The Joe Vig Top 40 Song Reviews

The Joe Vig Top 40 Song Reviews

Random selections from my personal Top 40

360º by Jon Butcher

360º is an explosive title track from a master craftsman, Jon Butcher, and it is already my favorite song of the month…exquisite, stunning…melodic, pensive, plodding-in-a-good-way…it’s got all the right elements. Jon updates the pop guitar magic from the sixties into something 2019 audiences need to hear and relish. At 2:23 it’s a quick and tasty statement, like “The Letter” from the Box Tops which clocked in at 1:52 or 1:58 or the voice from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Doris Troy’s magnificent “Just One Look” (2:28)

Video Part 2 360º

Artist: Visiting Wine
Song: SPECTORS Track 3
released July 23, 2018

A distinctive album cover reflects the magical music inside, ten tracks that are perfectly performed and produced, with impeccable voicing and lots of enthusiasm.

The haunting “Spectors” – somewhere between Jonathan Richman’s “Astral Plane” and Gary Wright’s “Dreamweaver,” – light, delicate yet still active with energy. The live version from the Burren takes the smooth studio take up a level. It’s Fleetwood Mac in a Celtic mood embodying both desire and fulfillment. Each tune on the album is worth a visitation.

Spectors YouTube by Visiting Wine



Artist: Blue Ribbon
Song: If You

The Blue Ribbon 7 song e.p. album Pride – and I’m thoroughly impressed with the tracks that I had a chance to listen to, “If You,” “Settle,” “Little Things” and “The Different Boy,” resplendent in its “liquid guitar” kinda sorta that Vinnie Bell made famous – morphed with some Dick Dale, really nice.

“If You” caught my ear, a ballad with strumming and a mini-shuffle, reminiscent of L.A. band Feed the Kitty, and that’s a good thing. Song has a sweet ebb and flow, and ascends nicely. But “Settle” really grabbed me, nice changes, excellent feel, and eerie riff in the background.

“Nrg” is another terrific selection, they pop up on Spotify. Give a listen


The Jabbers

Death Child
One minute and forty-two seconds of the rockabilly “Death Child,” is nothing something that you would expect from GG Allin and the Jabbers. Lead guitarist Rob Basso does the vocals with G.G. Allin on drums. A pulsating bass line plays front and center with delightful guitar work splashing itself all over this deli platter. It sure sounds like “Said Child of death, King of Doom, I’ve been Okinawa since I left the womb,” or perhaps “I’ve been rocking out,” in any event it’s a Lady Mondegreen (mis-heard lyric,) and it works just fine.

“Automatic” is a fun pop rocker with the “F” word tucked quickly inside. “Don’t go playing with me emotionally/or I will make you bleed internally” is not something that the #MeToo movement will embrace, with a flavor that could have been in a battle of the bands on the Monkees TV show, or – perhaps – their movie Head. Musically this is very fun and – just perhaps – GG’s onstage antics helped as much as hurt this song getting more exposure. Class A expletive with a big F you from the backing vocalists. Very cool.



The title song and first track of The System Drive’s release on Bandcamp starts with an ominous Jaimie Lanes bass riff followed by sharp drums of Mark Podgurski and a guitar splash exploding into a riff-driven slide of hard rock. Spitfire vocals from guitarist Mario Passi unload the story – it’s truly a “system drive,” and engage they do. The voice is complemented by the guitar while the rhythm generates a solid platform for the controlled mayhem.

Each of the eight tracks has something to offer and for a debut, it is very impressive. Recorded at Woolly Mammoth and produced by the band and Dave Westner

Engage is the debut, full-length studio album from the Boston Hard Rock Trio, The System Drive.

Credits released December 20, 2018 Mario Passi: Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar Mark Podgurski: Drums
Jaime Llanes: Bass Gino Caira: Additional Guitar on Learn How To Fall, State of the Union, Tugboat, What I’d Like and The Flow Carolyn Blake: Piano on What I’d Like
Song: Your Working Boy
Artist: Mobile Steam Unit
Time: 2:29

With undeniable Beatles’ keyboards Mobile Steam Unit re-craft the song that was often played on Pop Explosion, this writer’s radio program, is re-issued on Spotify with a thicker, more polished emphasis on its original theme. The original from 2013 also clocks in at 2:29, and is condensed, the clever interplay between the instruments tucked deeper into the grooves. That rendition is found on their disc Not In Service available on Bandcamp

This version sparkles with production elements hitting you in the face, and the sometimes smooth and sometimes chaotic instrumentation works on every level.

