Friday, October 21, 2016

Album Review: Bleeker- Erase You

By: Song River

A deliciously tasty, gritty, hip-shaking dig seeps the urban rock n roll street sounds of the Canadian band, Bleeker. This alt band out of Orillia, Canada is serving up a lush, taunting side of raw rock n roll and Bleeker is your front door servicemen as vocalist Taylor Perkins, Guitarist Cole Perkins, and Bassist Mike Van Dyk are ready to be what your ears need.

Having already released their self-titled EP earlier this year, Bleeker knew the time was primed and ready-steady-go to bring on home their full-length studio album, Erase You. This album encapsulates all the same fun-spirited elements as their EP and is a without a doubt a live in your face get your rocks off album... almost. It certainly tips the scales and bares the mantra mission statement of- hella rock music made to make you move, sing along, and jam out to while forgetting all the days piles of crap. Bleeker's new album, Erase You, is the deep rooted element found in the early days of The Black Crowes mixed with the heavier mixes of blues rock styling jam of Led Zeppelin, until it is about three-fourths of the way through and then it takes a journey into more of a hard rock pop sound. It almost seems to switch gears from the gutsy blues to a softer side of hard pop rock. Without a doubt Bleeker, front-man lead vox, Taylor Perkins who has sensual territory markings imparted as Robert Plant exuded in his early days, and that boyish coyness of naughtiness of an young Mick Jagger. As overheard at a Bleeker concert this past year, “You just want to lick his deliciousness up.”

Those earlier days of Bleeker's beginnings (early 2003) and forward have now settled themselves into a catchword driven of producing quality rock with blues and garage pop rock nuances. This maturity can be heard on, Erase You, as the first track released, “Highway” drives the vision of what Bleeker seemed to have been born to do. This album titillates the blues rock you are wanting satisfied, that jonesing you get when you want unadulterated rock for most of the album. Bringing in the heavier trippy sounds of alt psychedelia the song “Erase You” leaves a taste of a malleable groove, it is sweet, it is well-written, it is a number one. “Radio Radio” is a treacly measure as it bops along- the tune that gives you flashbacks to the late 70's post/dance pop punk sound where Elvis Costello would be proud to say they covered ever so well.
That drive along the night shift gears down as “Where's Your Money” once again shows the dynamic goods Bleeker creates to satisfy your mood.

Taking a turn right about here, Bleeker switched it felt with into a hard pop rock tune with their number, “Emergency” and the harder side of rock ballads whines its way around and over on “Close My Eyes.” That track is probably the most typical rock sound in lyrics and rhythm. Ending with a less bluesy number, as it seemed as the album progressed a little over halfway through the blues side gave way to a more traditional sound of 'hard' rock pop, comes their final tune, “Every Time You Call.”

Erase You”. Album “Erase You” will be released Friday,October 21st)

Taylor Perkins – vocals
Cole Perkins – guitar
Mike Van Dyk – bass 

Erase You Tracks:

Getting Out
Erase You
I'm Not Laughing Now
Still Got Love
Radio Radio
Where's Your Money
Close My Eyes

Every Time You Call 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Metro Station Interview with Mason Musso and Trace Cyrus-
Let's Get Married in Vegas

With Song River

Ready to let go? C'mon dance it's Metro Station!

Metro Station has now taken the headline lead and is now headlining their own tour with Palaye Royale. A strong sense of who they are, what they want, and the spirit of creating and sharing their good time pop punk rock music with their fans is at the heart and soul of Metro Station. Having taken a brief hiatus and now back stronger than ever, Metro Station has done what only a few bands can do- dreamed of making music, grew up to make it happen, kept the fun of what they are about alive, and took their independent streak of success to its completion. As they continue to build and grow their sound and create such a hits as “Shake it”, “She Likes Girls,” and Married In Vegas” we know they are making their way- the only way they know how... independently with their fans in their hearts.

Song River: Listening to your last album, Savior (2015), it is such a danceable album. Something noticeable though is Metro Station doesn't seem to follow the trends or the fads set. You all make what you like.

Trace: We would agree with that completely. I think Mason and I are really inspired by each other. There isn't really a band we look to for a popular style or anything. We found a formula that works for both of us as singers, we like our formula it has worked for us. And I think our true fans notice that.

Song River: It seems like when you listen to your album and then hear and watch you live that what comes across is you are who you are. Is that a good summation?

Mason: Absolutely! It's very hard for us to hide who we are. Our personalities are pretty big.

Song River: How do you all balance that? With both of you having big personalities? How do you balance that between yourselves?

Trace: I think the older we get communication gets easier. When you are younger you just kind of put it on the back burner when something arises. Now we take care of it.

Song River: Well, being in a band certainly has to have good lines of communication. Many say it is like a marriage and a family.

Trace: Yes, definitely with a whole bunch of guys touring all around, it is. I think a lot of people don't realize how challenging it can be to be in a band. I think most marriages only last about 50% of the time and it seems it is the same with bands nowadays.

Song River: In our society, it has been hard for males especially to be open and talk about things would you both agree?

Mason: Absolutely. It is like Trace said, it is a 'marriage,' but it is also a business. You can tell with us and by what we are doing that it isn't always all about the business, we are having fun with it and love doing it. You have a fine line. Some bands are all fun, some are all business. You have to find that happy medium.

Song River: Your music though overall is about girls, partying, relationships and a few drinking references in there...

Mason: Just a little. Just a little bit. [laughed]

Trace: Just a little. [laughed]

Song River: Your music is a very carefree type of spirit. Have you ever considered tackling songs that deal with society, politics, etc..?

