Thursday, May 9, 2013


Hey NOW THIS ROCKS! fans...

Sorry the site has been static for so long. I hope to get back to reviewing new music one day in the future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out my new team project, "Class of '80s Something"! At this new blog, we stroll down memory lane and uncover hidden gems that you may have missed during the 80s era - music, film, TV, pop culture - as long as it is from the 80s era!

Check it out - Class of '80s Something

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Lisa Loeb "No Fairy Tale"

Lisa Loeb, who will always hold the record for the first unsigned artist who achieved a #1 smash hit (1994's unforgettable "Stay (I Missed You))", returns after 8 years with a brand new studio effort. "No Fairy Tale" finds Loeb treading on familiar songwriting ground, but sonically the album is unlike any she has done to date. Consequently, "No Fairy Tale" is going to take many by surprise - this is not 90s coffeehouse Loeb, but a pop rocking singer/songwriter full of energy and urgency.

The new sound is likely attributable to excellent co-production by Chad Gilbert of punk band New Found Glory. There are a dozen brilliant new tracks - not a dud in the bunch, including a couple selections with Tegan and Sara as collaborating writers. The record blasts out of the speakers with the feisty title cut before launching into another catchy rocker, "The 90's". While written from a relationship perspective, this song underscores that those days are gone and Loeb is making music for the here and now. Witty lyrics, sharp melodic hooks, and ear-pleasing harmonies abound. Favorite tracks include "Sick, Sick, Sick" and the outstanding "Matches". There are also some 90s-era songs to delight old school fans - check out "Ami, I'm Sorry" or "The Worst". The Spotify version also has some wonderful acoustic versions of key tracks.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Neil Nathan Inc. Releases Obama Claymation Drag Race Video

In honor of Obama's Second Term, Neil Nathan Inc. releases the Jumpstart Music Video off their acclaimed Power 2 The People Concept LP, Sweep The Nation. And like any 21st Century profit minded corporation in Earth's Global Village, they outsourced production to the tiniest of Asian Tigers, The Philippines.

In it, The Obama Twins, Hope and Change, drag race each other in an all out battle to see who will Win The Future. But obstacles abound in the form of Fearless President Putin, Iranian President Ahmadenijad & His Nuclear Bomb, Angela Merkel & The Euro-Mobile, as well as The Republican Elephant & their radical counterparts, The Tea Party. But do not fret, for help is on the way from Israeli President Netanyahu, Chinese Leader Xi Jinping & His Gang of Dragons, and ultimately America's Man of Steel, Super Bill Clinton.
Neil says the tune was influenced by Cheap Trick, Guided By Voices, and Iggy Pop, and is giving it away for FREE @ .

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Golden Bloom “No Day Like Today” [EP]

Indie rock

Shawn Fogel operated under the Golden Bloom moniker to release his first two records, the full-length “Fan The Flames” in 2009 (review here) and the EP “March To The Drums” in 2011. A solo act in the beginning, Golden Bloom has now adopted several multi-instrumentalists to become a full-fledged band. Enticed by the energy of the group, Fogel soon realized he wanted to apply the “live band vibe” to the writing and recording of his new EP, “No Day Like Today”.

The five songs on this EP carry on the fine tradition that Fogel started as a solo act, so you are getting high quality musicianship, well-crafted melodies, and sharp lyrics that “explore thorny emotions with keen insight and understanding”. The introductory tune, “Flying Mountain”, is classic Golden Bloom, shimmering with sparking guitar and a crisp rhythm. “Deliver It For Me” may very well be one of the most soothing songs of 2013, perfectly honed to match the easygoing vocals of Fogel. “Shadow Of A Man” is another highlight, with its propelling shuffle beat and charming style giving you the urge to move.

Like hot cocoa on a chilly day, Golden Bloom warms the heart, but their music also feeds the brain. Golden Bloom will be touring to support the new EP through 2013 – be sure to catch them out on the road!

Golden Bloom – Official site.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Alex Vans “DJ Booth”

Indie rock

D.C.-based artist Alex Vans began his musical career performing as an acoustic singer/songwriter and has two critically acclaimed EPs under his belt already. Inspired by the guitar-driven pop and socially conscious lyrics of Bob Mould, “DJ Booth” takes things in a markedly different direction. Armed with a full backing band, the tunes gracing this full-length record resonate with energy. Regarding the themes explored by Vans on this release, he comments that “a lot of the content reflects my struggle to understand the irrational and fickle nature of pop-culture”.

Vans seems to go out of his way to make each song sound different than the one before, so the record can sound a little schizophrenic listened to as a whole. Adventurous music fans will enjoy this aspect of “DJ Booth”, but I contend that there is something here to appeal to fans of all musical genres. The first single “Chase The Night’ is a pulsating rock tune that makes your feet want to move, no matter how bad a dancer you may be. But don’t be misled – this style is not what every track sounds like. “Wait” is another highlight that leans much further toward the pop end of the spectrum, with a bouncy rhythm complete with bubble gum harmonies. The opener, “Good Enough”, combines gritty and fuzzy guitars with a smooth indie pop beat. “Saints” goes back to his acoustic roots but injects a healthy dose of rockabilly. Similarly, the rocking “Someone” is a delicious combination of roadhouse and indie rock.

“DJ Booth” came out January 8, 2013.

Alex Vans – Official site.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Melodic rock CD of the week: Vince Neil

By Stephen Kasenda

VINCE NEIL “Tattoos & Tequila” (2010)

"Tattoos and Tequila" is the third solo release from Motley Crue's singer, Vince Neil, and this time, he is backed by Slaughter's guitarist, Jeff Blando and bassist Dana Strum, while Zoltan Chaney sits on the drum stool. This is his first solo album in 15 years after the disappointing second release of "Carved In Stone". At first, this didn’t interest me as he only has two original songs on this release while the rest are only covers. But after only a single spin, this is unexpectedly enjoyable, seeing how he revamped many underrated old songs to a party in the style of Motley Crue's peak era.

The first single and title track is a decent effort but maybe his weakest one here. The second single, "Another Bad Day", which was written by Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns is a fantastic mid-tempo commercial hard rock song, and the greatest song on the album. This song should have been his first single, in my opinion. My best picks here are Sweet's "AC/DC", Sex Pistols' "No Feelings", The Hollies' "Long Cool Woman", CCR's "Who Will Stop The Rain", Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas", and ZZ Top's "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers". The rest are also good and no sign of weak fillers here.

"Tattoos And Tequilas" is a big surprise for me, the production is also excellent, this is just simply brilliant, and much better than Motley Crue's comeback album, "Saints of Los Angeles", which is a very average release. If you like Vince Neil's "Exposed" or Motley Crue's heyday era, this album is pretty much a combination of those two with an updated sound. Fantastic!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Playlist: Best songs of 2012

We put together a playlist that hightlights some of the best stuff we heard in 2012. Check it out!