Ape Shifter - Ape Shifter II
Here's a real cool collection for fans of hot electric guitar instrumentals. Ape Shifter is a power trio led by guitarist Jeff Aug and featuring bass man Florian Walter and drummer Kurty Munch. Aug shows his prowess in a few different styles, channeling the metal gods with "Mask of the Ancient Warrior," setting his guitar to "funk power" for "8 Shot" and the blues honoring "Jiggy Jiggy Boom Boom." What all the songs have in common is that they are all fast and performed joyously. There's no darkness here, just fun, and it's very easy to push "replay" once the program ends. And while Aug's guitar is the "voice" of the band, the offering does include one vocal number in the set-closing and extremely catchy "Matilda."
J.D. Jackson - Hello This Way
Followers of the rock scene in Boston and surrounding region will know that J.D. Jackson (aka Joe Rainbow) has been a mainstay for some 40-odd years and is known for his work with The Destroyed. Here Jackson steps out with a 10-song set of self-penned tunes, singing and playing all instruments except for bass. Opening cut "Radioactive" is a commentary on how aspiring actresses are taken advantage of, "So you wanna be an actress/Get down on the mattress." Delivering the words with an almost deadpan inflection, Jackson makes the words very catchy while simultaneously echoing the concerns of the "Me Too" movement. "Robot" is an appropriately robotic dance groove, "Crimewave" recalls the B-52's but with a bit of Brit, while "Motown Girl" nods not to the Motor City but to Seattle. For the album's mellow cut Jackson offers "Makin Love 2nite" where he sings over acoustic guitar and horn-mimicking keyboards, waxing a little Jonathan Richman.
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