Monday, December 25, 2006

Indie Band Showdown - Week 4

Thanks to everyone for all the support we've received over the past week. We had a record number of voters and couldn't be happier with feedback we've been getting. This week our new defending champion A Sheep At The Wheel takes on two new bands. These talented artists are like no other that we have exposed before here on The Steamroller. First Mozzaick from Toronto, Ontario. Second we feature Jim Offerman Band from the Netherlands. This should be an interesting week of voting as these three artists span a broad spectrum of musical talent.

Have a great holiday everyone!

Lord Steamroller

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jim Offerman Band - Review

First and Foremost, I would like to thank Lord Steamroller for entrusting one of his lowly subjects to write the latest review for Steamroller. I am very honored.

As my first (hopefully not last) review, I have had the pleasure of listening to the Jim Offerman Band. This singer/songwriter rock band originating from the netherlands, offers their listeners a magnifying look at the bands talents.

Listening to the selection of songs they have on their website, you will quickly hear a rush of energy & passion pouring from each song. Boasting their biggest hit "Like Superman", it definitely showcases their efforts. Now on a personal note, I found the most ear pleasing listen, and my favorite song showcased to be, "The Abyss". The lead has a unique sound, and Jim Offerman's voice is enough to make any girl swoon.

Overall, not having any previous writing experience and/or expert musical insight, other than absolutely loving to find new and exciting bands to listen to, I am definitely going to keep my eye out for this band. I will brag when they become the huge success i can tell they are leading up to. Great Music Boys! Keep it up! To the rest of you, you should definitely check them out, you will not be disappointed!

To hear Jim Offerman Songs visit their Website

Carrie Hagger - nuts about music

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Clockwork Drummer John

Sometimes it can be very humbling being in the music business. Sure, you can walk around pretending you know this and that, and all that other shit too. But the reality is, unless you have a parent who was in the business, or some kind of wicked hook-up, it's all trial and error. I mean I've been working (slaving) in the music industry in some form or another for nearly 15 years. I've performed on many albums, with many bands, even playing many instruments. I've produced, engineered, played hundreds of shows across Canada, and in the states, yet everyday I find myself looking out into space trying to figure out how the hell am I going to pull this off. I never had anyone tell me, "hey this is how to be successful in music...." I've read books, articles, blogs. I've listened to business ideas from all sorts of people in all sorts of industries, yet nothing really seems to prepare you for what the next phase is. I may sound fairly vague here, but recent events have yet again stumped me to the point of wondering, "how the hell did I wind up in this business, and why would anyone want to?" Is it the love of music? Maybe. That would probably be the text book "indie" answer I suppose. Is it the challenge of trying to conquer a dying industry that once possessed more influence over the younger generations than government, parents, or religion? Is it the rush you get when your on stage as the crowd cheers when you finish playing a song that you wrote in your bedroom at 3 am, smoking out your window, trying not to wake up your room mates? Is it the never ending goal of living up to your hero's? Trying to become as memorable as John Lennon, or Kurt Cobain, or Johnny Cash? I believe it's a bit of all these things for me. Sometimes I draw from something completely different all together to keep going. Something personal, heartbreak, joy, an accomplishment, a disappointment. It could be anything, but the point is we keep going. I am the first person to feel sick to my stomach when a friend and co-musician tells me he sold his gear and can't play anymore. Honestly, when I hear that I want to vomit. I could not imagine a world with me and no instruments to work over. The thought right now as I write this makes me queezy. Maybe thats it! Thats why I can't stop. It's like Clockwork Orange when what's his name has his eyes held open and is forced to watch "The Ultra Violence" while listening to classical music. Maybe someone brain washed me into thinking that if I can't be a musician, I feel sick. Just like Stanley Kubrick wanted it. Damn, I'm gonna go watch that movie now, see ya.

John Simmonds

Worn Records - Indie Bands

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December Update

So far December has been both rocky, and uplifting. As any new indie record label, we have seen our share of bumpy roads so far. The latest signing Earlstown Winter and their album Easy Roads, Easy Skies, have run into some last minute delays. However, we remain determined to release this record as soon as possible.

