Friday, 27 June 2008

The Advancement of BTB

Hello guys. As most of you are now aware I'm working on a new podcast to accompany the blog so watch out for that. I'll have more details once I've started the main recording of it. Good times ahead I feel. However that does not mean this place will suddenly die because this is what has got the ball rolling so lets bring about some more music!

Again we find ourselves in LA and San Diego. I may as well just move there the amount of times I talk of bands from that area. This band is known as Lonely Mattress Salesman, the name inspired from when Steve Loase, the bands front man, went mattress shopping and saw these salesmen all alone. He pays homage to them and what a way to do it. This 3 piece piano driven soft rock band are amazing and have that uniqueness about them that surround major bands like Muse and so should be playing sold out shows and at major festivals. Why haven't they been signed yet? You record labels need to have a listen to this band and sign them, make them big. Piano led bands are a rarity in modern music so to find something this special is truly great.
BTB Favourite Song: You are no better.

Next we go to Chicago and home of a band known as Stone Descendant who play good old fashion rock music with a bit of a twist. This 5 piece have so much talent that its almost unnatural. You can't help to compare them to the likes of Pearl Jam, Nirvana and any of the big rock bands from the 70's. They have the tunes that you just have to dance along to and sing. At a time when the old style rock isn't as big as it used to be we need this band to become big and bring that sound back with a resounding, headbanging, crash. I don't think you'll be disappointed with this lot, I'm certainly not.

BTB Favourite Song: Midnight

And for our final act, ladies and gentlemen, we have Mute Critic from Louisiana. I like this band a lot and so had to give them a mention. These guys play a bit of slow rock, a bit of fast rock and some rap, very fast rap. I'd say they sound a bit like Smashing Pumpkins and Placebo. They have an excellent variety which is needed by a band if it want's to survive in this day and age. Mute Critic will survive and they will mute every critic they meet because any one with any sense of what good music is will not say Mute Critic are bad. This talented lot have got the sound to take them all the way and further. So listen and enjoy!

BTB Favourite Song: As It Was

Right that's todays post done and now I'm going to work on the podcast. Exciting stuff. Remember any suggestions, you can reach me on the MySpace page or

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A Medley of More Music.

Today feels really summery in my opinion, so today I'm going to give you some bands that are easy listening, bands that you can just enjoy while lounging about in the sun maybe with some kind of beverage. The biggest news this week is that Glasto kicks off this weekend. If you have a ticket you can go down to to the campsite from today so go for it. Get in the festival mood early. As for me I'll be stuck watching it on TV. Maybe I'll put a tent up in the garden...Anyway enough of this rambling. On to the music!

The first band was found by Mr Jack Gant of The Gantage Order so all thanks go to him for this mention. The band go by the name of Oh Mr Stereo, who are from Leeds. Oh Mr Stereo are a 4 piece and the band members are:

Mr Ste - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Mykey Stereo- Bass/Vocals
Disco Dave- Guitar/Vocals
Chris D - Drums/ Vocals

To me they sound a bit like The Fray and bands in that genre. I can see them becoming a favourite band for people from all backgrounds, their sound is that appealing and so give them a listen, you really won't regret it and tey will put you in a nice calm mood. Oh Mr Stereo currently have an EP out so go and buy it. Only £3 for 7 songs. Great deal there.

BTB Favourite Song: Eye to Eye

For our next we travel over to Los Angeles, again. Seriously I know talent thrives in LA but the number of times I end up mentioning's madness. This singer is simply known as Juliana and has talent both with her singing and her production skills. Everything you hear she has produced herself. Now this fits in with the summer theme because I can see her songs being played in the evening when people get up and dance after chilling all day. Her songs would also not be out of place in any nightclub, she has that great range. I can't predict the future but I see Juliana being in the charts soon enough and being played on the radio worldwide.

BTB Favourite Song: Rock By Numbers

And for our final act, its Badges from Bournemouth. Why do I choose them in this summer themed post. In my opinion this band is a festival band, band that should be going places. The band is made up of 3 guys, Adam, Nick and Chris. You can tell these guys have been influenced by some of the biggest bands around and they take that influence and create their own brand. Acoustic indie rock at its pure finest.

BTB Favourite Song: Careless

So concludes another BTB post. Remember keep reading and listening and send me the feedback either at:

MySpace Page:



Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Big 20!

