Save yourself the Google search. Richard Flemming isn’t asking you to decipher any clues in the band’s random and enigmatic name. That lack of pretentiousness is evident throughout this four-piece act’s 10-song debut (a collection of what the group has written since they started playing together in 2004 while attending Hudson’s Western Reserve Academy). Richard Flemming is a garage band in all the right ways, offering raw, unpolished rock. The offbeat vocals at times hearken the Talking Heads’ David Byrne with “Sleeping” and the Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano in “Heartache in Return,” while the welcome flashes of piano and harmonica give the whole affair the feel of a late-night jam session. And here, just like in those sessions, once you roll through the first few songs, some inspired stuff unfolds.
Our Pick: “Sleeping”
Teens have cornered the market on heartache. But for a young musician to fire off a five-song EP with the deft touch of Avon Lake’s Kelsey Faludy is a rarity. Much like how now-national artist Kate Voegele of Bay Village made a name for herself with a guitar and a handful of excellent songs, Faludy shows equal promise with the piano. Recorded at Cleveland’s Ante Up Audio with Michael Seifert (who produced the album, played drums, bass, guitar and keyboard on it and co-wrote one of the songs), Faludy’s voice is precise and confident as it cuts across a lot of third-person teen introspection that never sounds immature. The song construction is equally polished, and the hook-laden choruses will be bouncing around in your head for days.
Our Pick: “Fragile”
Three Miles Out Nobody
Is the alternative sound embodied by bands such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Eve 6 and Fuel in the late ’90s still a relevant force in the rock music scene a decade later? Cleveland’s Three Miles Out tries to prove so with its latest release,Nobody, a sonic collection of 13 songs that banks on big guitars and even bigger vocals. The band members are adept musicians who construct reliable rock melodies with spot-on harmonies. They know to keep the songs tight (none exceed three-and-a-half minutes), and the occassional guitar solo is the band’s only indulgence. Three Miles Out’s only limitation to garnering more attention from today’s modern rock audience may be that the band pays tribute to the genre that inspired it more than it offers any sort of reinvention.
Our Pick: “Reaching Out”