Bongtower | Oscillator 2 - Review

By mike, 2022-01-31
Bongtower | Oscillator 2 - Review

Psychedelic Russian rockers Bongtower deliver their galactic doom album Oscillator II with otherworldly concepts and a journey through the solar system. Self released on January 19th 2022, each track follows the group's odyssey from planet to planet with robotic interludes announcing each arrival and departure. 

Starting out on planet earth and beginning the launch into space is the song “Phase”. As we are told the universe is not made for us, the fuzzy thick distorted guitars and angry drums are all around us on the track “For All Mankind”, reminding us of our mission and to find the ultimate answer. Standout songs include the epic thirteen minute track called "Mars" that raises the bar.. Other enjoyable songs such as "Uranus” focus on the vocalist's gravelly growls and sludge guitars, and the dynamic clean breakdowns on these songs makes you feel like you're floating around somewhere in deep space until there's a sudden disturbance from catastrophic guitar frequencies. The album ends with the Vangelis Cover “Alpha” resolving with closure but leaving you wanting more. 

Oscillator II plays like the soundtrack to some of my favorite science fiction movies and shows. Original in storytelling with the distinct psychedelic doom sound, Oscillator II is a dynamic record that sets Bongtower apart from other artists in the genre. Carl Sagan would be proud.

Submerge yourself into this album like virtual reality and reach out and touch the stars.

Listen Here >>>


Posted in: Playgroundz Reviews

For Immediate Release

PR: Rick Eberle | 

The Alessi Brothers Present: “Eden Roc”
International Pop Legends Release a New Batch of their Signature Harmony Blend


What do The Beatles, Harry Styles and Aliens have in common? Two identical things! Long Island, NY’s Alessi Brothers.




The Alessi Brothers’ timeless melodies have remained ethereal in American popular music, and have grown even more beloved across the globe, garnering nearly 50 million listens and averaging 350K monthly listeners on Spotify. Take for instance their hit song “Seabird,” the gentle tune is a favorite of British born superstar Harry Styles, as he featured the track on his Apple Music “at home” playlist to endure the pandemic. “Seabird” was also used during the credits of Taika Waititi's film “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and in the new comedy-drama series “Resident Alien”. Additionally, their tune “Do You Feel It” was recently sampled by The xx on "Say Something Loving". They are also an unabashed favorite of international supermodel, author, and actress Emily Ratajkowski.


The duo have just released their latest pop single, “I’m In Love,” which is the first single off the upcoming album “Eden Roc.” The Lennon-McCartney original was penned during The Beatles’ early days, but never recorded for official release. (The Fab Four recorded and released the track in 1963, but the tune remained in relative obscurity). 


Now, Billy and Bobby Alessi are polishing this hidden gem with the unique stylistic vocal harmonies they mastered as children. 


“When brothers harmonize there’s just something special about the blend,” Billy said.


These harmonies are joined by shimmering acoustic guitars that propel the track full steam ahead – the way John Lennon liked his rhythm guitars – and ripping electric leads that further excite the mix.


“I’m In Love” is by no means the Alessi Brothers’ first foray into the music of the Fab Four. They tackled the “Sgt. Pepper” cut “She’s Leaving Home” with their band Barnaby Bye and laid down a ukulele rendition of the rather fitting “Two Of Us.”


They also provided background vocals on the John Lennon and Yoko Ono album “Milk and Honey” and remixed Paul McCartney’s “No More Lonely Nights.”


Even as their songs “Seabird”, “Oh Lori,” “Put Away Your Love,” “Sad Songs,” and “All for a Reason” charted around the globe, The Alessi Brothers made a second career writing music for other world renowned artists - such as Peter Frampton, Frankie Valli and Olivia Newton John - just as Lennon and McCartney wrote hits for others to record.


Now, with their third full-length offering in four years, the brothers unveil a new batch of sweet harmonies on the uplifting “Suite” and the sleepless and uncertain “So Many Maybes.” “Don’t Bring Me Down” offers a cool breeze with an emotive saxophone accompanying piano and percussion and the pair also reflect on the strenuous past few years on “There’s A Chance” and the pandemic fueled anthem “We Will Survive.”


The Alessi Brothers’ follow-up to 2020’s “Netherland” solidifies Billy and Bobby’s legacy, a career built on great ears for a hook and a melody, exceptional vocals and well crafted songs that know no boundaries of time or place. Exceptional talent bringing you classic, original, ear candy.


Eden Roc Tracklist:


1: “Suite”

2: “Dreams Come True”

3: “We Will Survive”

4: “Sugar Plum”

5: “Don’t Bring Me Down”

6: “You Are The One”

7: “Little Wings”

8: “Always Love You”

9: “There’s A Chance”

10: “I’m In Love”


*Additional Tracks*


11: “Beautiful Day”

12: “So Many Maybes”

13: “The Best Part Of Me Is You”




Please visit:



For Press Inquiries, Contact: 


Posted in: Local News
The Absurd | Cancel The Wall - Review

Cancel The Wall by the three piece LA desert grunge rockers The Absurd is an album that brings energy to higher levels and features vocal, percussion, and guitar driven music from start to finish.

Originally released as Build The Wall in October of 2018, Bent Knee Records has just released a third pressing. Maybe I was hiding under a rock would be the best explanation as to why I have just recently discovered them. In the light of this discovery is a new release of Build The Wall, remastered, with live bonus tracks and a new album name titled Cancel The Wall. This new pressing was released on November 18th, 2021. 

Tracks such as "Squashing Pumpkins" are reminiscent of classic sludge rock and 90's acts including Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden.  The song "Build The Wall" is a standout single to demonstrate the diversity of the group with a sway between melodic singalongs and heavy rock. On the contrary, my first exposure to Absurd was the song “Boots On The Ground” with it’s mantra style sound that resonated with me. 

Cancel The Wall is an album that hints at nostalgic influences and includes a new alternative sound reminiscent of post grunge acts for those who prefer to decipher the sound in their speakers.


