Archive for May, 2017

The Puss Puss Band – Music with a Pulse!

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Klef Notes

Music Reviews

The Puss Puss Band – Music with a Pulse!

KiKi Skinner  | May 12, 2017

Can you hear my echo?   Yes?  Okay, listen up!  

Ladies and gentlemen (Ladies and Gentlemen).  Get ready (Get ready).  To be (to be). Stoked!!! (STOKED). 

In short, these guys know what they are doing.  So clever.  This CD plays like a new age Italian sonnet set to the awesome playing skills of outstanding musicians along with great lyrics and vocals.  

The Puss Puss Band is a Folk, Pop, Jazz two piece duo from the UK that encompasses members Asa Galeozzie & Lee Pugh. 

These guys have played with many UK and Welsh artists and bands for years and just a decade ago they decided to try their hands at writing and being session musicians, and let me just say that I am so glad they gave us a peak into their writing and vocal world because it was so worth it.  And if two musical geniuses were not enough on this cut, they’ve collaborated with piano legend John Rabbit Bundrick to seal this album with splendid instrumentation and classic music. 

This is a review of The Puss Puss Band’s new album entitled “Echoes across the Cruel Sea.”  Twelve songs of pure chilled indie Pop: 

  1. Bucko’s Lullaby
  2. Alone
  3. Fall Back Down
  4. Cliff Song
  5. Inwake
  6. Bees Wax
  7. Say It First
  8. Thinking of You
  9. Feline Fine
  10. End of June
  11. Perfect World
  12. Not Just You 

Three musical masterminds kicked up a great CD where each song delivers something for its listeners with a mix of Pop, Folk, Jazz, and I think ROCK.  These seven songs are my highlights.  

We are introduced into The Puss Puss Band’s world with the opening track “Bucko’s Lullaby.”  This song starts off as a little lullaby but grows bigger and bigger.  This has become one of my favorites as Lee Pugh’s voice rings Bon Jovian on this, and the classic percussions with clear brass just eludes to Sunday mornings when you just want to stay indoors and create.  

The second track entitled “Alone” has the piano as another artist and it keeps the feet moving.  This is a put on your boyfriend’s shirt and just dance type of song.   In addition, it encompasses the magic that U2 prides themselves in building – simplicity with a kick. 

There’s a nostalgic feel to “Cliff Song.”  If you love psychedelic instrumentation, then you will love this song. 

The most illustrative song on the album is entitled “Thinking of You.”  There’s a hidden out-of-breath effect on this cut that gives the emotion of a person wanting to ask but is afraid to get the answer – anxiety and anticipation are all wrapped up in this song.  The lyrics read “Do you ever think about me? / The way I think about you? / Say you’re thinking of me / Can’t stop thinking of you” – Can you feel it? Breathless, anxious, waiting, thinking!  

Feline Fine” is the ninth track and I fell in love with the big band appeal on this cut – so fun to hear this song.  John Rabbit Bundrick plays the piano in this cut so smooth and so elegant that it makes the listener just melt away.  Accurate rhyme scheme and great play on words!! 

With a world so full of chaos today, “Perfect World” is the song to listen to and it makes it alright.  An endearing in-your-face message wrapped around a great vocal and inspiring stringed instruments to set the tone of PEACE. 

Not Just You” is the twelfth and final track. First, you hear a mellow introduction and then Lee’s vocal comes in strong and really stands out front as an engaging first tenor / baritone.  This track closes the album with its frankness and tells the story about wanting to be someone, or something, else.  True, this is not just a one person issue – everybody gets in this slump.  

And that brings me to the title of the album – “Echoes Across the Cruel Sea” which metaphorically ties in the entire scheme of the CD where each song poses a problem and gives a solution like a musical sonnet telling the stories of life’s echoes:  echoes of truth and dare, echoes of love and passion, echoes of fear and anxiety, echoes of the internal struggles of just being human, as well as echoes of time and social issues.  

And like many problems posed to us, we do what “The Puss Puss Band” states in their track Bucko’s Lullaby, “What happens when love goes lame? / You screw it all up and start over again / You box it all up and start over again.”  

Not since Simon and Garfunkel, Tears for Fears, or Burt Bacharach have we, the listening audience, been given great story telling as this.  