In other news, The Steamroller E-Zine has been gaining more and more readers and attention from the indie music community due to it's new feature, Indie Band Showdown. Entering it's 3rd week, the competition has been helping to expose bands, and gain readers to it's blog with nothing but positive feedback.

The Assassination has been steadily working on the production of it's upcoming e.p. Although progress has been slowed due to other projects taking priority, we are very excited about having this second release completed in the new year.

Happy holidays everyone, and feel free to drop us a line.

email wornrecords

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Indie Band Showdown - Week 3

Thanks to everyone who voted and supported The Steamroller, and the Indie Band Showdown during it's first 2 weeks. We are extremely pleased with the support and participation from the bands who have taken part, as well as their fans, and our readers.

This weeks Indie Band Showdown winner, by a land slide is Ottawa's Skytone. 2 new bands will now take on our defending champion. Hometown advantage plays a role, as both these entries are from the home of The Steamroller, Vancouver, B.C. Canada. John Pippus brings a bluesy/folk feel, while A Sheep At The Wheel shows great pop rock writing. Check out the reviews of these bands here on The Steamroller, and make your vote count.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Sheep At The Wheel

One of the great things about independent music is you never know what you are going to get. When I turn on the radio I know exactly what I'm getting. It's nice to press play and hear something that sounds fresh and new. Enter, A SHEEP AT THE WHEEL. A band from Vancouver B.C., Canada. With a 5 song EP titled Blend under their belts this band has garnered much attention. They have played at the largest of venues the city of Vancouver has to offer, and pleased many with their thought provoking lyrics, and hook laden songs.

A song that stood out for me in particular was Land of the Blind. A riff heavy slab of vinyl with a solid groove , chunky guitars and mature vocals. This song rolls along effortlessly and showcases some slick song writing. Other Highlights include Another Game and the current single Machine Guns & Jesus Christ. A video for this song can be found on the bands MYSPACE page. Overall, Blend is a solid effort. Its fresh and easily accessible. The groundwork has been laid for this band to have a bright future.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


So I've been scouting an awful lot of indie bands lately. Since I've been given the title Lord Steamroller, it's been up to me to find these bands for our team to review. (great job people!) Anyway, I've been going out of my way finding bands, and have listened to many different styles, genres, etc, and I've started to have an understanding of a term I sometimes use to describe certain music. Let me paint a picture. Have you ever listened to an album by so and so, and felt claustrophobic while listening? Does anyone else know what I'm talking about or am I nuts? It's a hard feeling to describe, and it in know way implies whether or not I enjoy what I'm hearing. There are lots of bands I listen to that still give me that feeling after listening to them for years. I'm not sure if it has to do with the production or the writing itself or maybe a combination of the two, but it just gives me this feeling of the walls closing in. Here's an example that makes no sense to me. The Tragically Hip, Fully Completely album. I like the album, even though I'm not the biggest Hip fan. This album for some reason, years later, still makes me feel claustrophobic. Why? I'm not sure. It could be the incredibly monotonous snare drum sound, or maybe the awkward sounding guitars. Or maybe it's simply the captivating lyrics of Gord Downey. I can't put my finger on it. I hear music all the time that just makes me feel uncomfortable with no real explanation. It's irritating! Does anyone else experience this? Am I going insane for writing about this?

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

John Pippus

I sat down to write this review as a last minute thing before I head off to Thailand for 3 weeks. In a rush, I loaded the music to take a listen hoping it would be either really, really good, or terrible so I could write something quick. I was in luck. Immediately when I loaded the first song by John Pippus, Run For Cover, I was impressed and also incredibly calmed in spite of my needing to rush around packing suitcases and tying up loose ends. I stopped and I listened.

This music can be best described with one word: nostalgic. Listening to that first song, Run For Cover, you're suddenly overcome with this sense of being at a prom in the 60s in some small American town. Man of Constant Sorrow is reminiscent of Johnny Cash or Tom Waits, with the haunt of an a capella ringing out after lights out at Folsom.

