Home / Music / CD Reviews / Indie Music Round-Up: Jay Clark Band’s “Cocked and Loaded”, Silver Lake 66’s “Let Go Or Be Dragged”, and GaBso’s “Make Me Wanna Change My Name”

Indie Music Round-Up: Jay Clark Band’s “Cocked and Loaded”, Silver Lake 66’s “Let Go Or Be Dragged”, and GaBso’s “Make Me Wanna Change My Name”

Jay Clark Band’s “Cocked and Loaded”

Cincinnati, Ohio southern rockers Jay Clark Band released in April 2017 their album Cocked and Loaded.  It was the result of a bet three brothers made: to make their life’s dream come true.  One brother is now working in Hollywood, and Clark is making music.

Along with Tommy Harden (drums), Eli Beaird (bass), Mike Brignardello (bass), Jeff King (electric guitar), Steve Nathan (piano), John Willis (acoustic guitar), Larry Beaird (acoustic guitar), Tania Hancheroff (vocals), and Adam Cunningham (vocals), Clark is dipping into the kind of southern rock that combines blues, rock and roll, and country, as well as boogie rhythms with blazingly fast guitars.  With lyrics speaking about southern values and virtues, southern rock is, in a way, the southern version of blue collar music aimed at hardworking, down-to-earth Southerners.

The overall feeling one gets when listening to this album is that of urgency, although it is delivered in a way that doesn’t leave listeners a nervous wreck.  It’s the difference between a group of paranoid people and a group of empowered ones discussing the state of the world—this album is more of the latter.  “Get Wild” channels the band’s passion for rock and roll with an addictive beat and burning guitars; unfortunately, sometimes the lyrics don’t roll as much as the rest of the number.  In “Freight Train” however we see that the potential of zinging lyrics on a fiery rock number is well within the grasp of the group.

“Leave It All Behind” has a great scent of blues infused in it, while “The River” is an all-out gospel inspired one.  Where “Won’t Be Pushed Around” is simpler, allowing listeners to appreciate the various textures of the track, “Cocked & Loaded” is relentless and “Shakedown” ends the set with a bang.

Silver Lake 66’s “Let Go Or Be Dragged”

Home, loss, love, pain, triumph—a regular part of life and the inspiration behind Silver Lake 66s’ very aptly named “Let Go Or Be Dragged.”  Melancholic yet hopeful, this country album (featuring significant hints of blues) makes for a realistically inspirational listen—if you let it.  Using beautiful harmonies, attention grabbing duets, and great musical skills, the band seems to have made a great playlist for a modern western movie.

Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo make it seem to easy that one feels, at times, that they are the same person.  Francis’ vocals pluck the strings of one’s heart, as they do in “Magnolia,” accompanied by Overbo’s clever instrumentation that helps underline it, breaking away at one point into a great guitar solo.  The aforementioned harmonies are particularly ear-catchy in “End of the Day”, which also features an organ that accompanies a fluctuating melody that seems to reflect life’s ups and downs.

The guitar work in “Sherman County” is especially noteworthy, and Francis’ vocals shine particularly here.  It is such a heart-wrenching affair, the seeming breaking of a spirit only to have it start building itself back up.  “Bury My Bones in Arkansas” is a (relatively) slower number that vibrates with emotional intensity.  The ballad “Change Your Mind” features Francis and Overbo’s vocals flawlessly harmonizing before taking the lead, one at a time.

“San Francisco Angel” is almost jarring in its dynamism—albeit in a good way.  “Doctor” has an almost gospel like feel, while “Devil’s Lookin’ For Me” is an intriguing story well-worth listening.  Silver Lake 66 has brought together a great set of numbers that will appeal to country fans.

GaBso’s “Make Me Wanna Change My Name”

Israeli pop/edm artist GaBsoreleased in February 2017 an EP titled “Made MeWanna Change My Name.”  Well-known in his home country of Israel, this is his first worldwide English release.  The five track set marks the continuation of GaBso’ssearch for musical inspiration, channeling it into songs that will linger in the listeners’ minds long after the last note has faded.

The overall genre could be set as electronic dance pop with hints of hip hop. The pop and electronic “Where I’ll Put My Shoes” is an uplifting, fun number that features soaring vocals and throbbing beats that seem to have a jazz flavour.  Interestingly enough, it evokes a certain ethereal feeling while being at the same time very real.The beat in “All In My Hand” seems to follow a (hyper) child happily skipping in a park, pausing here and there to examine whatever intriguing thing he has glimpsed.  Dramatic at times, it is the most approachable track on the set, with an important, empowering theme at its heart.

The repetitious title predicts the repetitious sort of track that “Words WordsWordsWords” turns out to be—repetitious not in a boring, lack-of-inspiration kind of way, but rather in a deliberate way.  GaBso also made sure that each iteration, although seemingly very similar to make his point, is different enough to keep listeners’ attention.

The slower “Made Me Wanna Change My Name” is moodier than the rest of the numbers on this set, with a melody that will sound exotic to anyone who only listens to mainstream music.  There is something old-school about this one, presented in an almost-melancholic kind of way.  The instrumental “789” is an invitation to relax and let go, to reflect and, hopefully, grow—an uplifting and memorable way to end this EP.

by Sahar

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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One comment

  1. On Sunday October 8th, 2017, Seattle singer/sing-writer Kye Alfred Hillig released a new album, FOSSIL. There was no real warning, no preemptive strike, just a quick note on his Facebook page and a link to 10 tracks that had been cooking for nearly a year.

    FOSSIL is Hillig’s 6th release as a solo artist since 2012 and 21st since the age of 13. Spanning the musical spectrum from punk to indie to folk and country HILLIG has again changed himself to step outside his boundaries and create something ‘different.’ With FOSSIL Hillig has embraced his pop sensibility but in his own dark and compelling twist… “This record was the most challenging album I’ve made so far, and there were moments that I thought it might not see the light of day. The process was completely backwards from any way I’ve worked previously, and the result feels something like a dream to me. There’s a lot of pain in the world right now and with this album I’ve tried to speak to that in my own way.”

    ‘Fossil’ (10/08/2017)

    FOSSIL is that rare album that earns your full attention. And in a digital age, this is nothing short of magical. There is no pomp and circumstance. There are no gimmicks here. This is songwriting. And If given the time and patience this record will find a place in your heart and stay there for years. 
    Ky Alfred Hillig’s lyricism is as honest and direct as ever, but the meticulous and lovingly crafted arrangements show a level of musicality and craft that will challenge you to find it’s equal. And I dare say you won’t. Like trying to describe a dream or retrieving a long lost memory, one can barely do it justice with words. This album is so peerless in its mastery, but so familiar in it’s intimacy that it begs the question, how is this music not on every playlist or record player in the world already? 

    What Hillig has created with FOSSIL is demanding in the most unexpected ways. And above all, it truly requires the listener’s attention. Something almost unthinkable today. To unplug from the world–no cellphone, no internet, no Facebook–no distraction at all. And you barely even have to try. It invites your attention. Just the listener, a pair of headphones and the bravery to sit still and be mindful of the moment. Vulnerable and present.  

    With FOSSIL, Kye has accomplished a work of art that stands above the sea of music-streaming mediocrity, and deserves the attention it will surely garner. And when given the chance it will undoubtedly open listeners up to more then they’ve expected from new music in a long, long time. 

    If you are interested in setting up additional coverage for this release please let us know. Hillig will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the Spud Goodman Show and performing regionally in support of this release.


    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3dHE2pU6G80gQ1xnao4xPQ…
    ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fossil/id1295113188


    Mike’s Daily Podcast (10/15/2017)

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