If anything musically ever reverbed an echo to your ears to help you remember it, forget about it, because, these guy’s songs send an echo that resonates to your ears, flutters your heart, and then it goes BOOM with blazing guitars, sexy voices, catchy hooks, driving instrumentation, and heart string-pulling melodies.  

Which song of The Puss Puss Band is your favorite?  Comment and let me know! 

To listen and/or purchase The Puss Puss Band’s music, go to:
https://thepusspussband.bandcamp.com and follow them on Twitter at @puss_band.

Comments

TONYA SKINNER |  May 12, 2017 @05:35 am

Hello Kiki…I love this review!!! 5stars across the board! The Puss Puss band are a talented band. Your review gives them prominence and promotion. You started the review with a catchy phrase, and then you go in depth about the band’s tracks. Your reviews are arranged, and written professionally. Every review is different and you bring out the best in the artist/bands. I can’t wait to read the next review. Kiki keep on bringing the good stuff. I love you! Kudos, Tonya

KiKi S. |  May 12, 2017 @05:26 am

Thanks Lee – it was a pleasure and an honor. The entire CD spoke to me. Here’s to working together again in the near future. Rock on my brother.

Lee Pugh |  May 12, 2017 @05:18 am

What can I say? Thank you so much on behalf of the three of us 🙂 You’ve clearly taken a lot of time to listen and get to know the album and it really comes across in your write up…thank you so much for committing that time and emotion to us and our album. Really hope you’re readers/followers enjoy the album as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it with everyone

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Album/ The Puss Puss Band – Echoes Across The Cruel Sea // April 2017

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

THE PUSS PUSS BAND – “Echoes Across the Cruel Sea”THE PUSS PUSS BAND – “Echoes Across the Cruel Sea” Album: The Puss Puss Band – Echoes Across The Cruel Sea :: April 2017 TXT TXT Pasted Graphic TXT

Album: The Puss Puss Band – Echoes Across The Cruel Sea // April 2017

The Puss Puss Band have created a damn fine collection of Pop/Folk songs, and have labelled this sonic gift as ‘Echoes Across The Cruel Sea’

With sincere melodies and songwriting that can only be described as accomplished, they deliver an established, mature sound that makes the new listener feel like they’re already acquainted. 

The Puss Puss Band are a two piece mainly studio based outfit from South Wales comprising of multi instrumentalists Asa Galeozzie and Lee Pugh.

Both have worked with numerous artists and bands in the UK and the Welsh music industry over the last ten years as writers, session musicians while also developing their sound engineering and studio production skills.

After a break from the industry Galeozzie and Pugh once again began writing,arranging and producing the material that would go on to become The Puss Puss Band.

Influenced by the compositional and songwriting genius of artists like Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, David Bowie, Neil Young and Bill Nelson; Galeozzie and Pugh began shaping the idea of an amalgamation of simple pop/rock songs and more sonically ambitious ‘pocket epics’ with every idea being,conceived, written performed, engineered and produced by themselves.

With a big emphasis on pure, honest, fearless songwriting, and intricately woven melodies The Puss Puss Band aim to blend the stripped bare feeling of acoustic indie pop and rock with hints of the more classic, refined and warmer elements of jazz, folk, and blues, to create songs and arrangements that don’t easily fall into a pigeon holed genre.

April 2017 saw the release of the debut album Echoes Across The Cruel Sea which features a guest appearance throughout by John Rabbit Bundrick (The Who, Free, Roger waters, Bob Marley…) On piano, Hammond organ, & Synths.

The Puss Puss Band are currently promoting the new album and recently performed numerous live sets including a live acoustic set for the BBC.

