Monday, October 11, 2010

Demo-Listen Derby

Photo from The Locals website.

Here are some of the interesting local bands I've come across in recent months. Note: These reviews originally appeared in the Around Hear column of the Illinois Entertainer.

Yvonne Doll has been an impressive solo artist but teaming up with bassist Christy Nunes and drummer Kirk Snedeker in the power trio The Locals seems to have created an even better vehicle for her powerhouse vocals and songwriting abilities. The band’s new Salt EP follows 2008’s full length debut, Big Picture with four hard-hitting but melodic songs. “Sound It Out” is reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge but with more of a Midwestern power pop feel, and “Away From Here” is a declaration of independence set to a rocking beat.

Kevin Andrew Prchal’s Eat Shirt & Tie showcases his CD deep, rich vocals on a highly polished collection of easy listening and Country & Western songs. “Another Fool (In Love With You),” is a rollicking Johnny Cash/June Carter Cash style duet with singer Genevieve Schatz from Company Of Thieves, and Prchal also impresses with the majestic romantic fantasy of “Opryland Hotel.”

The 16 tracks on Treadmill Trackstar’s ambitious I Belong To Me sound like a cross between Coldplay and the orchestrated psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. Heidi Carey’s cello playing give the band much of its ornate texture, but singer-guitarist-keyboards player Angelo Gianna’s vocals play a huge role as well, particularly when his harmonizes with bassist-vocalist Mike Mills. Drummer Tony Lee helps Treadmill Trackstar add a hard rock edge to its lush approach on the bitter “Hands Off” and “Least I’m Feeling.”


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