Daniel Luckhoff-wessels

Daniel Luckhoff-wessels

Daniel Luckhoff-wessels

Daniel is a freelance script-editor and actor, but his real passion is music. He is always on the lookout for new up and coming bands that have a sound that's unique to them. The more interesting the music is, the better. You can find Daniel on the following social media platforms: TwitterInstagram & Wrequiemmusic.

Monday, 11 November 2019 08:23

THE GAMBLES - 'Loaded Dice'

The Gambles show-off their musical chops with debut EP 'Loaded Dice'.

Cape Town-based Groove-rock outfit THE GAMBLES show off just how versatile they are with their latest EP 'Loaded Dice'.

To clarify, Groove-rock is the term the band came up with to describe themselves, and it’s a mixture of classic rock, blues, R&B, reggae, and jazz.

The piece opens with 'Fun Don’t Pay the Bills', a mostly rock-and-roll number with a hint of funk that tries to find that ever-so-fine line between being a free, fun-loving musician and being a responsible adult.

'Gamblers on the Breeze' has an immense swagger to it as it introduces us to THE GAMBLES’ jazzier side before 'Murky Waters' brings in some feel-good reggae beats.

'Run' brings us back to the world of traditional rock ‘n’ roll with a Bon Jovi-Esque ballad before a live version of the tense, bluesy 'Bad Man' – featuring the powerful vocals of Esme de Vos – brings the curtain down.

If there’s one thing that 'Loaded Dice' proves it’s that The Gambles are versatile and not afraid to take risks which can only bode well for future releases.

Listen to 'Loaded Dice' below!

Monday, 04 November 2019 17:31

Meg Lawrenson - 'Nicotine'

Meg Lawrenson draws on well-established music video tropes to ramp up the power in her video for 'Nicotine'.

The long, cinematic shots of Lawrenson and her band atop a cliff standing firm through a howling wind as the sun sinks to the horizon have an easily-identifiable poignancy to them, one that’s comforting in its familiarity yet avoids cliché with its emotional earnestness.

Watch 'Nicotine' below!

As Lawrenson bares her soul, her emotions brought to the surface for everyone to see, the song finds a strength which keeps building that the video acknowledges with small-yet-noticeable changes in the lighting.

This little bit of visual storytelling makes the emotional journey more tangible and gives it a more nuanced identity. Lawrenson seems to become more resilient throughout the video which brings a new dimension to the song; suddenly the mood-shift that comes in just after the half-way mark has so much more meaning.

It’s said that if the emotions are honest and the intentions genuine then it can’t be cliché, and that’s exactly the case here. While a band on a cliff at sunset might be trite, Lawrenson brings across such real, almost tangible emotions that you let yourself forget about all that and get swept up in the moment.

Thursday, 31 October 2019 13:25

CIRROSIS - 'The Collector of Truths'

It’s a case of so close yet so far for CRS with their first album in 20 years, 'The Collector of Truths'.

Mexican Death-metal band CRS or (CIRROSSIS for those not into abbreviations) have released their first album in 20 years called 'The Collector of Truths' and, while all the parts are there, the final product just doesn’t live up to its potential.

Watch 'Tan Lejos De Dios (Nowhere... but Here)' [feat. Kevin Talley] below!

Death metal, or metal of any kind for that matter, has always been divisive but one thing we can all agree on is that excellent production is a requirement, not a recommendation. After the first bar of 'Asfixia', I couldn’t help but think that something is missing. This is a death metal album after all, so where’s that make-your-head-spin-and-your-ears-bleed power?

The music’s there, the vocals are on point, and the musicians are clearly talented so theoretically this should be the perfect package. The problem boils down to its production. What should feel like a sonic tsunami that’s going to sweep you away no matter how hard you fight it ends up feeling like a limp demo begging for somebody to give it a make-over.

I must reiterate, I don’t think the music’s bad. You can hear the power hiding in 'Asfixia' and 'The Art of Breathing' is almost robotically accurate in its rhythm – it also has the best moments on the album which I’ll get to in a moment – but the overall effect is one of a cup of tea not left to steep long enough.

It’s somewhat ironic that the best moments on this album consist of a clean guitar which completely contrasts the distortion fest that we’ve become accustomed to. 'The Art of Breathing' opens with an almost John Frusciante-esque riff that slowly builds to incorporate a myriad of interesting harmonies before being swept aside by the metal machine. It comes in again a bit later like refreshing rain on a hot, humid day and leaves as quickly making you wonder if you’d imagined the whole thing.

