Artist Review: Imani WJ Wright

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

It’s not often that I stumble upon an artist and decide to take him under the reviewer’s wing, but we’re gonna change the pace a bit here at the Artist Reach camp.

Sensuality, good vibes and a little Rock & Soul might be a few choice words for young and upcoming Artist/Producer Imani WJ Wright

Starting out in the business early, talented and serving as your own Producer is definitely the way to go. That’s why I have to tip my hat to Mr. Wright. His single, “Appreciation”, is a lovingly witty and soul-soothing track that is bound to draw in the ladies at first blush. For a debut single, I’d say he can accomplish just that. This song does one big thing though…it gets you pumped for the prospective future for the young Artist. I wanna hear what else this young man can do. Because he’s absolutely on the right track in every way; music and image alike.

If you have appreciation, no pun intended, for an up and comer ready to take sensuality, sexuality, and the heart and soul of music’s passion, Mr. Wright is right up your alley. I hear a man ready to take off and fly. He has his passport, plane ticket, and the jet ready, and this song walks me to the plane.

So again, I have to give major props to a young guy giving his heart and soul to true music that definitely won’t shy you away. “Appreciation” is a stunner for its alley of execution, and I’m dying to hear what move this guy makes next musically. I’m jet-ready, let’s get the plane to take off!

This single is definitely on the Wright track! Double-pun completely intended.

Now his other single, “Make Me”, shows a different side to Imani WJ Wright, but still utilizes the same elements within his content and overall execution. This song allows you to get to know the fellow artist a little bit more, and explore what he has to offer as an artist that does it the DIY way.

This song offers up more edge and production value. Each measure is well crafted and keeps you listening and adds more character depth to his music and image. This is definitely a great follow-up from the predecessing track.

With the great R&B vibe still in the forefront, this song definitely will capture your heart and put some soul into you. It entices you to research more into Imani WJ Wright as an artist and persona. 

These are some solid tracks for this young man, and we at Artist Reach would like you to check them out. It’s not often that we Review an artist on-the-spot or happen upon them, but this seemed like the right occasion. 

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Artist Review #2: Billy Roberts & The Rough Riders – “No One Knows Me” single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

We welcome back Billy Roberts & The Rough Riders for round 2 at the Artist Reach camp, fresh with his new single “No One Knows Me”, an uptempo song with Western-Style Blues and a Country-Rock twist that has solid production and high likability factors.

We once again have great vocal melodies in the forefront to give the twangy guitars all the compliments they need for a perfect blend. The drum tempo is truckin’, the smooth sound is one for all ears, and Roberts‘ band mates definitely bring out the best in his vocal delivery, and him as an artist altogether.

What I love about this record is the traditional sound the band utilizes with today’s music sensibilities. While we may hear key influences from some of the artists we’ve grown to know and love over many decades, Roberts‘ group tend to bring their own cast of characters and song arrangements to the table that really touch on a unique artistic merit. It’s a sound almost any Rock, Blues, or Country fan can appreciate and identify with.

“No One Knows Me” is one of several tracks off of Roberts‘ full-length LP, Greenbah. We highly suggest you check out that record in its entirety and really get the full grasp on what Billy Roberts & The Rough Riders have to offer. It’s a brilliant record from an insatiably talented group of professional musicians.

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Artist Review: Not From Georgia

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Western Alt/Rockers Not From Georgia, led by pioneer musician Steve Westfall, have put together a very effective, catchy, and melodic album with a strong showcase of diligent songwriting and strong musicianship with their current release Willie’s Gone.

This is a very eclectic record that has a great mastered final mix that successfully brings out the best of Westfall and his band of professional musicians that bring this album all the elements needed to make Willie’s Gone a very brilliant finished product of its kind.

Songs like “Highway 84” and “Honey” are great opening tracks that introduce us to a very well-polished album with dynamic use of guitar melodies, great vocal-range, and diligence in songwriting structures. The verses have great string-fillers and has a great rhythm section that cruises along as the powerful chorus approaches. These songs are up lifters, movers, and shakers.

And with a track like “Some Days”, there’s a much more delicate and soothing foundation. The slide guitars are beautifully crafted along with the fore grounded vocal melodies that makes this song a very ambient and serene listen. It has brilliant acoustic guitar textures, solidification among the players, and a togetherness that sets apart Not From Georgia from your average Alt/Rock band with Western sensibilities.

This band has a great history, a great catalogue of music, and will definitely be appreciated among those who appreciate their genre. In fact, Not From Georgia will most likely be added to your list of current favorites. We can promise that.

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Artist Review: Leafy Satori Risk

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

A grungy and nostalgic treat, and an ambience that guides you to lean back, and put these songs on repeat might do justice as a way to properly describe what listening to this duo feels like. Another brilliant audio-imagery crossover, Leafy Satori Risk‘s most recent EP L’amour Fou, brings you on an eclectic journey. 

With great use of keyboards, grungy guitar swells, and vocals that bring you a dreamlike-sequence, this is definitely new food for the ear. Each song has its own dynamic, and story that’s told to help you delve into the minds of the creators, but has an arrangement and signature persona that defines them uniquely. “Pirates” and “Astronauts” are two of the four songs off the L’amour Fou record, and demonstrate a swell brilliance and unique balance in every measure between the song structure, and ambient heavily-accented vocal melodies; which works beautifully for their craft and adds a very nostalgic feeling when listening to these songs.

