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The release of "Still in Love with You" marked one-decade of Crane Technique's existence, a solo band by Paul Wheatley. This one-man project was initially created during his packed schedule with We Shot the Moon, yet throughout the years, it  has successfully released eight singles; that means at least one to two songs every two years. Even though the pace may look slow for an active musician, it still makes sense, especially after knowing that he does everything related to the production by himself.

An independent project somehow becomes the escape route for the band-based artist who wants to traverse a new world, and I see that Paul Wheatley has a similar motive. Contrary to his band that sticks to the acoustic-pop genre, he tries to  push  his capability by mingling several well-known musical varieties. As expected, it produces mixed results; some attain desirable outputs, while the others seem neither unique nor appealing.

Let's break them down.

Dated in 2010, Crane Technique's first song debut entitled "Darling, Say Goodbye" embraced the idea of elaborating rock and electronic music. Presenting the 2000s rock-pop as the main show, he injected the catchy electronic melody in the  middle,  giving the element of surprise to the listeners. Truthfully, that EDM hook piques my interest. It suddenly kicks in out of nowhere, fully boosts the ambiance before suddenly fading out in an elegant way. Raw and a bit radical, but  absolutely worth  highlighting.

But contrary to the expectation, some of his next compositions didn't carry the same spirit, as it leaned more to electronic without grabbing the rock roots as tight. For instance, "The Ghost White" only reimplemented the rocky beats,  enveloping  it  with the generic-electronic music patterns and countermelodies. Enticing still, but less powerful and more industrial – Paul probably wanted to attract a bigger market, but it only dulled the sharp characters he had shown before.

Nevertheless, things just started to get more interesting from there. Crane Technique switched sides again in the 2017 project, this time, adopting the 80s influences. Featuring The Modern Longing, Paul introduced the balanced fusion between  modernity and baby-boomer vibes through his "Love U 4 It" and "Naked." This was a brave and unexpectedly lovely turnover. He carried out the ideology of change once again and blew everyone's mind with inventive ideas. While "Love U 4 It"  carries a lighter beat and pure jollification, "Naked" gives a more romantic, appealing impression, making it a perfect contrast. Listening to both songs feels like having the two different ice cream flavors in a cone – one side with a light salty  vanilla, while the other has an intense chocolate taste – truly an endearing experience.

 Crane Technique apparently found its niche in the 80s scene after the Collabs. It was exemplified with the next works, "Just 4 2Nite." This time, Paul literally fully-adopted the disco, embracing a typical merrymaking mood and shelving   modern electronic influences with the eighties' specific guitar strumming technique. Yet, Paul kept it authentic and tasty; he still garnished it with the big chunk of DIY electronic synths. 

 Another perfect rendition of coalescent genres can be found in his latest work, "Still in Love with You." Rather  than continuing the success from embedding the 80s pop, Paul once again strived to clash the contradictive  musical styles, and   his choices fell to rock-pop, electronics, and disco. This track is way richer; those three  minutes, albeit keeping the generic pop forms, give some surprising small elements while maintaining everything  in consonance harmonies.  

 Despite the continuous exploration of styles, there is one thing that always stagnant during the one-decade  voyage: the romantic, love-oriented lyrics. Whether it is about first-sight-   attraction or saddening breakup, Crane   Technique has  successfully carved the lyrics deep down in everyone's mind. It also presents itself as an oasis in    the middle of an uncertain,   explorative desert.

 Progressivity is something worth-doted in Paul's journey. The keep-changing beats, layers, and (on several  occasions) subgenres make me wonder what he will present on the table     next. While Paul's initial solo  compositions are quite  predictable due to his background, he dives more into the combination of electronic  music  and the 80s disco in later works     before turning back to his OG root. I find his identity-seeking globe-  trot enticing to follow.

 But the progressive alteration, while giving the freedom to conduct the imaginative exploration in each track, has a significant drawback to the listener. The constant style-switching     makes his songs lack trademarks, to the extent that we  may misidentify him with someone else. Luckily, his consistent approach to the lyrics saves the day; the love theme enables    everyone to, at least, recognize him.

Crane Technique becomes Paul Wheatley's medium for liberating his adventurous mind and showcasing the long-untouched creativity. He has adequately brought new, fresh cuts to the game – catchy vibes of typical oldies, adorned with  synth-based tunes. Put the superficial tracks aside; those works are a perfect alternative for indie enthusiasts out there or ones who want to reminisce about the 80s scenes.

 

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    This publisher had the pleasure of writing for The Cubes a few times, so it is another honour to write the review for The Cubes’ first full length LP “Untitled”. The band were formed in 2012 by songwriter/ guitarist Jacob Solarek following a jam session with friends. After a few lineup changes, The band currently comprises of Solarek ( Vocals, Guitar, Piano), Chris Jones ( Bass) and Danny Kirkham ( Drums).