Current Releases;

Echoes Across The Cruel Sea (2017) – The full debut album
featuring John Rabbit Bundrick

The Puss Puss Band EP (2016)
– Four single pre album preview EP. (Album Due February 2017)

– Available now from Bandcamp https://thepusspussband.bandcamp.com

Follow The Puss Puss Band on…. Twitter: @puss_band

Interview & Album Review: THE PUSS PUSS BAND – “Echoes Across the Cruel Sea”

Although I call myself “Eclectic Music Lover”, frequent readers of my blog know I’m particularly fond of alternative and hard rock. That being said, I truly appreciate great music in any genre or form, and every now and then an artist or band comes along whose music deeply touches me. Such is the feeling I get when listening to The Puss Puss Band. Their jazz and folk-infused pop rock sound envelops me like a warm blanket, transporting me to a place where all is good with the world – and wouldn’t that be a nice place to land! As I stated in a review of their self-titled EP last November on this blog (which you can read here), “their easy-going instrumentals and smooth vocals make for an incredibly pleasing listening experience – sort of a Style Council meets England Dan & John Ford Coley with just a touch of Dan Fogelberg.”

Hailing from Wales, The Puss Puss Band consists of multi instrumentalists Asa Galeozzie and Lee Pugh. Both have worked with numerous artists and bands in the UK and the Welsh music industry over the last ten years as writers & session musicians. They perform every aspect of their music: songwriting, instrumentals, vocals, arranging, engineering, producing and mixing. Asa plays guitar, bass, percussion, piano and melodica, while Lee plays lead guitar, bass and piano, as well as sings lead vocals. Now, with significant contribution from seasoned musician John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, the guys have produced their first full-length album Echoes Across the Cruel Sea, which dropped on April 10. It’s a collection of 12 gorgeous tracks that range from dreamy ballads to catchy, upbeat songs.

Before launching into my review of the Echoes Across the Cruel Sea, I asked the band some questions about how they came to be, as well as their inspiration for the album. Lee graciously provided these responses:

1.  First off, how and when did you both meet and decide to collaborate?

We met studying sound engineering & production about thirteen years ago, and have worked together ever since with our own bands and as session musicians.

2.  What’s the origin of your name “The Puss Puss Band”?

When we first started planning this album it was purely intended as a studio project. We’d meet a few times a week at Asa’s to run through ideas and songs, and his cat would sit on a stool and just watch us play. It dawned on us after a few months of this that we were essentially a ‘house band’….for an audience of one cat. Her nickname was Puss Puss.

3.  Do you both share songwriting duties on both lyrics and music?

Yes. We share lyric/song duties and bounce them between us. Sometimes the lyrics come from one of us fully formed, but often we’ll fettle those a little between us, then trial a quick scratch demo to work through the arrangement, and once we’re happy we fire up the mic’s and amps and start passing instruments back and forth. We’ll often capture an essentially live stripped down performance, then we build up from there. “Thinking Of You” is a good example of that. We recorded the acoustic guitar, piano and vocal live in one or two takes, and then the rest of the track was completed with a few over dubbed guitars.

4.  Is there a back story regarding the album title Echoes Across the Cruel Sea? It’s a lovely album, and most of the songs on the album are really pleasing, Are they meant to stand in contrast with the word “cruel” in the album title, almost like an antidote to cruelty in the world?

The album is intended as an upfront honest journal of the last ten years of our personal lives. There’s no artistic license being used in the lyrics…we set out to be fearless and honest in that regard. It’s essentially a sneaky concept album although we resisted the urge to make the songs flow too obviously from one to the next. The “cruel sea” represents life, love and all it’s uncertainty and the songs themselves are the echoes of our thoughts, feelings and reflections over that period of our lives.

We set out to be as transparent and laid bare as we could make it, lyrically, musically and production wise….no studio trickery, no bullshit, no ego talk, just an honest account of our lives which we hope we’ve managed to present in a somewhat universal manner which anyone hopefully can relate to in some capacity?

5.  How did John Rabbit Bundrick come to collaborate with you on the album? Were you specifically looking for someone else to provide music input?

Asa is a massive The Who fan and heard that Rabbit was back doing session work after finishing with The Who a few years ago. We sent “Feline Fine” over to see if he’d be interested. Rabbit said he loved the track and was more than happy to play in it…and without fee which was incredibly generous given his insanely huge CV and standing in the industry. We mixed it and sent it over to him, and he asked to hear some other tracks from the album. He said he was really digging what we were doing so his joining us for the rest of the album just took off from there.