'The Collector of Truths' is a mine of untapped potential that will probably never see the light of day, untouched by the mixing desk for reasons impossible to fathom.

You can get your copy at the Apple store today!

Thursday, 17 October 2019 14:11

Meg Lawrenson - 'We Knew What Love Was'

Meg Lawrenson gets nostalgic with 'We Knew What Love Was'.

Up-and-coming country-pop singer-songwriter MEG LAWRENSON has released a single off her latest EP, 'Swallow,' called 'We Knew What Love Was', an upbeat but earnest number filled with the happy-go-lucky charm of the early 2000s pop.

Filled with nostalgia, this acoustic guitar-driven ballad oozes with charm and, despite the heart-break behind it, has a feel-good energy that’s bound to put an extra little spring in your step.

Lawrenson’s voice flows with ease while she recounts a relationship that was once beautiful before falling apart as the band around her drives the song forward with the kind of energy that makes you think of sitting around a bonfire on the beach with your nearest and dearest.

On the whole, there’s a sense of confidence in this song which gives it an extra kick. Every instrument follows the beat and falls into place perfectly and Lawrenson’s phrasing is exceptional as she expertly fits her lyrics to the rhythm.

swallow ep

Listen to 'Swallow' at Spotify | or buy the EP at Apple

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 14:06

Alex Julia - 'Counting Stars'

Alex Julia takes us back to the 80s with 'Counting Stars'.

New Jersey native singer-songwriter Alex Julia takes us back to the glory days of the 80s with 'Counting Stars', the first single off her upcoming debut EP 'Better Part Of Me' which is set for release next month.

Anyone even vaguely interested in music knows what the 80s sounded like, and Alex Julia has brought that into the 21st century. 'Counting Stars' is synth-heavy with those strong, expansive snare beats that we all love, and there’s even a nod to that Phil Collins drum beat thrown in for good measure.

Underneath all the pop trappings there is a broken heart being put on full display. Looking past the at-times awkward phrasing and shaky voice, there’s a story we can all relate to. It’s one of being drawn to someone you can’t be with, no matter how hard you try, and it’s told simply and honestly. No tortured metaphors, no clichéd attempts at being poetic, just pure authenticity.

With its touching lyrics hidden under layers of classic-pop, 'Counting Stars' fits all occasions. Whether you want to dance, or to feel something, this song has your back.

Buy Your Copy Today!

Sunday, 13 October 2019 07:27

The Man Motels - 'That's Crazy Baby'

'That’s Crazy Baby!' by The Man Motels is a mile-a-minute sonic assault filled with irresistible punk-rock energy.

The first single since 2018’s 'Quit Looking At Me' is raw and fuelled by rage. Garrith Holloway’s voice crackles with anger from the beginning as he tells his ex to get the f**k out of his life.

Listen to 'That's Crazy Baby' below!

His sentiments are backed up by the rest of the band as they deliver a sonic onslaught that might blast holes in your ear-drums if you let the volume get too high. The bass and drums are the power of the song, driving it as it shifts from seventh gear down to third and then right back up again while the rapid-fire guitar adds a hint of menace, keeping the song on the edge of a full-blown manic episode during those seventh gear sections.

Raucous and unbridled, 'That’s Crazy Baby!' is a four-minute roller-coaster ride that’ll have your blood pounding, your bones rattling, and your ears wanting more and more.

Get your copy today!

Monday, 07 October 2019 13:32

Wax Beach - 'How Many Likes'

Wax Beach and Chad Saaiman hop on the band-wagon with 'How Many Likes'.

Up and coming production duo Wax Beach have teamed up with SAMA nominated pop-artist Chad Saaiman for 'How Many Likes', a track that tries to be topical but ends up sounding like a dead horse being beaten.

Since the dawn of social media, there have been those warning of its negative side effects. Everyone from psychologists to artists and celebrities has highlighted the shallow, fickle affirmation it gives people and how damaging that can be to a young person’s psychology.

Wax Beach and Saaiman are now the latest artists to jump on the labouring band-wagon with a song that brings nothing new to the table. As pure as I’m sure their intentions were, lines like “I don’t care what you look like with a filter” and “How many likes did it get last week/ Was it enough Do you feel complete” have a bit of a self-righteous after-taste. That’s not to say their point isn’t valid, just that it’s already been made a thousand times.

