written, and lyrics like "you don't pick up your cell phone anymore, you don't text me, you don't text me, you don't text me anymore" on the song "Cell Phone" also make it very relevant.

Although all five songs are great, my personal favorite is "Uncharted", which begins with huge sounding drums, showcases Théa's sultry vocals and interesting melodic ideas, and very common sense yet powerful lyrics like "some things must be, what they must be".

The great thing about "Outpost", from a sonic standpoint, is that the overall sound is huge and spacious, and that gives the songwriting a chance to shine, along with Théa's lead vocals, vocal harmonies, and all the instrumental parts that Tod plays to help build the overall sound of each song.

The band is currently working on a follow up CD that explores collaborations with many of their friends in the NYC music scene, and many of those friends are DJs, so expect to hear some dance beat experimentation on their next recording. Until then, you can check out Telagraf and their debut EP "Outpost" at:

Friday, May 8, 2009

"PCP" by Mean Venus

Think of getting hit by a bus and having your life flash before your eyes, but only the good parts where bands like Guns N' Roses and Skid Row ruled the world. That's exactly what listening to "PCP" is like. Mean Venus has created a CD that makes you wish you were back on your parents couch watching Headbanger's Ball at 1am with a couple of friends, and more than a couple of beers.

"PCP" opens with Let The Feelings Go, an up tempo rock song with precision drumming by Chris, a Rocket Queen (Guns N' Roses) style breakdown, great melodic and edgy vocals by J that would make the AXL Rose of recent years very jealous, and the first of many good guitar solos by Marcello.

After the first song I was a little worried that this would be another rock CD with no sense of dynamics, one up tempo song after another, which isn't the worst thing if that's what your band is good at, but then I was treated to a nice surprise with the second song Happy Here. The energy and flavor of a rock and roll song in the form of a ballad. Not the kind of ballad that depresses you and makes you want to lock yourself in the bathroom for the remainder of the night, but the kind of ballad that makes you feel like everything will be alright.

Invisible is the next song, and another nice suprise. Invisible shows that "PCP" is not just a "throwback" record using the same old chord changes that bands relied on as part of a "formula" for chart success in the days of a rock domination.

After loving the first three songs, the rest of the songs on "PCP" are as expected, one good rockin' song after another. Even the ballads rock, go figure.

Mean Venus mentions some of their influences in their bio, but the one that I didn't understand was Alice In Chains, until I got to the song A Vision, where J's vocals, in some parts, would make you swear that Layne Staley made a guest appearance on the record, and Marcello would make you believe that Jerry Cantrell was there to back Layne up.

To hold the songs on "PCP" together you need a great rock drummer, and Chris is just that. He sounds like he subscribes to the "less is more" "four on the floor" school of drumming, which I always admired about drummers like Matt Sorum (The Cult, Guns N' Roses, and Velvet Revolver), and, of course, John Bonham.

Mean Venus really understands the songwiriting process for hard rock music. You can tell they have studied, maybe just by listening, to the songs that made bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Guns N' Roses so great. The choruses are catchy, the breakdowns are exactly where they should be, and the guitar solos are in all the right places and very well executed by Marcello, often sounding like Slash.

There is no doubt in my mind, that if this was still the era of rock dominatioin, they would be opening for, and touring with, bands like Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, and Dangerous Toys. The unfortunate thing for them, and us, is that we don't live in those times anymore, and rock these days comes in the form of high school kids with pleasant dispositions, and good public behavior.

I think "PCP" is a really good record, but if you still aren't sure if its worth the time to check out, forget everything I wrote, and ask yourself : Do I really want to miss a CD with lyircs like "God get me out of this one, and I won't get drunk again." "God get me out of this one, and I won't get high again?" If you can't relate to those lyrics, this might not be the band for you.

Mean Venus also recently released a single called "Crazy Ass American", which answers the question: Where did the "rock" from Kid Rock disappear to?
Simply put:
Mean Venus has your rock right here!

Visit Mean Venus at: to learn more about the band, and to pick up some copies of "PCP' and "Crazy Ass American"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Dirt Collector" by The Raygun Girls

WARNING! This CD is not for the timid, and definitely not for folks who get "pysched" to go to a New Kids on the Block reunion show, but it is recommended for fans of Lacuna Coil and Evanescence.

The Raygun Girls is a female fronted Alternative Hard Rock group from New York heavily influenced by Gothic, Industrial, Punk and Metal music. After securing a record deal with KillZone Records, as well as a new lead vocalist (Cila), The Raygun Girls headed into the studio and the result is "Dirt Collector", where the guitars are crunchier, the vocals are more powerful, and the songwriting is tighter than any of their previous recordings, which includes, "The Ones I Denied", an album recorded with members of The Clay People.

I started listening to "Dirt Collector" and immediately thought to myself, if you're going to open your CD with an audio clip of Christopher Walken threatening to stick a soldering iron in your face, you'd better be able to back up that intensity throughout the CD. The Raygun Girls do just that on "Dirt Collector".