    Untitled is a healthy diet of blues, jazz, folk and funk to create another outing of highs and lows. The band continue to impress with their tight musicianship and thought-provoking lyrics that center on more darker topics like depression, faith, homelessness and love.

    This LP provides more fresh and engaging material that won’t disappoint followers of the band that may have had the opportunity to listen to the band’s EP FALL OUT, which I had the privilege in reviewing last April for The Old School Project. (You can read the full article below) “ Untitled” shows another example of the band’s maturity to craft good songs that are subject lead. I will review the ten track LP by picking out some highlights of the LP below;

    The album begins with a prelude entitled INTRO, which is a melodic combination of piano and acoustic guitar melded together to feel like the listener has been introduced to a long journey on this odyssey.

    DRAWING THE STARS II - This indie track is a good song to begin with its heavy bass lines and up-tempo riff, Solarek proclaims “finally reached something at least”. This feels like the writer has had time to reflect which reaches a climax with a lovely interlude between two sparring guitar riffs and the bass.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/2fQloB4RbcDFiW3r7L7lxu?si=HZvtjirQS-aadTWYWOCavg - Drawing The Star II

    HOMELESS - The next track looks at the taboo of homelessness, as the vocal style takes a more provocative stance. The aggressive riff feels like it reflects the frustration behind the message to the song.

    ROSARY is another acoustic track that I think looks at faith during troubled times in the songwriter’s life. The basic strumming patterns. The vocals feel sullen, as the singer contemplates this. The choral background singing during the verses sound like guardian angels helping with the decision.

    CORPSE is an acoustic track which I think is another introspective look at peoples’ attitudes. The hazy riff skips along nicely with the strong imagery addressed within this song. This feels upbeat, but the subject feels like this may be undermining the issue.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/3xPCxdUmLdeeaTslDuWHHd?si=VpScjsgEQTy8OQXqzzdBWQ- Corpse

    The album wraps up with a more intimate cover of DRAWING WITH STARS II . Solarek sings a more familiar tone that is set against the backdrop of a warm jazz section that feels like it has been sung o the listener at a club

    MR BLUES is my standout track with its dirty blues-soaked riff that trudges along to the lyric’s topic of downtrodden in love. Overall, I enjoyed how each track blended into one another by telling its own story with a variation of genres and polished production values. I would recommend giving it a listen.

    You can visit The Cubes Website for more information on the band via https://the-cubes.org/the-cubes/

    Alternatively, you can follow the band on social media to find out more about “ Untitled”, and any upcoming gigs via

    https://www.facebook.com/the.cubes.liverpool/,

    https://www.facebook.com/Jacob.Solarek.Music/

    https://twitter.com/JacobSolarek1

    https://soundcloud.com/jacob89-1

    Also, You can read my previous review of The Cubes’ EP Fall Out for The Old School Project here.

    Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster

    My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.

    Hire mr Anderson to review your band or your new album.

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in Europe Section
    Monday, 18 January 2021 20:57

    The Shout-Outs #2

    This is a series of articles dedicated to all the bands and artists that participate on our campaigns over the years.

    A humble presentation in order to motivate them to keep going.

     

    CARLY JO JACKSON

    INDIE ROCK POP/ROCK- GIBSON SPONSORED ARTIST

    With a voice filled with grit and soul, Carly Jo Jackson brings the heat of the Florida sunshine to all she does.  She has a vocal tone that is as infectious as her charismatic stage presence. She caught the attention of some big names in the music and entertainment business, opening shows for Michael McDonald (who also provided vocals on her recent EP), Kenny Loggins and Dennis Quaid and serving as a musical inspiration to Jeff Bridges who recently featured her on his Sleep Club website.  Other notable performances include her appearance in 2014 on America’s got Talent, where she appeared in two televised episodes and advanced to Judgement Week; performing as an Emerging Artist at 2018’s Summerfest; singing backup vocals to Kenny Loggins at 2019’s Hawaii Songwriters Festival; performing at the renowned 30A Songwriters Festival along with Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Shawn Mullins, Livingston Taylor and more; opening a San Francisco 49ers game; and winning the 2015 Belk Southern Musician Showcase.  In late 2019, she released her EP Au Naturel, produced by Chris Pelonis and Lost Coast Records and distributed by Jimmy Buffet’s Cherry Bomb Records.

