Lee Reviews: Alice Sweet Alice-“The Macabre Carnival”

 

 

 

 

 

by Lee Miller – Bristol, TN USA

From the moment I was asked to do this review, I knew that what I was about to listen to was special. How could it not be? The bands name is awesome! Alice Sweet Alice just illicits a myriad of fantastical thought patterns, and knowing that the release date for their album, “The Macabre Carnival”, is Halloween just makes this review all that more special! One of my favorite times of the year!

What I could have never expected though is just how freaking awesome this band and this album is! From the very first track, “Daredevil”, I knew that I was settling in to listen to one of the best Rock/Progressive Rock/Metal bands I’ve heard in a while. But they are so much more than just that!

When track #2, “Strange Things”, began playing, I was immersed in one of the coolest and spookiest songs I’ve ever listened to! A perfect Halloween song that has it all! Erie melodic keyboard phrasings, killer guitar work, bass and drums pounding, and absolutely amazing vocals! Liza Jean can belt it out with the best of them! She’s one of the best female vocalists in the business today, and she shows it on every song!

And let’s not forget the rest of this Kansas City band. Laying it down on the rhythm side of things is Scott Martinez on bass guitar (not to mention he is one helluva vocalist as well!) and Chris Poje on drums (Editor’s note: Bailey Maria Keiling performed the drum work on “Strange Things”), and they brilliantly bring it on every one of the 11 songs on “The Macabre Carnival”. I can’t get over how these two bring the thunder!

Next up is the blistering guitar playing of Shadron Dennis. He is a stellar guitarist! One listen to songs like “Masochist” and “Sucker” and you’ll hear what I mean. Rounding out the band, and one of the most important mentions here, is Felix Theo Waen. Enough cannot be said about this phenomenal musician and his contributions to this album! Piano, Violin, and vocals, and all sound amazing! The sounds he created on “The Macabre Carnival” are second to none! Check out the eloquence of his violin work on “Wednesday’s Child”. Superb!

I have listened to this album in its entirety three times, and I honestly cannot compare this band to any one band out there today. I wouldn’t dare dream of it, because this band is just so badass in every way! They have a sound that is all their own and I am really surprised that a band of this caliber hasn’t been signed yet to a major record label! Every one of the songs on this album are masterpieces and I can’t get enough of listening to them! I love “The Macabre Carnival” so much that I can’t even pick a favorite song! That’s how amazing it is, and how kick ass this band is!!!!!

The only thing you need to do this Halloween is purchase a copy of this CD! It will set the mood, the tone, and the atmosphere for the nights festivities! It’s time to celebrate with Alice Sweet Alice and my pick for best album of the year!!!!!

BWNR Announces New Show

After airing basically the same three shows the past 2-3 years, BWNR has been working behind the scenes to come up with some new programing ideas.

So after some careful thought, I think it’s okay that I be selfish with this one. So here it is:

“My Favorite BWNR Songs of All Time……..Right this Second”

TA-DA! Okay, so I didn’t totally think this up all by myself. I’m a big sports fan & I watch the ESPN morning show “Get Up”. It hasn’t exactly been a great show, but whatever. Once a week they were doing a segment with a similar name like “my favorite athlete…… So I thought I’d “borrow it”…sort of.

How does this thing work?

Well, I spend a lot of time on the station reviewing songs, emailing and messaging bands & promotion sites every day. So like a good little “fan” of BWNR, I usually have a headset on as well as the station playing on computer2. Yes I’m that music & computer “geeky”. In my defense, it takes both of them to bring you the great music we play.

When a song gets stuck in my head due to just a great new song or even my mood, or a life situation happens, I might play it 2 or 3 times (or more). So why not turn it into to a 100% self-indulgent 1 hour once a week show! Each week I’ll pick 10-12 songs that I happened to get into during the prior week and tell you all about them. Like it? Well, read on!

So When Does It Start?

What better time than the rock fan’s favorite month of the year. The month that lends its name perfectly to the genre – “ROCKTOBER. That’s right! I’ll pick a day to start it after October 1st and let you know…….

Leave comments below if you want to help pick the day of the week! Or whatever you have to say! #MusicIsLife

Lee Reviews: The Crushing Violets-“Ghost Fields”

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Lee Miller – Bristol, TN USA

 

There’s a lot to be said about bands that have diversity in their music. They are artists that feed off of one another’s creativity, and bring out the best of each other. That can be said of The Crushing Violets. You can hear it in every note of their album, “Ghost Fields”.