Well we're now at post number 20, which means there are more posts than birthdays I've had! So from now a new era in Broken Toy Box's history begins. The blog is getting revamped, already the colour of it has been changed and so will everything else. No longer will we just have 2 bands, that's getting knocked up to 3 and there will be pictures of the bands. Lets liven this place up a bit!

The first band is from North Carolina, USA and go by the name of Incidental Encounter. We're talking metal here and good old fashioned headbanging. This 5 piece is made up of Kevin Moberty on Lead Vocals, Robert LaFollette on Bass, Robby Moya-Mendez on Drums, Anthony Dressler on Guitar and backing vocals and Aaron Loftin on guitar however he is joining the Marines so will be leaving the band. Incidental Encounter haven't had a lot of exposure outside their State, which is a shame because they deserve it. Hopefully you guys who are reading this will give them that. They have great songs from the loud Mike V to the great Tear Me Down. I rate this band highly and believe in the future they will be playing festivals all over the place. They have that kind of sound.

BTB Favourite Song: 'Tear Me Down'

From North Carolina to the North of England, Preston/Wigan, to be kind of precise and a band called Pencil In. They only fully formed during this years spring but you'd be forgiven if you thought they had been playing for years. In such a short space of time they have refined their sound, recorded a number of great tunes. The band members are:

Bill Orrick- Lead Vocals/ Guitar
Tony Arnott - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Neil Sharrock - Bass
David Perkins - Drums/Percussion

They want to sound different to everything else that people hear everyday on the radio and I think they have taken their first step to achieving that. According to a lot of sources Glasvegas are the best new band in Britain. I challenge that and say listen to Pencil In. Miles better in my opinion. All their songs are of great quality.

BTB Favourite Song: It's hard to choose but I'll say Excess to Impress.

And finally we go to Toronto, Canada for the final band of today. They are known as After The War and are great. This 3 piece class themselves as a Rock/Pop outfit and I think their sound is great. It's not totally unique (what is unique these days?) but they do what they do very well. They only have two songs on their MySpace at the moment but they are both very well composed. There isn't a lot of information about this band floating around but they have been together since 2006. However there two songs are loud and really wake you up. Get listening, spread the word and get more people to listen to them.

BTB Favourite Song: WW3

So concludes the revamp of Broken Toy Box. The 3 bands mentioned are great so listen to them all and spread the word. Also send me feedback, comment, e-mail, even send a messenger pidgeon. Until next time!


Monday, 23 June 2008

The Difficulties.....

Maybe I've hit a rut, maybe it's music in general but recently its been harder to find bands that make me sit up and listen. I've noticed a lot of the same old stuff out there. This blog is to find the new bands that are the cream of the crop and so far that journey's been great. Today it nearly took me 2 hours to find the first band that stood out to me. Maybe I'm becoming a cynical bastard...Anyway today's two bands have been found and I know you'll like them. Also I would just like to make a correction. Total Movement have informed me that Joe Dickinson is taking over the duties of guitar player.

The first band are from Pennsylvania, USA and they go by the name of Something Wicked. This twosome are kept busy with bringing their music together. Scott Nichols is vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and bassist while Peter Vanderheyden the drummer jumps onto other instruments when need be. Two guys who sound like they are a 5 piece. Brilliant. Their music forte is rock, both slow songs and quick dance til you drop songs. In my humble opinion I can't help but think these guys could be a mix of Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana but doing it in their individual way. With so much talent I'm also surprised they haven't been snapped up by a record label. Like the other bands I have mentioned I champion these guys to go far.

BTB Favourite Song: Let's Play Hangman

Next we have Book Club also from Pennysylvania and also a two piece. These guys have a more poppy sound which I think its great. Their sound is really uplifting especially on a sunny day like today. Making up Book Club are Craig Almquist and Joe Giuffirda who have really hit the spot when it comes to good music. A good old pop sound with a twist of folk. Their lyrics also have some meaning and are really easy to sing along. If they continue what they are doing then I can't help but see these guys becoming big. If you are near Lancaster, Pennysylvania on the 18th July check them out at The Chameleon. You won't regret it.

BTB Favourite Song: Anything

So another end to the blog. Just a little note. You can now speak to me live via MSN. Just add to your contacts and we can talk about anything from music to why flys repeatedly fly into windows. All good stuff.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Music: We all crave it...

Right into business today where I have chosen two fantastic bands yet again for your listening pleasure. However just a quick reminder that Carmen's album is out on the 30th of June so preorder it now, just like I have! Also Who is Chuy Vega? and Private Dancers have added new songs to their MySpace pages so check them out. Today we have two very different approaches to a similar genre...

