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Volume 60 Reviews

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Shaman’s Harvest “Here It Comes”

Already featured on Monday Night Football, Shaman’s Harvest’s “Here It Comes” has a very comfortable country-rock groove and big chorus. The Missouri-based outfit has been plugging away since the late 1990s, and frontman Nathan Hunt survived a bout with throat cancer as the band delivered their strongest music to date.

Jeremih “London”

The man behind club and hit radio mainstays such as “Birthday Sex,” “Down on Me” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em” has another potential speaker gem with “London.” The new track features Stefflon Don, Krept and Konan in this track from Jeremiah’s summer mixtape drop Late Nights: Europe. The guest stars on this song provide a more reggae feel which compliments Jeremih’s slick vocals. Among the highlights is a throwback reference to the days of ‘90s sitcoms when it slips in Mrs. Huxtable in a jarring juxtaposition to its overall suggestive content.

Jahkoy “California Heaven”

Toronto-based artist Jahkoy already has one album under his belt, Temptations. The rapper/singer, who cites Pharrell and Andre 3000 as influences, signed at the beginning of this year to Def Jam Recordings and his second, yet-to-be named album, will feature “California Heaven.” The track has the bass-thumping beat of any contemporary club song but features a laid-back vibe synonymous with the state it’s titled and modeled after. Indeed, the Golden State doesn’t solely serve as a name filler; parts of the song could almost be an advertisement for the state including the hook-starting verse “Heaven must be somewhere in California/No place I’ve seen compares to California.”

Lajan Slim “Haitians”

Lajan Slim may be a Broward County, Florida product, but he has held on tightly to his roots as evidenced by the title of his breakout single. “Haitians” is riddled with words and phrases from the Caribbean island, “picklese,” “kompa,” “sak kap fet” and even the artist’s name — “Lajan” means money in Creole. The rap isn’t blisteringly fast, but it speeds by smoothly enough that this song will undoubtedly have listeners Googling the lyrics while replaying it to catch all the subtle wordplay. While it’s crammed with information, “Haitians” proves to be a top-shelf debut single.

Waterloo Revival “Backwood Bump
Their name is derived from the original moniker of the city of Austin, Texas, and their country sound is not unlike many of the bands that have come out of their home town and state. Waterloo Revival (Waterloo is Austin’s original name) is a two-man outfit, comprised of Cody Cooper and George Birge. Their track “Backwood Bump” is a tribute to great times everyone looks forward to on Friday night. It starts with steady beat and a little strumming that’ll get toes tapping and your head bobbing. The chorus boasts, ‘Spin it round, dip it down, ‘til you hear the baseline thump / Front, back, side to side, that’s how we do the Backwood Bump.’ If you’re at all inspired by feel-good country music, this one will have you moving.

Black Stone Cherry “Soul Machine”

Though the name of their newest album is Kentucky, there’s nothing “bluegrass” about this band or their music. For the past 15 years, Black Stone Cherry has been banging out their own version of southern rock, gathering a very solid following and Billboard chart placements to boot (not to mention, they’ve topped the U.K. rock chart three times and have had sold-out U.K. tours). From this new album comes the track “Soul Machine” which sees the quartet venturing into new territories. Specifically, a horn section and female back-up singers, which definitely put the “soul” into “Soul Machine.” It has a big chorus and catchy riff, which is exactly what you’d expect from BSC. They band keeps getting bigger and bigger, so if you haven’t checked them out yet, get started with “Soul Machine.” – Dave Manack

Russ “Losin’ Control”

From the incubator that births some of the best hip hop in the country, Atlanta’s latest is Russ with his single, “Losin Control.” Although a local star with 11 independent albums behind him, the rest of us are catching up with the 23-year-old rapper/singer/producer. His area of expertise is almost the complete opposite of most Atlanta trap rappers, yet his production and melodic songs remain catchy and upbeat. Think the Weeknd singing below the Mason-Dixon. For those girls that like to lap dance and chill. – Kristofer Kay

One Less Reason “Break Me”

Formed back in 1998, One Less Reason is a product of their time. In fact, it sounds like they’re still there. A spin of their new single, “Break Me”, and you’ll remember the drill, too. Loud vocals until the requisite melody, tuned-down guitars, piled on angst. All reminders of when FM radio fell to the dramatically formulaic nu-rawk. Almost 20 years later metal, as moved on, some bands will remain the same. And if you liked ‘90s rock (Tonic, Matchbox 20, etc.), chances are that’s one more reason to check out One Less Reason. – Kristofer Kay

Message From Sylvia “Heart of War”

Stop-start riffs, catchy choruses and driving drums are the calling card of much of today’s “alt-metal” movement, and Message From Sylvia’s “Heart of War” has all of that in spades. Helmed by three brothers—Zach Lopez-Smith (drums) Isaac Lopez-Smith (bass) and Dane Lopez-Smith (guitar)—and fronted by DoryDrive singer Matthew Nevit, the quartet’s new track “Heart of War” is on par with the rest of the music that leads this ever-growing genre. – Dave Manack

Tove Lo “Cool Girl”

Tove Lo, the songstress of Forever 21’s national anthem “Talking Bodies,” is back with her next single, “Cool Girl.” It’s the type of song that still begs the question whether or not Ms. Lo remains comfortable in that darkened place somewhere between incredulous lounge crooner and overly-ambitious opening act. Destined to play in Camrys across America on their way to the mall, “Cool Girl” can actually find a home on your club’s set list since the lyrics are relatable to your entertainers, and the beat is just infectious enough to play a few times a night without reaching “Talking Bodies”-level annoyance.

Red Cafe “She A Bad One”

Guyana-born rapper Red Cafe’s “She A Bad One” may have been inspired by a trip to a strip club. It’s undeniable what Red Cafe is talking about in this track with lyrics such as “Watch it dip low then it levitate/Shawty hop up on the pole and she demonstrate.” While Red Cafe has been a player in the underground rap game for approximately two decades, his mixtape “American Psycho” is sure to be recognized even by cursory genre followers, with such names as Fabolous, Jeremih, T-Pain, The Game and 2 Chainz featured on the album. “She A Bad One” also includes a verse by E-40, a previous collaborator of Red Cafe’s. – Eugenio Torrens

Against Himself “Within”

Self-proclaimed as “hard, heavy, powerful and catchy,” on its Facebook page, Against Himself is a four-piece hard rock/metal hybrid band that formed in the fall of 2014 in Denver, Co. The track “Within” seems to be an anthem against authority with lines such as “Lies injected in all of us/We are blind/Infected/All hope is lost/The damage is done through self infliction.” While the hook and parts of the song peak aggressively, the majority of the track is a nice blend of alternative rock making the song simultaneously fierce and catchy. – Eugenio Torrens

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