This dynamic duo currently hails from Los Angeles and recently toured Japan extensively. They are currently gearing up for a Brazilian tour in support of L’amour Fou and will continue to showcase their craft in other parts of the world as well. Leafy Satori Risk is definitely a great discovery of emotions; and I have no doubt you’ll feel the same way when you take a listen. It’s a great feeling, and listen altogether.

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Artist Review: Shining Force 

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

For those of you who yearn for heavy metal’s epic years of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast, the entire Judas Priest catalogue, and Metallica’s first 3 albums…we have a special treat for you.

We have another reason not to mess with Texas. These Pasadena rockers are bringing back a sound that never left in the first place. Christian/Metal band Shining Force by way of solid guitar riffs and a stampede of a rhythm section remind us that true metal is still at the heart of all metal fans alike, despite the additives to the genre over the years (i.e.: core, black, death, speed, nu, melodic, and any other word you can attach).

Starting off with their track “Rapture”, we get served up with some unstoppable energy and guitar riffs that cruise into a very melodic and in-your-face verse. The vocals sustain an impressive range and definitely have a Maiden-worthy vibrato that sets the classic tone for their take on heavy metal’s glory days. There are powerful drum films, very well-crafted dueling guitars and a heavy hitting overall dynamic.

Cruising over to the title track of their upcoming album, the energy and innovation is still ever present in “By the Blood”. A track that offers up more integrated songwriting techniques and play on tempos. The guitars are very gain-fueled, crisp, and crawl right under your skin. It’s impossible to ignore the string-attack this song has and once again, we have a vocal range that was born for this breed of metal. A breed that has manifested into endless influences for today’s modern metal, and a legacy that fuels itself through bands like Shining Force. Just like all the metal greats that sit in your collection, Shining Force fits right in, and helps push the legacy onward.

The band is embarking on a full U.S. Tour this summer in support of the upcoming anticipated album, By the Blood. An album you will be very glad you purchased when it’s released. So keep an eye out to see when Shining Force is coming to your town. Mark your calendars to make sure you know when they arrive to come make their mark! You will not be disappointed.

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Artist Review: Tune Tank

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

A very cleverly boasted take on today’s Alt/Indie and the glory days of old school Rock elements, we find a very eclectic chemistry from Tune Tank. A very mastered craft with extraordinary production, this band has a great mixture of many elements from influences like Coldplay and early greats like The Beatles. 

Their song “Innocent Man” shares a very well-polished sound with a very uplifting mood. With great use of acoustic-textures and well-orchestrated measures, the verses set a very solid tone. It’s a great build to a very full and powerful chorus without leaving any stones unturned. Extravagant vocal harmonies with guitar melodies that compliment and complete the overall vocal delivery, this song is a dynamic one, and will definitely grab your attention. And the production value couldn’t be more fitting for this kind of Alt/Rock sensibility. You can definitely see, hear, and feel the talent that’s been brought to the table for this song.

Their second track “Sometimes I Do (Sometimes I Don’t Even Try)” is a very soulful acoustic & vocal anthem in its first several measures, once again leading up to another solidified and well-written chorus with well-placed harmonies. This song gives you an authentic feel and really showcases the band’s individual ability blended into a brilliant chemistry. This talent among the trio with an engineer with an ear for detail will definitely leave you with a brilliant outcome, and Tune Tank did exactly just that. This band is a treat and a discovery that will exceed your expectations.

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Artist Review: Blue Moon Harem (Review #2)

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

I’m more than stoked to have these Boston Alt/Rockers back on the platform. It’s a treat and very much a privilege, because when I reviewed Blue Moon Harem earlier this year (you can find it in the Review Archives), I only had their single “Lie” to work with, an amazing song from their upcoming album Deep Into Blue, which made me yearn for more of this band. I guess I got my wish. And chances are if you read the first review and listened to “Lie” as well, then you did as well!

Now we’re onto two more songs from the upcoming album, and just like I anticipated, these ones are just as mind-blowing. Deep Into Blue is definitely on my list of most anticipated albums of 2016, and now I’m armed with two more tracks to prove why.

Starting off with the acoustically driven and ridiculously well written song “Lucky”, we immediately hear catchy acoustic measures that lead into a verse that makes very intricate use of ride-and-snare drum techniques. It fits beautifully and definitely adds a dynamic touch to the overall rhythm sound’s approach. The vocals once again are perfectly toned, very strong and compressed in the powerful chorus, and puts the perfect signature to BMH‘s overall aura. “Lucky” is very uplifting and the band’s ability to construct the perfect melody over solid guitar riffs is definitely shown as one of their overall defining factors.

Moving onto “My Front Door”, this one immediately pulls you in with a very captivating guitar-and-vocal intro. But what makes this song stand out to me the most is that classic use of acoustic-and-electric riffs where the acoustic’s texture compliments the electric’s foreground completely. It also lends it’s vibes to the rhythm section as well, leaving you with a very unforgettable and undeniably solid, crisp tone and textures. Again, we have a flawless chorus with soaring vocal melodies and a surprisingly beautifully ambient guitar solo not long after the second chorus. 

If this is your first time reading about Blue Moon Harem, just know this: I can’t stress enough how well-polished this band is, and how ridiculously well written these songs are. Nowadays, with everything doused in EDM, auto-tune and the overuse of plugins during post-production stages…you’ll see just how much of a breath of fresh air Blue Moon Harem really is. Remember those songs from the epic 90’s-early 2000’s era where brilliant songwriting was the main focus? Yes, this band has that! You’ll be more than glad you discovered Blue Moon Harem.

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