Music Morsels May 2006 
by Mark Waterbury
  Avian - From The Depths Of Time
Nightmare Records
     The brainchild of guitar whiz Yan Leviathan and former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, Avian ignites a blistering metallic fire in the prog genre. Enlisting the soaring vocal power of Lance King, guitar pyrotechnics of Roger Moore and keyboard skills of Jonah Weingarten, the music feels more European with a slight Iron Maiden feel fattened by chunkier riffs. Intelligently written while still creating songs that just rock out, this disc seethes with power and musical intrigue from start to finish.
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  Pan For Punks - A Steelpan Tribute to the Ramones
     One time metal drummer Tracy Thornton produces a highly unique and entertaining tribute to one of punk’s seminal acts. With Tracy providing all the instrumentation in true island fashion, this CD of classic songs can’t help but make you smile. The pure rasta treatments in songs like “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Pinhead” are awesome, and will have you screaming “Gabba Gabba Hey-Mon!”
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  UHF - All Our Golden Tomorrows
Second Story Records - SSR0805
     Portland, Oregon may be second fiddle to Seattle in the Northwest music scene, but bands like UHF could change that. With a retro feel that touches Brit pop, psychedelia and a waft of punk, the music is unique and very listenable. From the brash but tempered “Battery” to the hooky groove of “Rules Of the Game” and seething synth pop of “The Behemoth” this is refreshing music.
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  Bumblefoot - Normal
Bald Freak Music - BF 07
     Slipping into mid-ground between the rollicking pop of The Click Five and brash roots punk of Green Day, Bumblefoot tosses interesting surprises at you. Beyond the talented songwriting and sardonic lyrics (check out “Pretty Ugly”) the guitar solos particularly in “Turnaround” make you wonder if Yngwie is shredding the ax here. The wild insanity of “The Color Of Justice” will raise your blood pressure.
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  Citrus - Oh Well EP
Jezebel Records
      Scandinavia born foursome Citrus created a buzz at 2005’s Sundance Film Fest and it is easy to see why. Creating music that is hooky yet edgy, Citrus at times seems like U2 with a punkish soul especially on the title track. “Forgive Us Now” has a subtle intensity that snares you. Powerful vocal work and solid lyric writing helps create music that is infectious and intelligent.
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  Ten Mile Tide - self-titled
     I hesitate to dub Frisco’s Ten Mile Tide as a jam band even though they sometimes seem like a folkier version of the Allman Brothers. Mostly feel-good music that crosses roots of Bay Area flower power and Smokey Mountain back porch pickin,’ TMT nonetheless can inflict you with terminal toe-tapping. Excellent musicianship and storytelling lyrics further enhance this fun disc.
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  Renee French - Two Way Mirror
     A veteran vocal teacher at Austin (TX) School of Music, Renee French turns her talent to her own recording. The result is mesmerizing as her sweet voice with the poise and control of a classical or standards crooner fits pleasantly into a singer/songwriter backdrop. Backed by several noted musicians, the music is dreamy but attention-grabbing with a stunning vocal beauty.
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  Michael Lloyd Band - Highwaters EP
     Denver’s Michael Lloyd creates music that is easy to like from the catchy, piano driven funk grooves to the soulful vocals. Almost like a jazzier Ben Folds Five, you can tell Michael pays attention to song-crafting while not writing over your head and keeping the enjoyment factor intact. Songs like “Wildfire,” “45 At A Time” and the Harry Connick-ish ballad “So Easily” are subtly brilliant.
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  Fumosonic - Different Place and Time
Angry Vegan Records - AVRCD003
       Fumosonic creates an atmospheric blend of pop, acid jazz, electronica, and other styles. Provocative vocal work from Kelly Fumo is augmented by the delectable jazz trumpet work of John Fumo and the right touches of loops, keys and guitar. The music has a sultry pulse in a semi-laid back environment that helps you experience the musical and songwriting talents.
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  Matt Germak Band - Strangest Days
     The piano lead in to “Stripped Away” from this Boston band evokes Coldplay. Then Matt’s voice kicks in, slightly reminiscent of Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett. The music stays with the piano as the focal instrument, driving a pop machine that also has a waft of a Bruce Hornsby feel while remaining a bit edgy. A bit raw, but in the three tracks, you can feel something is happening here.
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Division of Serge Entertainment Group