Formed in 2014 in Mattituck, New York by BP and Antanina Brooks. Quickly, their vision became a reality, fusing Rock with energetic melodies, along with lyrics that are both magical and mystical. It’s a place where Rock music meets Americana, Folk music meets bands like Ten Years After, and Psychedelic music of the late sixties, early seventies like Jefferson Airplane meets the “Even Flow” era of Pearl Jam.

Their album “Ghost Fields” is a haunting masterpiece, and a collection of eight diverse and yet defining songs. The cover of the album illicits the journey you are about to take upon the albums first listen. I hear so many influences in The Crushing Violets music, even though they are on an ethereal plane all their own. This is evident upon listening to songs like “Strange Voices” and “The Raft”.

“Black Mountain” reminds me so much of the Stone Temple Pilots, in a way, and just has that vibe about it. I love this song! Next up on my favorites list is “Without A Name”. Antanina’s voice truly shines on this song. Both she and BP pour out their hearts and souls on every song on the album. I have to mention the awesome slide guitar work and guitar solo on the album opener, “Bare Trees”. Simply amazing!

Both musically, and lyrically, “Ghost Fields”, has it all. It can be dark and brooding, but yet filled with love, light, and peace. Very poetic in nature throughout. That very aspect is heard on album closer, “That’s My Desire”. A fitting way to end a wonderful album. If you haven’t heard The Crushing Violets “Ghost Fields”, you need to! Congrats to the band on a stellar release!

September CD Showcase Schedule

The albums and EPs that will be featured on the CD Showcase show that airs each Sunday night at 7PM CDT USA. List of times in your area can be found on the menu under “Shows…CD Showcase”.

September 9, 2018

The Hawkeyes – “One Plug In The Wall”

*BWNR September Album of The Month*

The BWNR choice for album of the month is the 2nd album released by the band from Pittsburgh, PA USA (Goodbye, Americana with BWNR classic hitDouble E”). The Hawkeyes recently returned home from a lengthy summer tour, including a 3-date appearance at the Sturgis Bike Rally which included opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd. You can read Lee Miller’s review of the album here: Lee Reviews : “The Hawkeyes-One Plug In The Wall”

September 16, 2018

Sabrina Fallah – “Kiss Is A Killer”

Sabrina Fallah is a rock artist from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. A natural on stage with her polished vocals to her guitar playing, this talented singer-songwriter has a powerful voice and a lot of personality. Sabrina has already made a name for herself by performing wherever possible over the years. Some of her music influences include Green Day, Bon Jovi and Billy Idol. A bit of each of those influences have become a part of her unique style and can be heard throughout each song.

 

Jackknife Stiletto- “Chronicles of Jane:Vol. 1″

Jackknife Stiletto is an all-female rock n’ roll band from New York City. The trio is known for their aggressive drive and punk attitude with a fresh sound. Think Rancid meets Black Sabbath — with chicks. Members Annie Stoic, Mel Funk, and Foxy Roxy believe in loud, melt-your-face-off music, guaranteeing one hell of a sexy, unforgettable live rock show.

 

 

VertilizarVertilizer EP”

In late 2017 four Austrian musicians came together with a single purpose. To combine hard-hitting music with emotional and soulful lyrics. Crafting their songs through their own life experiences, their writing has tapped into the strengths and weaknesses of the human condition making their music and lyrics instantly relatable. Their powerful melody laden riffs and heartfelt vocals are the signature sound of this Post-Grunge band.

 

September 23, 2018 – POSTPONED
September 30, 2018

Soul Desire “Ignite EP”
(Author: taken from their website, located at soul-desire.com)
“Formed at the start of 2018, Soul Desire are Becky Jade (Vocals), Rob Leach (Guitar) and Chris Smith (Bass). As ex-members of One Last Run, we are all familiar with each other as people, as well as musicians, and are unified in our purpose to deliver strong, catchy music that carries our core values at heart.”

Lee Reviews: The Hawkeyes – “One Plug In The Wall”

 

 

 

 

 

by Lee Miller – Bristol, TN USA

I’ve got to begin this review with a statement, and that statement is LONG LIVE THE HAWKEYES!!!!! I have listened to their “One Plug In The Wall” album several times now, and it is an honest to God balls to the wall Rock album that is freaking great in every sense of the word! Hailing from the town of my favorite NFL football team, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Hawkeyes deliver their brand of Rock in a way that few bands ever have, or ever could. I’m definitely talking about greatness here!

If you threw bands like AC⚡DC, The Gin Blossoms, Zeppelin, some old Cougar Mellencamp, The Who, some badass southern Rock, a little bit of blues, Candlebox, and some others in a big melting pot, you’d have The Hawkeyes. That’s not to say that I am comparing them in any way to those bands, because they have a sound that is definitely all their own, and it’s a sound that stands out. That’s apparent on the first song on the album called “Miracle Man”. This is definitely the right way to kick off an album! The Hawkeyes flat out Rock with the pedal to the floor and they don’t let up!

