Keystone Rock Review publishes and promotes thorough, well-written reviews of albums and EPs professionally released by rock artists based in Pennsylvania, present and past.
June 5, 2019
Broken Strings is the debut recording by Wilkes-Barre based singer/songwriter Ellie Rose. The six songs on this EP were all written with a very specific overarching theme in mind, each track represents one of the various stages of grief.
April 25, 2019
On his sixth album, Tommy James was given their first opportunity to compose and produce independently. The result is Crimson and Clover, a 1969 collection of songs which seamlessly range from teen-oriented power pop to blue-eyed Soul to psychedelic experimentation.
April 4, 2019
The Badlees long struggle to release their long-anticipated major label follow-up came to a head in 1999 when the group made a brash decision to put the music itself ahead of the label concerns and independently produce and release a wholly separate full-length album.
March 14, 2018
Vanessa Collier combines dynamic, passionate and entertaining performances with an authentic blending of R&B, soul, blues and Gospel on her 2017 sophomore LP, Meeting My Shadow, a work which offers a solid glimpse into her burgeoning talent.
November 7, 2017
Live HMAC and Mauch Chunk Opera House came about as sort of a happy accident by Bret Alexander & Nyke Van Wyk, as a few 2016 live performances were recorded for other purposes but the resulting works are reinterpreted songs with fresh, new musical arrangements that are performed differently from original versions.
April 2, 2017
The third solo record by seasoned rock veteran Aaron Fink, Galaxies is a 2017 release which features rich and entertaining tunes presented with much diverse rock n’ roll flavoring.
March 19, 2017
As a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, an producer, Patrick Joseph defines the essence of an independent performer. His 2016 release, Hindsight features a mix of new music and re-interpretations of songs from his previous two LPs.
February 18, 2017
The third overall album by the York-based rock quartet Live, the 1997 release Secret Samadhi is named after a state of Hindu meditation and features a mix of mainstream rock and alternative Avant Garde. This original work draws influence from diverse musical influences from both contemporary and historical rock artists.
November 10, 2016
Built on his one man live show, which includes guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and a custom suitcase kick drum, the 2015 LP Where the Lore Began by Jeremiah Tall delivers strong and entertaining songs which make for a pleasant listen.
October 27, 2016
The third release by the Central PA rock trio Shift Seven, the 6-song EP Shift Seven III adds some sonic dimensions to the band’s base gritty, boogie-rock sound. The songs here feature rich textures and arrangements and explore more rock sub-genres than previous efforts.
September 14, 2016
A hard rock band from suburban Philadelphia, Winston’s Dog has been playing in one form or another since the late 1990s. On their latest album, Tactics 1-2, the group forges melodic, guitar-driven rock in a richly layered style of alternative with impressionistic lyrics.
July 19, 2016
No Rain Remain, the debut EP by Steve Wilkins, contains songs of diverse themes that somehow gel together as a cohesive whole with an underlying statement speaking of the struggle between balancing a responsible life and satisfying a wellspring of creative impulses.
March 17, 2016
The Badlees independently produced their mid-nineties masterpiece with the roots-rock inspired River Songs. With solid compositions that seamlessly glide from solid rock numbers to folk and Americana classics, this album shows the Pennsylvania-based quintet in top form.
November 2, 2015
For their second album, Jumping Out of Windows, Pittsburgh based Boulevard of the Allies forges an eclectic mix of styles which range from modern and new wave rock to an array of diverse classic genres like folk, jazz, ska, R&B and funk.
April 7, 2015
Led by the dynamic vocals of Shawan Rice, the five-song EP Catchin’ Feels blends R&B, folk, jazz, blues, and just the slightest bit rock n’ roll to forge an original musical experience by Shawan and the Wonton.
September 24, 2014
Dustin Douglas recorded his debut album, Black Skies and Starlight over the past two years, while he was an active member of the Badlees. With a mix of big guitars, pop-laced hooks and an alternative rock attitude, Douglas blends a diverse array of influenced to make a formidable record.
