Big Rock Finish… reviews of independent music

September 1st, 2011


Posted by Angela Poon in General

Montreal Maven Weaves Global Pop Patchwork On New LP

When Leonard Cohen speaks, people that know anything about music listen. So it’s little wonder that Canadian siren NEeMA is on a sharp ascent. Cohen recently had this to say about the Montreal-based, Lebanese songstress: “in the midst of all the static, a voice of true feeling arises – a rare event!” Hard to argue with, especially once the music reveals itself. An effortless blend of folk, world, jazz and pop, NEeMA’s sophomore release, Watching You Think, employs a gloriously wandering heart. Bolstered by production in association with Mr. Cohen and the universally regarded Pierre Marchand (of Sarah McLachlan, Ron Sexsmith fame), the album manages to borrow from corners of the globe and reference the annals of pop perfection, but all with a voice distinctly its own.

August 29th, 2011


Posted by Angela Poon in General

The band are all New York natives, but they formed in 2006 in Boston, where they made a name for themselves on the house party circuit. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who hears their debut album; while the songs have all been polished in the studio, they are still infused with the sort of kinetic urgency and contagious energy of an all night rager. Their unique blend of countrified rock and classic punk is just the thing to get you jazzed for all the summer fun looming just on the horizon.

August 25th, 2011

Sounds Under Radio

Posted by Angela Poon in General

Austin, Texas produces some of the best indie bands around; talented groups with blessedly weird sonic underpinnings, destined for cult followings and recognition from professional appreciators who are content with successes in the anti-mainstream and prefer the intimacy of small stages. Sounds Under Radio, on the other hand, craft ambitious, blood throbbing, battered populist anthems for the post-industrial age and beyond that make us want to pump our fists in the air and sing along to the surge of rising emotion.

Since their inception, SUR have found fans at every level. In 2007, songs from their debut album, Cinematica, appeared in major motion pictures like Spider Man 3 (Sony Pictures) and The Wolfman (Universal Pictures). More recently, shiny new tracks have found similar success. “All You Wanted” was featured alongside songs by Gorillaz and the Smashing Pumpkins on the Vampire Diaries Soundtrack, and “Sing,” which premiered on Pop Matters, is making the rounds in a promo spot for FOX’s American Idol. And in a show of versatility, SUR recently performed a soulful acoustic set on Fox’s Good Day Austin, and will be doing a string of stripped down acoustic dates in mid June across the US.

August 22nd, 2011

Magnetic Man

Posted by Angela Poon in General

Though dubstep’s low frequency, dark wobble bass-drops and paranoia inducing half-time rhythms have long since found their way from U.K. garages to the airwaves of BBC Radio 1, only recently has the swaggering bastard child of 2-step and grime crept into gritty corners of the U.S. streets. Enter Magnetic Man and their eponymous U.S. debut (released 4/12 digital, 5/10 physical on Startime/Columbia). If the name calls to mind visions of a post-apocalyptic antihero intent upon laying waste to the earth with superhuman powers, you aren’t too far off.

MM’s Benga, Skream, and Artwork, are three producers/DJ’s with serious dubstep credentials who met over a love of pulverizing beats at the now-defunct mecca of the genre, Big Apple Records. Together, Magnetic Man infuses the dubstep landscape with melodic pop grooves that play counterpoint to hyped-up synth and fat bass lines that apply pressure like silky-scaled boa constrictors. Rising U.K. pop star Katy B lends her gentle vocals to the tracks “Perfect Stranger” and “Crossover,” while the addition of Angela Hunte, co-writer of the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys classic “Empire State of Mind,” makes “I Need Air” an infectious pop banger. MM even got soulman John Legend to help smooth out the crunchy back-beats on “Getting Nowhere.” Meanwhile, “Flying into Tokyo,” uses glistening strings to portray an idyllic sense of wonder at surveying Tokyo’s intensity from above, and handily signals that we are entering uncharted territory.

August 18th, 2011

Miles Jones

Posted by Angela Poon in General

The story of underground hip hop phenom Miles Jones and his debut U.S. release, Runaway Jones, is inextricably tied to his famed bloodline. His grandfather was a jazz and ska musician who helped pioneer the reggae movement at Studio One in Jamaica, where Bob Marley and a slew of other legends recorded their first major hits. And his father, Deadly Hedley Jones Jr, was an integral proponent of the early Toronto club scene and an influential DJ on CFNY FM.

Some might say that young Mr. Jones was born with big shoes to fill. But another way of looking at the situation slants toward the notion of inevitability. In other words, when you couple the luck of genetics with an inclination for poetry and a deep-seated admiration for master hip-hop story-tellers like Eric B & Rakim, Kool Moe Dee, LL Cool J, and Big Daddy Kane, the recent success of Miles Jones seems only natural.


August 15th, 2011

June Hunters

Posted by Angela Poon in General

We are new moscow indie/psychedelic band June Hunters

August 11th, 2011

Become the Sun

Posted by Angela Poon in General

A reformation of ideas and inspiration has spawned the birth of the Ottawa based rock quartet Become the Sun. Delivering back to basics rock, with infectious hooks, layering guitars, and a classic groove that resonates from their core, the band exemplifies a dedication to their art, motivated by their appreciation of many facets of life and balance.

Musicians of Sri Lankan, Irish, and Canadian descent, the band is as eclectic as their sound. Fronted by singer/songwriter Theepan, bassist Matt Stobo, Evan Camm on drums, and guitarist Pat Kehoe, the band has been relentless in it’s pursuit of sharing their creativity through music.

Become the Sun’s career was almost cut short in June 2008 when drummer Evan accidentally severed his left wrist while working construction. The injury was severe; he severed 12 tendons, both arteries and a major nerve. He faced the real prospect of never being able to play drums again. After emergency reattachment microsurgery and months of rehabilitation, Evan began play again with a greater passion than ever before.

Become the Sun have refined their live sound on major festival stages, such as Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, and have unveiled their debut EP, Fire. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and join the bands mailing list to find out more about Canada’s latest addition to the music scene.

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