The thunderous rhythms of Colin Bronnenkant on drums and Brian Chalmers who played bass guitar on this album are just intensified by the guitar playing of both lead vocalist Jay Wiley and lead guitarist Mike Grego. Just let me add that this album has some of the best guitar playing I have heard in quite a while, very reminiscent to me of Angus and Malcolm Young, not to mention others. Everything just freaking jells with the twin guitars. On top of the sheer musicianship this band brandishes is the amazing vocal work of Jay Wiley. His lyrics just flow, and his voice is a catalyst that propels The Hawkeyes beyond any other independent band out there. I can’t say enough about how awesome this band is! I hear a lot of bands out there with major labels who just cannot even come close to touching the level that The Hawkeyes are on! It truly makes me wonder what the Hell is wrong with the music industry, but then again, I already know the answer to that.

Now, let’s move on to the other eight tracks on the album. “Ghost” and “Davenport” are straight ahead heartland Rock anthems with stories of their own to tell. These songs take me back to a time when Rock music was real, true, and honest. “Hours & Miles” continues the flow into one of my favorites from the album and that is the title track of the album, “One Plug In The Wall”. This song is all about a Rock and Roll dream, and getting out there, busting your ass, and trying to make it. I can relate! “Old Town” shows the greatness of this band on every level and continues what I have found to be a gem in the crown of Rock and Roll royalty. “7 & A Quarter” and “Junior” steam rolls the point home before “Had Enough” closes out the album, leaving one to wish there were more songs. I kept thinking at the conclusion of the album, “No, I want to hear more of this awesome band!” I know that there will be more from them in the future, because they are truly amazing. More stories to be told from the road. Stories that people can definitely relate to, like what’s on this album.

The Hawkeyes are a band that needs to be heard and “One Plug In The Wall” is an album that everyone who loves great Rock music should hear! Awesome job by an absolutely awesome band! Just as I began this review, let me end it with the same statement, LONG LIVE THE HAWKEYES!!!!!

 

Lee Reviews: SheWolF – “The Other Side”

 

 

 

 

 

by 🐺 Lee Miller– Bristol, TN USA 🐺

Consisting of three amazing and talented triplet sisters, SheWolF is an Australian Rock band with a whole lot to offer. One listen to their music will have you hooked and make you a believer in what they have set out to do. SheWolF bring it and will leave you wanting more. They are just that great of a band!

The first time I heard them was on Bandwagon Network Radio, and I immediately stopped what I was doing and just listened. I was completely blown away by their musical talent, mesmerized by the infectious grooves that they possessed in their songwriting capabilities! These girls can Rock! There’s absolutely no denying this!

That day, the song that I heard was from their debut EP. Today, I have just finished listening to their new debut album, “The Other Side”, and write this review during a third play through of this Rock album masterpiece. I loved their first outing, but this new album is leaps and bounds beyond that awesome collection of songs! “The Other Side” is what a straight ahead Rock album should be.

The ten song masterpiece, with music written by drummer Nikki Vlahos and lead vocalist Serena Vlahos, kicks off with “Just Pretend”, one of my favorite songs from the album, and it just never lets up. Title track “The Other Side” is the ballad rocker on the album, and it delivers a knockout punch that you won’t soon forget. People will be talking about all of these songs and how awesome this band is for years to come!

The awesome range of lead vocalist Serena Vlahos truly shines throughout “The Other Side”, while Cassandra Vlahos’ lead guitar just smokes on every track, and being a guitarist myself I can attest to her greatness. Nikki Vlahos’ drums add a strength to this band that reminds me of such greats like Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain holding down the rhythm.

I also want to mention Alicia Thomson’s and Alex Richmond’s stellar bass playing on this album, along with the harmony vocals on every one of the songs. I can’t say enough about the sheer musicianship of all of these talented individuals! All of these things that I have mentioned are prevalent on each and every track on the album, but especially on my absolute favorite song, “Circles”. I absolutely love this song! This song, for me, has hit song written all over it, and I’d put it up against anything that bands like The Pretty Reckless have done.

Other stand out songs for me are “Want You Anyway”, “Don’t Need You Tonight”, and “One Last Kiss”. All of these songs are hit songs on every level and should garner the band the attention that they well deserve. This is a band that wants to be heard, and in my opinion, needs to be heard all over the world!

I have heard a lot of bands that are either fronted by a female lead singer or consist of all female members, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve heard one with talent and musicianship of this caliber. I have seen a few videos of this band playing “live”, and believe me when I say that they are a force to be reckoned with!

