Saturday, March 31, 2007

Favored Nation

Ok, so first let me say this, in some miracle of foresight I listened to Favored Nation the first time our wonderful editor asked me to start doing reviews. The first time I listened to this it reminded me of that Kids in the Hall song, "The Daves I know"

Now, being from Toronto, I have never ever heard of these guys, except through Steamroller, and I really found it pretty funny. I don't know if it's supposed to be, but hey, keep em guessing guys, that keeps it interesting.

The Good:

Screaming Pre-Pubescent Girls, Statutory Rape Charges, Trials, Notoriety, Good Family Friendly Sounding Music. You could be the next R. Kelly, and if you keep it in your pants, you'll never have anyone know you like to relieve yourself on chicks.

The Bad:

The Maritimes (where I grew up) have been churning out this kind of music since 1991, and the east side of Canada has been listening to this stuff forever now. Do you really want to aspire to be the next Sloan/Eric's Trip deal, even if you are trying to be funny? The sound is so, well, done. So good luck with that.

All in all, great shoe gazer music, nothing you haven't heard before, but hey, it's not like you've been locked up in a room with Ann Coulter, giving a speech on the decline of morality in America

Joel Out

"saved by the bell - rock rating"

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Karabal Nightlife

Disclaimer: No member of this blog or the reviewer has heard The Karabal Nightlife's "The Other Shore" in it's entirety, only the tracks listed on their Myspace page.

When you listen to a band/song/album for the first time, you often wonder - 'Under what circumstances would I bump this record? Would I play this in my car, driving to work? Is this ideal music for a quick dip in the slough on a warm summers eve?'

I am here to say that The Karabal Nightlife's 'The Other Shore' is fantastic late-night hand job music.

All crassness aside, 'The Other Shore' has the dreamy quality ideal for a first-time grope session on your couch with the cute girl you just met at the bar earlier that night. The guitars are gentle and swirly, the melodies are simple, and the rhythm section is appropriately fragile. Make no mistake - this is scented candle-lightin' music, my friends. Karabal Nightlife front man Jesse Davis' high-pitched vocals warmly recall those of Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue - and in many ways, you could draw a lot of comparison between the two bands. Seriously - how many late night hand-jobs do you think The Rev's 'Deserters Songs' was responsible for? At least 3 in my neck of the woods. Don’t make me connect the dots for you here, people.

These kids have great pedigree, they look cute, and the hooks are there. Toss on the esteem of being mastered by Rick Parker (Black Rebel, Dandy Warhols, Von Bondies, etc), and you're able to easily forget the same-sounding redundancy that sets in after a few spins. Besides - hand-job music isn't about mind-blowing time changes; it's about getting her hands wrapped around that peen of yours, right? Right. And with that in mind, I present to you The Karabal Nightlife. Now just make sure you've got some semi-absorbent towelettes close by.

I'm giving this one a solid Jesse Spano.

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
jesse spano

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Country Night @ The Roxy

This Sunday April 1st, Worn Records recording artists Earlstown Winter are playing country night at The Roxy in Vancouver. This is going to be a great show. I have heard great things about country night at The Roxy, but have never been to it myself. We will have new Earlstown Winter merchandise for sale too. We have shirts, womens tank tops, hats, fridge magnets, buttons, and of course the "Easy Roads, Easy Skies" cd. See you Sunday at The Roxy!

April 1st @ The Roxy

932 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada, V6Z 1L2
(604) 331-7997

Doors 7pm

Cover $5

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Natalie Illeana

Emergency meeting called! The review for this singer/songwriter comes upon me with a need for quick yet thoughtful insight: the time crunch is upon me. Originally from the Los Angeles area but who recently relocated to small-town Nebraska, this group shows heart and soul in each track that I listened to, one after the other bringing back memories of my youth with their lyrics.

