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Clearing The Backlog | The Best Music You Didn’t Hear In January Pt. 2

Sample some treats from Cave Flowers, Dead Friends and more before they're gone.

As usual, I ran out of month long before I ran out of great music to review in January. So I’m putting together a few posts over the next days with all the great albums that didn’t get enough attention. You’ve got everything from rock, pop and jazz to Celtic blues, country-rock, hardcore and much more. Rather than blather on myself about them all, I’m saving time by just including their press releases. But you can rest assured they all get the official Tinnitist stamp of Great Googly Moogly. Give them a spin before they get lost in the rearview:

Calibro 35

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Italian cult combo Calibro 35 release their highly anticipated seventh studio album Momentum. In the last 10 years Calibro 35 have dug the golden age of soundtracks and they’ve been to the future. Momentum, as the band stated: “represents a look at nowadays and a reflection about making music right in the time that we’re living”. Inspired by the work of artists such as Tortoise, Jagajazzist, DJ Shadow, Budos Band, Stelvio Cipriani, Ennio Morricone, Sandro Brugnolini, White Noise, Comet is Coming, JPEGMafia and DJ Signify, the band’s instruments and sounds have increased in number and complexity as the reality around has it too. The music palette is further extended by incorporating even more synths and electronic sounds, but keeping everything true and 100% real, with all the instruments played live and with no presets or programming. The two featurings on the album serve the cause as well. Calibro 35 says, “Momentum is the prequel of what you will hear in the next 10 years.”

Cave Flowers
Cave Flowers

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Emerging band Cave Flowers deliver their brand new self-titled album. This eleven-track album gives the listeners a mix of rock and country, creating the perfect combination of uplifting guitar riffs and storytelling lyricism. Inspired by legendary long-timers John Prine and Willie Nelson, Andy McAllister spent a good three years kicking the tires on new tunes, filling up notebooks and stockpiling stories. And after releasing three albums with his previous band Vanish Valley, he found himself drifting around Los Angeles – still dreaming of putting together a group that would reach for that laid-back California country sound that he originally left Seattle for in the first place. He reconnected with guitar and genuine renaissance man, Henry Derek Elis, who he first met 10 years ago when he moved to LA. Elis brought equal parts Waylon Jennings and Crazy Horse into the equation and the band quickly took shape with Ryan Wykert on drums and Ben Coil on bass. In a matter of months, the group swiftly sorted through McAllister’s song sketches, giving thumbs up to what immediately felt good, bringing the vibes and breathing new life into them. The band went into the Heritage Recording Company with Chris Rondinella (who got his start engineering for Levon Helm) and in two days tracked 11 songs live. Jon Niemann (Gospelbeach) and Frankie Palmer kindly added keys and pedal steel, respectively. The results are roll-your-window-down Americana mixed with a healthy dose of outlaw country goodness that might just hit the sweet spot on the ears just as the sun starts to set on the horizon.”

Dan Rosenboom
Absurd in the Anthropocene

THE PRESS RELEASE: “In a time marked by unpredictability and absurd realities, music imbued with spontaneity and improvisation seems especially relevant. Internationally recognized trumpet player and composer-producer-entrepreneur Dan Rosenboom embraces the chaos and seeks to endow us with hope and joy along the way. Absurd in the Anthropocene is in line with his abstract musicianship and virtuous experimentalism but, naturally, pushes the envelope. The record’s inspirations run the gamut from Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman to Frank Zappa, Soundgarden, and Squarepusher, and its title refers to the complicated and often surreal times in which we live. “This album is about responding to our modern world in a way that is reflectively critical yet frenetically joyous,” Rosenboom says. “Maelstrom and cognitive dissonance are everywhere, online and on the news. People cherry-pick what they want to believe and discount factual data. Inequity is rampant. In the face of such overwhelming chaos, turning toward our inner humanity is a powerful move. I want to take all that emotional fuel, and turn it into something creative, spontaneous, and beautiful.” Absurd in the Anthropocene is loaded with an absurd crew of musicians, including producer and keyboard master Jeff Babko, legendary drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, and Zach Danziger, renowned bassists Jimmy Johnson, Tim Lefebvre and Jerry Watts Jr., Rosenboom’s longtime collaborator Gavin Templeton and jazz icon David Binney on saxophones, guitarists Tim Conley, Alexander Noice, and Jake Vossler, electronics wizard Troy Ziegler, and horn-playing colleagues Brian Walsh, Ryan Dragon, Juliane Gralle, and Javier Gonzalez.”

Dead Friends
High Wasted Genes

THE PRESS RELEASE: “With the perfect blend of chaotic rock and infectious hooks, Virginia Beach-based Dead Friends bring the dynamism and fracas with a live show to match. Their 2020 release High Wasted Genes sees DF exploring and pushing past the far reaches of the heavy rock genre.”

Dead Kosmonaut

THE PRESS RELEASE:Dead Kosmonaut’s founder Mattias Reinholdsson once described the band’s sound by pointing out that the early metal bands had no restrictions on how their material should sound. “These were musicians who’d not grown up on metal music as it didn’t exist,” he said, “so their take on it had many different facets and albums had acoustic songs, jazzy songs, bluesy songs, progressive songs … I want Dead Kosmonaut to be that sort of band, so that when you listen to one of our songs you don’t really know what’s coming next…” Dead Kosmonaut’s second album Gravitas certainly subscribes to that theory. The band serves up a variety of styles and song structures and displays such an array of influences as to keep even the most discriminating metal fan as happy as a dog with two tails. Such is their mastery. “With Gravitas, once again I set out to create an album displaying a wide selection of hard rock and heavy metal songs. I was pleased with the way Expect Nothing and the mini-LP came out, and I never thought of narrowing down the sound of Dead Kosmonaut; rather the opposite, in fact, as I wanted to put more facets and elements into it.”

Drivin N Cryin
Live the Love Beautiful Live

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded June 20, 2019 Woodstock, GA. Drivin N Cryin plays the entire album Live the Love Beautiful live with extended versions and additional tracks! Featuring a version of Jumping Jack Flash recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound.”

Dustbowl Revival
Is It You, Is It Me

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Eclectic Los Angeles-based ensemble Dustbowl Revival‘s new album finds the celebrated band expanding beyond the boundaries of their already genre-defying style that incorporates everything from folk to funk to New Orleans swing and so much in between. Is It You, Is It Me is infused with subtle pop sensibilities that enhance Dustbowl Revival’s already infectious sound, which is a slight departure for the group but also marks a milestone in the continuous progression of their style. On Is It You, Is It Me, the band explores personal and political themes, tackling often uneasy, but important, subject matter.”