I have received a lot of new releases over the last few weeks with Sept. 29 release dates. Today I review some of those, along with one early September release that arrived late. More September releases will follow next week, along with some October offerings.
‘Guilty Of Innocence,’ Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius (Melodic Revolution Records☆☆☆☆)
This Sept. 29 CD/digital release is the latest from electric violinist and vocalist Joe Deninzon, who is the founding member of Stratospheerius. The other members are Aurelien Budynek/guitar and backing vocals, Jamie Bishop/bass and backing vocals and Luciana Padmore/drums. Joe occasionally plays acoustic guitar and/or mandolin and provided the interesting cartoony art for the CD. Most of the music here is hard-rocking, but musically complex.
A good example of the above is the dynamic, tempo-shifting, lengthy “Soul Food,” though it lasts a bit too long.
Other favorites include the opener, “Man Behind The Curtain,” despite some irritating vocal effects, the experimental-sounding “Face” and the high-octane “Hysteria.”
This one’s quite progressive, and features enough hard-rocking to make it palatable to yours truly.
‘Our New Moon,’ Joel Madison Blount (Independent Release☆☆☆1/2)
This Sept. 29 CD (likely available in other formats) comes from Joel Madison Blount, and follows on the heels of his debut full-length “Taming The Wind” from 2014. His voice is a revelation: rangy, with a strong falsetto that is easily employed on several songs.
Producer Brian T. Murphy, guitarist Josh Vigneulle, bassist Will Weir and drummer Alex Hinson flesh out the songs admirably. The opener, “Beauty That Remains,” is a perfect example.
Other favorites include the excellent “Love Radiates,” the falsetto-filled “Arms Open Wide,” “Hands of Mine” continues the theme,” and the positively outward-radiating “Inner Monologue.”
This is a slow-paced set of songs, but Blount has crafted an idiomatic sound for admirers of such.
‘Ghost Town,’ Melissa Plett (SOCAN/Trucks Unlimited☆☆☆)
This release from Montreal’s Americana singer/songwriter Melissa Plett was recorded in Nashville’s Omnisound Studios with musician/producer Pat Severs and lots of many talented locals (Pat plays acoustic/electric guitars, pedal steel and dobro; Mike Severs plays electric guitar, along with bassist Mark Prentice, drummer Wayne Killius, piano/organist Randy Hart and fiddler/backing vocalist Kenzie Wetz).
Favorite tunes include the low-volume opener “Stay,” the catchier “Handle of Whisky” (both featuring nifty fiddling), the pedal-steel drenched title tune and the expert ensemble playing of the studio band.
Melissa’s twang seems somewhat unnatural, but she’s translated uncomfortable and tragic life lessons into a release that many country-rock fans will enjoy.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.