Thursday, July 31, 2014

CD Review: New Independent Music From Across North America

From Mexico comes the punk band Los Seis Pistos with their latest release "Punk Will Never Die." The album is a collection of the band performing English and Spanish punk songs. The band claims that they were as much influenced by Elvis Presley, as they were by Pedro Infante and they just wanted to add a pulse to their music. Their new eleven-song release begins with the garage-rocker, adrenaline-fueled title song, "Punk Will Never Die" as they keep things simple without the need anything extra to take away from the song's message. They capture a more classic punk sound with "So Done," before slowing the tempo down for the raw, mainstream rock of "Have a Nice Day." The five Spanish sung tunes have a more violent sound, like with the battle cry of "La Vida Facil" ("The Easy Life") and the shout along chorus of "No Puede Ser" ("Cannot Be"). The album closes with the most attractive song that deserves your attention, the alternative rocker "El Combino" ("The Way"). To find out more about Los Seis Pistos and their latest album "Punk Will Never Die," please visit
Next, from Portland, OR comes the country/folk band Hearts Of Oak with their first full-length, nationally distributed album "New England." The band is fronted by singer/songwriter Nate Wallace backed by a "druggy, psychedelic" band that look to break down the barriers between Americana and country music. If Bob Dylan never plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, this may have been the sound of his next album as Wallace's vocal delivery mirrors a younger Dylan on the opening track "Used To It Now." By the second song "Goldmine," Hearts Of Oak have your full attention as their music eases your mind as Wallace continues to lead the psychedelic Americana movement. While the band plugs in for "Trouble In Mind," it's hard not to picture this song on Dylan's "Time Out Of Mind" album. The trio of the songs "New England," "Wants You Close" and "Tunnels" displays the band's feel for combining the buzz of electric with the purity of acoustic in creating that wonderful roots sound. To find out more about Hearts of Oak, please visit the band's Facebook page at
Lastly, from Canada comes the four-piece indie "math-pop" band Tommy Alto with their latest EP "Atlas//Patterson." The new seven song release begins with the jamband feel of "Mountain Top" as their sound is very contagious. They mix up the tempo on "Doria" to display their creativity, before continuing with the straight-forward indie-rock of "Birds." They add a boost of punk energy into "Beneath The Rain On A Strange Rooftop," before closing with the Crash Test Dummies sound-alike "Driftwood." Tommy Alto will spend August along the west coast on a 17-date tour. To find out more about the new album, please visit

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