     

    RAY ANTHONY - BAND LEADER, TROMBONE, KEYS, VOCALS

    I’m a Duke City New Mexico native burning up the black top with original contemporary funk & jazz music. Innovation and technology fueled with originality are my strengths. I’m a motivated horn player that was at the right place at the right time to take advantage of an opportunity to go on the road back in the day with a funk band based out of Chicago playing the trombone. Hanging & performing throughout the Midwest with great musicians was priceless. These days the music burns inside me. I love writing music, blowing my funky horn &spank'n the plank on keyboards with my new band PowerSlyde.  Funking it up every chance we get performing our own brand of original contemporary funk & jazz music.

    and

    KEN MATHIS - DRUMS

    I’ve always considered percussion the foundation for most music. My love for the drums prompted me to experience a variety of music - playing in rock, Christian rock, and pop bands. I love listening to the funk grooves of James Brown and later the heavy bass and drum of the old school music of the 80’s. I then discovered that there were artists out there combining funk, R&B, and some rock guitar and called it Smooth Jazz which immediately became my favorite genre.  Although there are great cover tunes out there, my passion is playing originals and helping to shape the music.

    https://www.rayanthonypowerslyde.com/bio

    The Rift

    With an array of musical influences spanning Flamenco, Thrash Metal, Progressive Rock, Classic Rock, Grunge, Blues, and Reggae, The Rift forged in 2010 with Ovais Malik, Aris Anagnos, & John Anagnos.  Being brothers and long time friends has made the band have a chemistry that is rare and exceptional.  Audiences are often shocked to see so much noise comes from only two to three players.  With so many different influences the band has learned to blend these genres into their own unique style.  After a successful 2018 with the release of Rock Narcotic landing the band on Vans Warped Tour and Next 2 Rock with 95.5 KLOS FM the band has been developing new material for an upcoming album.  Edge of Never and Bad Luck released this summer of 2020 mark the first two single releases for the band since 2018 and the group expect to have more material released for fans come the end of 2020. 

    https://theriftofficial.com/

    Aname' Rose

    Aname' Rose is an R&B/Neo-soul artist from New Iberia, Louisiana. Rose has been singing since age 3 - and performed on stage for the first at 7 years old. Ever since then Aname' has made quite a name for herself. , especially in her hometown. Once residents got word of her voice she immediately got booked for weddings, festivals, church events, birthday parties, and has sang the national anthem more than once for school functions - hers and surrounding schools. At age 13, Aname' decided that she wanted pursue acting as well as singing. She started acting classes At John Robert powers and eventually landed her first movie role in 2015. The movie is a faith based drama that stars Rose, Golden Brooks, and the late Tommy Ford. she still pursues acting till tis day. a few years later, Aname' got the opportunity to be on American idol (season 16) where she made it to top 70.  shorty after she dropped the southern hit "Swing me" ft new Cupid. The song did very well and is still played in clubs and on the radio today. A few months later  she decided to dive deeper  into her passion by studying at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California where she's getting an Associates degree in the Vocal Program. Currently Aname' is continuing her studies and making music of her own. 

    https://www.anamerose.com/

    BOTM

    Formed in a studio underneath a bank in Hoboken, NJ, “BOTM” is the moniker of writing/producing duo, David Fagin (Rosenbergs), and Dan Mcloughlin (Push Stars). BOTM is the “Anti-label” band. By that we mean, historically, most labels have sought to mold a bands’ release wherein every song sounds the same. Not BOTM. It’s our mission that every song this band releases will sound completely different than the song before it. Some may like, some may not, but we find it completely boring not being able to tell the difference between song 1 and song 10.

    Additionally, like a book club for music, this old but incredibly talented (and good-looking) duo will be releasing a new single every month, which, in the style of the long gone 45RPMs, will also contain a B-side. The first being “Lost” and “Love Will Only Get In The Way.” Occasionally, the b-side will be an acoustic/stripped down version of side-A. How cool is that?

    As often as possible, each track will feature performances from various friends and enemies throughout the local - and not so local - NYC music scene. Of course, this is all dependent on the world not being hit w/ an international pandemic, but what are the odds of that?

    We hope you like it. Stay safe.

    Dan and David

    https://www.botmmusic.com/

    Azure Wolf

    Azure Wolf is a female-fronted, DC-based indie rock band with an ethereal twist.  They have a strong lyrical focus with dark and deep vibes that will leave your soul tingling.  

    Driven by energetic beats and haunting guitar tones, this band is hoping to bring in a new wave of indie rock.  In a band review by the Recording Artists Guild, Azure Wolf had been described as "dream alt-rock", and they're proud to fall in that genre category.

    Since forming in February of 2020, the band has been busy with live shows and recording their next string of singles and an EP, Post Impressions, set to release in 2021.

    They’ve performed in numerous venues in Washington, DC, including the famous Black Cat, DC9, State Theatre and The Pie Shop.

    In their birthplace of Winchester, VA, they have headlined the city’s leading venue, Blue Fox, and have frequented the circuit throughout the city.

    Azure Wolf takes altruism seriously and utilizes their platform to promote the causes they believe in.

    During the Australian bush fires of February 2020, the band put together a benefit concert that included themselves and three other DC bands to raise money for the efforts to fight the fires. They raised a total of $1,200 during the three-hour show.