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to give this awesome band, and this amazing album, “The Other Side”, a solid 11, because that’s what you should have cranked your stereo up to after you buy this album! SheWolF break the sound barrier and they are poised and ready to Rock you, and have you howling at the moon! Awesome job to one of my new favorite Rock bands in this world!!!!! SheWolF Absolutely Rocks!!!!!

Lee Reviews: Hats Off Gentlemen Its Adequate – “Broken But Still Standing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Lee Miller-Bristol, TN USA

 

As I sit here listening to the Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate album “Broken but Still Standing”, I feel as if I am being taken upon a journey of massive proportion.

When I was asked to review this album, I jumped at the chance. This album is very Pink Floyd-esque, but after listening to the album in its entirety several times, I just have to applaud the London based band on the opus that they have created. Malcom Galloway and cohorts have created something special here. A work of Progressive Rock that is, in my opinion, second to none.

 

“Vent” starts the whole journey of this masterpiece off and goes straight into the absolute perfection of the song, “Almost Familiar”, and to be quite honest, this is progressive music at its finest! Every subtle keyboard tone is felt deeply as the music swirls and sways throughout. The vocals here truly fit the lyrical compositions and I can’t say enough about the fluid bass guitar jazz influenced runs, the vocals, and drumming.

On top of all of this is the beautiful flute work and the stellar guitar that just soars throughout the 17 tracks contained within. A lot can be said of structure within a piece of music, and every track on “Broken but Still Standing” is just structured perfectly.

It’s truly hard to pick a favorite song among the lot, but some of my favorites are the two afforementioned tracks, along with “Last Man on the Moon”, the lead guitar solo is amazing, “Anywhere”, the vocals remind me so much of Bowie at his finest, “Let Me Out”, the flute solo on this is freaking spectacular, “Lucid Assassin”, such an awesome piece of music, and “Under The Skin”, because it is just brilliant.

There is no filler here on this album. Between the song and instrumentals that make up this truly unique and thought provoking concept album, I must say that I am completely blown away.

Being an artist and songwriter myself I truly appreciate all that went into putting this magnificent work of art together. I eluded to a comparison of Pink Floyd near the beginning of this review, but I will say that, without a shadow of doubt, Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate is in a league of their own! My hat is off to all of you in the band for creating this masterpiece!

Why “Bandwagon”?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…wait!…wrong story! Anyway, some of you may have wondered why we named the station Bandwagon Network Radio. That’s actually not the original name…so let’s start at the beginning.

In 2013, I was working for the company that created the software that automates the Clear Channel radio stations (insider information: most of the DJs don’t live in your town & may not even be “live”), when I got to thinking about the path the industry had taken the past 13 years since Clear Channel (now iHeart Media) was born by the merger of two of the giants of radio broadcasting.

I didn’t like the path I was seeing. It was the era of cookie-cutter music & totally auto tuned music. As well as the out-of-control greed that can happen when you have direct licensing happening between the labels and the broadcasters. The digital age changed things too. Charts were now partially based on “listens” instead of sales. It was not the industry I grew up with pre-21st Century. The industry where Loretta Lynn & Dooley drove around the country & handed their 45 to a Country DJ hoping he’d give it a “spin”.

I originally worked for a sub-company of CC between 1999 & 2003 when the best they could do was send you the audio & a little text that said: “Now Playing:” along with the artist name & song title. TV shows like American Idol & others gave hope to the unknowns but they quickly appeared to become a way for labels & broadcasters to “mold” young hopefuls into their idea of what music should be.

So (yes, I digress sometimes)…..

I started thinking about all the musicians I had met over the years. Either because of my father’s band or because of people who worked as concert promoters. The regional bands hired to open for national bands. They were Independent Artists – no label; no opportunities to make records – just popular in the area where the national band was coming to perform.

And that’s when I started to think, “I have access to the most powerful software in radio broadcasting. What if I create a radio network that doesn’t play”mainstream” music. No labels; no contracts – nothing but DIY, just playing music for the love it artists. Like my father & other family members.

When I talked to friends about it, we had to come up with a name that would “jump out” & give a message of what we are all about. This idea was so crazy that we thought about the “bandwagon effect”. The bandwagon effect is an idea that sounds so good that people can’t wait to be part of it. Since we wanted to be worldwide with multiple stations we decided to create our Facebook page &  originally named it: The Bandwagon Network. A short time later modified it to add Radio at the end. This allowed us to use the expression “Jump on the bandwagon & get your music heard”.

And you did!

Now, to quote the great Paul Harvey, you know “the rest of the story”.