Summer Birds – Gutless
Here’s to the brave men and women making music their lives, but not necessarily making a living out of it. Here’s to their commitment and loyalty that borders on insanity. It is because of them that music moves forward and that we are able to listen to anything else besides The Boss’ 30 greatest highway songs.
The folks who have been lucky to make art a profitable profession always have a look of boredom about them, especially when they are asked to attend ceremonies meant to honour them. And, when they do make new work, the reviews unavoidably call it “Their best X since Y“. All this happens while it plain and clear that they’ve lost their passion for their work the moment the first big paycheck arrived.
Now, Aaron Mankoff, the man behind Summer Birds sounds like a lifer. He grew up learning his chops while studying the smart 90s metal bands, like Deftones, Soundgarden, and Muse. He produces high, resonant singing with ease and writers like someone who stubbornly refuses to believe there’s anything else more important. Gutless is not a mere exercise in frustration, it’s a genuinely good, well-polished alt-rock tune.
Miles Adams – Expectations
People in the music business always used to say that they were always on the lookout for the next Springsteen, Dylan, or Patti Smith. They still are most likely searching, but I dare express my lack of confidence in the way that they’re going about it.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, sure. However, for the most part, what classic blues, folk, and rock fans are treated to nowadays are B-versions of the original. Sure, the kids that dress up and play like the classics possess some good musical chops most of the time. The work they produce, however, resembles something that a computer algorithm may have spat out after being fed Spotify playlists for enough time.
Then there are those that operate within a classic format but are blessed with enough talent and good taste that they’re very difficult to ignore. Miles Adams’ Expectations doesn’t just scratch a blues-rock itch. There’s enough vision to the composition and, certainly, enough character to the songwriting that Adams’ tune could sit right alongside the classics in your collection. We might just be hearing one of this generation’s great singers.