Tom Crowell

Tom Crowell

Tom Crowell



Recent Submissions

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Even by The Pulltops

Alan Cross

Great vocals! There's no reason (other than bad luck and, well, life intruding on the band) that you shouldn't be better know. 

You've already got all the advice I can give--did I mention I have you airplay on my radio show in Toronto--so the best I can offer now is more shares on my social media channels.

Best of luck, guys. You deserve some good karma.

Larry Lootsteen

Love the echo-y guitar.  Feels like I'm walking down the street with a friend talking.  Awesome vocals!  Beautiful harmony going on.  Change of pace at 1:30 is welcome.  This feels like storytelling.  I like the flow of the song and the buildup and crescendo just past the 2:00 mark.  Nice stadium-level guitar solo.  Not sure if there is one too many chorus repetitions in there.  Minor issue.  Great fade out to the end with the guitar in the back.  Wonderful stuff!

Danielle Langley

Soft guitar strings lead you in with mellow vocals.  Beautiful bridge with electric guitar. Stronger percussion and bass lines suggested to bring in and drive chorus. 

Liane Chan

Musically, it’s not too exciting though I think the lyrics and song tells an interesting story of perhaps a reunion or rekindling a past relationship. It’s not bad, it has a hopeful sound that seems needed these days.

Raymond Flotat

Thank you for the submission! So my thoughts here are kind of in a different direction than usual. There's a skeleton of a good song in here, but I don't think this formulation quite does it justice. I think the main staccato guitar chord melody doesn't seem to fit the lyrics, vocal melody and other instrumentation. That treatment for the guitars almost sounds as if meant for something triumphantly epic. Almost like a protest anthem. It doesn't match the flow of everything else here. It's not bad by any means, but it just doesn't gel perfectly. I would suggest trying a different approach for that segment. Perhaps something that flutters delicately more in line with the vocals?

Robal Johnson

I really dig this tune. It is a solid rock ballad with good riffs and strong vocals. The lyrics are powerful and the heartache is palpable. My only suggestion is that it is a bit long and the fadeout is unnecessary. Maybe tighten it up to around 3:30ish. But other than that, I would love to hear this live and I bet the buildup to the chorus is awesome. You definitely have gotten my attention and I am definitely interested in hearing more. Great song. Bravo. 

D Grant Smith

Another great tune. Connected on a personal level aside from loving the sound. Great stuff!

Angela Mastrogiacomo

There's something really intriguing about this. I still feel that same album rock vibe to this song as I did the other one you submitted, but I do personaly like this one a bit more. (I still wouldn't describe it as power pop though). 

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Closer by The Pulltops

Scott Cohen

Great song.  Great vox.  There is a massive alt rock/indie/ that would totally dig this.  Now you need to focus on how to reach them in 2017.  It isn't the same as 5 or 10 years ago.  It doesn't happen organically.  It never did.  You need a little budget to target likely fans.  The music is great so now it is down to marketing.

Cougar Microbes

The lead guitar line on the verse is slightly reminiscent of U2 but that's a good thing in my eyes. The more open chords played in the second verse really added depth.  The bassline is strong but not dominant and I enjoyed its presence. The almost syncopated vocal delivery may be an acquired taste for some but I felt it worked well, particularly in the harmonies. I also felt the vocal pattern towards the finale of the song worked a treat. 

If I had to offer some criticism I would say that perhaps the pacing of the song could be slightly quicker so as to benefit from some of the momentum built. Additionally, perhaps the production could be a little beefier to give this a more rounded sound. 

Generally speaking, I enjoyed this track and it comes across like it would particularly deliver life

D Grant Smith

Another sweet track guys! I really dig the lyrics and the musical composition. Nice work on all accounts.

Raymond Flotat

Good song. I actually have very little feedback on this. Normally there's lot I might have to say, but I think the structure, melodies and arrangements are all solid. It's a nice, pleasant song with a very classic U2 vibe. My only note is, it might be worth taking a few more stabs at recording the lead vocal track. I don't think the performance is weak or the voice doesn't carry the tune right. But something is just off. Maybe just a bad take? Or a bad mix on the take? Somehow it feels like it's just not quite perfect in line with what the song can be. I would suggest trying a few more stabs at recording it to see if any takes can really make this pop. There's a great song in here. 

