Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jeremiah Freed... Companion, Pt 1

Portland, Maine indie rockers Jeremiah Freed first hit the national music scene back in March of 2002 with their self titled debut album, Jeremiah Freed, which spawned the hit single Again. As it went in the music industry back then, much as it does today, the stars didn't quite align the way they should have for Jeremiah Freed. 2003's Slowburn would mark the final studio album the guys would release for 14 years. A lot has changed in that time, but one thing remains... Jeremiah Freed was and is a force to be reckoned with!

Companion, Part 1, marks the long overdue return of Jeremiah Freed to the world of indie modern/alternative rock. Most of the original band members are back... Joe Smith on vocals, Jake Roche and Nick Goodale on guitar and Matt Cosby on bass are joined by new drummer Andy Cosby. 14 years hasn't diminished the talents of this group one bit. Companion is the type of EP that you wish were at the very least an LP, if not a double live album. As soon as you pop the cd in (yes, kids, there are still those of us who enjoy listening to music that isn't streamed thru our headphones on our phone), there's this build up to track one, Hey Mama, that instantly takes you back to 2002. The sound is still the same, but in a grown up, we've lived our lives but can still do this better than 99% of the bands on radio today vibe. As a biased fan, I can make that statement. Also, as a biased fan, I can tune into our local alternative station and prove that statement to be true.

Bad Feeling is the rousing lead single off of Companion that is sure to catapult this EP to the forefront of the modern rock sound. There are hints of the bands southern rock styling on Hey Mama and I'm on Fire, and for you bluesy rock lovers, Thank You should satisfy you immensely. For my money, though, this entire EP pays me back in spades on one track... Heartbreak Atlanta. Easily the standout track on Companion, this song literally came out of nowhere for me when I first listened to the the EP. Here I am, rocking right along to the first two tracks, then this song hit every single feel that I've been feeling for the last year and a half. It's not every single time out that an artist can hit one out of the park like Jeremiah Freed has with this song. They shouldn't be expected to. But when they do, man, do they ever. Heartbreak Atlanta reminds me of growing up listening to my dad's old vinyl albums and 45s. The popular song was always the A side release. Every once in a while, you'd flip the record and discover a hidden gem on the B side. I'd put this track right up there with Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, God Only Knows by the Beach Boys or Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. It's that damn good.

But don't take my word for it. Go out, support the band, and buy your copy of Companion, Part 1 today. If you're fortunate enough to live in Maine, you can head to your local Bull Moose music store and pick up your copy there. If not, click here to order it online. For the streaming crowd, hit up Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.

Make sure you follow Jeremiah Freed on Twitter and like them on Facebook, and check out the official Jeremiah Freed website. And if you're one of the lucky ones who got your tickets to their first stage show in 10 years, I'll see you in Portland, Maine at the Portland H.O.M.E. on August 19th.

Support unsigned artists... give indie music a chance.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Twelve Years Driven is going to War

I'm baaaack! And for very good reason. After taking the past year off to recharge, so to speak, I've been lured back from my sabbatical by none other than Twelve Years Driven. You remember them, the hard hitting, badass metal boys from Texas that have made a few appearances here on MY Indie Music Blog? Of course you do. But I'm here today to introduce you to a whole new side of them. The dressed up, even harder hitting side than what you got from Lab Work I & II and Lab Work III. Twelve Years Driven is back, and nastier than ever. They're here to declare war!

War is the latest EP from Houston, TX based hard rock/metal band Twelve Years Driven. Robert Rice (vocals), Larry Gilstrap and Michael MacSherry (guitars), Kris Wood (bass) and Chubbs Malone (drums) have taken a craft that they have proven to be extremely good at and completely blown the cover off it and reinvent themselves as the preeminate metal band in today's music industry.

Press play and Chubbs Malone immediately sets the tone for the entire EP on the opening track Victim, and it doesn't even come close to stopping there. The lead single, Good God Damn, is a direct call to arms against the snowflake generation that's full of keyboard courage. While Rice is spitting venom at them, that signature Kris Wood bass line chimes in with some nasty ass guitar licks from MacSherry and Gilstrap. And that drum line... Lars Ulrich would cream in his jeans after hearing it! (The addition of Chubbs Malone to the lineup was a genius move.)Twelve Years Driven truly doesn't give a good God damn, and I fucking love them for it! Track after track, War sets a new standard for not just the independent music scene, but the entire modern rock/metal genre.

War is about as polished as an independently produced EP can be and then some. The guys spared no expense and brought in music industry veterans Dave Fortman to mix and Ted Jensen to master (at Sterling Sound in NYC). The two have worked with the likes of Alice in Chains, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Seether, Mastodon... the list reads like a who's who of today's mainstream modern rock/metal scene. And the work the the guys put in in the studio is not lost on me. They put 5 of the best tracks I've heard in some time together here and all I can wish for every time I listen to War is that it was a full album. I don't want the music to end. It's that damn good. So I do the next best thing. I hit repeat.

My boy Larry Gilstrap once told me (about their EP Lab Work III) that they had put their best work out there for us. Little did he know what their future had in store for them. If you follow the band on social media, you already know the response that their fans have given War, and for good reason. War is the type of EP that can and should finally flip the script for these guys. It's time for this independent artist to get their time to shine. Even if it means going to War.

War, the new EP by Houston, Texas based Twelve Years Driven, is making the rounds on the internet. You can order a physical copy on cd if that's your flavor by heading over to CDBaby. You can download War on iTunes and Google Play. But my suggestion is to head over to their merch site on While your picking up a cd, you can grab some sweet ass t-shirts, beanies, hats, jewelry. Every purchase you make helps the guys get down to road to the next gig as well as helps them out in the studio. I've done my part, and I'll continue to help them out in any way they need that I can.

Don't forget to check out the official Twelve Years Driven website. While you're there, join their official mailing list to keep informed of all things Twelve Years Driven. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Support unsigned artists. Give indie music a chance.