Trace: We have a new acoustic EP coming out this December. We like to write about love. Even though the songs have drinking, partying and sex but if you look at the big picture of each song it's about relationships. We want to give people come and listen to our music and have a place to escape and have fun. Even though most of our songs are upbeat we do have our sad songs. “Seventeen Forever” is one I think and “Kelsey.”

Song River: Have either of you ever had people say your style of music doesn't seem to match your leather/tattoo's/hair etc?

Trace: I get that all the time because of how tattooed I am. If I were in a metal or hard rock band people would expect it of me. My image is outside the norm of the pop world. It is a strategic motion and one that is not boring.

Song River: You have to find your stamp that says who you are. Looking at your family connections way, way back you both did have to create your own identity. From the early years of a certain TV show and the actors/singers family connections. Was this setting yourselves apart something focused on with a purpose or was it a natural progression?

Trace: I think in some ways we are still distancing ourselves from our families you know? We may have to battle throughout our career that we are our own and that didn’t bring us our success. We have never used the same connections that Miles or my dad have had. We don't have any of the same managers, booking agents. Mason and I are very proud that we have gone out and have done this on our own. We have been funding ourselves since we started at 17. Mason and I have been the one keeping the ship running. Everything that goes on we handle. It is a lot of work, but we are very proud of it.

Song River: You know unless you dig you would never know there are any relationships.

Trace: That's the thing Song, back when we got signed. Nobody knew who we were. When we got our record deal, nobody knew who the hell we were.

Mason: We were just band on MySpace.

Trace: Yeah, and when we got signed nobody knew all the connections. When we got signed social media wasn't as big as it is now, sure we were known on MySpace, but I never told anyone my last name. Sure, slowly it came out, but for the first year of Metro Station, it was not talked about at all.

Song River: It would seem then that your formula of how you started worked. You all stressed your own identity. By taking independence and control you now have really set that you are a 21st-century band. Putting all the pieces together of what you read, your press, your music and talking with you- you are really who you say you are. Fans appreciate that transparency of honesty. Thank you.

Trace: Well, thank you.

Song River: What can fans expect to experience when they attend your “Savior” Tour?

Mason: This is our first headline tour since our getting back together, so they can expect to hear us play a lot more songs,
which is great. We will playing all our classic songs, songs off of Savior, our EP, and just have fun and a great time. When you come to that venue, it's a time to not let anything have an affect on your life, and just to cut loose.

Song River: You have chosen some pretty intimate venues to perform in on this tour.

Trace: It depends, but I think right now where we are in our career we prefer playing the smaller venues and enjoy packing them out and having them all full of energy. I think we are in a good spot right now. We haven’t released any new music in about a year now, we've just been touring and dropping music videos, so I think for us right now the smaller clubs feel best.

Song River: Isn't Metro Station doing 'meet and greets' at each location too?

Trace: Yes. When our fans get the VIP package they get the acoustic set and some exclusive merchandise before the show and a few other perks like that.

Song River: On this tour, you have Palaye Royale joining you.

Trace: Yes. We really like their music and they are fans of ours. It has been great getting to know them better and their style too. They are really good musicians and we are super excited that they are on tour with us.

Song River: Does Metro Station have a particular song that they love to perform live?

Trace: I think our new music video “Married In Vegas” it's one of the songs with a beat that you can't help but have a good time.

Song River: On social media under the comments section of that video people kept asking if you Trace actually did marry your girlfriend. You have addressed it. Who did the filming?

Trace: I think you take what publicity you can get too.

Mason: Really too, I think it shows you how real the video feels. It shows a real feeling.

Trace: It is a husband and wife team we have used for a few other videos. We really like their work. Watts is their video team name. We plan to continue to use them.

Song River: Mason why was it time to create an acoustic EP?

Mason: Hoping to get it out before Christmas. We wanted to do something different. It's a little-laid back but still sounds like Metro Station. We really like it.

Song River: How does it feel when you are performing and you look out of your audience and you see your fans singing and emotionally attached to what you're bringing them?

Trace: For me [paused] it is just shocking. When you grow up as a kid and so badly want to be a rock star and you’re told only so many people can be successful at it, but to have a few hindered kids every night sing your words it is cool. We are both outsiders. Outside growing up in high school and family- the black sheep and here we are. I think it's enough to say we made what we wanted to happen- happen.
It's an honor.

Mason: You know when you play these songs over and over again every night but when you see the reaction from your fans it kicks me back to when we wrote it originally and what made it so special in the first place.

Song River: Trace you said you both are the 'black sheep' of the family. As outcasts, I think so many artists can relate to their childhood of being an outsider. What was that like and how have you gone about developing a sense of yourselves?

Trace: For me, I grew up in Tennessee. At my high school, I was pretty much a loser with my style and who I was. When I moved to California and met Mason I felt like I kind of found who I was. I think Metro Station really gave me that identity point that I didn’t have before.

Mason: I grew up in Dallas, Texas. My brothers lived in California and were already making money acting. I decided to come to California cause everyone was asking, "What are you going to do?"   I met Trace and the rest is history.

Song River: There are certain moments of time in your own history attitude plays a huge part.

Trace: Completely. You can choose to react positive. It is what you make out of it.

Song River: 2017?

Trace: We are going to focus on dropping singles. Every month or so our plans is to drop a new song and a new video. We want to keep giving the fans what they want.

Metro Station Website

"Married In Vegas"

Metro Station prior to their show does an acoustic VIP show!
Check out some of the photos from their acoustic VIP gig in Arizona!

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