    In their short time as a band, Azure Wolf has developed a strong local following in the DC and Northern VA area, with a total of 3,650 followers across their social media platforms.

    https://azurewolfmusic.com/

    Sean Tobin

    Born and raised on the New Jersey shore, Sean Tobin was Influenced by folk-song troubadours like Guy Clark, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, as well as high-energy rockers like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and Tom Petty. Self-taught and trained by the New Jersey bar scene, Tobin owes much of his high-energy performances to his time spent busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland throughout 2015 and 2017. 


    In 2017, Tobin graduated college with a degree in writing. Having expected to become a novelist, his business as a musician began to overshadow his prose. Uncertain of his future, Tobin walked El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trail through Spain, with his guitar tied to his pack. Upon the trail's completion, the future became obvious. 


    Tobin returned to New Jersey in the fall of 2017 where he worked as a technical construction writer to fund his music. He released his first album, This Midnight, in the summer of 2018, and in 2019 he played Frank Turner's Lost Evenings III Festival at the House of Blues in Boston. He quit his 9-5 soon after.

    In July of 2019, Sean released Dreams & Black Caffeine, a four-song EP recorded in Ocean, NJ with his band, The Boardwalk Fire. The group played several shows promoting the work, and had planned a tour for the summer of 2020, but were forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Instead, Sean and the guys got to work on new music from remote locations. The releases of the nearly a dozen singles followed, and they'll continue to release new music through 2020.

    https://seantobinmusic.com/

     

     

    I met Venezuelan trombonist Gregory Boza while hiring musicians for my first gig in Lima, Peru. His contact was given to me by a common friend, also leaving abroad and I couldn´t help thinking how the ups and downs of his native country in recent years impacted the trajectory of many musicians, who are now starting over in different music scenarios. Boza told me his first days in Peru were very hard and that we had to take many under-qualified jobs before being able to get a place as a musician and that competition was very hard. How did he deal with it? With a little help from the Buddhist wisdom. Familiar with the faith for a long time already, since 2018 Boza became a regular practitioner of meditation. According to him, “it helps to focus on the really important things”.

     

    (GF) When did you start learning music?

    (GB) My contact with music was at the age of 14. In 2008, I started in the National Orchestral System of Youth and Children's Choirs, in Trujillo. Six months later, I moved to Maracaibo and there I went to the Jose Luis Paz Music Conservatory. A year later I entered the Zuliana Youth Rafael Urdaneta Symphony (OSJZRU)), which belonged to the system of orchestras. 2011 the Maracaibo Big Band was created and they invited me to be part of a big band with Andrés Briceño, who regularly offered workshops for drummers in Maracaibo. Roberto Paredes decided to carry on with the big band project and I played with them up to the end of 2017.

     

    (GF) And how about your musical references?

    (GB) My musical references change according to the challenges that music presents to me, but during my formation years I listened to music from all genres: Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, pieces for trombone and also a lot of Jazz, Michel Camilo, Pat Metheny, J.J. Johnson among others.

     

    (GF) Special highlights?

    (GB) 2011 I travelled to Italy to the Bergamo Cultural Festival with the OSJZRU. I had the opportunity to work with great singers, such as Rafael el Brito Chicken, Ilan Chester, among others. Playing symphonic repertoire, I travelled to Caracas and played at the Latin American Trombone Academy, led by Maestro Miguel Sanchez. I travelled many times to Caracas in order to have classes with renowned teachers such as Norman Bolter, Angel Subero and Giovanny Scarpetta. 2012 I decided to move to Caracas and become a regular student at the academy. I had bass trombone classes with Franklin Moreno. I lived there up to the end of 2013.

     

    (GF) How about your future projects?

    (GB) I am actually starting in a new band. Last June I was invited to become a member of Los Barraza, a well-known Peruvian orchestra. They have a very busy agenda with presentations in different parts of the country and I am very excited about it.


    Since you've come so far ...

    .... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

    So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


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    Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

    The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in South America Section
    Monday, 28 December 2020 21:39

    WD-HAN: A Conservative Rock Band with Twists

     

    Starting in the 60s, the explosion of the rock movement has successfully changed the landscape of popular culture. The waves of bands with similar concepts keep appearing regardless of the prevailing trends, making the genre ubiquitous in industrial and non-industrial scenes. Nevertheless, most don't pursue everlastingness; the majority will go to separate ways after a few fruitless attempts.

     

    Compared to the truckloads of those generic rock starlets' situation, the case of WD-HAN (stands for We Don't Have A Name) is indeed an anomaly. This three-personnel band has maintained its consistency since 2008 and regularly spreads its rock-based songs throughout the States. Their internal relationships are also no-less abiding. Even after more than a few failed endeavors, Spencer Barnes still leads the group as the main vocalist, while Cal Henry and Lea Barnes are down with their respective roles: guitar player and percussionist.

    It is undebatable that WD-HAN has gone through the thick and thin in the music industry, but honestly, the group is still relatively clueless about the publication strategy. Neither their YouTube, Facebook, nor Instagram account has any meaningful upload, except during the new album promotions. Fortunately, this band still keeps the website in a fully-updated mode, making it convenient for the fans to find any latest information and exclusive merchandise.

