TonyDoug's CD Reviews
by tonydoug wright
Clouds Forming Crowns, Clouds Forming Crowns (Morphius Records, 2005)
THE BAND: Todd Tobias and Tim Tobias
THE HISTORY: Clouds Forming Crowns is a new Tobias brothers project. Todd and Tim have worked and performed with fellow Ohio artists such as Gem and Guided By Voices.
THE REVIEW: It is important to have an impressive rock ‘n roll resume because working with the right musicians and producers will open many doors of opportunities. Also, working with the right people will sharpen your skills as a singer, musician and songwriter. Take Tim and Todd Tobias for instance. They have spent the past five years performing, collaborating and producing music with Guided By Voices and frontman Robert Pollard’s side projects.
The result is the Clouds Forming Crowns self-titled release that definitely reflects an influence from Guided By Voices and The Rolling Stones. Both Tim and Todd have compiled an album with sixteen tracks of acoustic-driven rock songs that are both gritty and raw. Tracks such as ‘Are You Sleeping Well?’ and ‘Wish-Hound’ are standout efforts that will have you turning up the volume. Lyrically, Clouds Forming Crowns seem to have tapped into the same cosmic songwriting channel used by Robert Pollard. Overall, this release from Clouds Forming Clouds is an impressive debut by two veterans of the Ohio rock scene.
Starflyer 59, Talking Voice Vs Singing Voice (Tooth and Nail Records, 2005)
THE BAND: Jason Martin, Jeff Cloud and Frank Lenz
THE HISTORY: Since 1993, Starflyer 59, a California based band, has released over a dozen albums and EPs.
THE REVIEW: When I drive to Ohio to visit my family, I prepare for the trip by selecting some upbeat CDs that will keep me awake during the four-hour excursion. There are some bands that are always placed in the CD case due to their ability to keep me awake and alert during the long drive (i.e. Journey, The Pixies and Run DMC). Some bands (i.e. Galaxie 500) are good but they are not included on my drive because they excel at creating music that makes me want to sleep which is not good at all for road trips.
Starflyer 59’s Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice is one of those albums that would not be included on my list of road trip CDs due to its ultra-soothing and laid-back sound that is influenced by 80s synth-pop. So it may not be road trip material but Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice is a respectable album with a retro vibe that will transport you back to 1985. ‘Good Sons’ and ‘Good Living’ are two excellent tracks.