We were adamant after years of working with others and all the creative compromise that comes with that, that this album was only going to be the two of us so we could maintain and hopefully achieve our shared vision of what this album would be. But the chance to work with a session musician of Rabbit’s calibre made it a no-brainer obviously.  His piano work is beautiful and his mastery of the Hammond organ is pretty much unparalleled by anyone else. Rabbit contributed something very special that we couldn’t provide ourselves and is so humble, professional and generous that it wasn’t just a thrill but a pleasure and privilege throughout.

6.  Do you guys have plans to do more live performances or even tour a bit?

Yes, hopefully we’ll start putting together a hand-picked session backline later this year from our contacts, and look at taking the album out. This was intended purely as a studio album, but the response we’ve had the last few months kind of makes it inevitable that we will once again take to the road in the very near future.

7.  If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be? 

Lee: David Bowie/Burt Bacharach
Asa: Brian Wilson/Roger Waters

Rabbit has already played with almost everyone already! If you haven’t seen his discography you should check it out…it is mind blowing how much he has contributed to music in the last 40 odd years!!

8.  Perhaps a bit premature to ask, given you’ve just released a new album, but any plans for more music in the future?

Not premature at all 🙂 We’ve already started writing the second album and Rabbit is on board to join us again. Don’t want to give too much away too soon but the theme for that album and it’s content are already taking shape. All we’ll say is the first album was more introverted and personal. In the next one we’d like to reach out a bit more to touch on the state of the world we all find ourselves in right now, and the growing distance between us all as we try to make sense of the world we are struggling to maintain our roles in it, and try to hold a mirror up to that rather than just preach about it.

9. Anything additional you’d like people to know about Puss Puss Band. or things I neglected to touch on?

We are just two fiercely and proudly independent musicians. We’ve pretty much now achieved our goal of becoming creatively self sufficient. We write, arrange, perform, engineer, produce, mix, master everything ourselves from our very very modest and basic studio. We’ve thrown the rule book out production-wise, and harked back to the old fashioned recording approach to create ‘our sound.’ I guess we just hope that people respond to that and hopefully hear something in it that you don’t get from modern production, with all it’s close, dry, sterile mic’ing, separation and heavy compression throughout. But above all else I guess we just hope that people find something in our music they can relate to and enjoy because that means more to us than anything else.

OK, so let’s dig into the album. First off, as I alluded to earlier, Echoes Across the Sea is gorgeous, overflowing with lush soundscapes of multi-textured instrumentation and smooth harmonizing vocals. The songs deal mostly with the vagaries of love and relationships. The terrific “Bucko’s Lullaby” kicks things off, setting the tone for the entire album. We’re greeted by gentle xylophone before layers of guitar, percussion, organ and beautiful strings enter the proceedings. With a hint of sadness in his seductive voice, Lee sings to a loved one who’s slipping away emotionally: “Something in that smile says you’ve changed. Those big brown eyes look further away. What happens when love goes lame? You screw it all up and start over again. You box it all up and you throw it away.

Next up is “Alone,” an upbeat track which was originally featured on their previous EP, but gets revisited on this album. As I’d mentioned on the EP review, this song has a discernible Style Council vibe. It’s a great song, with some really fine guitar and piano. Things turn mellow on the lovely “Fall Back Down.” Lee’s vocals are so seductive on this track (and many others) they could lure a turtle out of its shell! The guys rock out a bit on “Cliff Song,” which features some tasty guitar riffage.

The remainder of the album stays on the mellower side, starting with the moving track “Inwake.” To a gentle guitar riff, Lee sings: “Can we help it, this changing season, or are you just like me? The things that we feel seem less than real, like faded memories. The twilight hours keep you safe and warm as I creep out of the room. In the blink of an eye to you and to I, every wave between you and me, the change we feel, just echoes across the cruel sea.”

The beguiling “Beeswax” is a standout track, with marvelous instrumentals featuring chiming synths, Rabbit’s lovely piano and organ, and the guys’ deft guitar work. Lee’s vocals are utterly sublime, as they also are on the enchanting tracks “Say it First,” “Thinking of You” and “Feline Fine” – the latter of which is probably my favorite of all their songs. It was also included on their debut EP, but this new version features beautiful piano work by Rabbit, which makes the already great tune sound even better. And no pun intended – well, just a little – Lee purrs “You got me working double time, you got me clocking overtime, you got me feline fine. And I know I can’t show you the things that I see, but sometimes I wish I could. Because you got something that makes me feel glad at night. And you got everything because you know you’re right.”

