Posts Tagged ‘mp3’

Review: Rose Pedal Division, “Sinking Ship”

July 2, 2010

Kevin Cheney, the mastermind behind the solo electronic act Ankhabar, has proven himself to have a toolbox loaded with diverse musical abilities, especially when one takes into consideration the recent release of Sinking Ship, the debut release of his side project Rose Pedal Division.  Throughout the course of this five-song EP, we’re treated to not only a look back at a classic era in music, but also an embrace of modern rock sensibilities, both of which come together beautifully to create a fantastic ride.

Opening track, “Call To Arms, ” is a fine introduction to the EP, with solid vocals and gritty guitars.  Almost instantly a strong grunge influence can be felt, recalling groups like Alice In Chains, one that seamlessly carries over into the slow burner, “Embrace, ” in addition to the follow-up songs, “Tecumseth, ” and, “Tell Her To Go.  ”  The latter two songs, in particular, showcase a wide range that goes from slow and raw to fast paced and exciting.  All of this, however, is merely setup for the closer, “When You, ” easily the finest song this EP has to offer.

My recommendation?  Don’t miss this.  Sinking Ship represents both an excellent achievement in the art of music, as well as an enticing treat of what’s to come.  It’s truly a standout in this musical environment, and I can’t wait to hear more.

You can purchase the Sinking Ship EP at http://www.rosepedaldivision.com, in addition to iTunes, Amazon mp3, Napster, Medianet, emusic and Rhapsody.

EDIT: It turns out, after speaking with Mr.  Cheney himself, that the aforementioned tracklisting is incorrect-while this is how it appears on Amazon, it’s not the originial order as presented on the physical copy of the EP itself.  It should actually read:

1 When You

2 Tecumseth

3 Embrace

4 Tell Her To Go

5 Call To Arms

Even though this author was wrong about the layout of the songs on the disc, this new order presents an all-new feel.  Opening with, “When You, ” a song labeled earlier as the best on the EP, is a brilliant choice, after which the diverse nature of Rose Pedal Division (and, subsequently, Kevin Cheney) is presented through the following three songs.  Closing with, “Call To Arms, ” now seems like an appropriate way to end this musical experience.  Credit must also be given to drummer Anthony Brown, who assisted on the recording with an unbelievable performance.

Review: “Once”

April 16, 2010

Shot on a shoestring budget and starring two people who had barely acted before in their lives, 2007’s Once has gone on to develop an immense following thanks to its cinéma vérité style, honest storytelling and captivating soundtrack.  A simple story of an Irish street musician (Glen Hansard) who develops a musical relationship with a Czech flower seller (Markéta Irglová), the film is, without a doubt, one of the most honest films about the world of musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing.

Much like a standard musicial, the film allows the songs to further the story, delving into topics like break-ups (“Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy, ” and, “Lies”), a technique which not only showcases each song’s excellence in its entirety, but also provides great framework for show-stoppers like the Oscar-winning, “Falling Slowly, ” an emotional tune that truly gets me every time I hear it.  Even more skillful songwriting makes an appearance during a scene in a recording studio, where the two lay down several songs with the help of a backing band-it is here that we’re fortunate to witness the recording of, “When Your Mind’s Made Up, ” an unbelievable song in 6/8 that gives the soundtrack an additional boost.

As I obviously treasure these songs a great deal, I will not be posting links to videos or mp3s of any of the aforementioned tunes, instead recommending that anyone who reads this blog post take a few hours to watch Once.  I will, however, direct those same readers to the video below, in which Hansard does easily the most incredible cover of Van Morrison’s, “Astral Weeks, ” I’ve ever seen/heard.  Thanks to Tony Memmel for pointing this out!  🙂

At the risk of sounding like the host of Reading Rainbow, if you’re interested in more music from the talented duo that star in Once, do check out The Swell Season, who have released three LPs to date including last year’s Strict Joy.  Hansard has also enjoyed a successful career in his own right, as a member of Irish rock group The Frames and the mastermind behind a wealth of solo recordings.