Pop, funk, groove and some jazzy fragments from The Beatles “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number,) seeping into the last ten seconds of this recording, really tremendous.


On Spotify it segues quickly into “Less Texting,” which I can relate to given my alleged significant other’s activities, and not only that, a former girlfriend of another friend of mine. It’s a no brainer that “Less Texting” is something needed in our current society, on a world-wide level.

The Mobile Steam Unit 2019 e.p. on Spotify – including Less Texting, Sex With O.S., Are You Ever and this new “Your Working Boy” is a terrific four slices of MSU at their best.

See video of Your Working Boy

Artist: Blue Manic
Song: The Bedouin

Blue Manic come back heavier than before with “The Beaudoin” off of their eponymous 10 selection Blue Manic album, the follow-up to the 5 song V-32

So what have vocalist Max, guitarist Mike, drummer Corey and bassist Jared been up to ?

Getting heavier with a neo Black Sabbath pounding grunge on a song about – at least by the dictionary definition:
a nomadic Arab of the desert. “an encampment of Bedouin on the edge of the desert” adjective
relating to the Bedouin.
“a Bedouin song about a desert journey”

“What’s it like to be caught in the middle” sounds like the melody to Aerosmith’s “Last Child” with a kinda sorta Steve Tyler line from “Walk This Way” – “Singin’ hey diddle-diddle with the kitty in the middle” – but that’s OK, Aerosmith AND their idols, The Rolling Stones, nicked more than a few notes and words. The song plows along like a bulldozer and is lots of fun with electra-glide-in-blue guitar lines and a menacing advance.


Artist: Greg Paquette

Song: Absolute CrimeAlbum: Single Stone

The Track “Absolute Crime” from the Single Stone CD recorded by Greg Paquette is a folksy, dreamy, lilting number and at 4:24 is the third shortest track on this 10 song album. The band features Joey Hovey on drums and percussion, Greg Paquette on guitars, Jake Miracle vocalist and Kevin Megaldino on bass. It’s a sterling production with a strong choir behind the chorus, it’s catchy and very radio friendly. __________________________________________

Band: Artful Candid

Song: Exipotic

Artful Candid, a trio from Vejle, Denmark
formed in 2016, have a new release, “Exipotic on Spotify and many other platforms. “Exipotic” has elements of rock, a touch of trance, hypnotic guitars with nice instrumental interludes, very catchy.

An article in the Pharmeceutical Journal states “An even more obscure synonym is exipotic, from Greek éxpotikós, from éxipoûn, to squeeze out. The word is so arcane that you are unlikely to find it in your 21st century dictionary. But it had its use in the mid-19th century and it might be fun to revive it.”

The three bandmates, Kristian Plaugborg – Lead vocals, Guitar, Jakob Zülow – Lead guitar, Vocals, William Wiese Lehmann – Drums, Vocals squeeze out every nuance – a melodic vocal chant, cascading phasing chords and notes and an entertaining three minutes and twenty-one seconds you’ll want to play repeatedly

Review by Joe Viglione

Artful Candid



Title:The Last Time
Band: Loose Ties
Produced by Fred Pineau

Some people like to attempt to duplicate a song as is, while others work to embrace a melody and chord changes by rearranging a piece of music to their style and vibrations. Loose Ties and Terry Kitchen do the latter by stretching The Rolling Stones Jagger/Richards composition (and a 1958 Staples Singer gospel cover according to Wikipedia) into a genre they call “Ska Crazy” – but the three minutes and thirty-one seconds go beyond ska into a mild funk and quasi-techno. The mix of genres is tightly would with great solid and insightful production from Pineau and an on-target performance from Loose Ties. They are able to navigate licks and solos within that short span of time to keep your attention with this entertaining look at a classic Rolling Stones hit record. From the Loose Ties revisited 1985 E.P. now available on iTunes, Spotify, etc. with studio and live bonus tracks.

The Last Time Loose Ties

The Staple Singers

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.