The tracks “End of June” and “Perfect World” have a pleasant folk-rock feel with lovely strummed guitar, set to a languid beat, though “End of June” has the added bonus of some spiffy electric guitar. The album ends on a bittersweet note with “Not Just You,” a compelling ballad that speaks to the despair of living in a depressed industrial town, with little hope of things getting better. “No one talks, your mom’s depressed, your dad went empty in his chest. There’s nothing left. And everybody wants to be anywhere else it seems. Not just you.

Echoes Across the Cruel Sea is a well-crafted album, with outstanding production values. The Puss Puss Band’s lyrics, music and vocals are all stellar, making this an album I can listen to on repeat – which I have done!

Connect with The Puss Puss Band: Facebook /  Twitter

Stream their music:  Soundcloud /  Spotify

Purchase it:  Bandcamp /  iTunes

EP Review: THE PUSS PUSS BAND

Today I shine my spotlight on a singer/songwriter duo that goes by the fun, quirky name The Puss Puss Band.  They are multi instrumentalists Asa Galeozzie and Lee Pugh, a mainly studio based band from South Wales. Both have worked with numerous artists and bands in the UK and the Welsh…

In “Reviews”

Author EclecticMusicLoverPosted on May 1, 2017May 1, 2017Categories  Echoes Across the Cruel Sea, John Rabbit Bundrick, The Puss Puss Band, UK Artists

3 thoughts on “Interview & Album Review: THE PUSS PUSS BAND – “Echoes Across the Cruel Sea””

  1. Lee Pugh says:
    May 2, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Thank you so much Jeff 🙂 Hopefully getting the video for the single release of Beeswax sorted finished very soon.
    Cheers
    Lee & Asa
    The Puss Puss Band
    LikeLiked by 2 people

    Reply

  2. buffalotompeabody says:
    May 2, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Great interview, Jeff! I love these guys! I especially like the jangley guitars that go from Breezy to deep and dark. 👍👍

Album: The Puss Puss Band – Echoes Across The Cruel Sea // April 2017

The Puss Puss Band have created a damn fine collection of Pop/Folk songs, and have labelled this sonic gift as ‘Echoes Across The Cruel Sea’

With sincere melodies and songwriting that can only be described as accomplished, they deliver an established, mature sound that makes the new listener feel like they’re already acquainted. 

The Puss Puss Band are a two piece mainly studio based outfit from South Wales comprising of multi instrumentalists Asa Galeozzie and Lee Pugh.

Both have worked with numerous artists and bands in the UK and the Welsh music industry over the last ten years as writers, session musicians while also developing their sound engineering and studio production skills.

After a break from the industry Galeozzie and Pugh once again began writing,arranging and producing the material that would go on to become The Puss Puss Band.

Influenced by the compositional and songwriting genius of artists like Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, David Bowie, Neil Young and Bill Nelson; Galeozzie and Pugh began shaping the idea of an amalgamation of simple pop/rock songs and more sonically ambitious ‘pocket epics’ with every idea being,conceived, written performed, engineered and produced by themselves.

With a big emphasis on pure, honest, fearless songwriting, and intricately woven melodies The Puss Puss Band aim to blend the stripped bare feeling of acoustic indie pop and rock with hints of the more classic, refined and warmer elements of jazz, folk, and blues, to create songs and arrangements that don’t easily fall into a pigeon holed genre.

April 2017 saw the release of the debut album Echoes Across The Cruel Sea which features a guest appearance throughout by John Rabbit Bundrick (The Who, Free, Roger waters, Bob Marley…) On piano, Hammond organ, & Synths.

The Puss Puss Band are currently promoting the new album and recently performed numerous live sets including a live acoustic set for the BBC.

Current Releases;

Echoes Across The Cruel Sea (2017) – The full debut album
featuring John Rabbit Bundrick

The Puss Puss Band EP (2016)
– Four single pre album preview EP. (Album Due February 2017)

– Available now from Bandcamp https://thepusspussband.bandcamp.com

Follow The Puss Puss Band on…. Twitter: @puss_band

MBW

The Puss Puss Band Echoes Across The Cruel Sea John Rabbit Bundrick

 

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