Tag Archives: Dicken’s

Flowshine – “Mountain Queen”

There’s a lot to be said for first impressions. They tell us everything: good or bad, our instincts are the first feeling toward love or hate. In listening to a new album, we often know right away whether it’s worth a few more listens or better off serving as background music at a slaughterhouse. In the case of Mountain Queen, the new album from Calgary’s Flowshine, our instincts are definitely right: this is a fantastic release, worth a few listens, a first pump and a membership to their fan club.

Flowshine seems to have come out of nowhere. They’ve been around for a couple years, but now they’re impossible to overlook, with good press, a presence on every website and a lot of excitement buzzing around their upcoming shows. Once you hear Flowshine’s music you realize the reason for the attention they’re getting: simply put, they’re really good. They’re a band the whole family will love — if your family’s cool, anyway.

Part of the album’s likeability is its diversity. Each of the six songs is a little bit different, almost to the point that they sound like different bands altogether. They don’t have the “signature sound” you might hear with other bands, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: some bands get so caught up in their “sound” or their image they become boring and predictable. Flowshine does not have that. They show huge variety in their music, from blues-rock to psychedelic funk-rock to more happy pop. Everything does have a slightly old-school feel, so if they have one quality to call their own, “retro” is probably it.

Because of their diversity, it’s hard to name just one band Flowshine sounds like. “The Coast” brings out the heavier blues-rock, sounding almost like Cream, Zeppelin or the more modern Queens of the Stone Age. “Red Thread” and “Good People”, though, are more poppy; they’d be great to dance to. You might think of The Killers or Weezer, bands with definite radio appeal and huge fan followings. “Something to Go On” is a funkier version of The Killers, with wicked bass lines carrying the music forward. The bass stands out quite a bit, actually: it really complements the guitars and drums throughout, putting together completely solid arrangements of music and showing off some very talented song-writing.

The more you listen to this album, the better it gets. It’s hard to name a favourite track, probably due in part to their diversity. Listen to this album lots. It’s easy to do so, especially with how quickly the six tracks fly by. For a taste of the music, check out their tunes on Soundcloud, and then go like them on Facebook and visit all the other online houses listed on their main website.

And if you’re in Calgary, check them out at Dickens Pub Thursday, January 31 — the show’s going to be huge and you’ll definitely regret missing it. The first impression of Flowshine’s Mountain Queen is a good one, and it’ll keep getting better.

Flowshine - Mountain Queen

King Dylan – “Dinosaurs On Broadway”

Truth be told, a lot of people don’t like hip hop. It has certain connotations, definitely, and the “rock” crowd tends to look down on the “hip hop” scene with some disdain. There’s no real reason for this separation, maybe just a bit of misunderstanding and some built-in prejudice. Really, though, hip hop and rock aren’t all that different, especially in the case of Calgary’s own King Dylan.

King Dylan has emerged from the mean streets of Calgary to inject some new life into the city’s hip hop scene. Self-described as a “Speed Skater turned Rapper turned Rocker turned Rapper”, King Dylan isn’t your ordinary hip hop artist. He shows influence from a number of genres as he incorporates flavours of rock and pop into his rap, and on his new album “Dinosaurs On Broadway“, he gives us reason to love hip hop. This is his third official solo album, and while he occasionally brings in the help of other artists and musicians, he shows why he’s known as King.

With 16 tracks, “Dinosaurs On Broadway” covers everything from singable pop (“Still Lonely”) to more fast-paced bippity bop (“Bad Guy” or “Talk About Me”) and shows an interesting mix of influences. King Dylan names everyone from Mötley Crüe to Ice Cube to Megadeath as inspirations for his sound, blending rap, rock and heavy metal into a signature hip hop/pop-rock sound. While he is worthy of comparisons to Dr. Dre or Eminem in songs like “What You Deserve”, he also has strong vocals that evoke a likeness to bands like Linkin Park (“Endless Days”). It is this diversity that shows off his musical and song-writing talents, as well as a well-rounded artistic background.

Even traditional “rock” fans will like this album. With its catchy hooks, fun beats and attention-grabbing lyrics, it’s unexpectedly appealing to most music fans, even against all stubbornness to the contrary. “Dinosaurs On Broadway” is more than just hip hop; it is a dance- and sing-worthy album that fits with almost every taste.

King Dylan’s stage presence is well-known, and as a show of allegiance to his fans he is holding two CD release shows in March: One 18+ (March 9th at Dicken’s Pub) and one ALL AGES (March 10th at The New Black). For a taste of his music, check out his newest video for “Entertainers“, featuring Ricca Razor Sharp, Transit & Jesse-James. He’s also got a ton of other videos on his YouTube page and has a great website. Like him on Facebook, and then get out to one of his release shows this weekend!

Hip hop isn’t so bad after all. All hail the King.

King Dylan - "Dinosaurs On Broadway"