The first band hail from Vancouver, Canada and are called Empire Alley. They are an indie four piece who have been friends for 20 years and formally formed Empire Alley in 2006. Since then they have been gaining great acclaim in their home town and now spreading thorughout Canada. Citing their influences as Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys these four guys won't let you down. I'd say all their songs are great but the one that stands out is Orange Revolution. These guys have the sound of a band who have been working together for years, learnt from their influences and created something big. If I had to tip Canada's next top band these guys would surely be frontrunners.

BTB Favourite Song: Orange Revolution

Now we move to my favourite city in the world, good old London. London has always been a hive of creativity, ingenuity and entertainment. One such band that provides all three in spades is Total Movement. They have combined the genres of rock with electronica without any problems it seems. This exciting 4 piece have recently released their first EP so get it. The vocals of Paul Mansfold along with brother Alan Mansfold on Bass, James Field on Drums and Ollie Balman as guitarist and producer create a perfect harmoic balance that I feel has been recently missing from the radio. The originality of how these guys work should definently be noted and all music lovers better watch out for Total Movement. I see these guys breaking into the big leagues sooner rather than later. If you can check them out live. Apparently they're even better. I know I will be.

BTB Favourite Song: The Heat

So to the end of another post we have come. Remember comments, feedback etc. If you are reading this just drop me a hello at or Look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

More music for you hungry lot!

I mention hungry in the title because I'm hungry...I wish I had food. Anyway, unless you're going to offer me food, you are actually here to read about and listen to the music I have found and that I like. Also an alert just came up to say Carl Barat of Dirty Pretty Things has acute pancreatis. I wish him well. Also all you lot in LA and the surrounding areas, Crossed Keys have a tour bus event, $25 to join them. It will be a wise investment. Also to mention Carmen's debut album is out this Monday. Get a copy!

Right then lets start with today's batch of music. The first band is from Towson, Maryland, USA and go by the name of Fire In The Hole. They are a good rock band not quite like any other and yet they are if you know what I mean. Once you think you have this lot pinned down they do a bit of a reversal and change. Just compare two of their songs "The Human Race Erased" and "Woah Yeah Dance Tryna". This band are currently in the studio recording, I can only hope it's an album because that would be a wise investment if there was one. These guys know how to make music and I advise any bands starting up now to have a listen. Even without any singles released, Fire In The Hole are already raising the bar.

BTB's Favourite Song: Woah Yeah Dance Tryna

And now onto Leigh, England and a band simply known as PARK. They are an Indie Rock band, Another One?! I hear you cry, but fear not because they sound different. I could call a mix here between Arctic Monkeys, The Who and Muse especially on the track "Communication Breakdown". The actually rhythm and tune sounds like something that Muse would put together, the lyrics by the Arctic Monkeys and just the pure stadium epicness like The Who. So yeah a great mix and great talent from this band of five. Give them a listen and champion this band. They should already be getting awards.

BTB's Favourite Song: Communication Breakdown.

Listen, give me feedback and suggestions. Who knows? Maybe you'll be reviewed next...

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

And on we go

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's double update. Of course you did. Before we begin you may have heard a small indie band, Creaky Boards, claimed that Coldplay copied their melody for Viva La Vida. Well after listening to both tracks I can say although there are similarities Coldplay have done the better job, not to say Creaky Boards haven't done a good job. However getting publicity this way isn't a great way to build your reputation...

Anyway enough of that little life lesson and on with music. We start in New Jersey, USA, with a band called Agency. Now Agency have had one album out already which was released in 2006, however I haven't heard it yet. What I have heard is a handful of songs from their MySpace page which are good songs. Agency have a good range and can do both slow ballads, take for example their song "Dissolve to faster headbanging tunes, like their song "In The Static." I can't pigeon hole these guys. They have all the right ingredients that make a good band. So order their album, like I will be, give it a listen and keep an eye Agency.

BTB Recommended Song: In The Static

Now to The Windy City, Chicago and a band known as Searching 4 Charlie. They are an Indie Rock band and in my opinion sound a bit like Jimmy Eat World. These guys are a great band and have a lot of musical talent between the four of them. I'm quite surprised these guys haven't been signed by a major record label but I don't think they'll have to wait too long for that to happen. These guys have an EP you can order as well as loads of other merchandise if you so wish. Check them out.