Posted in: Playgroundz Reviews
The Chris Rolling Squad | Cannonball Holocaust - Review

Like a bat out of hell comes The Chris Rolling Squad with their latest album Cannonball Holocaust. Released on April 15th, 2021, the french trio comes charging in like a bull and never lets up. A great combination of punk, thrash, and swampy rock and roll make this a unique blend of styles, similar to classic bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Misfits, Metallica,  and the swampy blues riff-age of the guitar player we know as Slash. 

In their opener “Wild Time” it’s sure to keep the party going all night long as they say. The party continues with the track “Hate 2000 blues”. Both tracks offer a swampy slash style of rock and roll, as heard on his work as a solo artist and with Velvet Revolver. With that, a new style emerges with the song “Trapped Inside”. Fast heavy driven thrash metal style in the likes of Metallica and Slayer. They do it so well I beg for more!

The French trio delivers hard hitting singles such as "Straight Down To Hell" and "Hollywood" to remind listeners of the yesteryears with a new spin on hard music. "Straight Down To Hell" doesn’t disappoint. It’s fast and hard. It’s got that Motorhead energy that complements the style of Trapped Inside nicely. Just when you think things can’t get any faster, comes the next track, “Faster”. And yes, it's faster.

Blending European style with traditional American metal, The Chris Rolling Squad is a band to see on center stage with mosh pit appeal and a youthful tone that will bring the crowd to their feet in a busy auditorium or at home through the speakers. 

Listen Here >>>

Band Promo.jpgChris Promo.jpg

Posted in: Playgroundz Reviews
Singer/Songwriter Robert Eberle Releases “WHERE’S MY MIND?” EP

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Rick Eberle | 

516-729-6872 | rick [AT]


Singer/Songwriter Robert Eberle Releases “WHERE’S MY MIND?” EP

Impressive Young Performer Matures with Diverse Musical Offering




(New York, NY) - Fast rising Singer/Songwriter Robert Eberle is set to release his new debut EP “WHERE’S MY MIND?” to Spotify and all the major services Wednesday July 14th, 2021.




At only 16 years old, Robert Eberle already understands what it feels like to truly be heartbroken & humiliated. High school drama, trauma & abasement continue to pave the way for dreamy pop songs and airy alternative tracks.


Partially produced by Donnie Klang (Madison Beer, Sky Katz), with additional tracks done by Colton Lava and Vincent Donnadio, WHERE’S MY MIND? is a collection of songs based on teenage trauma & heartbreak. Robert remarked, “I called this record “WHERE’S MY MIND?” because both literally and figuratively, I felt lost & that no one wanted me.”  “My Pre-Teen/Early Teenage years continued to shut me out and make me feel unworthy.” Eberle’s voice— melancholy, airy and versatile impresses throughout and compares to artists like Billie Eilish & Finneas.


For More Information on Robert Eberle, Go To: 

Instagram: @roberteberle1

Facebook: @roberteberlemusic 

Twitter: @EberleMusic

YouTube Channel

About Robert Eberle:

Robert Eberle is a young, versatile singer & songwriter. Robert writes all of his own music, lyrics and works with various producers to create unique moments within his songs. Each one of Eberle’s songs are stories and moments into his life and others around him.


Influences from an eclectic group of artists such as FINNEAS & Billie Eilish all the way to Madison Beer and Panic! At the Disco have helped to create Eberle’s genre bending darker-alternative to traditional Pop Rock.

Posted in: Local News
Gnarly Karma Releases “Rags to Riches”

Gnarly Karma Releases “Rags to Riches”
New Offering Highlights Strong Songwriting and a Signature Sound 


(Huntington, NY) - Known for their infectious melodies and incredible live performances, Huntington based buzz band Gnarly Karma has just released their latest single, “Rags to Riches” to Spotify and all the major music services.


Co written by Singer/Guitarist Michael Renert and Drummer Jarrod Beyer and recorded in California with Steve Pagano and Mario Borgatta (who have worked with many talented national acts over the years), "Rags to Riches" is the third song to be dropped from those fantastic studio sessions - after the rollicking "Brave" and the fan sing along favorite "Follow Me".

Jarrod Beyer remarked - “The statements - I love seeing you guys live because of the energy you bring - and - I have you guys on my Spotify but you guys are so much better live - are things we hear all the time. So one day we all sat down and said - how can we make our studio stuff be as energetic and captivating as our live shows?? We have the talent, drive, and chemistry to do it, we just needed a little direction in the studio. We wanted to capture that same energy in the studio that we create when we play live.  I suggested to the band that we fly to California and record with Steve Pagano. We spent a week at the studio and put in hard work, and were happy with the results. You be the judge!”.

Recently featured on News 12 and 94.3 The Shark, GNARLY KARMA is an Alternative/Indie Rock Band from Long Island, New York. The group consists of five members; Mikey "Manicotti" Renert (Vocals, Guitar), Jarrod "J-Rock" Beyer (Drums), Ryan "McMagic" McAdam (Bass), Billy "Bad Bones" Hanley (Saxophone) and Adam "Sklarface" Sklar (Guitar).

Their music is most often associated with that of The Revivalists, Sublime, and Mumford & Sons, but their sound is not restricted by genre. Each member brings a wide and varied range of influences to the table, equating to the group's unique style. The band's eclectic blend of genres and spirited live performances has led to a feature in Newsday and a mention in The New York Times. Gnarly Karma has had the honor of playing Great South Bay Music Festival in 2017, 2018, & 2019 (supporting acts including Sublime with Rome, 311, Slightly Stoopid, The Wailers, Less Than Jake, and Dirty Heads), The Paramount multiple times (supporting Tim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band, and Everlast), The Wellmont Theater (supporting Edgar Winter and Robbie Krieger of 'The Doors'), SXSW, Alive After Five, Montauk Music Festival, My Father's Place, and more! 2020 was a writing year amidst the pandemic with some amazing new music 

For More on Gnarly Karma, VISIT:





For Press Inquiries, Contact:

Posted in: Local News
Life Flows On Within You & Without You With Jeff Lake & Cellophane Flowers

Life Flows On Within You & Without You
With Jeff Lake & Cellophane Flowers
Tantalizing Troupe Presents Gorgeous Classical Renditions of Beatles Favs


(New York, NY) - Singer/songwriter Jeff Lake teams up with Grammy-nominated violinist Susan Aquila and company, to form "Cellophane Flowers” — a neo-classical spin on the music of the Fab Four. 

