Herman Martinez – ‘Secret Doors Hidden Stairs’ 

a1672395933_10‘Secret Doors Hidden Stairs’ is the brilliant album by New Jersey singer/songwriter Herman Martinez. The 10 track record is a masterclass in composition, musicianship, and harnessing talent.

The opening track ‘Season Premiere’ is a well-constructed song which sets the tone for the rest of the album well. It begins with a mysterious guitar riff which keeps playing through the entire songs. Layers are built up slowly which create texture and interest. The stabbing percussion before the beat kicks in is interesting and atmospheric. The claps and marching snare adds further texture and the impressive guitar solo is mind-blowing. We found the vocals enthralling with the backing vocals adding a dissonance and uneasy tone.

It is hard to pick but our favourite song on the record is ‘Emerther’. From the acoustic guitars to the dissonant chordal structures, to the smooth vocal performance, it is a top class song. The harmonies are a standout star and the instrumental feels as though you have fallen down the rabbit hole into an interesting, dark and mysterious new place. It is music to transport you to another plane.

We also adored ‘John Travoltrons Theme’, it is a thoroughly compelling listen. All of the instrumentation feel as though they are playing their own melodies but they never impose on one another. They dance around one another seamlessly and the use of the toms add texture to this wonderful piece.

The album features Herman Martinez on guitars, vocals, bass, and piano. He is also joined by the inspirational drummer Hank Yaghooti. Ahmed Mahmoud has engineered and produced the record with Chase Cassara also taking on the engineering responsibilities. They create a sound which feels experimental, hard, progressive rock. Herman Martinez’s voice has elements of Kurt Cobain but ultimately he makes for a sound which is unmistakably him.

We must also mention the incredible artwork which accompanies this release. As you can see above, it is intricate and detailed. It perfectly sums up the music itself, it is unconventional, thoroughly engaging and totally mesmerising.

You get the feeling with this record that everything has been meticulously planned. The parts are intricate and well executed. The thought that has been taken to create such a magnificent piece of work is undeniable and it is a thorough representation of the talent and skill that Herman Martinez possesses. We can not wait to hear what comes next from this exciting artist. We strongly recommend checking out this excellent release today!

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018




Matty Marz – ‘Dandy’ 

mattymarz1_phixrMatty Marz released his divine new album on the 5th October 2018. It is a phenomenal collection of songs which demonstrate what a talented and innovative artist he is.

‘Dandy’ is electronic in genre with many wonderful instruments. These are used to create a unique and individual sound. This album has the very special characteristic where each of the songs could easily be singles in their own right. They also work well collectively as a piece.

The first track, ‘Dirtbag’ is an excellent opening song. It has a mixture of spoken word and sung vocal parts which create variety and texture. There is industrial sounding percussion to be heard amongst heavy, rock style guitars too. The kick drum really feels as though it is the heartbeat of the song and keeps the track flowing throughout.

If we were forced to choose, our favourite song would be, ‘Stay’ for its surprising acoustic guitars at the beginning. They have a luscious sound and have been panned into either side of the audio spectrum. The vocals have a vulnerable delivery and this by itself is extremely powerful. The track is later reprised for the final track on the album but it has new dimensions to it. Bliss.

We also loved, ‘Voices in My Head’. It has an unusual composition with the instrumentation and the synths working with the vocals. All of this cleverly works in unison with one another. There is a staccato rhythm and the song is thoroughly compelling. ‘Voices in My Head’ is pop music at it’s best and this song is destined to be a classic.

‘Pretty Boys’ is also a stand-alone, excellent song. It has a dramatic piano opening with full-on bass tones. The vocals are the shining star of the verses with very little instrumentation. The bass is thick and luscious and the whole song feels very new and unusual in the most welcomed way!

The common denominator between all of the songs is the honest and relatable lyrics. They are heartfelt, sometimes raw and always enticing. Matty Marz is a truly exciting talent. His vocals are simply stunning and the composition of the songs are world class. ‘Dandy’ feels Lady Gaga inspired with elements of Years and Years added in too. One thing is for sure, Matty Marz makes for a sound all of his own!

So do not hesitate, check out this divine new album today! You will not be disappointed!

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018

Link: https://artist.landr.com/music/800739814691

Instagram / Twitter: @iammattymarz

Phantom Phunk – ‘Struggle With Me’ 

mhdabikkdogbpploPhantom Phunk are releasing their catchy and thoroughly brilliant single ‘Every Where You Go’ on the record label Harmonic Factory Records. Comprising of Hector Alexander, Alexa Toro, and Nick Emiliozzi, Phantom Phunk hail from Tampa, FL. Having been formed in Tampa’s underground scene, this trio are spreading their pro-environmental message far and wide and this single is a true representation of their talent and skill.

‘Every Where You Go’ is taken from the EP ‘Struggle With Me’ which in itself is an enthralling listen, it had our hearts from the get-go. ‘Every Where You Go’ is ladened with luscious synths and vocal performances to die for. It is a very different single which is lyrically interesting and thoroughly engaging throughout. A male rap performance is at the heart of the verses and there is a female vocal which is a big staple in the background. The bass, guitars, and drums both help to carry the song along well. There is excellent texture which is provided by the instrumentation cutting away and then being introduced back in. It is thoughtful composition at its finest.