Larry Lootsteen

Love the guitar opening!  Really interesting vocal too!  The harmonies really work as well.  I love the feeling this song generates.  Part of what makes this interesting is the stuttered transitions.  The only bit I question is about half way through when you do a bit of a soaring guitar (around 2:00 - might be just before that).  Not sure I loved that but it's a minor complaint.  The descent into the final run t the end is really good as well.  The guitar outro is nice as well.  Great, great song!!

John Masters

Nice power pop sound, maybe a cleaner version of the Replacements -- I like the back and forth sort of swing it has to it, pretty decently catchy stuff.

Alan Cross

More good stuff from you guys. Like I said last time--and I know you know this--is to find a way to be heard above all the noise. Have you given any thought to using a radio plugger?  Not only can a plugger put your music in front of hosts of specialty radio shows, but they can also work to get your stuff on new release playlists on Spotify and other streaming music services. That's increasingly important these days.

I'll give you another push through my socials asking people to share. 

Tom Crowell submitted media.

When I Was Young by The Pulltops

Alan Cross

I like it: riff-heavy melodic rock. This wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1995--and I mean that as a compliment. It's reassuring to know that some people still treasure big guitars. 

I have nothing to offer in terms of any sort of critique of the song, the performance or the production. Instead, let me offer these pointers.

You should look into getting a radio plugger. A good one will bring your stuff to the attention of hosts of both music directors and those who host new release programs. 

A radio plugger might also serve as a publicist. You need someone who can cut through the noise and get to those key influences, be they writers or broadcasters.

A social media strategy is really important. Give every fan a chance to turn into an evangelist for you by answering their posts, sharing stuff with them and creating a one-to-one type of relationship.

Make friends with music bloggers. Even the smallest ones are dying to say that they discovered The Next Big Thing. Treat them as you would your best fans.

Get your songs on all digital platforms, even if it just means a lyric video on YouTube. You want to maximize your discovery potential.

Are you looking to get signed? If so, gather as many metrics regarding your popularity as you can. Labels, both indie and major, want to know that you're a turnkey proposition with a built-in fanbase.

And I know you know this already: play live as much as you can. Nothing beats organic word of mouth. And it's also important to have a roomful of strangers tell you the truth about your music in real time.

Good luck with everything. Send me an MP3 (alan@alancross.ca) and I'll see if I can't give it a spin on my radio show. Meanwhile, I'll spread the word on my social channels. That's good for about 100,000 people.

Bree Noble

Can't play this on our station since our platform focuses on female artists, but I actually really the your sound and vibe on this song. I'm confident others will resonate with it as well. Good luck!

Jason Simpson

I'm not always a fan of glammy, poppy prog or power pop. While I can appreciate the songwriting skills of bands like Cheap Trick, has never really pushed my buttons in the right way. Maybe it's my age group (a kid in the '80s, when a lot of that stuff was popular), but the proggy art rock production style just never really sinks in for me. Bands like Chicago, Journey, Foreigner, even The Police, to an extent, just don't make much of a visceral impact due to being so treble heavy, polished, and slick. 

Bringing me to "When I Was Young," (which I rather like, by the way.) While this new one from The Pulltops bears some sonic similarities to some of those purveyors of '80s art rock, the rootsier, more rustic production with the more exaggerated psychedelic vocals really seals the deal, helping the music to bite and kick more than a lot of more polite pop, while the vocals gives "When I Was Young" a deeper, more unerground sound that makes me sit up and take notice. It also helps the vocalist find their tuning, with microtonal slides and blue-note slurs. 

To me, this sounds like certain traditional music - Celtic, and twanging Americana, for the most part - updated with an arthouse psych/prog vibe, kind of like the band Failure, if you''re familiar. The bite of the acoustic guitar gives some muscle, meat, and marrow to what could otherwise be too airy of a track (it's one of the downsides of Chorus & Phase, sometimes those elements can slide right off the ears, like a greased duck.) You've created a truly EFFECTIVE hybrid, that also seems more heartfelt, with more heat and more of a reason for living, whereas a lot of Power Pop-derived material just sounds like 'songwriting-by-numbers'. 