The group has released a new music video in support of their psychedelic mashup “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows” —  which can be found on the Dreamworks/ Universal Film “Shrek” sound-track playlist on Spotify alongside artists such as Smashmouth, Counting Crows, Fergie, Harry Chapin, Lionel Richie, Macy Gray, The Carpenters, & the Beastie Boys among others:

The production here is in stark contrast to the group’s album title track, “Penny Lane”, which offers a minimalistic baroque-era approach — string quartet & voice.  This track is now featured on Disney’s “Zombie” soundtrack playlist — also on Spotify.

Jeff Lake was honored to play a virtual birthday bash on 6/18/21 in honor of Sir Paul McCartney’s 79th birthday.

The Spotify placements, along with a growing social media presence and monthly virtual gigs on the Beatles Fest Facebook site —  have resulted in 12,250 monthly followers at present.

The “Penny Lane” collection is available on CD at Amazon, Walmart, Barne’s & Noble, & Tower Records. It’s also available on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, & Deezer, as well as digital download at the iTunes store.

Look for Jeff Lake’s new EP, “Field of Grass’ to be released internationally via The Orchard later this summer.

More about Cellophane Flowers:

Founded by singer-songwriter Jeff Lake in 2015, Cellophane Flowers began by playing venues in NYC such as The Bitter End, & The Slipper Room, before becoming a mainstay with the annual Fest For Beatle Fans. A year later they signed with WBA Records in Nashville and began performing at theaters across the U.S. Cellophane Flowers has a repertoire that includes other classic rock artists, a Xmas show, as well as their own original music.

Follow on Facebook: Follow on Instagram: 

Posted in: Local News
Starting This Saturday: I'm Presenting Free Live Concerts at Eisenhower Park Every Week

Guy Brogna and I (G & R Events) are proud to present FREE LIVE CONCERTS at Eisenhower Park Lakeside Theater EVERY SATURDAY from 8pm-10pm! Bring the crew this week to see Roots Foundation playing the best of Bob Marley and more!

Brought to you by Jovia Financial Credit Union Nassau County Executive Laura Curran All Music Inc. Rick Eberle Agency

EISENHOWER PARK IS LOCATED AT 1899 Park Blvd, Westbury, NY 11590" class="CToWUd a6T" width="850" height="713" alt="final-eisenhower-flyer_20211024_1.jpg">

Blockbuster Lineup of Summer Concerts at Lakeside Theatre sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union

Nassau County, NY –Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is proud to announce a full slate of FREE events this summer, starting with a lineup of rockin’ summer concerts at the Lakeside Theatre in Eisenhower Park.  The Saturday Night Concert Series, sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union, is part of the County’s free summer entertainment series which features dozens of free outdoor concerts, movies, and special events being held at parks across the County.   

Beginning in June, the County will be offering dozens of concerts and movies for the whole family to enjoy.  Kicking off the summer fun is The Saturday Night Concert Series, sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union, which will begin on June 26 at 8pm at the Lakeside Theatre at Eisenhower Park (Field 6).  

Saturday Night Concert Series sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union:

Eisenhower Park, Lakeside Theatre 


June 26--Roots Foundation – Bob Marley Tribute 

July 3--Anyway You Want It – Journey Tribute 

July 10--Half Step – Grateful Dead Tribute 

July 17-- Almost Bros. – Allman Bros. Tribute 

July 24--Sir Paul – Beatles Tribute 

July 31--Petty Rumours – Tom Petty/Fleetwood Mac Tribute 

August 7--Janis Joplin Experience 

August 14--Misty Mountain – Led Zeppelin Tribute 

August 21--Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra Tribute 

August 28--Street Fighter – Rolling Stones Tribute

Best Regards,

Rick Eberle


IG: @rickeberle

TWT: @rickeberle

FB: rickeberleny

Posted in: Local News
The 24th Annual Long Island International Film Expo is August 10th - 15th

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Rick Eberle | 

516-729-6872 |

The 24th Annual Long Island International Film Expo is August 10th - 15th


Top Independent Film Festival To Deliver In Theater and Virtual Movies




Bellmore, NY (June 17th, 2021) - The Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) is the premiere filmmaker community on Long Island, and one of the most respected festivals of its kind in the world; showing almost 125 feature-length films in many different genres each year. Sponsored by the Long Island Film-TV Foundation (LIFTF), the County of Nassau, the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency and Gold Coast Studios, this year the 24th Annual installment will be held from August 10th - August 15th 2021 at the historic Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave, Bellmore, NY. In addition to the in-theater experience, this year many of LIIFE’s films will also be shown virtually, and will feature films from around the globe including: 


Tango Shalom which is actor Joseph Bologna's last film; his son Gabriel Bologna (Director) was an actor in "Tracks" which won at LIIFE and directed The Elevator (HBO Original Release); Produced by Joel Zwick (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Robert Meyer Burnett (Agent Cody Banks franchise) and includes Emmy Award winning and Academy Award nominated Actress Renee Taylor (The Do Over, The Nanny, How to be a Latin Lover), Academy Award nominated actress Lainie Kazan (My Favorite Year, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Jos Laniado (Jessica Jones), Judi Beecher (Taken 3), Bern Cohen (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Karina Smirnoff (Dancing With the Stars) and Marci Fine (Saturday Night Live). My Promise to PJ starring Alec Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin and William Baldwin, One Moment starring Danny Aiello in his final performance as well as LIIFE's past Rising Star honoree, Sal Rendino (Billions), The Soul of a Farmer with Isabella Rossellini, Lie Hard starring Catherine Curtin (Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black), Joel Marsh Garland (Orange is the New Black), Alysia Curtin (Orange is the New Black) and Melanie Chandra (Code Black) as well as countless other phenomenal films to enjoy all festival long. There is also the Friday the 13th Horror Block at 11:30 PM and a NEW Midnight Madness Block at 11:30 PM Saturday August 14th.


