Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bazaar Royale ~ Hard Times Celebrate (EP)




(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: hard rock, heavy metal, rap
Label: Bazaar Royale
Year: 2008
Home: New York City

Members: Bazaar Royale ~ vocals
band n/a

Guest: Phil Collen ~ Guitar


Bazaar is credited with creating yet another sub-division of metal - ghetto metal. But, before you groan & say you already know what it sounds like ... Bazaar is one step ahead! Actually, he's literally been one step behind having lived in the ghetto of New York City nearly homeless & broke, a victim of the record label playground before his chance was given & choosing to go back to singing in the subway before going through the game again without being given an opportunity. Heavy metal is, at its core, an expression of angst which makes for a perfect bedfellow for the blues of the ghetto. Why the two haven't been more exploited might have a lot to do with racism. No one talks about white people living in the ghetto, though they do. But, if his ethnicity gives Bazaar an unnatural edge he's also not laid back & enjoying the ride but giving it every punch he can muster to some startingly genre-bending results. The result brings in an honesty not found in a lot of pouser metal bands with their 'angst-ridden' middle class backgrounds. The blues of the ghetto also are given a dose of optimism & hope in Bazaar's lyrics in his musical suite of self-discovery. But, back to him being one step ahead ... a voice like a Motown soul singer straining to get as much emotion as possible into the air against a rhythmic rock guitar & keyboard background that's layered in such a way to sound more simple than it really is. "Rebel In Me" also features occassional dips into falsetto or what's a pretty close Axl Rose imitation, something deemed impossible until hearing Bazaar. Each song is its own little world showing quite a range of diversity & sounds, but none of them venture into the waters of uncontrolled riffing, sloppy rhythms or over the top solos, with the vocals always keeping the focus like a conductor. At times (i.e. "Hard Times Celebrate") the band falls into basic rhythms while Bazaar does a quasi-rap over it. But, this isn't profane fast rapping but something more akin to Tupac's soft side, or for the rocker's reading, the famous Aerosmith/Run-DMC meeting. Rap when it was honest but not ugly. Bazaar has been catching the ear of all those who hear them. I'd agree! Check him out.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interview podcast: episode 2 "New Rock In New York City", September 2010, click here to listen)


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