The Myriad

June 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Indie Artists, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name:  The Myriad

Genre: Indie/Rock

Major/Indie/Unsigned: E1 Entertainment (Formerly Koch Records)/Epic Records

Album: With Arrows, With Poise

Released: 2008

Overall Rating (out of 4): 3

Musicality – This is a band that likes to challenge themselves with their music. They create interesting variations and layers to their songs, which add a delicious texture and makes the music always interesting. Also, you notice they mix with some sampled electronic sounds, but never overdo it to take away from their indie rock sound.

Singing – Jeremy’s vocals are subtle, but have a distinct character in his voice, almost a bit like Thom Yorke of Radiohead (meaning softer sounding breathy tenor vocals). I like how he doesn’t try to over sing, but has a good voice and knows how to use it. I would find it a little more interesting if he could vary his vocal dynamics and tones, just to bring some variety and liven up the vocals at times. As well, in the few tracks where they made the keyboard a focus, it really added a missing element (middle) with it’s melodies and chords. I wish the keyboards would be in more songs.

Lyrics – Their lyrics are very poetic and you need to search a little for the meanings to make sense to you (thinker’s lyrics). Even with the lyrics on a sheet, it would still take a few listens to adequately understand what “The Myriad” is saying. That’s a compliment.

Flow/Rhythm – Mellow/chill/cool/indie rock is what comes to mind when I think of “The Myriad’s” music. It’s music you would chill to, or even study to, and read a book to. I would almost think they are a slightly more rock sounding “Coldplay”. So, they do have a quieter vibe, but it works.

Freshness – It is pretty decent, but I think you need to be careful with the chill rock/alternative/indie sound. There are just so many people doing that style that you need really have some strong qualities in different areas to stand out.

Technicality/Recording – I’m not sold on the recording here. I think the engineers could have done a better job with the mixing. For example, i think most songs mix the instruments in a way that doesn’t maximize the best sound for the listener. The drum cymbals completely drown out the vocals, and the instruments cover the vocals a bit, which isn’t the greatest if you are a “lyrics” listener. But I’m just being nit-picky! All in all, great music!

Visuals – Top notch Myspace page. Excellent Youtube channel. Their homepage for the band is very good! No complaints on the online presence/marketing. The only thing is if they get twittering/tweeting, it will help them even more!

Top #2 Songs:

1. A Thousand Winters Melting (Just a great song, musically, lyrically, and it makes you feel good when you hear it!) – Unfortunately there was no video/live performance that I could find of this song. So I’ll choose a third.

2. You waste time like a grandfather clock (A great mix of rhythms, effects, dynamics, and amazing lyrics – just a compelling song; one that I would want to listen to multiple times).

2. A Clean Shot (A well balanced track, a bit New Wave-like, driving drums & bass, catchy vocals)

~ Jason Chu


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Elyse and the Aftermath

May 24, 2009 at 3:01 am (Music Reviews, Unsigned Artists) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name: Elyse and the Aftermath

Genre: Pop/Rock/Alternative

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Unsigned

Album: Shut up and Listen!

Released: August 2008

Overall Rating (out of 4): 2.5

Musicality – The band plays in an understated way, but it’s solid. Nice keyboard work in the songs, I would encourage using them more! The vocals definitely take center stage with Elyse and the Aftermath. The sound of the band sort of reminds me of “Heart”.

Singing – Elyse has a great voice, very strong & clear for rock bands (Her singing sounds a bit like Bif Naked, just less edge though). The background vocals are good, but they could use some more and maybe even add in harmonies.

Lyrics – Straight forward, no hidden agenda to the songs. Crystal clear rock lyrics!

Flow/Rhythm – This one is tricky, they are mid – tempo rock (neither too fast/heavy, or too slow/ballad-like), that can make it tougher to breakthrough (my observation is that the heavier rock or pop-like bands have an easier way).

Freshness – It’s good! I just would probably spruce up the backing band sound, maybe add a little more distinction on the guitar leads, and punch up the riffs.

Technicality/Recording – Excellent, a good clear mix.

Visuals – Elyse has a good Youtube channel set up with a lot of videos, which is great for fans. The band’s Myspace page is really good, and has all the features that any major label artist would have! As far as image, the Myspace page made think they were going to be goth band, which they’re not, however, that’s minor quibbles! Plus Elyse has a Twitter account, so you can keep up with the band and their next moves!

Top #2 Songs:

1. One Photograph (Very catchy, love the singing lyrics, and it is just a good rock song!)

2. Damaged (Great song & lyrics, they perform it well!)

~ Jason Chu


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The Ryes

May 18, 2009 at 2:56 am (Indie Artists, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name: The Ryes

Genre: Rock/Pop/Alternative

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Indie



Overall Rating (out of 4): 3

Musicality – Their pop rock sound is very retro 70’s Brit rock style. They obviously take their influences from such great Brit bands like: Queen, The Beatles, Bowie, Blur, and even The Police. As far as their musicality, it’s quite progressive for pop/rock and they play well together as a band (as you can see in the live show clip below). I really enjoyed the use of the keyboard parts in the classic sense adding a splash of color to every song.

Singing – A strong and interesting pop voice (The Brit accent always helps!). There is a pleasant positiveness that you get when you listen to Paul Canning sing. He is singer whose voice is well suited to the band.

Lyrics – Catchy, catchy lyrics, the type where you would be singing along in the car without knowing it. Fun vibe!

Flow/Rhythm – It has very forward moving, bouncy flow to the music. Sing-along songs.

Freshness – Sometimes retro is just retro, but “The Rye” puts a spin on their songs to make them sound fresh and relevant to the present.

Technicality/Recording – Sounds great, no problems here!

Visuals – Only a few videos up on Youtube (good to get more exposure), so more content would probably help. Their Myspace page is excellent! It has a real artsy alternative/indie look in the design. Again, it’s ultimately about the music and “The Rye” just have that “it”. They just got to market themselves, and do shows, and more shows to get that exposure. Also, being a little more proactive/aggressive with online marketing of their music is a good idea.

Top 2 Songs:

1. How Come Loretta (Just a great song to listen to and sing-along with in the car)

2. Separation (Very Queen-esque, but original and has a great pop style & music sensibility)

~ Jason Chu


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