LIIFE is proud to feature Twenty eight films made by Long Islanders, Twenty World Premieres, Nine US Premieres, Thirty-nine New York Premieres, Thirty-seven Long Island Premieres, and Films from ten countries! There are also Thirty Three Female Directors, a record for LIIFE.

The Closing Night Party and Awards Ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 15, 2021 at Bellmore Movies starting at 5:30pm. This year’s presenters and honorees as well as a full slate of panels will be announced shortly. 

This year’s panels are free, but you must get your tickets online at 

You can also learn more about specific showings/times and purchase tickets at:









Festivals of the past have included such luminaries as the late Danny Aiello, Ed Asner, Blue Bloods’ Robert Clohessy and Abigail Hawk, Ralph Macchio, John Amos, Ally Sheedy, 30 Rock’s Kevin Brown, Cathy Moriarty, Steve Buscemi, Ed Burns, William Sadler, Ilene Kristen, and so many more.


LIIFE has become a must attend festival for serious filmmakers; with local and foreign film screenings, celebrity appearances, entertaining and informative panels, a star-studded awards ceremony, Q & A with filmmakers from the world over and networking galore. 


LIIFE's sister festival, Scared for Your LIIFE, a short horror festival, is open for submissions at and the event will be held October 22, 2021 - further details TBA.


For More Information on LIIFE, Visit:  


For Press Inquiries, Contact: 

Posted in: Local News
Take a Wistful Walk Down Penny Lane With Jeff Lake & Cellophane Flowers

Take a Wistful Walk Down Penny Lane With Jeff Lake & Cellophane Flowers
Tantalizing Troupe Presents Gorgeous Classical Renditions of Beatles Favs



Singer/songwriter Jeff Lake teams up with Grammy nominated violinist Susan Aquila and company, to form "Cellophane Flowers” — a neo-classical spin on the music of the Fab Four.


The group has just released their 2nd single from the “Penny Lane” collection — a psychedelic mashup of “Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows” which can be found on Dreamworks/Universal Film’s Shrek playlist on Spotify alongside artists such as Smashmouth, Counting Crows, Fergie, Harry Chapin, Lionel Richie, Macy Gray, The Carpenters, & the Beastie Boys among others:


The track feature’s Aquila’s violin virtuosity steeped with long delays followed by rich textures of synth, drums loops, and Lake’s smooth vocal delivery which is a constant throughout the album. The production here is in stark contrast to the album title track which offers a minimalistic baroque era approach — string quartet & voice. The “Penny Lane” collection is available on CD at Amazon, Walmart, Barne’s & Noble, & Tower Records. It’s also available on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, & Deezer, as well as digital download at the iTunes store.


Look for Jeff Lake’s 5 song, original debut EP, “Field of Grass" to be released on Labor Day, with a full length, 12 song album, “Misbehavin’” to follow — both collections to be released courtesy of WBA Records in Nashville, and distributed worldwide via The Orchard.




Jeff Lake & Cellophane Flowers continue to be a monthly fixture on the

ongoing Friday Night Virtual Beatles Fest series.


On Friday, 6/18, Jeff is especially honored to be performing on Paul McCartney’s birthday. For this special show, Jeff and pianist Chris Clark (Brand X, Wicked, Mama Mia) will be performing songs from all phases of Sir Paul’s catalogue — classic hits and deep cuts from Wings, The Beatles, and his solo collection. You can see that on Facebook LIVE at 7pm at


Other shows include a performance with cellist Alexandra Moiseeva on Sunday, 6/13, 7pm LIVE at 




More about Cellophane Flowers:

Founded by singer-songwriter Jeff Lake in 2015, Cellophane Flowers began by playing venues in NYC such as The Bitter End, & The Slipper Room, before becoming a mainstay with the annual Fest For Beatle Fans. A year later they signed with WBA Records in Nashville and began performing at theaters across the U.S. Cellophane Flowers has a repertoire that includes other classic rock artists, a Xmas show, as well as their own original music.


Follow on Facebook: 

Follow on Instagram: 

Posted in: Local News
 / 20

Stoner HiVe

Off... To the island...

 Off... To the island...

We're off to Mallorca... 

Back in a jiffy... 

But don't hesitate to peruse and listen to all those fivestar albums we mentioned the past week...

They all rock so incredibly hard!

Mexicoma – Kalpa



Mexicoma – Kalpa
Majestic Mountain Records – 2022
Rock, Stoner, Sludge, Metal
Rated: *****

The massive mothersludgers of Mexicoma would do well on tour with Komatsu; and I would definitely follow that tour around the globe, going absolutely berserk at every show! For the new Kalpa record is a righteous sludge and stoner metal spectacle. We’ve been reviewing most or all of the releases these six crazy Swedes have put out throughout the years. Supervoid, Mexicoma, and that amazing Obsidian Monolith all got a mention on the HiVe. But looking back at those reviews does beg the question why there’s now an almost nine year gap between that last release and the new Kalpa; and we might need to dig deeper into the band to find the answer to that. But for now we will concentrate on Kalpa, featuring once again some great South American inspired art and all that good ruckus you already knew from Mexicoma. And it might be the fact that vocalist Magnus Olsson decided to leave and new singer Aron Andersson takes the reigns, but the sheer ferocity of the tracks seem to have risen quite a few nots. For the most part Aron’s voice seems to fit nicely in the same registers Magnus used to occupy, so going back in the catalogue for live shows will not be a problem. But where Magnus had the ability to go dark and moody, Aron has the ability to go metal and higher, much higher. Just listen to 99 Eyes or opener Heavy Hands, that bursts out of the gates like a proper introduction track for a new vocalist. It also shows its metal colors early and all that sludge and stoner we already told you about. And the fact that a new vocalist can hold his own with those three guitars riffing and powering away, show something about the ability Aron has. A new major selling point for Mexicoma. But some things stay the same, those three guitars attacking you full on, full out and without any quarter asked. And then there are those moments when even that attack goes a bit deeper, a bit more prog and that immediately gives you an inkling of what Mexicoma could possibly all do in the future. Lucky for all that need the savage stuff, the vicious almost aggro approach to all we love about the heavy underground, they bring it forth in abundance and in perfect style! Ready to destroy and to have it all be born anew, Mexicoma has recreated its own sound, the sound we all trust and love!

