sound check

May 26, 2011 |

By Michael Swanger


Diamonds For Eyes

"The Era of Our Ways"

Independent release


Local rock band Diamonds For Eyes seems to have weathered a few storms and has the scars to prove it judging by the dark, honest songs on its new independent album, "The Era of Our Ways." From the foreboding rock of the opening track, "Everything," to the lighter pop of "Three Joyous Shouts" and "Any Other Day," to the brutal honesty of "Please... Baron Mind," Diamonds For Eyes teeters between the dark and the light much like Conor Oberst on the album's eight original songs. Josh Putney's baritone voice is a refreshing change of pace for a rock singer and his vocals blend well with the like-minded instrumentation provided by bandmates Danny Wolf, Curtis Weis, Kristen Putney and Kevin Moll. CV

(Diamonds For Eyes plays a CD release show on Saturday, May 28 at 9:30 p.m. at House of Bricks. $5.)


Madison Ray

"The Revolution Vol. 1"

Lion's Roar Entertainment


Des Moines-based R&B singer Madison Ray unleashes a portion of his musical state of address of the human condition on his debut EP, "The Revolution Vol. 1," for his new company Lion's Roar Entertainment. The polished sounding R&B and pop affair includes three original songs written by budding songwriter Travis Wells — "The New City," "Typewriters" and "Heart 2 Heart" — all of which are augmented by synthesizers and drum programming with the help of engineer Steve Capp (Aretha Franklin, Boyz II Men, Ruben Studdard) and Chad Jacobsen at Capp Audio Productions based in Norwalk. Ray's climactic vocals are somewhat reminiscent of those of '80s R&B singer Terence Trent D'Arby, mixed with a touch of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. CV