Review – Comasoft – Ropes on Fire


comasoft

Comasoft is a pop rock band from Chicago, IL that have some keyboards, guitars and a weakness for the 1980’s – mostly because fuzzy keyboards and Brian Adams riffs should never go out of style and we don’t want to live in a world where they are.  Comasoft is currently booking shows, playing everywhere their 20 year old van will take them and trying to rule the world.   So come and join us in bringing back rock-n-roll, general debauchery, and fun!   Comasoft sound like Kill Hannah, Placebo, New Order, Madina Lake, The Cure and AFI.  This EP was recorded and mixed by Chuck Mack (of Ghosthouse fame) at Ekectrowerks, and all photos courtesy of Kenra Sandsmark.

The members of the band are Jay (vocals), Crispy (bass and keyboards), Adam (guitars), Jimmy Con (beats and keyboards), Chris2 (drums) and finally Bilty who might drive the van a few times and does a lot of other things. Possible roadie?  No one seems to know.  He’s the mystery member of the band.  Comasoft’s music has been on the following TV programs:

Mtv – Ten on Top, and The Seven (Atombomb, Never the Same, and One to One)
HGTV – Design Star (10Volt)
Bravo’s upcoming show called “Fashion Hunter” (10Volt)
Canadian TV show – Degrassi (Put up a Fight)

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Comasoft have several EP’s and LP’s and do quite well for themselves in Chicago and would like to become a national (and eventually an international) name in their native US of A.  They’re a typical bunch of crazy dudes having fun and living life the best way they know how.  Their new EP is pretty stellar so let’s check it out.  The track listing is as follows:

1.   West Town (featuring Anthony Bagnara and Makeshift Prodigy)

2.   Waiting In Vain

3.   I Won’t Tell If You Don’t

4.   Bang

5.   All I Wanted (Acoustic)

6.   Lights Out (Acoustic)

7.   Waiting In Vain (Acoustic)

“West Town” has a really good melody, catchy hooks throughout the song (with guitars and keyboards) and is performed well by all members.  “Ropes on fire/I climb higher” gives  me a clue that when the heat is on, this band gets it on and goes the distance and beyond.  “All my friends try to tell me no/They see me break and they tell me so/And when I reach out to hold your…../All of my try to tell me no” can be seen many different ways by many different people.  Keeping the lyrics general is a good thing in this song as this could be seen by friends that you’re trying to help out by giving them advice which can lead to other things (mostly bad in this case) in the long run of any relationship.  You need to think for yourself.

“Waiting In Vain” starts out with a cool little guitar riff and explodes with the other instruments joining in.  “When you start to shake/When your hands grow cold/And your eyes stare off into space/I got you/ Why don’t you/Understand me when you’re falling/Well I’m still waiting/Waiting in vain” are some pretty great lyrics about how someone can feel about another person.  It could be early in a relationship where you are waiting for something to happen or looking for a sign.  Or a friendship that is changing into a relationship and you’re still not too sure about whether to take it to the next level.  The music is really well suited to the lyrics which makes in a stand out song on the EP.

“I Won’t Tell If You Don’t” is choppy song musically which features a good bass riff with starts and stops in all the right places.  “I won’t tell if you don’t/Just how far we could go” is a bit of a mystery and again is general in its meaning.  It could be many things which my gutter mind thinks of and I probably wouldn’t be far off the mark. It’s a well done song.

“Bang” is a really good song lyrically and musically.  “Your bullets/With my name on one” and “Bang/Now I’m dead on the floor/Bang/Now you got my attention/Shot through me” makes it really clear what’s going on in the song.  And the melody is a fast paced one with good backing vocals in all the right places.  Great song!

“All I Wanted” has some really good vocal work by Jay.  I really like his voice fronting the music.  The emotion coming out of him is evident in this song.  As it’s an acoustic version, you can really feel the words sung by Jay as the music is stripped down.  “All I wanted to say/I didn’t want it to end this way” pretty much sums up a lot of emotions in one song about a relationship that ended in failure, abruptly and possibly soaked in emotion.  Well done!

“Lights Out” seemed so familiar to me when I first heard this song.  Such bare bones with only an acoustic guitar and a few keys added in to make a point.  This song makes me think of close friends who have passed on in some tragic way that is shocking.  It’s a very well done song that is sad and plaintive in hearing Jay’s vocals.

“Waiting In Vain” the acoustic version is very well done.  Same lyrics but stripped down, it has a sad quality to it which comes across in the vocals by Jay.

