Prior to this article, we had witnessed eleven unsigned artists, each representing an interesting foray into their respective genres. As initiated last month, I shall continue to collect some statistics regarding the play count of the artists' songs before and after the publication of the monthly article. Last month's artists -- Nestor Makhno, Penfold Gate, The Safety Fire, and Soulcatcher -- accumulated an aggregate increase of 18,760 (that's an average of 4,690) plays on their myspace profiles. Soulcatcher was the leader of the pack, with a phenomenal 6,710 augmentation. Such figures correctly represent UG as the thriving community it is, and can only serve as hard evidence of the site's popularity. In fact, after last month's article, bands contacted from areas as diverse as Brazil, Germany and even Japan. None of them shall be featured this month, but a lot of them have a lot of potential, so I would like to congratulate them all on giving a great account of themselves, and to look out for their names in future articles.
Unsigned artists are understandably difficult to discuss and prioritise in terms of talent and musicianship because of the variables, both visible and invisible in their constitutions. It is always helpful for an artist hopeful of achieving a position in this article to have an eye-catching web page. That is not to say the music is not the most fundamental aspect of the artists featured here -- there are some exceptions to the rule -- but a successful artist needs a unique or distinctive image (remember what happened to KISS when the band members washed off their make up?) Penultimately, and at the risk of boring the audience, I would like to ingeminate the significance of listening to more than one song by each artist featured here, for it would be a great injustice to them not to give them a second listen. Finally, with the recent talk of a UG store for artists, I would like to encourage any unsigned bands to sign up to Ultimate-Guitar.com and to treat this website with the same severity as myspace. Again, you can find me by clicking my username above the text of this article, or by visiting myspace page here.
By this point, you may be wondering exactly what is so special about Andy. He confirmed to me that "Less Talk, More Static" draws inspiration from Frank Sinatra's "In The Wee Small Hours" album cover, reflecting loneliness, desertion, and the early hours of the day. His song, DSPS epitomises Andy as a musician and lyricist; from the intricately intimate melodies of his acoustic guitar and tunnel echo vocals, to the wind chimes that aren't even there, Andy comes to life as he muses, It was the sound of nothing at all, the clouds today forever move and crawl. Andy Mitchell is an artist who sounds like he is recording his music while he is watching the sunrises and sunsets as they pass him by, and do you know, I think he might just be doing so. So do visit Andy's myspace, and give his wonderfully textured music a listen.
After receiving a copy of Matt's EP, "Alas. Tyranny" in the mail, listening to it did not appeal to me for a few days; but in a similar fashion to marinating meat before cooking it, Matt Parsons' music gets better every time I listen to it, and I'm sure that he can be an instant hit with UGers. The only downside here is that sometimes Matt could arguably have developed certain structures or passages to a greater extent throughout his EP, but alas, he is unsigned, and studio time is hard to come by. I can only reiterate his exceptional talents, and with live performances coming soon, Matt could really be looking at bigger and better things. This is for those of you who have an affinity for bands such as Kreator, Judas Priest and In Flames.
Again, Voodoo Johnson oozes professionalism, albeit a sleazy classic rock professionalism. Kev Bayliss, vocalist and principle lyricist of the band has a voice to rival any on the present-day rock scene, while the twin-engine guitar attack of the Gethins seeps class with every riff and lick. Naturally, Voodoo Johnson lives up to the sleazy image of classic rockers, with their tongues firmly in their cheeks; just look at song titles such as Blow Me (Away), for instance. Down the years, we have all witnessed the many weird and wonderful carnations of Eddie, and Iron Maiden has grown with said Mascot. A looming question is whether or not Voodoo Johnson can achieve similar parallels. Rest assured, the band wouldn't be featured here if it didn't at least have the potential. Make sure to listen to The Art Of Losing in your discovery of Voodoo Johnson, who, by the way, played at Kerrang's live MCN competition on the 19th of April. Despite being situated in the UK, Voodoo Johnson is targeting the USA, and shall be playing in Michigan at the Mount Rock Fest towards the end of July this year. It's going to be a busy year.
Upon asking Rachel about the intricacies of her song writing process, I was immediately struck by her sincerely candid reply: I'm inspired by the people around me and conversations I have. She just seems to be inspiringly inspired in both conversation and her music, which leads me to my next point. She tells a story. I'm not sure what it is, but even when she sings in her husky rasp of a voice, she retains her sense of melodious story telling abilities. Don't get too comfy though, she's not telling fairy tales, as she assured me that she once turned a song into what she calls 'a desperate attempt to get away from the one you love and the God-awful pop songs on the radio'.
If anyone is in the lineage of Mary Wollstonecraft, it's Rachel; she is the revolutionary liberating force in this month's article (at least in my ears), and at the end of 2008, when I'm assessing the unsigned artists that have had the utmost impact on me, Ms. Trow shall undoubtedly be near the top of the list. I feel sorry to have to share her music, for I'd much rather it all to myself, but alas, I shall try to move on.