Get it or forget it – Vattnet, Elephant Stone, Halladay Quist, Christian O’Connor

TGIF – welcome to another weekend. The Griz play their first league game when arch-rival Eastern Washington comes to Missoula for a night game, just as the temperature is turning cold.  Should be an interesting match-up.  In the meantime, let’s check out these four new artists, including Montana’s own Halladay Quist (daughter of Rob Quist, who lost to Greg Gianforte in the last election).  Let’s hit it!

Artist Name:  Vattnet

Album Name:  Vattnet

Label:  New Damage Records

Genre:  Hard Rock/Metal

Track Listing:  1.  Spun; 2.  Dark Black; 3.  Sugar; 4.  Better Ghost; 5.  Sister; 6.  Chains; 7.  Time Will Prove Everything; 8.  Funeral

Publicist:  Earshot Media

Review:  What sets this album apart from its peers is the fact that this band is good, really really good, and is not ashamed of that.  They sing, not scream, while amazing music lays the foundation for those songs, much like STRYPER in their heyday.  The songs are well written and easy to understand, while the guitar is hot and tireless, and the drum beat is wicked.  This is a band that, like Metallica, could cross over to other rock fans and actually become popular, not stuck in a heavy metal niche where others are afraid to go.  We are truly impressed with this band and would love to see them perform live, as we are sure that they would bring it home.  Best tracks include “Dark Black,” “Better Ghost,” “Sister,” and “Funeral.”

Recommendation:  You don’t have to be a fan of metal to like this band, but it helps.  We definitely think you should Get this one.

Artist Name:  Elephant Stone

Album Name:  Remix of Fools

Label:  Elephants on Parade/Burger Records

Genre:  Psych Rock Dance remix

Track Listing:  1.  The Devil’s Shelter (Young Galaxy remix); 2.  Silence can say so Much (Dominic TOY remix); 3.  Where I’m Going (Pick a Piper remix); 4.  Cast the First Stone (Al Lover remix); 5.  Love is Like a Spinning Wheel (Xavier Boyer remix)

Publicist:  Auteur Research

Review:  This EP features dance remixes of five songs from the band’s previous release Ship of Fools.  Most of the tracks are upwards of nine minutes in length, so get your dancing shoes on before listening.  On the first track, the sound is decidedly house and has garnered a lot of interst, while the second track features a more Bollywood, rave kind of vibe.  Track three returns to the more house dance groove, while the fourth track combines the two styles with a steady beat.  The final track is our favorite, and could actually find a radio home outside of the club with its consistent beat, great vocals and good grove.

Recommendation:  This is our first review of a remix album, and it is decidedly different.  If you are into remixes, and like a psych rock undertone, then definitely Get this album.

Artist Name:  Halladay Quist

Album Name:  Halladay Quist

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Blues/Americana/Roots Rock

Track Listing:  1.  The Ballad of Pretty Mae; 2.  What’s Coming Down; 3.  Fly Away; 4.  Let it Burn; 5.  Whirlwind; 6.  Go With You; 7.  Harvest Moon; 8.  Meteors; 9.  Love Come In; 10.  Just a Little Love; 11.  Mermaid Song

Publicist:  None

Review:  We first met this intriguing artist at the Flathead Lake Blues and Music Festival last month.  She is a multi-instrumentalist with a truly unique style that mixes portions of country, bluegrass, folk, Americana and good ole rock-n-roll to form her music.  Her voice is pure and smooth, like fine wine, and her songs are well-crafted with intelligent lyrics and just the right instrumentation to fit the song’s mood.  This is definitely one of those albums you put on and just sit back and listen, as every track is worthy of attention.  Nevertheless, we truly dig “The Ballad of Pretty Mae,” “Fly Away,” “”Let it Burn,” “Go With You,” “Meteors,” and “Love Come In.”

Recommendation:  Don’t even think about it – just Get it!

Artist Name:  Christian O’Connor

Album Name:  Wine Over Water – Blood Over Wine

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Pop/Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Something to Believe In; 2.  Down; 3.  Who I Want to Be;  4.  Yearn to Fly; 5.  Love Steps; 6.  Never Going Back; 7.  All That’s Dead and Gone; 8.  Believe; 9.  Friday Night Rocks

Publicist:  Inferential Management & Direction

Review:  This young man is getting a plethora of industry interest in his music, which has been used by such diverse entities as the NFL, NASCAR, NCAA Final Four Basketball, MLB and the Boys and Girls Club.  Just a casual listen to his new album and it becomes quickly apparent why.  From the hard-hitting “Something to Believe in” to the latest single, “Who I Want to Be,” O’Connor delivers music that has mass appeal.  He is chock full of talent, and knows how to share that talent through his intelligent lyrics, great vocals, and just the right amount of instrumentation to complement his song.  His groove is similar to that of John Mellencamp and Ryan Adams, and should serve him well in the long run.  We fully expect O’Connor’s music to last for many years to come.

Recommendation:  Don’t miss your chance to get onboard this fast-moving train.  Get his album, which is being released today, and be the envy of all your friends.