(Written by JK)



The Same River – Weight Of The World

The Same River – Weight Of The World
Electric Talon Records / Sliptrick Records - 2022
Rock, Stoner, Psych
Rated: *****

Ever since hearing Weight Of The World by Greek formation The Same River I felt the urgent need to sit down to write a few words of love and praise for the album. But as usual, time eluded me and it took weeks, nay, months to finally get to it. And all that even after Ioannis Valiakos, from the Desert Vulture site already wrote some fine words for the Doom Charts Peroration of May and The Ripple Effect’s Pat Whitaker on the May Doom Charts, where they were featured proudly on the Number 19 spot. But it felt wrong to keep postponing the sit down. Slowly the weight was growing bigger, and my shoulders started to buckle. And then when the news came All Them Witches had to cancel their Krach Am Bach festival gig in Germany, it needed to be done quickly. For The Same River would fit snugly in that spot. Sure, The Same River formed in 2019 is only just now starting out, but the sound, the tones and the voice will surely remind everyone of All Them Witches. And that is not a bad thing! Weight Of The World has some bluer touches, some more metal thunders and perhaps more pounding than All Them Witches ever had. I might even be hearing a few; much heavier Madrugada touches, but that might just be me. Overall, The Same River seems to embody heavy psychedelic rock to the very core. Lyrically the album covey’s the band's “philosophical concerns about the decadence of human society filtered through the fears of an unknown world after this pandemic ends. Heraclitus, Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud and many mythological aspects of our heritage (with a deeper meaning), such as Sisyphus and Prometheus, blend in a way and fulfills in rhymes what their vision for this world is about; solidarity, peace and understanding.” Which is perfect ground to produce an album that is worth to stand next to all that ancient knowledge. It calls for honesty and pure of heart; something the nine tracks seem to thrive on. There are no masks in The Same River. Recorded during the pandemic in three different studios, the album fits together perfectly and sounds like a grand piece of art. That moves and projects images and emotions on a blank canvas and for you to do with what you like. For me it becomes this huge and in-depth adventure into every universal aspect you might be able to think of. But whatever it turns out to be for the rest of the world, the fact remains that this is an amazingly strong, brilliant and awe-inspiring album…

(Written by JK)




Mystery Dudes - Exit Through the Wormhole



Mystery Dudes - Exit Through the Wormhole
Electric Valley Records - June 2022
Stoner, Psych, Fuzz, Punk
Rated: *****

Cruising in from Oslo, Norway are the Mystery Dudes with their debut LP, "Exit Through the Wormhole". Wielding righteous riffs coated in groove and fuzz to spare, Mystery Dudes deliver a high-octane stoner rock classic across eight tracks. Reminiscent of but standing apart from acts like Fu Manchu and American Sharks, "Exit Through the Wormhole" is a shot of adrenaline that knows how to have fun while melting faces off. Opener "Mountain of Chill" starts thing off full speed with a chainsaw chug of guitars and filthy bass, prime for headbanging and oozing good-times vibes, man. The sneering vocals are a highlight throughout the album, injecting a dose of punk attitude into the fuzz a la Eddie Glass. Follow-up "Evil Blood" is straight grimy, slogging doom, laying down a tumbling riff and fit for the grainiest of VHS music videos. A change of pace is soon at hand, however, with highlight track "Ghost Train" rolling through like its namesake, all gritty guitar and clattering percussion. The bass is particularly gnarly on this locomotive, and the track barrels forward with sinister intent towards a blown-out, sci-fi climax of blazing guitar. The aptly named follow-up track, "Punk" wears its heart on its sleeve and earns the high praise of sounding like a long-lost American Sharks tune. The jagged, uptempo riffage and snotty vocals demand fist-pumping and general smashing of shit, though not without a trick up its sleeve in the form of a smooth, psychedelic second half sans vocals. This gentler side of the Mystery Dudes shows itself again on the instrumental "Nebula", bringing to mind 90s alt rockers Live in its surprising melancholy, before diving back into Sabbath worship with the southern-tinged doomer "Mondo Hopeless". Another highlight, "Witch's Stare", delivers creeping occult vibes and a brick of a riff alongside absolute earworm lyrics. Closing number "Mexican Stand Up" closes the record out by bringing back the early punk energy, throwing grinding riffs at the listener with abandon in a gleeful psychedelic onrush. Mystery Dudes have a golden nug on their hands with "Exit Through the Wormhole", taking the best the stoner rock genre has to offer and elevating it to something immediate and exhilirating. Strap in.

(Written by  Kyle SB / Shasta Beast)





Electric Valley Records

AAWKS – (Heavy On The Cosmic)


AAWKS – (Heavy On The Cosmic)
Self released – 2022
Rock, Stoner, Psych, Doom, Fuzz, Sludge
Rated: *****

If you start your album with a snippet about Mescaline, you’re alright in my book and are allowed to call me any time of day. And if I realize it’s the four acid casualties united by a love for high fantasy, psychedelics, and heavy rock music on the other side of the line; it will drag me away from my masturbatory slumber and will make me feel alright about not fighting against all the injustice in the world. For if you listen to (Heavy On The Cosmic), you know there is nothing you have to do, ever, but feel all the warmth of all the people you’ve turned on, turned on to AAWKS that is. For AAWKS can do not wrong and everything right, they bring you catchy stoner, spacey doom and hard rocking psychedelics just as easy as thinking positive instead of negative can bring you extraordinary fortune. And in doing so, not only get better results for yourself but the entire universe. Cause that’s how the Great Magnet works. And out there in the cosmos you shall be overwhelmed first and foremost by that Star Collider track. Surfing the cosmic waves like a space age Fu Manchu addict; you suddenly become aware of the lead up to this track and how Space City that came before and The Electric Traveller before that all told you about this brutal interstellar adventure; and you will feel at peace with all of creation under this friendly dome and with eyes closed see that momentous eclipse in slow motion and you will understand. You will understand about all the spirals, going up and down this record. Going back then to Beyond The Sun, where the eclipse is yet to happen, the tonal doom and slow-moving riff currents will start you off properly on the road to become the space surfer you always knew you were… And there are more pathways to cut through this psychedelic space doom labyrinth; none of it will lead you to the center but going around in circles is all you want anyway. AAWKS transports you into another reality all together; and it will have a profound effect on you…

