Damien Eaton
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Damien Eaton

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The best kept secret in music

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"The Rock and Roll Report" Record Review - Kasablanca Blvd - s/t - (indie)
Variety is the spice of life. We all know that then why do music fans often get all up in arms when a band decides to explore different musical directions in an attempt to broaden their horizons and not be pigeon-holed into some specific niche or genre? On their self-titled CD, Toronto, Ontario based Kasablanca Blvd have taken the road less traveled and repeated listenings bear out the wisdom of their ways.

The CD starts out with the swagger of prime Oasis on the track Strange and it’s singer and main songwriter Damien Eaton who sets the bar as he possesses that same cocky swagger to his vocal delivery as Liam Gallagher, I mean you can almost hear the sneer as he spits out lyrics like “Sometimes I feel like I’ve got poison in my veins, Make a sonic noise for all the world to embrace.” The Angel and the Anarchist on the other hand sounds almost “progressive.” I hate to use that term because it carries such heavy baggage but it definitely conveys that Light/Heavy vibe that Jimmy Page was always so proud about in Led Zeppelin along with stylistic and melody changes that compliment the music rather than being too jarring like on some of the most pompous compositions by a band like Yes. And that’s just the first two tracks!

From the retro vibe of Girl in the Dirty Jeans to the monochromatic Idiot Savant and the beautifully surreal Charlie and His UFO there are enough twist and turns to make you want to go back and have a second, third and fourth listen so that you can better appreciate the various nuances in both instrumentation and vocal delivery that all these songs convey. For me one of the stand out tracks though is The Ghost. Almost pastoral in its instrumentation and delivery, this is big rock and roll delivered with a touch of grace. Wonderfully morose, beautifully subdued, it is a highlight from a band that has embraced a multitude of rock and roll influences and put together a CD that is as multi-dimensional as the band. Love it.

Mark Boudreau - CKUT 90.3FM Montreal
www.rockandrollreport.com - Mark Boudreau - CKUT 90.3FM


Kasablanca Blvd – Kasablanca Blvd
by Melissa Girimonte

The 30+ set finally has a new, straight ahead rock and roll band to call their own – Kasablanca Blvd. Their debut, self-titled disc really packs a punch, and is ready to rescue you from the coma-inducing easy listening tunes you’ve been inundated with for the past few years.

With influences ranging from The Beatles, early U2, Oasis and Coldplay, Kasablanca Blvd’s sound is lyrically rich melodic rock. I’d even venture to say there’s a touch of a Tom Petty or Eric Claptonedge to frontman Damien Eaton’s vocals. They’ve taken a very classic sound and given it a fresh new spin, not to mention resurrecting the rock power ballad without sucking in their song “Rivers”. “Charlie and His UFO” brings to mind early Elton John, and not just because of the obvious space reference. They really let it all out with the swagger of “Idiot Savant”, and a hint of early Beatles really shines through on “Girl in the Dirty Jeans”. Each song stands well on its own, but they come together nicely to make a smooth, coherent, very listenable album.

In the grand scheme of things, this band is still very new. They formed in 2005 with Eaton, bassist CP Poirier, Drew McDonald on keys and Mischka on drums, taking 40 acoustic tunes that Eaton had started and expanded upon them. May 2006 brought Kasablanca Blvd into the studio to record the twelve tracks that make their debut effort. (Note: Mischka returned to her native South Korea before the release of the CD, so Brian Roach is the current drummer for their live gigs, of which they are playing a-plenty!)

There’s a definite appeal to this disc, with a song for every mood – from the introspective to the pessimistic, the lonely to the playful. It takes you from angels to demons, with many ghosts along the way. It has a vibe of familiarity without sounding old. They’ve taken what classic rock was made of, and most modern rockers have forgotten – the battle of dark versus light.

- Melissa Girimonte


Discography

2006 - Kasablanca BLVD - "Kasablanca BLVD"
2001 - Pure Heavy Vol #1 - Compilation
2001 - THEXCEPTIONS - Every Dog Has Its Day "
2000 - THEXCEPTIONS - "Breaking me Down"
2000 - THEXCEPTIONS - "Come Alive"

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Bio

Singer, songwriter, guitarist. Former front man for Toronto's Kasablanca BLVD. Born in Hampshire, in the UK , played music from Edmonton, to Yellowknife to Toronto. Influenced by Richard Ashcroft, Oasis, The Who, The Beatles, Neil Young, Brian Jonestown Massacre, U2, Coldplay....ect.....Former band,
Kasablanca BLVD released debut album in Oct. 2006 to very favourable reviews. Live appearances at such legendary venues as Toronto's 'Hard Rock Cafe', 'Lee's Palace' and Edmonton's 'Reds Rec Room'. A live performance on Toronto's Breakfast Television, Edmonton's A channel "The Big Breakfast, and Wired" TV show's. Featured on Hamilton's Y108 radio, Montreal's CKUT 90.3 FM, Edmonton's 100.3 The Bear Radio and CKUA 94.9 . Catalog includes over 50 original songs, is a member of SOCAN and has been featured on an internationally released Canadian produced Compilation CD. Has done session studio work in the past and currently resides in Toronto. New solo album coming soon, Check back often for updates and concert calendar.
"This is big rock and roll delivered with a touch of grace. Wonderfully morose, beautifully subdued."(Mark Boudreau - CKUT 90.3FM)