Music Review Archives. Band Stuff. Work Stories in Progress.

Check out some of the ExMogul Music reviews from the archives, below.

I reviewed music on and off for about 15 years, while I took a break from singing and doing gigs.

Now I've flipped that around. And here's my band, SPEED LIMIT 70.

February 26, 2009

Nathan Brumley

Slick, well-produced, supremely crafted singer/songwriter pop that is up there with the likes of Coldplay, Brett Dennen, Matt Nathanson. In his words, Nathan Brumley is: “More than just your Coldplay or Keane piano-based pop band.” Well said, and who am I to argue? His Contemporary Christian pop combines the best of what the current crop of pop singer/songwriters have to offer, with the addition of positive and uplifting lyrics.

Something Real suggests U2's “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with a softer and less insistent drive. This song could easily fit on many radio formats, from Top 40 to Hot AC to Contemporary Christian. Mind Over Mercy hints of some INXS in its opening, owing in part to a vocal treatment that suggests Hutchence in “Need You Tonight”; however, the track veers away from Hutchence’s darkness and becomes a layered pop hit that showcases Brumley’s clear and uplifting voice. Love Outside the Lines is another quickly catchy song that is radio ready – although contemporary in its sound, it also suggests the sound of some older era singer/songwriters, like Todd Rundgren (“I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me”). Only My Heart and Breath of My Soul round out Brumley’s musical selections, with the latter featuring lovely string and piano accompaniment.

Visit Brumley’s myspace at: and take a listen.

February 10, 2009


Overman is a Chicago-based indie rock band who directed me to a handy little site with all of their music, promotional material and photos in one easy to access place. Nice! The first song, Evolution Rocks had me flashing back to ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock!" - a series of educational musical vignettes from the 1970s that has now entered cult status. I didn't read the handy promotional material to see if this was intended, but I suspect it was. Fun stuff. Now I want to see the scratchy film cartoon video that accompanies it.

Princess is rootsy and upbeat, like the best of old school country. Very nice lead break and an unexpected cacophony of noise in the middle twist the song up, where it turns down a more serious path. Great guitar lead plays over the repetitive chorus leading out.

Sweet Escape starts out sounding like an old AM radio hit and then slowly builds into a lively upbeat track that gets under your skin quickly. I want to compare the tracks to the country-influenced songs that the Rolling Stones did like Wild Horses, All Down the Line or Dead Flowers but that doesn't quite nail it. A very well done and insanely catchy song.

The final track, Move On, was my favorite. The swampy vibe of the track, with its droning harp and bluesy rock groove brought to mind some Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, merged with some JJ Grey, with some Neil Young thrown in to give it an older vibe. Outstanding guitar work drive the track to a Freebird-like jam midsong, and then it slips back into its slow groove as it ends.