(Written by JK)




The Ripple Effect



"Spectoral can be relied on to deliver some highly detailed productions with unshakable earworm qualities at their core" —Dave Ruby Howe, Music Director, Triple J Unearthed

“Hints at an artist destined for some big stages" —Pilerats

Disrupting expectations within its opening bar, LOVESICK has a corruption to its electronic backbone that compliments its frenetic story of betrayal. It’s the newest single from revered Australian producer Spectoral, who’s spent much of the last two years busily readying an enormous debut album featuring no fewer than fifteen (!!) guests. Two of these feature on LOVESICK, with a third behind the scenes.

“I’m three EPs deep into my career, but only now do I feel like I’ve really arrived on the scene” says Spectoral from their light-filled studio, overflowing to the brim with Devil’s Ivy, Schefflera, Monstera, Palms and Pilea. Studio Daylight, as it’s named, resembles more of a garden nursery than a state-of-the-art pop production house, but don’t be fooled.

“The plants thrive off the music, and my creativity thrives off the plants, so we have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship” says the producer when asked about the aesthetic. 

So where did the idea for LOVESICK come from, and where is its place in the upcoming album?

“The hook is where that track began, and that hook is actually the brainchild of Canadian / Australian artist Ryan Cruise. We probably wouldn’t have a song at all if it wasn’t for that melodic vocal hook coming at me so god damn infectious in the first place. It planted the seed and the potential grew from there.”

“The rest of the song is a true story of sorts” the producer says. “The words come from life, and I think of the song as the silver lining born in the aftermath”. In fact, the whole album is an aftermath, and LOVESICK is one key chapter in the larger story it will tell at the end of this year with any luck.

The influence of ultramodern contemporaries like SEBASTIAN PAUL, Elijah Hill, Golden Vessel, BAYNK and NICOLOSI are apparent on LOVESICK, and Spectoral doesn’t shy away from admitting there’s a real fandom there. “Oh yeah for sure, they come up in my Spotify radio suggestions all the time. It’s hard not to be both wowed and also go, like, ‘challenge accepted’ whenever I hear something totally incredible from those artists, which is a lot.

“But I also consider myself a collaborator at heart which is why I’ve got so many underground names featuring alongside me on the album. It’s that ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ thing I guess. Take LOVESICK for example, it wouldn’t be anything if not for what Megadead and Tusanxmi bring to it. Megadead has this knack for pulling incredible sound design out of nowhere and I doubt it’ll be the last time we do something together. And Tusanxmi, I knew right away when I heard her vocal on Hinata and Summer Days that I had to work with her. Sure enough she’s knocked it out of the park with her verse on LOVESICK, it’s lifted the entire thing to five stars for me.”

LOVESICK releases everywhere on June 30. In the meantime, you can hear it below.

Reef – Shoot Me Your Aces

Reef emerged during and were wrongly lumped in with Brit pop explosion which left them with an identity problem. Do they embrace the lad culture of the time and a fickle indie crowd or cultivate a more loyal rocklong-term fanbase? A piss poor attempt by the mainstream rock press to label them and others such as Skunk Anansie and Terrorvision “Brit Rock” muddied the waters further. Landing a major record deal and a massive hit single with “Place your hands” and a number one album with “Glow” Support slots with Paul Weller, Soundgarden, the Rolling Stones followed. Main stage appearances at Reddening (3 times) and Glastonbury (4 times)the future looked guaranteed for the Reef boys then after two more diminishing return albums…. Then nothing.


Sporadically reforming to play live but when mercurial guitarist Kenwyn House quit in 2014 to concentrate on his band new band Goldray (also excellent) it looked like it was all over. Recruiting Jessie Wood (son of Ron) on guitar Reef quietly kept gigging. They released a couple of live albums and reduced to holiday camp weekenders with brit pop no hoppers Dodgy and I kid you not, a tribute act called the brit pop boys…It’s a cold heart indeed that would not feel sorry for Reef.


With new music being released in 2016. Revelation was at best a solid gospel-tinged rock album. Drummer Dominic Greensmith retired in 2018 leaving only vocalist Gary Stringer and bassist Jack Bessant from the original line up. It was announced they would be working on a new album with Andy Taylor of Duran Duran fame I groaned inwardly. It was a long way down from renowned producer George Drakoulious. it looked like an act of desperation. It’s turned out to be an inspirational move and one that has super charged their music.


Taylor always a less than secret rocker doubles up here not only producing but playing some fiery guitar to counterbalances Jessie Woods more soul influenced rhythm playing. Reef set out their stall from the get-go. Title track Shoot me your Ace lays down a riff to get your feet moving and Stringer is at his throat shredding best. It takes of like a grey hound and is a brilliant opener. Reef has embraced their Rock side. The titles tell you exactly what you’re getting. Best of Me, Wolfman, Hold back the Morning. The lyrics take in the love of a good (or bad) woman and the joy of just rocking out…that’s it…which in less skilled hands would sound trite but here sound like a real celebration. The sound is huge, and the feeling of vindication runs through the album. This is a band with something to prove and they did it with massive amounts of panache. It loads the songs with choruses that are sing along and catchy. These are designed to be sang by an audience along with the band, none more so than a solo written Right On by bare footed, bearded, cosmic surfer Jack Bessant which is as laid back as this album gets but sums up the Spirit of Reef beautifully. Extended Jam (by Reef standards, 6 minutes+) Strange Love brings it to a close.