With good songwriting and musicianship, The Raygun Girls have put together 12 strong songs, and are able to use all the members' talents to their advantage throughout the CD. The band didn't go for one or two "singles". All the songs on the CD flow effortlessly from one to another and it gives the listener the feeling that all the songs belong on the same CD, and weren't written with the intention of having any songs that stand above the others, they all stand together as part of an entire recording.

Doc's intensity on drums, George holding down the low end on bass and contributing on backing vocals, and Geoff on crunchy and thick guitar sounds throughout the CD, backing vocals, and programming help lay down a thick wall of sound for Cila to showcase her voice. She is complemented throughout the CD by the vocals, and growls, of George and Geoff who take over when the music is not suited to Cila's melodic voice, and it takes some musical maturity to know that certain voices are not going to fit in certain places.

After listening to "Dirt Collector", I picture The Raygun Girls live show going something like this:
1) A pause between every two songs for Doc to replace his drum heads from beating them with pure rock angst.
2) All the lights going out in the venue due to, what sounds like on the CD, a wall of Marshall guitar amplifiers (all turned up to 11 of course).
3) George needing a steady intake of Red Bull to continually pound on the bass at the songs' tempos (not slow) throughout the performance.
4) Cila wanting to perform longer since singing sounds like an effortless task for her.

"Dirt Collector" is a really good CD as far as standard rock goes, but there is so much more here than "standard rock" that it's worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of Lacuna Coil and Evanescence.

"Dirt Collector" is scheduled for release during the summer of 2009, and if you want to pick up a copy, or learn more about The Raygun Girls, swing by: or

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why this blog was started today.

This blog wasn't supposed to be started today, but I'd like to share with you what happened to spark the spontaneous creation of this blog.

I wanted to take my dog for a hike this morning, but when we (my dog and I) arrived at the park, we were informed that parking would be $6, and despite multiple assurances that, even though my dog and I were both going to walk around the park, that she would be the only one going to the bathroom in public, $6 was still the mandatory parking fee. Now before you get the idea that I'm cheap, I figured I could look at the tree on the corner of my block for free, so I came home and started writing this instead of giving $6 for the priviledge of, what should be free, enjoying nature. Makes sense and my dog is curled up on the couch dreaming about her newly acquired treats, and doesn't seem to be disappointed by the situation at all, so it's a win win for everyone.

I'm getting ahead of myself. My name is Ian and I run an independent label called SDMP Records. I wanted to start a blog to both inform and entertain you, the reader, since the SDMP newsletter is primarily for SDMP related news, and this is more open to whatever strikes my, and your, fancy.

I wasn't too sure what would make this blog interesting to people, but after making an informal list of the subjects that I was familiar with, I wasn't left with any choice but to make this blog mostly about music, although the occasional post not related to music might pop up if the spirit moves me.

Reviews of music equipment, independent CDs, or live performances, commentary on the state of "popular" music are some of the thing I look forward to sharing with you. I am open to anything and everything (mostly) music.

Any independent artist who would like a review of their music by "Mostly Music" should email a link to their website/myspace, etc... to before sending a package. I want to make sure that I am familiar with your genre, and am able to fairly review your music, before you spend the money to send a package (CD, bio, photo), and I spend the better part of the Spring trying to figure out what to write.

A little bit about SDMP Records:

1) We are located on the internet at
2) We are a poor independent label, so please don't contact us looking for a $2 million dollar record deal, because we'll tell you right now, that ain't gonna happen.
3) To date we have three releases and are planning the fouth for 2009, and our fifth for 2010.
4) We do some audio engineering and producing for artists that are affiliated with labels other than SDMP.
5) We are located wherever we happen to be at the time. We have a portable protools studio, and are able to record in many different places. For example, the SDMP release planned for this year has been recorded in several different places so far. The bass and drums were recorded at Sweet Sounds Studio in New York City, and once we had the audio files for the bass and drums and had them loaded into protools, everything else, guitar, piano, synth and melodica were recorded directly into protools at our current location and will be edited and mixed at our next location, but we'll tell you more about the recording as we get closer to that release.

Feel free to sign the mailing list at to be kept up to date with our releases and also for periodic tips for independent artists, in case you, or someone you know, are trying to get there music "out there".

I should mention what I'm listening to as I write this since this blog is about music. The beginning of this post was written to the sounds of Full Blown Chaos (not my dog's favorite) and the music is now being provided by The Cranberries, so clearly, I do listen to a wide range of music, which leaves me open to review most genres.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to providing you with useful, as opposed to useless (you really don't need to know what I had for lunch) music information.

Please feel free to email us about anything at, and sign the mailing list and learn more about our previous releases at

If you, much like me, think "American Idol" is a ridiculous show, please enjoy the video below over and over until my next post:

“From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs” --- Mikhail Bakunin