BTB Recommended Song: EXP

So brings about the end of another day of music. Enjoy!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Post Two of the Day: The Gantage Order Interview

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for the first ever Broken Toy Box interview to be published. A little bit of background before we begin. We live in a time where there aren't many comedy bands making it big apart from Tenacious D and when The Mighty Boosh start their band another one will grace our lives. However this isn't about the big bands we all know and love, it's about the small bands who do what they love. Also this interview was not the conventional sit down interview. Replace a room with a walk through a town centre at midnight when members of the following band are a bit drunk. Much more entertaining this way. I introduce to you The Gantage Order.

Members: Chris Page and Jack Gant
Genre: Comedy

So why The Gantage Order?

Jack: Well its quite simple really. Gantage is a mix of my name and Chris' name and Order came from Will Forder who is no longer in the band. It could've been The Orderage Gant, The Order Gantage, The Gorder Age. The Gantage Order made the most sense.

What inspired you?

Jack: Well my cousin bought a guitar and so then I bought a guitar and started playing it. Then other people bought guitars, except Page who already had a guitar. Then we made songs about the people we know.

Chris: Also trees and clouds inspire me!

Jack: Yeah, trees and clouds too.

At this point in time Chris starts walking along a grassy embankment, wasted, and then goes into a car park. Jack and I follow, where Jack and Chris then hug and spin in circles. This leads to Chris flying into me and near death as we nearly fall down a hill...On with the interview!

So tell me about your first gig.

Jack: Well our first gig was in my back garden. I think my neighbours enjoyed it.
Chris: I'm pretty.

Do you have an album in the works?
Jack: We already have an album out! We're currently working on the second one which will be called Friends of The Gantage Order. It'll be a well good album with even more great songs. That's not a surprise though because I'm writing them.

Chris: Lalala

Jack (as we're passing a little grassy area): Do you remember when I fell over that little hill with a kebab which went everywhere?

Me: Yes mate. And Chris ran off down that road all the way to his house.

Chris: Actually it was that road (points).

So does the Gantage Order have a tour in the works?

Jack: Well if by tour you mean between my house and Chris' house then yes we're touring! It'll be fun.

At this point we reach my house where I must depart ways with The Gantage Order.

Jack: Are you actually going to remember this tomorrow and publish it?
Chris: You better remember.

As you can see boys, I did remember.

Post One of the Day: Reviews

In this day and age it's not enough to now all about the mainstream bands that we hear on the radio. Every music fan is looking for something new, something original, something only a few people have heard before.

For our first band we go to Germany, home of the legendary Scorpions, and into the genre of rock. Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you Tricky Lobsters and their take on the whole rock and heavy metal scene. There is only one word that can do this band justice, extraordinary. The band have been together for just over 2 years but have the sound that makes them sound like they've been together for at least 10. All their songs have exciting riffs, which I'm sure, had they already been famous, would have featured on the 25 greatest riffs list of all time. I say check them out and let your headbanging side come out. My personal favourite from Tricky Lobster is "Keep an Eye on the Road" though all their songs are excellent.

Now we go from Germany and its hard rockers to Los Angeles, California and the rock/rap combination of Life Nine . This is the kind of genre that I am a really big fan of as it brings about two completely different genres and mixes them so well. Jason's, lead vocalist, has that air of familiarity yet you can never quite put yor finger on why he sounds familiar to you. One thing is that he is very talented at what he does. Then we have the rapper, Stix who can slow things down like he does on the track "Take Me There", or speed things up like he does on the track "Kiss Fast". Point is Stix has a range, something I feel a rapper needs if he wants to compete with the best. Combine these two great vocalists with the likes of Rob Josefsson on Guitar, Jesse Josefsson on Drums and Mike Gonsolin on Bass and you have the makings of a great band in the making. Life Nine are currently working on their debut album. I advise you to buy it when it is released as it is something you will not the future. My favourite track here is Kiss Fast as it brings out the raw talent all the band members have.

Now we move onto the final band to complete this hat trick of creativity and we move to Canada and a band called Alert The Medic . This band is kind of a pop rock group, formerly known as RUDY. They have two albums out, one under their old old name and a new self titled album. I like their sound a lot and can see their songs being played in all kinds of situations. The band have been together since 2002 and it shows in their music. Each member has drawn on his own experience to bring about a strong sound and combine it with the others to have a band that have already gained critical acclaim in their native Canada. However their music is struggling to break into the UK which I think is a real shame. So get listening to them, get your friends listening to them and give them the credit they so undoubtedly deserve. Every song is a gem and each one will have you singing along as the lyrics become familiar to you because once you hear these guys you won't stop listening.