May 5, 2014
Live reached an early peak with their 1994 sophomore album Throwing Copper. With dynamic and dramatic songs laced by lyrical ambiguity and thought-provoking themes, the Pennsylvania group composed a cohesive and memorable record which captured the post-grunge sound of the middle nineties.
October 31, 2013
Seeds and Chains is an engaging new album by Philadelphia area folk artist Up the Chain. Led by frontman and creator Reed Kendall, the album employs some of the most talented musicians in the Philly area for this entertaining and rewarding musical journey.
October 15, 2013
With their latest release, Epiphones and Empty Rooms, The Badlees have fully embraced the “two states” of their group. In fact, they have taken this concept to the extreme with a double album made of two discs which are intentionally distinct from each other.
July 5, 2013
Aside from being an accomplished blues guitarist, Tommy Conwell was keenly tuned into his audience and gave them his all at every live show. Rumble was his first major label record with his band The Young Rumblers and it did a fair job of capturing a bit of the live energy.
April 16, 2013
Out of Body was the fifth studio album by The Hooters, released in 1993, and would be the last before the band’s decade and a half hiatus from recording. As with all Hooters albums, the original material was mainly composed by the team of Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman.
October 13, 2012
After two years of extensive touring in support of their first major label success, Nervous Night, the Philadelphia based group The Hooters returned to the studio to record One Way Home. Unlike its predecessor, this album was heavily folk and Americana influenced.
May 14, 2012
Originally planned to be The Hooters sixth studio album, Largo became a much larger and more complex project which became a a quasi-concept album and involved top-notch talent from across the rock spectrum in both musical styles and musical eras.
May 6, 2012
Although it was the dawn of his fourth decade of professionally performing, writing, recording, and producing, The Optimist was the debut solo effort by Eric Bazilian in 2000. This indy release is a pleasing assortment of well-crafted hard rock songs with a definite edge.
May 1, 2012
At a time when many in the rock world were in the process of re-imaging from the slick 80’s hair band to the grungy 90s alternative, a young Pennsylvania band called The Badlees was forging their own path with a sound called “roots rock” with their first full length album.
April 7, 2012
The artist unleashed on the unsuspecting world his own heart and soul and, although most of this long and winding road of noise is frivolous self-indulgence, it serves as those ruined societies upon which to pave over and build a sonic empire.
January 21, 2012
Pittsburgh’s Pete Bush got his start playing guitar in a hard rock band in the late 1990′s before making the radical transformation to stand-up bass. He next moved up to front man when he formed Pete Bush & the Hoi Polloi, which released their debut Idaho in May 2012, adding some nice sonic additions to the base live sound of the trio.
Older Album Reviews
|12/07/11||Miracle On Rock Street||Twelve Twenty-Four|
|11/20/11||Come Alive EP||Carmen Magro|
|09/24/11||The Battle Begins||Vessel|
|08/16/11||The Invisible Man||Chris Nelson|
|07/30/11||Tanker A||Hot Wing Jones|
|06/27/11||Perfect Smile||The Cellarbirds|
|02/02/11||Broken Machines||Underground Saints|
|12/27/10||This Is Cabinet, Set 1||Cabinet|
|12/10/10||Animal Society I||Animal Society|
|07/13/10||See That My Grave Is Kept Clean||Ed Randazzo & Bret Alexander|
|03/31/10||112 Beats Per Minute||Craig & Alex Bannon|
|03/26/10||Loneliness Anonymous Review||Darcie Miner|
|02/07/10||Lucky 7’s||Ron Fleeger & the Stranger|
|01/24/10||Dollars for Diane Compilation||Various Artists|
|11/05/09||Love Is Rain||The Badlees|
|10/12/09||We the Broken||Pan.a.ce.a|
|05/24/09||Classics||The Ann Kerstetter Band|
|04/20/08||Not One of You||Hormoans|