All is all this is a stellar EP and just proves that this is a band that is working it’s way up in the Chicago scene and could quite possibly take on national recognition in the near future if they keep doing what they do best – making good music that people can relate to in whatever way possible and by being themselves.

The other music they have out on iTunes or from their website are:  Burn to Shine EP, The Beautiful Departure EP, Impulsive EP and Comasoft (self) LP.  You can find all this awesome music on iTunes US and Canada or you buy it on the bands’ website.

If you’re interested in booking the band for a show, you can contact them through their management team at:

Blue Amp Management, Francesca Campobasso by email:  francesca@blueampmusic.com (also, pleaes cc email to comasoftinfo@gmail.com).

Here is a video from their Burn to Shine EP called “10 Volt”:

EP Review – Pyro Fighter (Self)


EP Review – Pyro Fighter (Self)

Released: May 2010

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

Pyro Fighter. Photo courtesy of the band.

Pyro Fighter’s bio states that they are “a renegade trio of tron-pop cut throats known for luring, capturing and permanently trancing their audience through a perfected formula of auditory and visual manipulation.” Although I have never seen them live, the music suggests that this statement is true.

Originally from Columbus OH, Dany Mellette (Commander), Billy Arnett (Enforcer #1) and Patrick Stockhausen (Enforcer #2) have very recently moved to Chicago IL and are being managed by Crystal Bishop at EarCandy Chicago. Pyro Fighter were on the club and party circuit in Columbus and caught the attention of Grammy Award winning Italian DJ Benny Benassi. With the aid of local rave lords DJ’s Carma and Attak and the influence of local photographers and bloggers, the hype led to an all out take-over of the city of Columbus.

In just under a year after Pyro Fighter came into being, the group caught the attention of MTV and had their song “LMFAO” selected to be featured on the Season 2 premier of the smash hit show “Jersey Shore”. Five million viewers turned that song into a YouTube sensation as well as on iTunes and SoundCloud.

The bands’ music is power dance pop, trance music and is futuristic in its sounds. Starting out with the song “Honey Shot” it has a good melody, trippy sounds and good layers in the song itself. Dany’s vocals fit the song perfectly in a monotone way which gives the song balance. “I’m The One” has a good beat, melody and is vocally performed well. I like the effects and layering and this is just a good dance track. It could lyrically be about “the” one or just the one for a good time? That would be up to the listener. “La Lemon Drop” is an interesting song as it has a rock vibe within the dance feel to it. The effects and layering are very effective in pulling that dance feel out of the song. The melody is well developed and the structure of the song is well built. Lyrically, this song has a dual meaning and it’s left up to the listener to interpret what that might be. The remix of “LMFAO” is choppy electronic beats and effects, stuttering, stopping and moving on a warped melody. It has a slow weird break in mid song which only adds to the slightly warped sound throughout the song. “Play Stop Rewind” is a straight forward dance track which is upbeat and in minor keys which gives the song a kind of futuristic feel. I like the robotic effects on the vocals, the trance like quality on the breaks and fast repeat vocals within the song. The layering is particularly effective in harnessing all those sounds and mixing them about in a pattern that has a good melody and structure to begin with. “So Good” has a softer beat which gives it a fuzzy kind of quality to the overall sound of the song. It’s not slow but has a different time signature which gives it that fuzzed out feel. The melody is catchy, the vocals sound sweet while singing about kissing and has a happy vibe. The final song “You’ll Never Know” has a really cool heavy beginning and then heads into a fast, headbanging dance track and all out assault, or so it feels like that. It has bits of marching sounds, a dreamy quality to the melody and kicks it with the faster dance beats. I really like how the band utilized the time changes within the song.

Even though this material is almost a year old, it sounds as fresh as the day it came out. If you like dance music and trance/electronica, this is one EP you want to get and comes highly recommend by this writer. You can find the music on the band’s website and the link is at the top of the review.

EP review – Jimmy Con – Drama


EP Review – Jimmy Con – Drama

Released: 1 April 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

EP cover for DRAMA. Photo courtesy of the artist.

This is no April Fool’s Day joke. Jimmy Con of Chicago’s Ghosthouse has released his new EP Drama. Electronic trance music with some fantastic beats. Vocals that are toned out to emphasize the beats of the music. Classic beats done in the ’80’s old school DJ style with some samples. I can totally envision a crowded club dance floor with the people dancing up a storm, arms in the air. Jimmy also has Ear Candy Chicago (Crystal Bishop) helping him to reach his vision in becoming a big name artist. The future is going to be bright for Jimmy Con me thinks.