Listen, enjoy and send me feedback!

Friday, 13 June 2008

So I'm shit at updating...

Right I now promise full service. It's been a bit of a hectic week and adjusting to living with parents again is hard and stressful. However that's enough about my life, unless you want to hear some more, and onto what this blog is all about. New Music. So what musical wonders to I have for you today? Read on and find out...

Our first stop this week is to Denmark and the genre of metal/grunge. The band are called Mirror in Charge and they are good. Not great yet but they'll get there. To me they sound a bit like a young Metallica so if your a fan of them check out Mirror in Charge. I predict big things for this band as they get more and more experience because we all know Metal never dies and this band is one band representing the new generation of metal rockers. Also to note is that all their songs are available to download for free from their MySpace which I can say is a good thing. Download their songs, put them on your mp3 player and take this new wave of metal with you.

From Denmark we move to where else but Los Angeles again. Honestly I think they've put something in the water in LA, because a lot of talented bands are rising to the surface there. One such band is Crossed Keys, a solid rock band. The band are led by the vocals of Night Maiden, who's voice I could listen to all day, it's that good. Then we have Wylde Rhodes on lead/rhythm guitar, Shaggy Strange also swapping between lead and rhythm guitar, Freddy Patron on Bass and The Beast on drums. In my own opinion, they sound a bit like Evanescence but no matter how big Evanescence are, I think Crossed Keys have something that will take them further than that mark, something bigger. They are currently looking for a record label so if there are any people from music companies reading this, check them out and sign them. You'd be foolish not to.

And so we come the end of another installment of the BTB Blog. Remember check me out here or here. Also send me feedback and suggestions!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Full Service Resumes

Well I'm back after an emotionally and physically draining week which didn't leave me a lot of time to find music, however Summer is now officially here which gives me all the time in the world to do what I want, one of those things being finding new music. First of all the members of Battery Acid have decided to change their band name to For The Moment so as of now Battery Acid no longer exists.

The first artist I have found this week is Ocean Reid from London a musician who concentrates on the acoustic side of things. If you're looking for a sound that will keep you relaxed and chilled throughout the summer then look no further as Ocean Reid provides in the very best of music you could ever hope for. My personal favourite is "Words Like Cold Water" which I believe brings out the best of Ocean Reid's talents, though his other songs are all close seconds. Ocean Reid doesn't just have great tunes but strong, meaningful lyrics and you will find yourself singing along.

Now we move to Brazil and more importantly Rio de Janeiro, one of the new homes of great music and a band, a band known as Private Dancers, a pop rock combo. The band is a five piece with Fake on vocals who can switch her style in an instant, a rare talent, then there's Johnny on guitar, Deanna on Keyboards, Carol on Bass and Gabriel on Drums. My favourite song is Empty Room but they're all good. We've had one good band come out of Brazil in the form of CSS, now it is the time of Private Dancers to follow and be embraced by the music world.

Monday, 2 June 2008

New Week, New Music.

So a whole weekend without any updates. I think it was worth is it for my Uni's Summer Ball hosted by the likes of Alex Zane and th E4 voice over guy along with B*Witched (seriously not bad), Mutya Buena and The Automatic. I don't care what people say about The Automatic, they are amazing live. Oh and the staying up until 5am drinking away. Anyway lets jump into the music that I'm listening to currently.

The first band were suggested to me by the guys and girls of Battery Acid. The name of this band is Finely Tuned Assassins, who are really good. Finely Tuned Assassins hail from Southampton and are a hardcore/screamo band. The five members are Danger , Dan, Fred, Nick and Statch. In my opinion they sound a bit like a mix of 30 Seconds to Mars and Disturbed. A good mix I feel though it must be noted that these guys are bringing their own sound out which is hard to do in a world full of tough competition. Listen to them, tell your friends and and follow them because they will be big. Favourite Song for me by Finely Tuned Assassins is "This is a Siren."

Now we go over to Los Angeles and a band known as Underwater City People. They are punk redefined, which is something that has been needed for a long time. The band members are Celeste Kim (bass and vocals), Jon Rustad (Guitar and Vocals) and Jon Rygiewicz. These guys writes songs about the current problems in the US and create a social commentary through their music. Excellent lyrical work which not only can be sung along to but also make you think about the subject they cover, not an easy thing to do for a band and they pull it off spectacularly. My favourite song by Underwater City People is Hypnotized. Give them a listen.

Remember send me your feedback here.