¥ANG – Freedom Pill
Genre: Alternative Rock
Most people pick up an instrument, it hurts their fingers or their eardrums, and they give up. A few of them embrace the discomfort and end up becoming tremendous virtuoso players. It’s not for everybody, I guess.
Unlike, for example, a guitar, everybody can attempt to sing and get somewhere from their very first try. Many are content with the result and start writing their own music. Some are put off and do their very best never to sing in the company of people that might ridicule them for their lack of skill.
This is because, yes, singing is a skill and one that is refined over time, through a lot of effort. Really good singers are hard to find. Most of them are singing jingles for commercials, or working the clubs in a heavy metal band.
¥ANG is a rare example of someone that can sing cleanly, brilliantly in a mold that works tremendously well in an alternative rock context. Freedom Pill finds the songwriter trading on psychedelic imagery meant to represent his effort of confronting life as it is. But, it’s the damn singing. Get him an audition with a big alt-rock band looking for a good set of pipes and they’ll never look back!
Farrow and the Peach Leaves – Bent Outta Shape
Genre: Southern Rock / Red Dirt
Similar artists: Alabama Shakes, T. Rex, Sturgill Simpson, The Allman Brothers, Tyler Childers, American Aquarium
Farrow and the Peach Leaves prove that the classic approach is often their best with their single Bent Outta Shape.
Pop music and entertainment in all of their modern forms offer us so many options. As a consequence, it’s only natural that we’ll always be looking for the “next big thing”. We aren’t used to being bored anymore, and so we run away from familiarity as if from the plague.
When it comes to pop music though it’s fair to assume that some of the methods explored in the past may have been the best. Has anyone really genuinely improved upon the playing and songwriting formats of the 1960s and 70s?
Farrow and the Peach Leaves certainly don’t think so, and they serve up an exercise in Southern-rock revival on Bent Outta Shape with a modern garage-rock twist. The vocals, in particular, are highly convincing, with a tone reminiscent of Kevin McKeown of Black Pistol Fire. You know where the hooks and chorus go on a song like this, but that doesn’t mean that the excellent playing doesn’t completely sell it.