    Notwithstanding their sheer social media presence, WD-HAN has a ground-breaking portfolio. They have been nailing numerous national scales performances with their perfectly-refined songs, appearing in prominent Daytime America, and creating a video project at the land of endless Boba tea: Taiwan.

     

    Naturally, such grandiose achievements are tough to accomplish, particularly that the band doesn't have any deal with massive-scaled labels. Thus, for WD-HAN to obtain such acknowledgments, they must have something worthy of recognition.

    Inopportunely, my hypothesis towards this band turns out to be only half-accurate.

    Their first two EPs totally smash my highly-regarded assumption to the ground, shattering it to smithereens. Spencer's claim of intertwining diverse musical styles such as blues, classic rock, and dance-pop isn't adequately manifested. Even if there are traces, it is insignificant, and somehow only become exasperating noises. "Colour of Friend," for instance, is a tasteless work without any specific vibe and sloppy riffs, making it an ominous acoustic rendition of typical high-school rock bands. Truthfully, a second-rate work.

    The initial failures, though unsatisfactory, are just a baby step to their career, and WD-HAN's clearly tries to discover their idiosyncratic tunes at the first album, "King of Castles." Released in 2014, it implicitly shows the maturity and supposedly becomes a redemption for the past amateurish compositions. Half-part indeed sticks to conservative rock only, yet some works display another viewpoint, presenting the innovative coalescence of dancing-pop beats and typical Rockstar timbre. These contradictive mixtures serve a perfect contrast, creating an enthralling experience that one won't find in second-rate bands.

    The exploration for finding the originality subsequently became fruitful. In the next EP, "Monkey," WD-HAN triumphantly presents their ideology quite well, fully embracing the combination of dance-pop, rock, blues, and even EDM. Albeit fairly short in length, almost all compositions are rich in flavor, giving whole excitement to the witnesses. The first track, entitled "The Down Low," shows a captivating blend between hard rock and synthesized electronic beats. Simultaneously, the fourth, "Shaking," carries a lighter ambiance and jolly-molly guitar riffs - a seamless option for jollified dancing.

    What genuinely piques my interest in this EP is their last track, "The Greatest." The introduction section may sound tedious and superficial, yet the magic happens in the middle. The supposed-to-be rocky accompaniment suddenly alters to a light drum stick striking, twisting the initial gloomy atmosphere into a total festivity before disappearing softly. The transition feels raw and eccentric in any way but still an absolute highlight.

    Contrary to their explorative EP, the next album entitled "2020" shows the amalgamation of the firm rock root and the mind-blowing embellishment found before. Primarily consisting of a collection of three years' worth of works, this album outshines all the previous tracks, exhibiting such high-class conservative rock with the eruptions of ingenuity in almost every song.

    "Icarus," for example, gives a new theme-switching experience to the listeners. The first few bars show a calm demeanor, only before radically shifting to a quicker pace and bursting rock's energy to the maximum level. Listening to this song gives the similar taste of a sea salt ice cream – the saltiness in the surface may startle you, but only a few seconds before the cold sweet flavor bursts in – indeed a lovely work.

    On the other hand, several songs don't lean toward one genre, as it mixes everything into one. "Bad" starts with a short melody with bending techniques, providing the impression of classic blues. Meanwhile, one can also find a chunk of rock influence with the vocalist's rasping voice and acoustic vibes from the rhythm. Yes, it is a melting pot full of spices; truly tasty.

    Besides their attractive albums, their side-projects are no less appealing to witness, in particular, "Made in Taiwan." Their initial idea is kind of shallow: a three-personnel group goes to an exotic country, seeking natural landscapes, and does the exhibition performances in certain places. Shockingly, the outcome is terrific – the sophisticated sceneries combined with on-point songs excavate the thirst for adventure within the audiences' imagination, bringing them to a faraway land of tales and dragons. An additional note; the ideas, creativity, and valor create such sincere, nature-embracing music - something often neglected in the music industry nowadays.

    Another striking aspect of their cover-song project lies in the unexpected aesthetic ideas. In the rhythmic section, the drummer Lea Barnes chooses to exploit the surrounding properties as percussion instruments, from ceramic pillar to ancient rhythmic apparatus: hand-clapping and foot-stomping. Such creativity brings a fresh, experimental touch to their supposed-to-be rock concept. Despite not taking it to the extreme manner, the innovation is indeed ear-pleasing for the audiences. Kudos Lea, you are a genius.

    Despite the near-perfect concept and execution, there is still a significant flaw in this project: the technical problems. A bunch of falsetto failures, unsynchronized beats, and out-of-tune harmonies are somehow infuriating, knowing that the band consists of professional musicians with performance experiences. Sadly, the errors aren't only found in the cover songs project alone, but also on other live performance videos.

