It is, quite simply, not the best time to live in Cyprus. The island's water resources are running short; its (male) citizens are subjected to water rationing; and on a personal level, I have been conscripted during peacetime. Saturday the 5th of July is my first day in the National Guard, and it shall be a good many months before I'm free of the burden. For this reason, it is going to be difficult for me to keep in contact with the myriad of artists that contact me each month. However, keep contacting me. Keep asking me for an address to which you may send your demos. I shall respond as instantaneously as the time I am afforded permits me to. This monthly article shall endure, and I hope to aid you with every sinew of my capacity to do so.
Last month's artists featured on the front page of UG for a weekend, achieving an aggregate increase in total plays of 11,323 on their myspace pages. I hope that this month's artists improve on that figure. In any case, I would like to draw your attention to a factor that I analyse before including any band in this article. The issue at hand is that some readers have left me some feedback over the past few months claiming to have knowledge regarding bands that are allegedly 'better' than the ones I feature. This is all very well, and I am sure that there are bands that are 'better' than the ones I feature. However, this is not an article that features the best artists that I findrather, it is about the artists of the monthbut it is devoted to the artists that leave a substantial impression on me in our contact. Of necessity, these artists also have some refined music on show, but I'm trying to encourage artists with talent to become better. I will not pick and choose artists for the sake of end product alone, but their passion for what they do. This article is entitled Unsigned Artists of the Month for a purpose, and without artists that sound unsigned, I would be sacrificing some principles. The message I'm trying to convey is that unsigned recording artists wishing to have some time on UG's front page must not approach me with the sole intention of using this website for their own gain. Finally, I would like to apologise for the delay in writing it.
In my experience, bands that contact me with the aim of being featured here do not expect negative reviews; this shall by no means be a negative review, but I shall point out the problems of EWTB's album. As an alternative rock band, Explode When They Bloom incurs a tendency to record certain songs that are prone to sounding expired -- in The Arms Of The Trees is the glaring example of this -- for the reason that they are too long. There is of course nothing inherently incorrect in recording a long song, but I personally feel that the approach is not varied enough to completely engross the listener. That said, there are elements of such songs that really do strike the listener as quite excellent.
By including a band like Explode When They Bloom in this article, I have included a band that brings a distinctive energy to unsigned music. In We Will Be Sleeping, Explode When They Bloom has a track that simply oozes the quality of being a live favourite. On the whole, and band that poignantly concocts a potion of shout-along verses and harmony-soaked choruses is always welcome here. Here it becomes paramount to recognise the vocal talents of Jay Oullette, whose capacity to both passionately scream and sing is a welcome addition to my play list. Many argue that he really comes to life on the up-tempo songs, but he is equally at his best on The Truth, a song that not only encompasses Jay's vocal talents, but also the capacity of the band as a whole to record a song that sounds truthful.
There is capacity for improvement, but that is the greatest compliment to any band: latent talent is a big factor in the inclusion of EWTB in this article. This is also the occasion to thank Mr Jay Oullette for taking the time to correspond with me: thank you.
When I said that Victor Gann is not about sleazy rock 'n' roll, I meant it. Without resorting to 'dumping his trick bag', Victor Gann is a restrained virtuoso guitarist whose work is very much fundamentally based on strong song-writing foundations. Playing his custom Ibanez, equipped with Screamin' Demons, Gann plays rough rock 'n' roll songs such as the emphatically named, Not Now!, without forgetting his human side. Victor's Shannon With Child, which features some of the most tastefully appropriate guitar playing I have heard in a long time is a great testament to Victor's greatest influences: Joe Satriani. With that, I leave you to discover Victor Gann's music for yourself: you will not be disappointed.
Despite his faith in humanity, love, and emotion, it is telling that Spangler's album is thus entitled: Love Songs For No One. Should Spangler's acoustic love songs one day be granted a subject, his songs will be worthy of any woman's heart. Yet perhaps that is the message of this album. It is called Love Songs For No One; but somehow, one feels that they are love songs for everyone. Intricate melodies and finger picked tunes aside, Spangler's song writing skills meander into the unknown; and, in spite of his assertion that 'fear of the unknown often overpowers the grass is greener allure', he boldly jumps the fence into the unknown.
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie writing in his books: How to Win Friends and Influence People, the best songwriters are those who like people. Josh emits a likeability that few have. Like a nugget of gold in a pan, or a winning raffle ticket, Dumb Blonde, Dead. takes the prize for both originality and substance. He is a thaumaturge: quite magical.