Describing their sound as a fun and quirky listen. "Bored" I found to be one of the most defining yet free-spirited tracks on their website. And I was definitely not bored listening to the screeching sounds of the guitar intros, which knocked my socks off at the beginning of each song. Although, it did seem to me that the music was a bit similar throughout all the tracks I listened to, the rocking lyrics made me quickly put the thought to the back of my mind. I will definitely look for this album to continue my listening pleasure, as should you. You can find some of her songs on Natalie's myspace page or go right to the source My over all rating for this collection of music is an A.C Slater, I think with a bit more time to polish the sound they can really rock the house!

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saturna - Review

First off, I have to ask, what is "Shoegaze"? On Saturna's myspace page they list their three musical genre's as, indie/rock/shoegaze. Well I tell you, you learn something everyday. Sure enough "Shoegaze" is an actual genre according to Wikipedia. And now that I know what it is I have realized that I'm probably the biggest "shoegazer" in the history of music, not having seen Saturna live yet. Which brings me to their music.

I was able to listen to three songs by this quartet from just south of the border down in Portland, Oregon. My first impression was good, I was intrigued, wanting to listen further, and thats a good sign for sure. I'm sitting in my studio with the speakers just pinned blasting "Pop Rocks". This song first makes me think of The Kills, but way better. It starts with a great beat, followed by a wicked bass line that people could dance to, or just bop their heads. The chorus, while maybe a tad cheesy, comes off really well. This song would go over well at any house party, shindig, get together, or bar mitzvah.

"Just For Thrills" kicks my ass right out of the gate. It starts with that same kind of "Kills" feel, and then busts into a more old school rock tune. It feels like that train that used to pass right by my house when I was a kid. The vocals in the chorus are reminiscent of a somewhat sober Scott Wieland in Velvet Revolver's "Set Me Free". I like that song in case you were wondering.

Lastly, a little gem entitled "Blanket Of Stars" hits my monitors. This song starts off a little slower than the others. It takes about minute before I realize that this is the best song of the bunch. Kind of Deftones, maybe a bit Floyd even, but I think their is really only one word to describe this last song..... Saturna. This song is incredible from the first second to the final fade out. I love the haunting vocals, the distant almost infectious guitar tones. This song just melts together.

Saturna is a band that I would love to watch live. I enjoyed their recordings, but I'm sure it wouldn't compare to seeing them in a small club, having a few pints. You know Vancouver B.C. is only a few hours away?

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater and a half a zack

huh? what the hell does that mean?


Red Cat Records

Easy Roads, Easy Skies is now available at Red Cat Records in Vancouver and is on sale for only $9.99.

4307 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V5V 3R1

Phone: (604) 708-9422

Thursday, March 15, 2007


For those who may be unfamiliar with Zero:State, they are a 3 piece band started in 2006 in Manchester and have come together because of their love of music. They pride their influences on Nirvana, Muse and the Foo Fighters. They have recorded 2 EPs in their short time together as a band.

As you listen to their songs you can feel an energy and a passion for the music combined with a sense of their influences in the music industry. Their sound is crisp and fresh, and makes you want drive real fast on a hot summer day. They find a nice balance of hard rock and indie-pop neatly and professionally. I found myself humming along to the tunes of their songs. That being said, they have a memorable ring in the industry.
Overall my rating of this band is A.C. Slater, and I recommend that you stop by and take a listen. Watch out for them, cause they are well on their way to making the scene their own. You can find out more information about Zero:State or listen to some of their tunes at

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Steamroller

Hey everybody, go check out the new and improved Steamroller E-Zine. There are new articles and reviews. And starting next week, will be the return of the indie band showdown.

If you are a band or artist and want to have your music reviewed, or if you are interested in writing articles, email The Steamroller.