‘Every Where You Go’ is a song which would be suitable for many occasions whether it be on a playlist, playing in a club or used as placement music on an advert, TV show or film. It also will appeal to many different sections of the population, male or female, young or old, ‘Every Where You Go’ has something for everyone.

The EP is extremely well written and it is enjoyable on many levels. Phantom Phunk has elements which remind us of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s but their unique sound makes for music all of their own. Each track offers its own unique selling point and undeniable skill.

Songs such as ‘Mediphorical’ and ‘Something Certain People Say’ are vibrant, driving and enthralling. They are classic songs in the making. ‘Struggle With Me’ feels eclectic in its composition throughout and there are new twists and turns to be heard around every corner.

It is clear to hear the talent and aptitude which Phantom Phunk have in abundance. They are seriously exciting musicians at the top of their game. They are clearly well versed in their respective instruments too. We can not recommend highly enough checking out this brilliant single today!

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018





‘Songs For Introverts’ – Mr Jack

songs-for-introverts-cover.pngSomedays in the office we come across a truly special artist/album and today has most certainly been one of those!

We have had the pure privilege to review Mr Jack’s latest album will be released on 11/11/18 and is entitled, ‘Songs for Introverts’. This 10 track album filled us with joy, happiness, and music to feed the soul from beginning to end.

It opens with the track ‘A Star-Shaped House’ which is an instrumental with gorgeous guitars, filled with reverb and being driven with the rhythm hand. The piano adds depth and the drums are snare heavy, with a loose feel that draws the piece to a jazz genre. The main theme dances in and out with the piano picking out accented notes before the stunning middle eight (which has a divine chordal semitone run down) leading back into the main theme again.

‘A Typical Morning’ is guitar heavy with layers of effects before the rich vocals kick in. This is the first time we hear Mr Jack sing and his vocals are rich, settling and soulful. The vocals remind us of John Mayer, his phrasing is seamless and delivery hits the mark every time. 

We also adored, ‘Easy Monday’. It is an instrumental jam opening with a funky staccato rhythm followed by layers of grooves. It has a Caribbean beach feel and a sense of peace and well being overcame us while listening. It is in a major key which sets the joyful tone and there are constant elements moving in and out with instruments being panned to different sides. There is a lot going on but everything works together in perfect harmony.

We believe, ‘Waiting On You’ is one of the strongest songs (this is debatable given the high standard of music throughout) on the album. It is relatable in nature with vocals that come straight in, packing a punch from the beginning. There are alluring keys to be enjoyed, funk grooves and lyrics which hit hard. Magical. 

It would be unfair to try to categorise ‘Songs For Introverts’ into just one genre. There are elements of smooth Jazz, catchy Pop and Soulful instrumental performances galore. All of these culminate into a sound which can only be described as Mr Jacks’ signature sound. All of the tracks end on a fade, each time leaving the listener wanting more. 

We do not say this lightly but, ’Songs For Introverts’ is comparable to Steely Dan in so many ways. From its rich filled grooves to sleek piano licks, to funky guitar riffs galore, this album is full of hard work and talent in abundance. However, Mr Jack makes every note feel effortless. 

We have only scratched the surface of what a brilliant album ‘Songs For Introverts’ is. It has to be heard to be appreciated fully, so check it out today!

Reviewed by FVReviews August 2018

‘Instagram: @1mrjackdaw

YouTube: https://youtube.com/1mrjackdaw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mr-Jack-1293379684129114/Mr Jack

Last Chance Riders – ‘Jet Lag Super Drag’

fdobomjpckhkcophLast Chance Riders are releasing their latest album ‘Jet Lag Super Drag’ and it is a cracking record! The band hailing from Atlanta, GA, are comprised of Jessie Albright – Vocals, DeWitt Thompson – Guitar, John Woods – Guitar, Jim Martin – Bass and Shane Denmark – Drums.

‘Jet Lag Super Drag’ is predominantly a rock album with other influences mixed in. The album begins with the song ‘Downright Disgusted’ a sampled spoken word opening is swiftly followed by Last Chance Riders trademark rock sound. The harmonies are plentiful and joyous to digest. ‘Lucky One’ features a gorgeous electric guitar swimming in luscious reverb and the tightness of the band can be felt throughout.

Our favourite tracks are, ‘Valley Below’ and ‘Tidal Wave’. On both songs, the melodies are inspired and there are wonderful elements of texture in the building up of the instrumentation followed by it pulling away, then building again. The vocals shine in these pieces and they will have you reaching for the repeat button – we know we were!

The musicianship on ‘Jet Lag Super Drag’ is simply exquisite. They are all truly gifted musicians who have perfected their respective crafts and are currently at the top of their games. Jessie Albright’s vocal performance throughout the album is astounding. Her voice has elements of Janice Joplin in her gruff delivery and her warm tones fill the songs with heart and soul. The guitar solos provided by DeWitt Thompson and John Woods are truly divine. Seamlessly, they weave in and out of each other effortlessly. They remind us of the Rolling Stones in this way. The two are always complimenting each other and never intrude on one another’s performance. The bass provided by Jim Martin and drums provided by Shane Denmark work together harmoniously. They not only provide the backbone and heart to the record but also shine in their own rights during the songs. Blissful.