There's a slight Latin-American sound to the song, Blurry Photograph. You can just as easily imagine this song being sung in Spanish as you can in English.

John Pippus is definitely something to check out. While Seasons is not my favortie song of the bunch, the other 3 on John Pippus' Myspace page are great. This is not a sound I expected to come out of Vancouver. Excellent, go check 'em out.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Earlstown Winter Rocks The Main

Earlstown Winter played the Main last night in Vancouver and despite the slight delay in releasing the album, Easy Roads, Easy Skies, this show was a success.

The atmosphere in the Main is that of a sort of bohemian coffee house, except the beverage of choice is beer. It was somewhat quiet, subdued, just happy people enjoying the din of each others ramblings. That is, until Earlstown Winter hit the stage. The band woke the audience up, smiles lit up every face and there was one table in particular who found themselves so heavily into the music, they danced and hooted and clapped the whole set through. When Earlstown Winter left the stage, after a short solo acoustic set by Jonathan Truefitt, this table pleaded for more and were granted their request for a short encore.

The band woke up the snoozy Main by opening with the energy of Easy Roads, Easy Skies and the energy heightened during songs like Bright Lights. Eyes glazed and bodies swayed with a zen-like pleasure, to Anywhere But Here, and One of The Lonesome.

I've seen Earlstown Winter play at the Main before, and they were spectacular then, too. But last night, the atmosphere and general mood of the crowd was electric. Excellent show.

Pre-order your copy of Easy Roads, Easy Skies today: Click Here

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Thursday, December 07, 2006


So, home I trudged from another long shift at work through the slushy mess that Vancouver calls snow; dodging the fashionably small dogs and the fashionably large SUVs, basically hating humanity, when I remembered that I had to have a review done for the Steamroller E-zine by tomorrow.

So, home I went, put on the debut album Echoes In All Directions by Ottawa's Skytone, and waited to hate it along with the rest of the world at that point. Then something funny happened; toes started tapping, moods started lifting, and the stresses and strains of the day started to disappear.

Although each song is its own, they work together to create a warm, stylish and exuberant album that is full of depth and variety with sounds reminiscent of everything from The Smiths ("It Doesn't Really Matter Anymore") to The Arcade Fire ("Springtime").

The production by the band's Rodney Doddridge is very good, and manages to keep the album sounding textured and full without being cluttered, while the vocals and musicianship by the duo is equally as good.

Overall, Echoes In All Directions is a fun, catchy and original album that balances the simplicity of great pop music with just enough depth and emotion to create an entirely fresh and inventive sound.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I liked Lander since the night I overheard Lord Steamroller playing You Don't Know. So much so that I asked the good Lord if I could be the one to review them. Perceptibly, I was granted my request.

As I listened to some of Lander's other songs, a slight feeling of familiarity began to get on my nerves. Not because I didn't like the music, but because I just couldn't put my finger on who they reminded me of. I'm sure most of you can relate to the feeling of having the name of some band, movie, actor, etc on the tip of your tongue but you just cannot, for the life of you, remember? Yeah, well, for fear of not being able to sleep, I decided to do some research.

I sifted through blog posts on Lander's Myspace page, I came across a review from, in which they likened this band to Muse. This scratched my itch, and with a giant "aha!" I was taken back to Muse's earlier days, the days of Showbiz and the song, Muscle Museum. A very good thing.

Lander, soon to be Pretty Victim, has a great sound. Poppy and edgy, tunes that get stuck in your head for days. I particularly like the song All We Got Is You, I found the background vocals by the keyboardist, Jess, quite pleasing to the ear. Which is odd, as I've never been a huge fan of female vocalists, with the exception of the likes of Kim Gordon and Cat Power.

So, huge compliments to this band. Go check 'em out now before you lose your chance to brag about having "listened to them before they were big" when their success snowballs.

