21 Jul 2014

Our first artist interview is coming!

Get ready for the hard questions coming direct from The Rhino! 10 of the best to dig deep into the life of the next unsuspecting artist/band. First up is a young Americana singer/songwriter, Edward Hartline. Coming as soon as he gets his shit together and posts those gold nuggets on back. Looking forward to it and to all you music lovers out there checking out a Review Rhino interview!

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Review Rhino - Always free, always honest.

12 Jan 2014

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Review Rhino - causing angst to independant artists since 2013.

20 Nov 2013

Reviews now exclusively on Twitter

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Reviews of indie artist singles in 140 characters or less.

17 Sep 2013

Erland - On Our Side (Album)

Release Year: 2013
Rhino Rating: 5/5

I had intended to review only the single from 'Erland's' new album but this is something special as a whole. Sounding very much like 'Ron Sexsmith' with a bit more of an Americana edge, 'Erland' has delivered what may be one of the best releases of the year. The production and mixing is amazing as is the songwriting.

Stand-outs such as the heartfelt ballad 'Don't Cry For Me' and the perfect alt country rocker 'Ain't Worth The Fight' blend seamlessly through a strong set of authentic, well-written tracks that make up a wonderful album. Gorgeous acoustic guitars, vintage sounding electrics, sparse tasty harmonica, and wonderful percussion all perfectly back up a flawless vocal.

Not often will you come across a twelve track album that goes from strength to strength as you wander through the journey marvelling at all it has to offer. Apart from the already mentioned tracks, the other favourites are 'Working For Free', 'My Love' and 'Darlin' Dear'. If you are a fan of Justin Townes Earle, Ron Sexsmith, or you just like your music delivered with class and honesty, this is an album not to be missed.

10 Sep 2013

Profane Anything Band - Liquid Rainbow Math (EP)

Release Year: 2013
Rhino Rating: 4.5/5

What a dirty little garage EP. This is raucous in your face rock n' roll somewhere between Jason McMasters 'Broken Teeth' and 'System Of A Down'. Amid the chaos and riffage is a very talented vocalist 'Oriah Lonsdale' who has style and flair giving this EP a well defined edge.

Opening track 'Think For Yourself' pummels your face into the turnbuckle. It may sound rough in spots but there is some good structure and convincing delivery. Ready to raise the ire of the politically correct is track two 'Rainbows and Swastikas'. It's total Texan whitetrash with lyrics that are sure to offend in some way in its 1:27 of short lived existence. The riff behind the song and the casual swagger is to good effect and it's quite witty to boot.

I'm not sure this band could be any more (ahem) endearing to the listener but then comes "Ring Ring Ring Ring". It's catchy and well written and 'The Cult' style vocals are brilliant. Every track on this EP is a little different but still manages to retain a cohesion that could only be attributed to the individuality of this band. The more you listen and the further you go, the more it sounds like it could have been put together after a few beer, weed, and pizza sessions. Sounds like a good time!

1 Sep 2013

Wod Reiwdo - Front Row Tickets (Single)

Release Year: 2013
Rhino Rating: 0/5

Rodney Clark renaming himself as Wod due to an inability to pronounce his r's, has come up with one of the greatest atrocities the music listening community will come across. We all know it's not nice to make fun of someones shortcomings but come on... Putting shit like this out there is surely a joke?

"You want me for my fwunt wo tickets" is hilarious, and with a chorus that goes "you claim to be my girlfriend so you can go to the concert to see Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, and Lil Wayne, and Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, and Linkin Park" it is as bad as it gets. All set to a lacklustre dance/club backing.

Wod states that he doesn't know if this was what he was put on Earth to do. Short answer - hell no. This is truly awful. Wod also states in his bio that he is "Worldly Free. Where you follow no man on earth, just be yourself". Unfortunately he is also talent free.

Welch & Penn - Early Bird Gangsters (EP)

Release Year: 2013
Rhino Rating: 1.5/5

Voices, whether they be used for spoken word or singing out into the ether, are individual, special, and can evoke many feelings. This duo 'Welch And Penn' are two guys who have decided it would be a great idea to combine forces as a singer-songwriter/performance poet duo and record an EP in Nashville.

Donnie Welsh is the poet who spits out his ramblings like an uptight teenager at times and at others be inward and reflecting. Freddie "Fountain Penn" Wilson provides the melodic vocals that perfectly accompanies his partner in crime which is the operative word here. Does this combination work? By the intro of the second song 'Horse Theives', the poet becomes somewhat of an annoyance, if he had not already got you offside in the first track 'Elbows and Eyesockets'. Maybe I just hate loud poetry being forced at me as this guy tends to thrust out his prose. Then comes the nasally vocal of Wilson which is hard to listen to as he sounds like a mix of Elmer Fudd and the guy from 'Our Lady Peace'. Quite often through the EP these two are talking and singing over each other which is messy.

The upside is the lovely acoustic based music that backs up the vocal offerings and the production is crisp and clear. This is a concept I have not heard before and after listening to 'Welch and Penn' have little intention of following up unfortunately.

22 Aug 2013

Highchair Kings - Highchair Kings (EP)

Released Year: 2013 

Rhino Rating 5/5

Now here is a band that is onto something! Good solid American Rock executed without the need to try and be too cool, or too fancy. This six track EP is superb and there are six reasons why.

Opener ‘Crush Gravel’ signals an arrival of sorts. With an awesome guitar sound that breaks up perfectly and a pulsing rhythm that immediately has you tapping there is an expectation rising. This song delivers on all fronts from musicianship to lyrics to raw power. I am reminded of a band that should have been a lot bigger in their time ‘Seven Mary Three’. Second up is ‘The Fight’ and it continues on the high standard with its immediate display of craftsmanship and lovely production. Layers of acoustic and electric guitars accompany the very able vocals of Trevor Lettman as it glides along for three and a half minutes of bliss.

If not already impressed, ‘Suckers Of The World’ is a highlight. The chorus is brilliant with its simplicity in the hook. Again the guitars are a highlight and there is even an addition of an old Casio sounding keyboard line that just seems to fit. The lyrics here are top notch. It’s the faultless modern rock song. ‘Stumps’ which is arguably the least impressive song on the EP is far from weak. It still has a quality production with strings included and holds its place easily in the track-listing. The chorus is not quite as catchy and the slower pace may attribute to the feeling that the EP backs off a little.

The penultimate track ‘Endo’ brings back what seems to be the signature sound and the feeling that you now know the ‘Highchair Kings’ is comforting. Their capabilities, attention to detail, lyrical ability can’t be questioned. ‘Never Alone’ rounds out what is a high class EP. It’s a track that has an easy tempo and sways along the lines of a ‘Springsteen’ classic that too easily becomes just that. The ‘Highchair Kings’ are something special and are destined for big things. Highly recommended.