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    The best music you're not listening to.™ Reviews of lost classics and obscure titles. Unheralded bands and songwriters. New bands deserving of greater attention. The site for the music omnivore. It's all here, on the Ripple Effect 

  • 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: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/you-cant-bury-what-still-burns


    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: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/you-cant-bury-what-still-burns


    Thanks for your support,


    The Ripple Team