The album has been mixed, produced and mastered to an extremely high standard too. The sound is crisp and concise with a warm flavour to it. Each of the instruments can be heard clearly in the mix, yet still come together to make the sound feel whole and complete.

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018





Gary Douglas Band – ‘Deep in the Water’

smgupkNASet to be released on 21st October 2018, “Deep in the Water” is the brilliant new release by the Gary Douglas Band. Comprised of Gary Douglas (Guitar/Lead Vocals), Jeremy Goldsmith (Electric Guitar), Nicolas Biello (Reeds and Keys), Dan Asher (Bass), Tom Curiano (Drums), Sebastien Ammann (Keys) and Jessica Antonette (Backing Vocals) the Gary Douglas Band are a bunch of extremely talented and well versed musicians. There is no doubt that ‘Deep in the Water’ is an album performed by musicians who are all at the top of their game. 

The Americana album opens with the track, ‘River Road’. It is a fun, upbeat song which has a country flair to it. The bass and drums drive the song along with well comprised hopeful lyrics and an uptempo feel. We really enjoyed the song, ‘Million Miles Away’, it has an attractive opening with a solo guitar and piano introduction. This is followed by alluring lyrics which have been phrased and performed wonderfully. ‘Wild Child’ is a song set to a 12 bar blues, with a harmonious harmonica and fitting piano. in truth, the entire album is filled with poetical words which have been well thought out and expressed beautifully.

We adored the song, ‘Devil in her Soul’ it is a departure from the style we have previously heard on the album. Certain elements of the song remind us of ‘Nick Cave’ which is always a good thing. From the drum pattern to the luscious Hammond organ, to the double-tracked vocals in different octaves, this song is a masterclass in song composition. The stirring reverb on the guitar is striking and is immediately ear-catching from the get-go.

Another of our favourite tracks is the final song, ‘Say What You Want’. The tune is extremely moving, it has a vulnerability to it and the delicate instrumentation echoes this. For the first time, we hear the vocals open the song, swiftly followed by the synths and guitar. Another highlight is the 2 slide guitars which are playing different melodies at the same time, panned to different sides of the production. This is extremely clever writing and has been executed well. The poetic nature of the lyrics shine again in this song, “I’m gonna rise up from loves ashes”, creates superb imagery for the listener. It is truly, a beautiful ending to a wonderful album.

So put the 21st October in your diaries and check out ‘Deep in the Water’ ASAP!

Reviewed by FVReviews September 2018

Website – http://www.garydouglasband.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/garydouglasband/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GaryDouglasBand

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thegarydouglasband/

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/542ouc88YyLnEQN15mG9Db

Alexis Gerred – ‘Alexis Gerred’

Metadata_PictureBromley born musician Alexis Gerred is set to release his self-titled album ‘Alexis Gerred’, on 26th October 2018. The album is to be released on Power & Purpose records and is a collection of honest, heartfelt and relatable songs.

The opening song ‘Sweet Angel’ is an upbeat and catchy tune with a heavy pop/rock influence running through its DNA. It begins with a palm muted electric guitar which sets the scene beautifully as to what is to come. We adored the song ‘Hold You Close’ which is simply stunning. It features heavily an acoustic guitar and the track lets Gerred’s voice shine. ‘Don’t Let it Go’ features gorgeous double-tracked vocals adding layers of texture and interest throughout.

We also loved, ‘Road to Redemption’ which has a 90’s feel to it that has been reinvented for 2018. The closing song, ‘No Ordinary Girl’ sums up the overall feel of this album, it is a fun pop/rock to dance to and be enjoyed at any occasion. Each of the songs could easily be released as a single

The main star of the piece is Gerred’s vocals. Having worked in the West End, we assumed Gerred would have competent vocals but we were not prepared to be as blown away as we were with his performance. Gerred’s voice reminds us of Walk The Moon’s frontman, Nicholas Petricca, mixed with Train’s frontman Patrick Monahan, with a little bit of John Rzeznik thrown in. It is gruff in places but this is then juxtaposed with smooth tones, always making for a layered and luscious performance.

It is clear why this album has been self-titled, all of the songs feel extremely personal to Alexis Gerred. The standard of composition and musicianship from all of the musicians who appear on the record is second to none. They are clearly masters of their respective crafts. The album has been recorded, mixed, produced and mastered to an incredibly high standard and the overall sound lets the songs shine in their best light. The use of reverb, delay and compression have been used in expert measure and enhance each element to their fullest. Magical.

‘Alexis Gerred’ is available to pre-order from 16th October 2018 and we would strongly recommend you do pre-order it, this album is going to be big!

Reviewed by FVReviews October 2018

ALL Press & Media inquiries Email – alexisthealbum@gmail.com

Twitter: @Alexisgerred

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