AltRock foursome One Day Steady is set to release its new album, My Real Problem, this Friday. To celebrate, the band is hosting a release party Friday night at the Woodward Theater (1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com). Fellow Cincinnati-area bands The Grove, Jim Trace & The Makers and Sundae Drives are also on the bill. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at cincyticket.com for $10.
My Real Problem, the follow-up to One Day Steady’s 2014 full-length Cinematic, reflects avowed band influences like Modest Mouse, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but also shows the band’s own personality becoming more distinctive. “Shoot & Run,” the first single from the album, is a dynamic and highly catchy track that hooks the listener from the start with the opening melodic chant. Punctuated by well-placed horns and backing vocals, the song then slinks into a breezy Reggae bounce before erupting into its engulfing chorus. It’s the kind of infectious, memorable song that would sound perfectly at home in heavy rotation on modern AltRock radio, sandwiched between tracks by Twenty One Pilots and Cold War Kids.
For more on One Day Steady and the new album, visit facebook.com/onedaysteadymusic.
• Last week, singer/songwriter Charlie Millikin, who plays acoustic shows almost every weekend around Greater Cincinnati (visit charliemillikin.com for his extensive performance calendar), released his first recording, a four-song showcase of his impressive songwriting skills.
Millikin’s self-titled EP is a high-quality slice of modern Pop that recalls the work of soulful Pop troubadours like Gavin DeGraw and Ed Sheeran. The most direct example of Millikin as a passionate and effective songwriter is the lead-off track, “Forever and Always,” which is only lightly augmented with additional instrumentation (keys, strings, soft percussion). But Millikin isn’t bound by standard “acoustic singer/songwriter” expectations — something he shows on the funky “Change Me,” on which he adds some melodic rapping to the mix, and during the rousing Pop Rock-meets-Gospel vibe of “Better.” While well-executed, Millikin’s wise-beyond-his-years songwriting is the centerpiece of his sound, and that gets slightly muted when the tracks become overloaded with things like extra guitars and horns (like on “Take Control”). Still, Millikin’s EP is an impressive introduction to a clear talent to keep an eye on.
Millikin’s EP is available for purchase or streaming on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play.
• At the end of April, heavy Cincinnati rockers Valley of the Sun had its latest album, Volume Rock, released by longtime Swedish label Fuzzorama Records, also home to the group’s previous full-length, 2013’s Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk. The band — which is now down to core members Ryan Ferrier (guitars/vocals) and Aaron Boyer (drums) — is currently capitalizing on its growing overseas fanbase by touring behind the album in Germany and elsewhere.
CityBeat’s Nick Grever says Volume Rock takes a little more streamlined approach to Valley of the Sun’s spin on “Desert Rock,” pumping up the “bombastic and driving rhythms” for an album “that has lost a little musical depth, but has gained a far greater grip on the listener’s ear.” Grever says Volume Rock is properly named, “an album that deserves to be turned to 11. It’s the perfect accompaniment to rolled-down windows, long stretches of highway and summer heat.”
Read Grever’s full review this week at citybeat.com’s music blog. Volume Rock is available domestically through major digital retailers like iTunes. More info: facebook.com/valleyofthesun.
• Powerhouse foursome The Sundresses don’t have a new album ready, but the band is having its stunning 2015 full-length, This Machine Kills, rereleased on cassette via Wiener Records, a subsidiary of popular indie label Burger Records.
This week, the group is hitting the road to promote the album’s new format debut (which is also the group’s first recording that is not self-released). After dates that include shows in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, The Sundresses play a homecoming gig next weekend (May 21) at Northside Yacht Club (4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com).
Find more info at facebook.com/thesundresses.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]