- Courtney

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dead or alive? part 1

Well for the purpose of this post....dead. I often find myself at work day dreaming about some of my rock hero's, and how their tragic deaths changed both me and music. I try to put together rock super groups consisting of only dead rock stars. Sometimes at lunch time some of my co-workers and I will kick it around and come up with some pretty interesting band combinations. Now, I always play the realistic one in the group, and try to put a band together based on musicians that I think would work together, but i suppose there really isn't a wrong way to do it. So I am going to list my modern day dead rock star super group. Musical genre? I don't know. Band chemistry? Who knows, but what the hell, like I have said before, it's my blog and I make the rules up as I go along. So here it goes.

drums: Randy Castillo (ozzy, crue, and others)
bass: Jason Thirsk (pennywise)
guitar: Steve Clark (def leppard)
guitar & vocal: Bradly Nowell (sublime)
vocal: Shannon Hoon (blind melon)

yeah yeah, I know. What about kurt, what about layne.....well if you think you can do better, let me know.

Monday, December 04, 2006

december six, two thousand and six

Easy Roads,Easy Skies is due to arrive home in Vancouver on December 6th. We have our fingers crossed that there won't be any delays, and we will have copies for sale at the Earlstown Winter show on the 7th at The Main. If you haven't reserved your copy yet, do so now here, and we'll see you at the show.

Domain v.s. Myspace

Is it worth while for a band to have a website anymore? With all these networking sites like myspace, friendster, garageband, purevolume, blogger, youtube and so on, what's the need for a band to own their own domain name? These sites allow mp3 hosting, image hosting, video hosting, and many of them are fully customizable to suit every users needs. Why pay a designer thousands of dollars to design you a professional looking site when you can design your own myspace page for free in an hour or so with the help of a template. I have both. I have 2 websites and many myspace pages, and they all serve their purpose. I find it convenient for networking with other bands, musicians, or organizations on myspace, but I always want to direct them to my website for the "real" information. To me, myspace seems like a "club" and you have "network" a certain way to fit in. Or you can cheat and use these friend adders. I see bands on there that have over 30,000 friends and 2 plays a day. What's the point? It looks cool I guess, or makes you feel good as a band i guess. I would rather have 1000 + hits a day on my bands website, where they can see how professional we conduct ourselves, and they can find all the information, videos, images, mp3's easily and quickly. But how do I get traffic to my site? Myspace and blogger and garageband will bring me traffic without having to do anything. It's not hard, but it is time consuming. Not being an expert on the subject, I only know what my web optimizer tells me, and take her advice. I spend on average probably about 10-15 hours a week working on my websites, and am just starting to generate some traffic. With myspace, all I have to do is add 100 random users and I will get at least 50 of them looking at my profile. It depends on how seriously you take your band. I would always recommend that a band purchase their domain name and have a pro website designed. Everyone and their dog has a myspace page and/or a profile elsewhere. I believe that in this industry you have to stand out, and a pro looking website is a must. This is an expensive, competitive racket we're in, but if you're creative and innovative, you can find lots of ways to save money, and maintain quality and professionalism.

Worn Records - Indie Bands
Support Independent Music

Friday, December 01, 2006


Something weird happened when I heard this band, I actually liked them. I'm not usually keen on acid pop rock but they have potential and you can actually put their album on if you're in the right mind frame. They've got a sound that might bring you out of a mood... or put you in one. They are still a little weak on rock and are more heavy on the pop; They need to plug in the guitar and turn it up a bit if they want to keep my attention for a long period of time and I think that would go for the masses. An identity crisis might be in the mix here though. Theres a hint of early Stones with a mix of flower power kabosh mixed in. Woodstock's over and there's a limited audience for this sound.

Their band name might just say it all about this quartet or it may turn into a clever name if they can break free of thier love affair with the 60's. They have the potential to be more than a recycled fad from an age far, far away. Having said all that, I liked them. Their music is theirs and it ain't bad. I think they might enjoy what they write and you can hear it in the music. If they can put all that into an album and make it work, then it may be something to check out. If not then a hanging ceiling decoration they'll be at best.