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Reviews

Free 2009 Summer Sampler from Fearless Records

Fearless Records has just released a free 2009 Summer Sampler which includes unreleased songs from Breathe Carolina, The Word Alive, and Lets Get It. Other featured artists include Eye Alaska, A Skylit Drive, Sparks The Rescue and Artist vs. Poet. You can download the 7-song digital album from the above link and from their MySpace page. I must admit I was very pleasantly surprised when I heard the entire compilation - it's a first class, varied & funky rock sampler. Great set of bands!

Mushrooms Suck by Jupiter Skydive – a high energy dance/electronica

Just recently I came across some tracks from this album on thesixtyone.com and couldn't resist digging more. Mushrooms Suck is a very energetic compilation of breakcore/electro/industrial/drum 'n' bass tracks that will just keep your head moving. It is Jupiter Skydive' (Nick) second (out of three) albums and, in my opinion, the best. Every track of the album is different and interesting - my favorite is "Off Road Ice Cream Truck", but it is a close call.

The Johns’ foresight/poorsight free album now under Creative Commons on FrostWire

The Johns is a Chicago based indie rock band composed of four life-long friends who are determined to keep their music independent of popular trends and opinions of others. "[They] aim to proceed as an undefinable sort of pop music, drawing from a history of playing metal, jazz, funk, blues, folk and art rock and pulling from influences as varied as Neil Young, Mike Patton, Television, tin-pan alley jazz, The Police, Les Paul & Mary Ford and onwards and upwards."

Chicken Invaders – modern rendition of 80’s classic arcade game

Chicken Invaders is a nicely designed arcade game based on the 80's hit. The goal is to defend the planet earth and the entire human race from the revenge hungry chickens from another galaxy. You need to shoot as fast and as precise as possible to see only drumsticks falling from the sky and whatever you do - never touch asteroids or eat the eggs!

VLC

VLC is a free and open sourced very versatile video player. I've used it ever since I can remember and I've never came across an audio or video file it hasn't been able to open and play (see the full list of supported files below). Aside from it's amazing playback capabilities, VLC can also be used as an encoder and a server to stream many codecs, file formats, as well as DVDs, VCDs and various streaming protocols. VLC, written by the VideoLAN project, is open source software licensed under a GNU General Public License, which means it is entirely free to download, use and share - even for commercial purposes. VLC is also one of the most platform-independent multimedia players - it is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS, Syllable, BSD, MorphOS, Solaris and Sharp Zaurus - and it has been translated to many different languages.

Ray Garrido – “Tropicotrip”

The Breathe compilations have become an anthology series that I look forward to with anticipation. However, the Breathe netlabel is also getting into single artist collections with this luscious album by Mexican multi-instrumentalist Ray Garrido. Tropicotrip is an exotic journey that is part hip-hop, part lounge, and very spacey.

“The Jazz Farm” – a alternative/improv album by Oprachina

The quartet Oprachina came to existence during recent editions of “Along Came Jazz, Research In Italy” organized in Tivoli and Rome. The group consists of Massimo Bognetti, guitarist; Errico De Fabritiis, saxophonist; Fabio Fochesato, bassist and drummer Adriano Galinari. The only aspect connecting the musician's repertoire is a touch of jazz in every track.

The Leftouts – “Last One Standing”

Lepork Records is a new net label specializing in South American punk artists. The small offering of online albums is interesting but I was especially drawn to The Leftouts and their free album titled Last One Standing. It is a raucous effort incorporating power pop with punk. I especially like the opening track, “19 Days” and the tense title tune. This album, as well as the albums by other bands on this net label deserve a listen for their inexhaustible energy but also to show how global the punk genre has become.