Friday 13 January 2012

Vacation 2012: 19 Again

It's dark and grey outside, rainy and cold which means it's wintertime over here. And we're halfway so, about two months to go. That means it's time to take a break for a few weeks and travel to a more warm country.

This song is about the country I'm visiting, Vietnam. It's not about the most happy period of this beautiful and friendly country, but still a great and pretty groundbreaking song from halfway the eighties.

Got anything to share with me or want to inform me about anything? Drop me an email. See you in a few weeks! Read more!

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Lack Of Ideas From Angels And Airwaves

After blink-182 imploded in 2005 front man Tom DeLonge and some friends started the group Angels & Airwaves, or AVA as they call themselves short. The members are from the same scene and play in bands like Nine Inch Nails, The Offspring and 30 Seconds To Mars. Meanwhile blink-182 got back together a while ago, but still DeLonge keeps making records with AVA. There was Love a year ago, which was available as a free download in the beginning. Now Love Part Two has been added to it and the two are bundled now.

Angels & Airwaves - Love Part Two (Ronald Says 4 out of 10)
Right from the start it's clear they continue down the same road: big bombastic compositions, echoing U2 inspired guitars and synths copied from the eighties. Pretentious tracks with big gestures, ready for football stadiums. Nothing new of course and no surprise with the background of the band members. But it doesn't come with a lot of creativity or subtlety.

The band flies right into it on every song, is clogging everything completely with echo and effects, while the drums keeps away hammering mercilessly. It's all building up using the same recipe and sounds alike. They're missing the ingenuity of the bands they are trying to copy. In short: it's a very superficial and one sided record. It's completely unclear to me what DeLong is trying to add with AVA and this album. As a way of relieve, blink-182 is probably a lot more effective and potential creativity that he's unable to express there sure can't be found here.

All songs are fully exchangeable and the album only has lows. It all sounds very unbelievable and fake, something that's more common to the emo-genre unfortunately. But even the biggest fan must be wondering what AVA is cooking up here. I can only conclude that DeLonge doesn't have enough material for more than one band. Maybe he should stick to just one hereafter.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Keep You Close' on Spotify.

Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify
Read more!

Wednesday 4 January 2012

New Cool Collective Throw Great End Of The Year Party

Eighteen years ago the jazz combo New Cool Collective was founded. And so they named their new album Eighteen. They were programmed to play the smaller Melkweg hall but because of great interest it was moved to the bigger Max hall. And that one filled up nicely in what was going to be the last gig in 2011 for me.

New Cool Collective at Melkweg Amsterdam, December 29 2011 (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)
The band looks a bit surprised themselves. According to Benjamin Herman, great sax player and one of the original founders, they started out playing for only a handful of people. Of course they are very pleased with this great show-up, indicating that they have come a long way since. And their music changed from more traditional jazz, latin and afro-beat tunes to a whole new kind of music. All their experience, talent, skills and musical adventures are combined into music that will get everyone's hips loose and is cooler than cool.

And with this introduction in mind you know things cannot go wrong any more tonight. The band is feeling good, in great shape and in an even better better. The crowd is excited and willing to dance and the music is brilliant. The band treat us to many new songs off their new album and some great older compositions. All musicians get their moment in the spotlights. Herman, who is also the one to talk to the crowd in between songs, is showing why he's one of the best musicians in our country. The same goes for drum player Joost Kroon with his very broad repertoire of styles. Rock, swing, latin it all seems so natural to him. And then his damn!

But let's not forget the rest of the band. This is a dream team: very skilled musicians who also have great chemistry together while playing. A special mention goes out to guitarist Anton Goudsmit and his contagious playing style. His energy and excitement is characteristic for the band: these are musicians who are playing for the love of music and most of all are having fun! I can only hope they will stay together for another eighteen years and many more after.

More Pictures

Official Website | MySpace | Facebook | Spotify
Read more!