    I am trying not to be a pitch-Nazi here. Yet, it has to bear in mind that to execute a flawless performance, a musician really needs to perfect their technical ability. A semitone mistake has already enough for turning people's mood down when one doesn't have the capability to cover the failure, let alone several passages. Hence, WD-HAN absolutely needs to strive to increase the essential features of playing music: individual skills.

    Put the downsides aside – each person within this band actually has the talent of becoming a high-quality musician. For instance, Spencer Barnes is gifted with a harsh voice with a high vocal range, or the be specific, a Rockstar quality. In addition, both Lea and Cal have such out-of-the-box ideas, to the extent that they can pull off such captivating riffs and rhythms.

    WD-HAN portfolio is not just for show. The 12 years journey results in strong tune with the utmost originality and still gives little surprises in some of their tracks. Yet, earlier works are substandard and lack seasonings. Only their last EP and album are worth highlighting; for one who wants to experience WD-HAN's experimental side, "Monkey" EP probably is a great choice. On the other side, "2020" will be the wisest pick for normies who are eager to casually listen to conservative indie rock with lovable, idiosyncratic twists in certain places.

     

     


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    When I think of Britpop, I immediately imagine bands like The Verve, Oasis, Blur and Supergrass. The kids with shaggy who sing about certain aspects of life in, for some reason, the same tone of voice. I’m not saying it’s a good thing; I’m not saying it’s a bad thing – I’m making a sober observation. Why do I mention this? I mention this because the band Reardon Love has been grouped into Britpop.

    Alright, Nicole, so we don’t really care. Of course, you don’t. Why should you care that this band remind me of The Verve but were inspired by Joy Division? Why should you care that the band were only formed last year but are making waves with their debut single, ‘Sweet Brandon Teena (Respond To Me)’? Why should you care that they are selling out shows? The fact that you’re still reading my review shows you care a little.


    Since you've come so far ...

    .... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

    So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


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    Reardon Love are a four-piece from Hull with style, swag and understated attitude which is evident in their debut video and song. One of my favourite elements to ‘Sweet Brandon Teena (Respond To Me)’ is the ominous opening with prominent guitar picking, which then transitions into a melodic instrumentation. The simple verses demonstrate vocalist Matt Fletcher’s charming baritone with a smooth movement to upbeat choruses – nothing too outrageous but showing simple is best.

    The song is not over the top. It can’t compete with epic tunes, such as ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ or ‘Song 2’. However, this isn’t to say that it won’t be on repeat or stuck in my head for the next few weeks. In all honesty, Reardon Love’s debut single is one of the best songs I have come across this year. I have a feeling in my bones that the band will be big, and I can’t wait to see what else they have for us! Quick tip Matt: ditch the glittery jacket.


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    Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden

    My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing.  I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.

    Hire ms Mendes to review your band or your new album.

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in Europe Section

     

    I first met Felipe Fuentes at a rehearsal for a performance at the National Museum for Visual Arts in Montevideo. Cool appeal, social awareness: the young (25), virtuoso bass/double bass “+ some other instruments” (as his social network profile advices) player and composer is one of those talents hard to tag, but easy to enjoy.

    (GF) You and music: how did it start?

    (FF) I could say that I had contact with music one day before I was born, when Jaime Roos, a well-known Uruguayan author visited my house. As a child, I had the habit of sitting on an armchair, next to a window facing the street and by the sound of the motors I could say the car brand. My parents have both played instruments at some point in their lives, besides being both music lovers and very curious, so I've always been in contact with many music genres. My father is a graphic designer and a photographer, so I also met many musicians through him, for he would be either photographing them or working on their album covers. But even with this favourable environment, the education system in Uruguay for music is quite disastrous, and does not have a conservatory focused on current music, which is why I have learned more in private lessons and with the experience of playing, than in any other way. That means that I had to overcome several obstacles that perhaps a good formal education would have facilitated.

     

    (GF) What about your references and influences?

    (FF) I have several and very varied ones. I could summarize it by saying that, like a sponge, I absorb something from everything, even things that I do not like at first. I do recognize a strong influence of Afro music in my work, not only in its Uruguayan variant, the candombe, but also as it is represented in other countries and cultures, such as in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa. I also like Flamenco and the music from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Japan. Today I'm listening a lot to Flying Lotus revisiting Frank Zappa, and saxophonist Tony Malaby.

    (GF) You started your career very young. Any highlights?


    Since you've come so far ...

    .... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

    So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


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    (FF) The first time I performed live on a large stage. I was 13 years old and it was in the Sala Zitarrosa [a prestigious venue in Montevideo], as the guest of a band called Pecho e 'Fierro. I also consider a milestone my participation in the last festival hosted at the Summer Theater, an important local event.

    (GF) Future projects?

    (FF) Next July, I will release "Sankofa" with rapper AVR (Alvaro Silva), an album that took us 3 years to prepare. Alvaro's great-grandfather, Juan Julio Arrascaeta was actually one of the first afro poets to be published in the region. The album is a mix of candombe rhythms, hip hop drums, socially conscious lyrics and black poetry.

    Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

    The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in South America Section

    Last year I had the privilege in writing a review for the first studio album by Outsider/Lo- Fi/Indie artist Andrew Neil , entitled Merry Go Round. . I told the remarkable story about how the talented up and coming musician was able to succeed in producing a collection of songs this writer enjoyed mostly for the thought-provoking lyrics and well- structured melodies and riffs. (You can read the full story and review below)

    http://www.theoldschoolproject.com/index.php/component/k2/item/157-andrew-neil-merry-go-round

    Since then, Neil has been able to emulate his idol- Daniel Johnston- by being voted Rankers top Outsider artist. The genre pervades a distinct sound and style to it that allows the artist to express a raw, untainted edge without the use of technology. This has led to comparisons with Elliot Smith, Kurt Cobain, Neil Young and the aforementioned Daniel Johnston, who sadly passed away recently.

    These comparisons can be heard in Neil’s latest offering entitled Freak, which was released this past week (OCT 15). This was once again produced by Andy Waldeck and the album brings fourteen more songs of Neil’s undoubted talent for writing engaging tracks about mental health, depression, love and loneliness. These tracks each tell a story, supported by an equally proficient band, and backup vocals from his father, Ray.

    The self-titled opener is an emotionally charged song with some hooks that will keep the ears eagerly waiting to hear more. The self- reflective lyrics are daunting and telling, but the music chimes. The openingff hypnotises, whilst Neil’s ri innocuous vocals are rich and mellow. It is a good pick to begin with

    https://open.spotify.com/track/6Pf9rZPRFqgY5alC80Heja?si=l7z3KdSwRWCplZa4ZSmrUg - Freak

    Hope is an enchanting melody that could be an anthem for mental illness. Neil’s childlike tones deliver each line with aplomb, as the listener can empathise with his message. The strong metaphors intertwine with deft piano keys, and an overall vibe of positivity and innocence.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/5l8eByPwRrL6rEmqaaWVJx?si=GH02SEbtTJej3XIHHXZukw- Hope

    Pull Me Back Together reaches the midway point with another melodic track steeped with groove and a Latin influence. This is another reflective track that focuses on Neil’s recovery. I liked how the lyrics use nursery rhymes as a metaphor to convey this. Neil’s guitar play improves with every song, as each riff transcends throughout the album.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0UouIW4h28cCtjD7l1iSB4?si=wJITqGhjQw2UIwFffkGPRQ -Put Me Back Together.

    Beautiful Dancer is another spell binding track, which I think focuses on looking for answers. The music is melodic and dark, whilst the bass and drums combine with mesmerising riffs that feel like the singer is floating amongst the clouds.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/2zz2qWck9hNEIRtIq9gw9k?si=cHNn3AI6RQ-i5mKjciIVUw- Beautiful Dancer

    The album wraps up with Disappear, a somewhat nod to Neil Drake. This gothic style track opens with a heavily distorted slide guitar. Neil’s tone is more bluesy with darker lyrics. The syncopated beats provide a catchy riff and structure that suits Neil’s overall ability as an adept guitar player and lyricist.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/7GSLfsadDxosfh9VMdXRmz?si=POU-6iTcQuqzShAZW5BJdQ - Disappear

    Overall, this was another strong outing from the impressive Andrew Neil. His albums improve with each release, as he is able to convey his emotions via a portal that he seemed born for.

    Freak is out now via all good musical platforms like Spotify.

    If you’d like more information about Andrew Neil and his other projects, please visit his website at https://www.andrewneilmusic.com/

    Alternatively, you can follow the musician via his social media outlets,

    https://www.facebook.com/Andrewneilmusic/

    https://twitter.com/oneloveoneglobe

    https://www.instagram.com/andrewneilmusic/

    Written by Anselm Anderson - UK / Lancaster

    My name is Anselm and I have a strong passion for music. I host two rock radio shows for the internet on a weekly basis. Also, I have experience in the past year of writing music reviews and conducting interviews with upcoming artists for several online music magazines. My main goal is to continue to write for thse interested in learning about what is new in the musical world.

    Hire mr Anderson to review your band or your new album.

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in Europe Section
    Monday, 03 December 2018 16:31

    Interview with Tiê Alves

    The urban troubadour: why Tiê Alves is one of the most interesting artists of the new Brazilian popular music.

    Tiê Alves updates the concept of the troubadour blending the best of the MPB (the Brazilian popular music) tradition with a urban touch, which in this case means the mega metropolis of São Paulo. The cultural melting pot of the city and its oppressive immensity are the background for inventive melodies and original lyrics performed with a blasé-yet-shy allure simply impossible to resist.

    (GF) When did your contact with music start?