With a sold-out U.K. tour completed and an upcoming tour supporting the comeback kings the Black Crowes maybe Reefis still to have their well-deserved dues. They certainly deserve better than a rain-soaked weekend in Bognor with a drunk nostalgia man child crowd reliving the 1990’s. Either way It is their best work since Glow. It landed in the U.K. Album charts at 20. Their heist position in twenty-two years. They never went away so it is unfair to call it a comeback but it’s a return to what they do best. Great rock songs delivered with buckets of charm and skill. It’s Loaded with enough hooks to catch a school of sharks. As Reef sing without a hint of irony but an undoubted big smile on their faces “There’s a whole lot of something waiting on the next page/Rockin’ out till the morning/nothing’s gonna’ stop us tonight”


Welcome back boys.


-Bobo Coen


The Xroadie Files

FS3 - Cats N Strats

Florian Kasper – Drums, Gerald Kiesewetter – Bass, Joe Doblhofer – Guitars, Guest Musician- Jan Zehrfeld


Necessary Evil one catchy bluesy tune that just pulls you in with amazing musicianship. Hustle & Slo close your eyes and just drift along with some amazing leads. Soldersniffer Blues clap foot tap and groove along. Loony & Blue just let the music envelop your very being. (Ballad Of The) Blue Genes drifting along in your memories. Tech Republic one catchy blues tune. Black Sheep Waltz pounding drums thumping bass with great leads. LN just take one amazing musical jazzy bluesy journey. Lost In The Shuffle groove and let the emotions pull you in. Ragdoll Boogie amazing bluesy jazzy leads and solid rhythms.



Principe Valiente- Barricades

Fernando Honorato, Jimmy Ottosson, Rebecka Johansson and Joakim Janthe


Barricades drifting on a cloud of melodic emotions. So Much More take a trip back to mtv and the 80s musically. Porcelain lost in the depths of dreams. I Am You groove along to the many melodies. Tears In Different Colors clap foot tap and dance. When We Can’t Let Go just let the music envelop t your senses. Never Change lost in memories and gothic tones. The Beating Of Your Heart slow emotional music pulls you in. The Impossibles just one catchy tune that has you singing. This Buried Love close your eyes and let your imagination take you away.



HELLBORE- Panopticon

Charlie Munro- Guitar/Bass, Chris Whitby- Vocals


Libertus pulls you into dark dreams and emotions. All Men Are Created Evil crunchy riffs thundering rhythms with death metal growls. Angel Slayer hit the pit and mosh till you drop. Terror Eyes just try and survive the onslaught. Necrocracy hits you like a ton of bricks falling on you from high above. Panopticon I fist pump head bang and just let loose all aggression. Panopticon II continues the maniacal madness. Panopticon III driftin in the blackness of time and space alone.



Suzi Moon- Animal

Suzi Moon- Vocals, Band members ???


Sonic Attraction just get up and rock out with a punk influence. Animal clap foot tap fist pump with a thumping bass drum pounding rhythms and emotional vocals. Gold Record Autograph one catchy tune that just sticks in your head.



Orochen- Anthroposcenic

Emil Gustavsson, Rasmus Lindblom , Jonas Mattsson , Hampus Olsson, Guest Vocals- Alex Stjernfeldt


Black Snow dark music with spoken words that pulls you into madness. Gathering Storms crunchy riffs gothic vocals with thundering rhythms. Iron Gates close your eyes and take one psychedelic mind trip. Convalescence lost in the depths of your dark imagination. Teeth Of Glass just pulls you in and wont let go as the dark emotions flood over you. House Of Bones slowly slither into your imagination. A Different Sun close your eyes and dream. Rat King dark emotions envelop your senses.




A Fistful Of Questions With Rod Rodrigues

     Hired gun.  Mr. Clean.  Adele aficionado!!  Brazilian living in Canada!?  This edition of Fistful of Questions goes to guitarist extraordinaire Rodrigo Rodrigues.


What is your full name?


My first name is Rodrigo, but since I moved to Canada I realized how hard my name sounds for native English speakers, then I started using a short version of my name, Rod. I have to admit that I got inspired by Rod Stewart… Lol.


I didn't change my last name just because I already had many years of a career in my home country, Brazil. I decided to keep my last name, then from Rodrigo Rodrigues, my artistic name turned to Rod Rodrigues. You guys can still find my first EP "The First Step: Introduction" on all streaming platforms as Rodrigo Rodrigues.


Do you have any aliases?




What bands are you actively involved with?


I'm focused on my solo career right now, but I also do some freelance work as a hired gun for some bands and artists.


What was the first instrument that you played?


I started playing drums when I was 11. I got the drums from my dad's friend. His son played drums and he wanted to get a new kit for him, then he gave me his son's old drums. I've never had lessons though, I kind of learned by myself. Actually my first time on a stage was playing drums. Unfortunately I don't play it anymore, but I know how the instrument works and it helps me a lot to write my own songs.


Tell me about one of your first musical memories?


When I was around 5 or 6 years old I used to sing some old traditional Brazilian music with my Mom. Once we were at a rodeo festival that happens every year in my hometown, and there was a singer who was kind of popular in the area back then singing at one of the restaurants at that festival, and my mom took me to the stage to sing with him. That was a terrifying experience for me Lol…


What was the name of the first band you were in?


Trendkillers. It was a thrash metal cover band that used to play Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, Pantera, etc.


Tell me about the genesis of Rod Rodriques. 


I started playing guitar when I was 12. Since then I have been playing with a lot of bands of different styles, from pop, classic rock to metal. I have been a full time musician my whole life and have been teaching for 25 years. I have a bachelor in music and had private lessons with Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth), Mozart Mello (Kiko's teacher) and Greg Howe. In 2010 I released my first solo EP called "The First Step: Introduction", and recently my second one "Tales of a Changing Life Part 1". It's the first part of a conceptual story based on what I have experienced in the last few years since I moved to Canada. In this EP I had the pleasure of having some of my best friends and incredible musicians assist with the instrumentation. For "Woodbine Sunset", Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie, Premiata Forneria Marconi) contributed a guitar solo. 


How long did it take you to write and record Tales Of A Changing Life, Part. 1?


A couple of years. Actually "Changing Plans" was supposed to be on my first EP "The First Step: Introduction" released in 2010. It was a completely different version though. "La Premiere Experience" is also pretty old, I started writing that song in 2012 after a trip to Paris. All the other songs were written between 2018 and 2020.


