From Mysticus Metal
Here we will find “insightful lyrics, driving guitars, polished bass lines and their characteristic harmonies,” as expressed by the author of this project on his website, you can mainly find a versatility in rock rhythms since we see songs that bet him al Psychedelic Rock (Track1, track2, track 8), Synth Rock (Track3, track 4, track 7), Alternative 80's Rock (Track 5), traditional rock and roll (track 6). Additionally, the good guitar solos and the synchronization of the riffs with the rest of the instruments stand out. In general terms there are songs that could be classified within the old guards of various rock styles while other songs are too soft in singing tending to instrumental romanticism and far from being classified purely within a rock with rebel emphasis
Give them the old razzle dazzle as Billy Flynn tells us. After all, how could they see with stardust in their eyes? It's the old bait and switch, the ancient shuck and jive, the well-used distraction approach. That's what this moniker is; the one that was chosen as a stage name by Vermont singer/song-writer Carl Sheperd, either to add to or take our minds off the music...
This has a little from column A and a little from column B. It has a seventies feel and a bit of Glam in the guitars, plus there is also some driving down the highway for "Higher Than The Sky," but it sounds like someone doing Rock, not someone living Rock. "Snowflake" produces a little of the late sixties Psyche sound doing the rounds, while there's a sweet roll but also some tuning issues for "You're the Pilot." Elsewhere, "Lay Down the Funk" doesn't, it breaks open the sour mash and those Suvvern grooves are "smoove."
For this is full of almost pastiches and that's what they sound like; the wistful Woodstock whimsy "We're all in Your Dream," there's a Grunge-lite feel to downbeat acoustic strum "In Your Bubble," and a little punky thing called "Stab Him in the Back" which isn't nasty enough to go all the way.
See that bait and switch? Big name up top and a big reaction - who cares what the music's like? As it happens, we do!
Full review: Fireworks Magazine, Issue 87, Page 80
Worth The Wait!
Innovative. Diverse. Massive. This is Circus!
This ten song release will have you hooked from the opening of the anthemic Higher than the Sky to the moody I am the Sky... I am the Sea to the final ringing notes of Stab Him Right in the Back.
This is Bent Muffbanger's third album and (having not heard them) I understand this is a departure of sorts from his previous releases. From the opening second of first track "Get Him in the Trunk" you're hit by a wall of sound that even Phil Spector might appreciate from within the confines of his prison cell. The guitars are full and fuzzy, the bass lines are powerful and fuzzy, and they accompany vocals which have an interesting dynamic that's reminiscent of Bowie mixed with Danzig or Killing Joke.
This album could be brilliant. The songs are phenomenal, and incredibly well constructed. The playing is also exceptional. And yet I found myself hoping that a record label might take ownership of this project and remix it to it's potential. This it has been created and performed by a single musician, the versatile and incredibly talented Carl Sheperd, speaks volumes about his abilities. His unique style has seen him create songs in many styles, and it could be that this is the exact sound he was going for... but as a listener, I can't help but feel it would attract more appeal with some modern production. My suggestion would be to buy it and make your own mind up. It's an enjoyable ride.
Full review: Powerplay Magazine, Issue 215, Page 46
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Bent Muffbanger's third album Validation is a collection of loud, in your face tracks pulled from material written during the cold, New England winter months. A bit of a departure from his other releases, this album captures your attention with it's wall of sound guitars, powerful bass lines, and distinctive vocals. From the driving 'Master of Me' to the lighter, 'You're their baby, too' you'll be hooked by the energy and care put into each and every note.
Bent Muffbanger is the stage name of Carl Sheperd, a songwriter and recording artist who hails from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He's played in bands and written his own songs for many years. His career started with recording original songs on a boombox in the 80's, progressed to honing his custom sound on an old multi-track recorder in his home studio, bringing him to where he is today, recording, mixing, editing, and mastering on new technology. He already has a song catalog of over 100 songs and continues to write and record. He has 6 albums released with another in production. He's been heard on The Point 104.7 (Montpelier VT) and Magic 97.7 (Lyndonville VT) and is building a cult following on Facebook and Twitter. His sound incorporates signature double guitars, powerful melodies, introspective lyrics, and distinctive 3 part harmonies. This is how music should be. It is recorded by one man, one track at a time: guitars, bass, keyboards, and vocals; then mixed, edited, and mastered to bring the feel and sound of real music to you, the listener.
There are five Bent Muffbanger albums covering everything from poignant love songs to bang your head metal tunes. His self-titled debut 'Bent Muffbanger' and the double album, 'The Epic Adventures of Bent Muffbanger Vol 1 and Vol 2,' and the heavier 'Validation,' come from a collection of songs written during the cold winter months of 2018. The releases 'wookie' and 'The Real Deal' feature songs of introspection and growth. His style is heavily influenced by late 60's and 70's rock. His vocals are often compared to Tom Petty or Matthew Sweet, while his driving guitar sound is reminiscent of Joe Walsh. His latest, 'LoveStruck,' is a mainly acoustic release featuring songs with a more singer-songwriter and adult contemporary style and has been released under Carl Sheperd.
Carl Sheperd is a talented songwriter who writes the music he wants to hear. The music is in his head and will continue to be recorded and he's excited to have the world listening along.
Band Line-up: Carl Sheperd - guitars/bass/drums/vocals
Full article here: We Rock Webzine
Featuring the softer side of Bent Muffbanger, LoveStruck is the new release by songwriter, recording artist Carl Sheperd. This mainly acoustic album is a touching and introspective collection of songs with lyrical imagery and smooth melodies.
It's available for download now on CDBaby and will be out on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and all the usual places soon!
New album out this week! The Real Deal features 10 tracks that range from hard rocker to tear jerker, there is something for everyone! All songs feature Bent Muffbanger's driving guitar sound and hypnotic harmonies. If you liked his previous releases, you will most definitely enjoy, The Real Deal. Available now!