Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2011-01-25Review by Nick of Employee Of The Month For Life by The Fainting Generals Juliet Bennet Rylah has such a strong, yet completely tonal voice. She belts out vintage-tinged rock songs and breezy pop ditties with equal vigor, bringing a darkly joyful whimsy to everything she does. The well constructed lyrics are complimented by Juliet Bennet Rylah’s smooth-as-silk voice , which fluctuates between being sassy and seductive in quality (“These Things”). She sounds a lot like a combination of Annie Lennox, Ani DiFranco, and Martha Davis (lead sinnger/guitarist for The Motels). She is the flavor of the month and her group (The Fainting Generals) is a big part of her success. And you cannot discount the quality recording by Matt Ten Clay of Grand Rapids. This is one of those bands I hope to get out and see live. The use of the fiddle on “Guest Check” lends a Prog Rock (think Rush, Kansas) feel to this catchy tune. The same holds for “State Line Rule” and “No Dove, No Covenant”, but with a Zappaesque (and the Mothers of Invention) twist to the music. Still, I love the music, and the lyrics are kick-ass. Very recently I reviewed a group (Dark Dark Dark) that does not rock like this group, but they share some haunting similarities – most specifically on “Hope To Attract”. Well-known local musician Chris Lawrence contributes trumpet to add an off-kilter jazz influence to the “vintage” classic (and I fully expect this to become a classic) rock title song (“Employee Of The Month For Life”) Good God, I can just picture Charlie Chaplin careening across the back of my mind. Another impassioned trumpet contribution on “Not Your Birthday” lends an almost grandiose hispanic flair. If this band sounds so good digitally, I cannot wait to see them live! “Frei Aber Einsam” holds a special place for me, as I recently lost my only son, who did, in fact, die alone – the irony being that he had so many friends, but no one at his last moments. It is a very touching song from an extremely talented singer/songwriter. ARTIST BIO The Fainting Generals are a six-piece rock 'n roll band, drawing from jazz, rock, circus, surf and glam. Led by pianist/guitarist/flautist Rylah, The Fainting Generals sing about American history, love, outlaws and pop culture. The Fainting Generals are very excited to have received a Jammie for Best New Act of 2009 from WYCE. Their album, "Everybody Drinks Kombucha in Hell" can be purchased online via CDBaby.com. They're currently working on a second album, in addition to Rylah's solo project due Spring 2011. Employee of the Month for Life is the new cd release from The Fainting Generals.
BEN HARPER AND THE RELENTLESS SEVEN
Live From the Montreal International Jazz Festival
THE DIAMOND UNDERGROUND
Serve the Song
Kenny Dennis LP
THE WILD FEATHERS
The Wild Feathers
The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.