If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?


Flying Colors. I'm a big fan of all the members. I know that Steve Morse is irreplaceable, but there's basically everything that I like in that band/project. Great melodies, great lyrics, extraordinary musicians and odd times signatures. I could also say Rush, but… never mind… lol


Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so… What was the song and artist?


A Change of Seasons by Dream Theater. That's my favorite song ever! It's epic, it's very melodic, great lyrics, great riffs, fantastic guitar solo. It's perfect!


Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?

I have a lot of non metal/rock inspirations. I like soundtracks and classical music. John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Yan Tiersen are some of my favorite soundtrack composers. I also love Bach, Wagner, Beethoven and Stravinsky.


What’s a non-metal song that you'd like to do a cover of?


I actually did a few songs already for my Youtube Channel. One of my favorites is my version of Reason by Hoobastank. The band messaged me on my Instagram, they really liked it.


There's a new one coming very soon, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.


What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?


Andre Matos Band. Andre Matos (R.I.P.) was the first Angra's singer. They are all my friends, and his bass player, Bruno Ladislau recorded 2 of my songs: La Premiere Experience and Woodbine Sunset. I also had lessons with his guitar player Andre Zaza Hernandes, we have been great friends for many years. Andre Matos band and my old metal band Enemies of Reality played at the same festival once. They are all incredible musicians. Andre Matos will always be missed. 


Do you have a favorite venue to play at?


Bourbon Street, it's a big jazz club in Sao Paulo, Brazil. B.B.King, Steve Vai, John Scofield, and many others have already played there. I've played there a few times. I'd love to play at Massey Hall in Toronto someday.


Do you have a pre-show ritual?


I do at least one hour of warm up exercises and stretching. I think it's very important to feel connected to your instrument to have a good performance.


What is your favorite thing about touring?


The adrenaline and the synergy between audience and artist.


What is your least favorite thing about touring?


Staying far from home.


Is there a city that you love to hit while on tour?


Sao Paulo and Toronto !


What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the road?


One time I had a concert and the club was in front of a graveyard. From the stage I could see the graveyard. Ok, that rocks right? But, in the middle of the concert I saw a couple in the audience dancing bolero when we were playing hard rock! A club, in front of the graveyard, playing hard rock for people dancing bolero… Wasn't that weird? LOL


The year is 1995.  Where are you at and what are you listening to? 

At home doing homework from the school listening to Dream Theater's Awake.


What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business?


You don't build a career with only one release. It takes time and a lot of work. Don't give up, enjoy the journey of writing, rehearsing, recording and gigging, love what you do and have fun.


What is an absolute band killer?




Have you ever recorded a song that you really didn’t like, but somebody else in the band really did?


I wouldn't say a song, but I recorded a guitar solo for a friend who's an incredible musician. His name is Ricardo Parronchi, he recorded the bass of "Physical Distancing" from my new EP "Tales of a Changing Life Part 1". I was doing some warm ups, improvising over his song, and they were actually recording me and I didn't know. He really liked it, but I hated that solo… I've never listened to that solo again Lol.


If you were to start your own music festival what would be the name of that festival and who would be the three headlining bands?


I don't know about the festival's name, but the bands would be Rush, Van Halen, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Extreme, Steve Vai and Leprous.


What’s the longest time you’ve gone without bathing?


12 hours? In summer I usually take at least 2 showers per day, sometimes 3. We brazilians take showers everyday, I know that it could sound weird for people from other countries, but that's how we are.


What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?


I do some painting in oil and water color. I haven't been painting for a while though.


Is the Fistful of DOOM show in the top 10 of your favorite music podcasts?


I actually don't listen to a lot of podcasts. I might listen to 5 podcasts and Fistful of Doom is one of them.


Do unicorns sleep standing up?


They don't sleep, they are like zombies Lol


You’re driving cross-country and you can only listen to one album the whole time.  What album will it be?


That should be a long album, right? Dream Theater's Astonishing


You are writing a book about your life thus far.  What is the title of that book?


Tales of a Changing Life 


What is your favorite song by Adele?


Turning Tables. I know that this question is a joke but you asked the wrong person because I really like Adele and I have all her albums Lol


Ghost or Mastodon (if you had to choose)?


Mastodon by far! 


Doobies or Boobies (if you had to pick one)?


Boobies of course! Lol


Waffles or Pancakes (if you had to pick one)?

Belgian Waffles


Star Wars or Star Trek (if you had to choose)?


Star Wars, may the force be with you!


Favorite band t-shirt you own?


My first Dream Theater T-Shirt. It's the Awake cover art. I still have it.


Favorite meal?


Any kind of Italian food.


Favorite book?


Lord of the Rings


Favorite movie?


Lord of the Rings trilogy.


Favorite album?


Dream Theater - Images and Words


Favorite video game?


God of War 3 and Assassin's Creed Origins.



     Massive thanks to Rod for taking the time to answer my questions.  I appreciate it.  Rod’s latest release Tales Of A Changing Life, Part. 1 is available for your listening pleasure right now and there’s a link to it included in this interview, so you have no excuses.  Listen NOW!


Ps-  I also enjoy Adele.  


~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)

Buy Hard Rocking Aptera’s Thrilling Debut!

When our European label head Max Rebel first came to us with the thunderous rock powerhouse Aptera he knew he had something special. I believe his first words were “From the first video I saw of them I knew something was happening here and that I had to sign them.”



We’re really glad he did. You can buy their new record, You Can’t Bury What Still Burns hear why for yourself:


They are one of the most exciting bands in the ever thrilling Berlin rock scene right now, and listening to them execute with such aplomb across this whole record is a delight. It speaks to their skill as songwriters and all that they have worked for so long to cultivate. You Can’t Bury What Still Burns is a standout highlight in the Ripple catalog.


We’ve pressed this record on CD and LP with both black and limited edition hazy variant, and even though this is a debut, they are moving fast so act now if you want yours.


Buy You Can’t Bury What Still Burns now:


Thanks for your support,


The Ripple Team