Track listing:

  1. Drama
  2. Fly Away
  3. Heat of the Night
  4. White Tiger
  5. Yjodaly
  6. You’ll Never Know (Pyrofighter remix)

On first listen, what stands out in the big picture of this EP is the timing of the beats and vocals within the melody of the songs themselves. And how well the echo, effects and layering of the songs are – well built, solid and kicking it. Starting out with “Drama” this is one cool and classically built song. Structured well with great timing, it just flies out of the speaker at you. This song is a favorite in my collection as of right now. I like the beginning of the song, soft shouting in the background with great effects and how it kind of sounds like cleansing water flowing over you. It has a positive, upbeat vibe to it that is consistent throughout the song. “Fly Away” has more of a sonic feel to it much like the movie “Trainspotting” had. Fast moving beats and effects all melding into one fusion song that moves like a train going mach one. This song does have some lyrical structure as well that is light and fun which matches the mood of the song. “Heat of the Night” has a deep bass beat as the backbone to this track. With good timing and rhythm within the song, lyrics fit the bill perfectly and that’s what the song calls for. Jimmy’s instincts in what plays good for the song will serve him well in the future. The fourth track “White Tiger” is this writer’s favorite song. This track starts out with spacey, trippy trance beats and effects with a soft crowd clap in the background. The beats rise above that chaotic sound into a psychedelia trance beat that makes you want to get up and shimmy around your living room or office. Good drum beat effects punctuate in the right areas of the song which again shows good instincts with what sounds best for the song. “Yjodaly” sounds like it’s from another planet for some reason. I guess the vibe of this song brings that vision in my head. I can imagine a space shuttle-like trip with this music as the background music – “spinning on the vintage side” and “you’re alive” – makes sense to me. The vocals are done well and fit the song perfectly. The final song “You’ll Never Know (Pyrofighter Remix)” is straight up dreamy beats, minor tones and layers of happy dance melodies and gets spaced out which makes for a nice break towards the end of the track.

The download of Drama will be available for FREE until Monday April 4. You can get it here.

EP Review – Ghosthouse – Fashionably Late


EP Review – Ghosthouse – Fashionably Late

Released: March 1, 2011

by Jade Sperry

JadedPhotography

Jimmy Con and Chuck. Photo courtesy of the band.

Ghosthouse is a Chicago IL project headed by the infamous Jimmy Con and his tasty beats. Jimmy is a singer/songwriter who makes some mighty fine beats and has dance tracks that are infectious and classy. Original beats, sampled beats mixed with original beats and old school beats make for a fine four song EP. The track listing is as follows:

  1. Private Dancer
  2. Analog Man
  3. I’m Not Your (Stepping Stone)
  4. Comearound

Fashionably Late was produced by Jimmy Con with his musical partner in crime Chuck. They equally share production credits as well as writing the tracks except for a cover by The Monkees.

It was mixed and mastered by Graeme Williams at Dr.Caw Studio in Northbrook, IL. He is their most trusted engineer as nobody is more intuitive when it comes to working with the infamous Ghosthouse gang. Crystal Bishop and her company Ear Candy Chicago are an integral part of Ghosthoue’s success and future plans. Besides managing Ghosthouse, Crystal also manages a group, Pyrofighter, that you should check out as well. (Ghosthouse did a remix for them that went to #1 on Purevolume). And the good news – Ghosthouse is currently in production for the follow up to this EP.

Starting with “Private Dancer” which from the get go sounds like a classic 80’s dance track in the vein of Prince and Sheila E – but only in the beats and music. The lyrics are reminiscent of making public scenes of affection, taking it off and being a private dancer for someone for that one night. I like the way the song flows, the vocals really suit the song and the timing is bang on. A good lighthearted dance tune about a night of passion. “Analog Man” has an awesome funky groove that is on the skank and dirty side. So good. I really like how intuitive Jimmy and Chuck are when working on the beats and timing of the vocals in the layers of the song. Speaking of “the power of the toolbox” and being an analog man who has the power, the touch and the total package. Skank and dirty indeed! Swagger also goes a long way for the hipster in this song. Covering the 1960’s song from The Monkees, “I’m Not Your (Stepping Stone)” has a good opening that doesn’t really seem to sound like the song until it hits the chorus. Impressive. I like the original fresh beats in the verses of the song which only hint at the original melody of the song. Vocals are done well and come in at the right times. The final song “Comearound” is a ballad that is wrapped in deep beats and vocals. This song actually feels like velvet coming out of the speaker its that good. Good timing, vocal and harmonies, this song has a soft sweet melody under all those deep beats. I also like the real passion in the vocals in this song. Well done Ghosthouse!