John Simmmonds

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God Damn Trio - Review

i'm lying bed with my power book on my lap listening to a band known as God Damn Trio. since it was me who had originally found them for the steamroller a few months back, i was quite happy to write about them for my first steamroller review. they hail from stockholm sweden. sweden? hey wasn't abba from there? having lived in canada my whole life and having never been to europe, the only thing i know about sweden is that they produce great hockey players, and that chef from the muppets was pretty funny.

anyway back to the "g.d.t." i've just started the 4 songs on their myspace page for the second time, and first time through had some ups and some downs, but mostly ups. we'll start with them. these guys can rock when they want to, no doubt about that. great guitar riffs, awesome production, and solid playing. the song "intoxicated" was definitely my favorite. the tempo change after the chorus shows the maturity in the song writing, along with a very progressive bridge featuring a great groove change, followed by a trip through a claustrophobic, or maybe even paranoid departure, only to lead us back to the final chorus. almost a bit.... dare i say it.....zeppelin? either way, i liked it. they took a pretty solid rock song, and pushed it ahead of the pack.

my next favorite had to be the part punk, part fuzz rock, part ska, pop rock song "said and done". really catchy, but perhaps too many drastic changes. i do like the diversity in the style changes, but just when i find myself really getting into a part, like the intro, it's followed up by this almost tongue and cheek sounding poppy verse. then it busts into a catchy chorus, and then another very interesting bridge. i think it's just the verse i don't care for because the more i listen to it, the more i like it, but i just keep wanting the verse to end.

"all to me" has great potential. it's the type of song that would probably just rock if you were to see it live, but i think something got lost in the studio translation. again, great playing, catchy hooks, but this time it's vocals. the singing is lacking some identity. the more melodic parts seem a bit unstable, and the kicked up choruses aren't all that big. i keep wanting those choruses to just explode vocally and they kind of disappoint.

my least favorite tune had to be "weak life situation". this is the attempt at a pop rock, radio friendly song. again i really like the music, but the melodic vocals in the verses just aren't working for me. the chorus is good, the bridge is solid, i'm just not digging the vocals. it just seems like the chilled out parts are too chilled and shaky sounding, and the harder parts are just not rockin' enough.

over all, i believe the "god damn trio" has a lot of talent, and i plan on listening to "intoxicated" a few more times before i sleep tonight just to ensure i have good rockin' dreams. extra props to the drumming on that one too, nice and solid. i listen to the vocals on that one, and wonder why he didn't sing with that same passion in his voice on the other tracks. i read on their site that they're writing for a new record right now. with the potential this band has, i wouldn't be surprised if these guys find themselves leaving stockholm soon to come tour my corner of the globe. hey guys, guest list maybe? come on, i'll bring some canadian beer? i want to hear more from the "god damn trio" and i would certainly recommend checking them out.

God Damn Trio

"saved by the bell - rock rating"
a.c. slater

huh? what the hell does that mean?


it's alright, cause we're saved by the bell

so since i will be reviewing bands for the steamroller starting this week, i have decided to create my own personal ranking system for the bands i review. i would encourage all of the writers here at the steamroller to do the same, or if they would like, feel free to use mine. my ranking system is called the "saved by the bell, rock rank". i know, it's ingenious. but before i start throwing out rankings like it's 1990 all over again, let me explain how it works. it's quite simple, there are 6 levels. the best being "zack", and the worst being "screech". here are all the possible levels:


a.c. slater






happy music reviewing.

the writer formerly known as "lord steamroller"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

good times, bad times...ya know i've had my share

Yes! All the rumors are in fact true. To my millions and million of fans in the indie music world, I would like to announce that I am stepping down as "Lord Steamroller". Please try to hold back the tears. I know it's hard to comprehend, even more so than the Oilers trading Ryan Smyth, but we must accept and move on. Fortunately for the music world, I will still be working with The Steamroller, but in a lesser role. I will be contributing music articles, and reviewing bands along side my fellow Steamroller reviewers.

I leave you in very capable hands. Effective immediately, Courtney Heard will be taking over day to day operations of the soon to be greatest indie music blog on the web. This change will allow us to expand, grow, and improve our site to better serve our readers as well as our featured artists. Thanks to all the bands and writers who have participated since we launched last year, and I look forward to a new and improved Steamroller.

John Simmonds
"Lord Steamroller"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Indie Band Showdown on it's way back!

Yes, the Indie Band Showdown here at the Steamroller will be returning very soon. We still need volunteers to review bands and we're always looking for bands to be reviewed, so email us at the Steamroller and let us know if you're interested. In the meantime, stay tuned for the Showdown and get ready to vote!