    (TA) I began when I was a child. My mother played guitar and sang to me and my father was always very musical. At home, we heard a lot of music, mainly Brazilian music, but also The Beatles among other genres. My sister plays, as well: flute, percussion and double bass, but she works with graphic design. By the way, she developed the cover and all the artwork of my first album. I was 16 when I became interested in playing the guitar and decided to take classes. By that time, I was a huge fan of rock bands such as Nirvana and Pink Floyd. So I set up a band with my high school friends, started playing and never stopped since then. The guitar seduced me right from the start because of its versatility, but also because it is a very intimate instrument that must be kept very close to the body. It is said that the guitar “searches” for the most introspective personalities, for the shy people.

    (GF) How about your musical education? Who were your mentors and influences?

    (TA) I went to college and got a degree in Music at the Faculty of Arts Alcântara Machado. I also studied singing and Brazilian folk guitar, that we call “viola caipira”. I did this training as a musician, but in parallel I composed regularly. Creation has always been very important to me. Gradually, I joined other partners and developed my composition, but it all started in a very intuitive way. I was mainly influenced by Brazilian musicians, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento. After I have built a repertoire of original songs, in 2014 I recorded my first album: O Rio e a Lua (The River and the Moon).

    (GF) And how was the production of your debut album?

    (TA) It was a great learning experience. Since it was my first one, I literally learned by doing. Fortunately, I had a super talented producer named Ana Rodrigues, who understood my concept and brought a lot of information in terms of arrangements.

    (GF) Any coming projects?

    (TA) I'm producing my second album, “Tá Osso” (Tough Break, on a free translation) produced by guitarist Luiz Cláudio Sousa. This album has been crowdfunded and it has a strong influence of Jazz. The idea for the name came from an idiom usually used in Brazil to describe financial problems, but in the song, it describes a person who is head-over-heels.

    Follow Tiê Alves on Social Media

    Contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Since you've come so far ...

    .... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

    So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


    You want to go bigger? Enter your own contribution amount.


     

    Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

    The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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    Published in South America Section

    Many musicians (and non musicians) had their first contact to music through a choir at school, church or community group. A choir brings back a lot of affective memories and the Brazilian group Boca Que Usa (a playful Portuguese translation of the Italian expression boca chiusa, used to describe wordless humming), from Rio de Janeiro knows just how to balance impeccable technique with a passionately executed repertoire. I talked to Amilcar de Castro, thirty years of choir experience and one of Boca Que Usa first time members, about the successful journey of the awarded group, which includes participations in festivals in Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Spain and the most recently in the city of Riga, in the Republic of Latvia.

     

    (GF) What is so special about choirs?

    (AC) Singing in a choir is a very rewarding experience, especially when you have the opportunity to be in a group with  a variety of repertoire that allows you to go from the erudite to the popular. It allowed me to meet several musicians from all over the world, to get in touch with diverse styles and ways of making music. When I started, I had the chance to be part of one the most influential choirs from Rio de Janeiro, Canto Em Canto, conducted by Elza Lakschevitz, a reference in Brazilian choir singing. At the same time, I started to work with Boca Que Usa. I am very proud to be part of it since its first formation, back in 1997.



    (GF) How is the repertoire selected?

    (AC) Boca Que Usa has a wide and diversified musical proposal. The repertoire contemplates from old to contemporary songs from many genres. We privilege tunes that are less known in Brazil   and we work under no fixed, direct regency, that is, the preparation of the songs is done collectively. Actually, collaborative work is the international current trend and it has been one of the  pillars   of our group.



    (GF) The group has been active for over two decades. Any special memories?

    (AC) Boca Que Usa has already won gold and silver medals representing Brazil at international festivals. Those were opportunities to show a little bit of our music to other cultures and to prove    that there is also quality choir music being done here. Another interesting moment happened during our last festival performance. We sang a tune in Latvian. The audience was very impressed!    They simply could not imagine that Brazilians would come up with a song in their language!

     


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    (GF) Future plans?

    (AC) Logistically and financially speaking, coordinating a trip for twenty singers is not an easy task, but the big plan of Boca Que Usa for 2019 is to take part at the ‘Garda International Choir    Festival  & Competition’, in Italy. It is a daring goal, considering that Brazil has no tradition in choir singing, what makes sponsorship or any kind of funding support extra difficult.



     


    Since you've come so far ...

    .... we would like to inform you about The Old School Project's operation. Over time, the number of people interested in The Old School Project has steadily increased. Unlike other websites and online media, the core of The Old School Project is not the well-known journalists and radio producers, but the young people in the field of journalism who nevertheless worthy of their place. Therefore, the resources for running The Old School Project, which requires time, money and hard work, come only from its physical place, the coffeehouse.

    So to continue to provide our services to upcoming bands / artists, giving the opportunity to new journalists publish their articles, and to develop our innovative ideas, we ask you to devote a minute of your time and become a part of The Old School Project.


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    Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

    The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

    For more info feel free to Contact Us

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