Lyrics aside, the music holds its own to a point. There are some interesting chord progressions in the verses and enough dynamics to keep things feeling fresh, although the vocals do get a little lost in the choruses. That being said, if you’re looking for something to dance to then you’ve got a winner here. The beat is steady, keeping the energy up even when things quiet down a bit.

'How Many Likes' goes to great lengths to try and be supportive of people relying on themselves instead of social media for affirmation but, unfortunately, it comes off as trite and a little bit holier-than-thou in a world where social media has become the centre of modern society.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 08:29

Passenger - 'Runaway'

Passenger releases touching new album, 'Runaway'

Passenger’s latest album, 'Runaway', defined by easy-listening folk-pop that has just enough emotion to be affecting without being a heart-breaker.

While the lyrics stray on the cliché side at times, Passenger’s idiosyncratic voice has enough charm and earnestness to give them validity while the arrangements gently caress the emotion out of the songs.

'Why Can’t I Change' has a slightly Bob Dylan-esque feel to it with its electronic organ and simple drum-beat while “Heart To Love” has a dash of Counting Crows in its arpeggiated guitar and up-beat rhythm which belies the longing in the lyrics.

The title track is the sum of all the album’s parts, lyrically and musically. With its Americana based sound, it could easily be a part of the soundtrack to many an indie road-trip movie while the words sum up the message of the whole album, none more so than “well my soul’s a castaway/tired of being alone.” This is an album about growing up and facing the challenges of love head-on, and 'Runaway' aptly brings everything together.

What 'Runaway' lacks in lyrical originality it makes up for with earnestness and solid musicianship. Its pop sensibilities keep it from lingering and its arrangements have enough emotion in them to strum your heart-strings ever so lightly.

Get your copy on Amazon or Apple today!

Friday, 30 August 2019 14:42

Arcane Ghosts - 'Human Interface'

Arcane Ghosts have released a pop-punk powerhouse in 'Human Interference'.

Canadian outfit Arcane Ghosts show us that pop-punk is very far from dead with their latest EP 'Human Interference'.

Even though many of the generation-defining bands of the late 90s and early 2000s have started swinging more to the pop side of the pop-punk dichotomy (Fall out Boy, PATD! Etc.) there’s a new generation that seems intent on bringing the genre back into the limelight, or as close as today’s music industry will allow it to get.

Just trawl through the comments section of any eye-liner anthem on YouTube and you’ll find kids gushing about how they were born in the wrong generation – much like I did about the 70s – and Arcane Ghosts have put themselves on the frontline with their nigh-on-perfect combination of post-hardcore and pop-punk.

Timelessness is the word of the day here. Everybody experiences a coming-of-age moment in their lives when emotions are messy and nothing makes sense, and it’s the genre’s self-indulgent tales of broken hearts and confused identities that resonate with the 21st-century teenager/young-adult.

With songs about torturous love (Summertime,) disillusionment (Petrified,) and stagnation (F.M.S and Sushi), Arcane Ghosts prove not only that they understand the genre but that they are more than capable of playing with the big boys. From the jump, you can hear that this project isn’t a casual hobby but something that’s aspiring to be massive. There’s a sense of ease to it that only comes from professionalism, discipline, and dedication that young bands often lack.

Human Interference is proof that not only is pop-punk far from dead but that there are bands coming out of the woodwork who have the know-how and the determination to restore the genre to its former glory.

Friday, 16 August 2019 09:56

Crimson House - 'Bounceology'

Crimson House release the wonderfully infectious Bounceology.

It’s all about love and bringing people together in Crimson House’s latest album 'Bounceology', which is a smorgasbord of different genres all held together by a single thread, the band’s trademark sound and energy.

Having found a love for Gypsy music and adding it to their arsenal, the band brings together everything from ska and hip-hop to rock and blues in the same way they want their music to bring people together.

The Gypsy influence is evident from the beginning with the charmingly syncopated 'Unicorns' before turning into a more reggae-based sound in 'Bantu Bird'. The sonic mixology carries on throughout with songs like the bluesy 'Pot of Gold', a song about finding purpose in life, and the quietly inspirational 'Free To Dream'.

The ode to love, 'Medicine', brings a surprising hard-rock punch to the album before 'On The Prowl' takes us back to the days of bands like ZZ-Top with its cool, silky-smooth blues. The Gypsy influence comes through again on 'Jo Bounce' which brings the album to a fitting close with its steady back-beat and radiant positivity.

Despite the ever-changing nature of their sound, Crimson House manage to keep their feel-good identity strong throughout 'Bounceology', inevitably leaving smiling faces its wake.

Buy 'Bounceology' today!

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