Plus, your musicianship is utterly sick, and that never hurts! Guitar riffs are well-timed and on-point, which makes or breaks music like this. The intricate riffs gives this a bit of a Stoner Rock vibe, even, a la early Queens Of The Stone Age or, more accurately, their precursor, Kyuss. I think you guys stand a good shoot of creating a kind of alt-Americana/country/metal/psych/prog mish-mash that could actually be popular. It's got enough Blake Shelton to make it to The Voice, so to speak, but also not enough that you stand a prayer outside of Nashville or The Grand Ole Opry. 

Great work! Solid recordings of a well-written song, by a group of talented musicians. You're showing what you've got, and I think people will take notice!

Last thought, and this is just my opinion and kind of random, but you might consider separating the elements at some point, as well. Maybe have a couple of stripped down, rootsier numbers mixed with some truly far out prog, maybe some instrumental interludes in-between songs, maybe interspersed with field recordings. But I have pretty avant-garde listening habits, on my own time, so take that for what you will. 

Keep up the great work. It's going to pay off!  

John Masters

Nice sound not unlike Foo Fighters or maybe a more polished Replacements -- well put together and produced for the genre.  Very triumphant and powerful tune. 

Larry Lootsteen

Crashing cymbal start is great!  Great feeling overall.  The organ and the guitar work really flow with the beat.  This is different but reminiscent of old school rock.  Really great blend of genres and styles.  The vocal is strong and really fits the music.  Very well done.  Like the words, the music is both forward and looking back.  Awesome!!

Lauren Gribble

Hey guys,

Thanks for submitting the song! I really enjoyed it. The sound and the guitars were excellent, though I did think it was a bit repetitive, which is the only thing I wasn't big on. Overall, a great song and I think that fans will like it! Hope to hear more music from you guys soon!

-Lauren

Raymond Flotat

I really like this. It's rare that I don't have lots to say in terms of feedback. I generally don't have much to add or offer as possible changes. Generally, I think this is just a good song pound for pound. Small tiny little things might be the vocal delivery on the last 2 words leading into the guitar solo. Also, a little bit of a variation to really bring relief to the outro might help cement the song. But all in all, those are small critiques against a solid song. The bigger question--which might be outside the aim of the Fluence mechanism--is what audience this is aimed for. What qualifies as rock and what can be successful as rock varies literally from year to year. Rock fans can be notoriously picky about they construe as "cool" right now. I can't say if this is aimed for a mainstream audience (it may not be) whether it fits that super narrow notion of "cool" with rock fans right now. I will say, it's a great track one way or the other! Thanks for the submission.

D Grant Smith

Great driving rock tune! Well balanced both in sound and songwriting. Nice solo too, I dig it.

I'd like to hear the rest of this album or EP. Email me dgrant@dgrantsmith.com for info on airplay on The Appetizer Radio Show. Be sure to mention this note in the email. 

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Poison The Well by The Pulltops

Alan Cross

This fun! I love me a good power pop song. Great hook in the chorus, too. It'll be going through my head for the rest of the day. And the addition of horns (or horn-like things) is an inspired bit of producing. Nice work. (I might have even emphasized them a little more in the mix, but that's just me.) I'm assuming those were keyboards, but I can't help imagining how cool it would sound if you had the budget for a real horn section.

Regardless, this is radio-friendly enough so that it stands a chance--if you can get it in front of the right people.

So what's the next step? Getting signed to a larger label? Licensing deals? Music placement? Do you have a record plugger for radio? How about a publicist? And what's your social media strategy?

The key is to somehow rise above all the noise. How are you going to get attention for your work?

I'll give this a post on my social networks. That's good for at least 100,000 people. Keep me posted on everything, okay?

Leks Maltby

On "Poison The Well" by The Pulltops, the throwback rock 'n roll outfit deliver a perfect two-and-half minute radio-ready single, complete with a soaring horn section in the chorus that elevates the song to new heights. Dynamically diverse, a mid-section breakdown highlights the band's ability to play both quietly and loudly as required, exercising the band's mastery of constraint when needed, as well as their ability to unleash their full sonic fury in an instant. Overall, the results are memorable from both a lyrical and musical perspective, ultimately occupying real estate in the consciousness of fans and soon-to-be-fans the world over.

Robal Johnson

What a fun tune. I'll bet you guys are a blast to see live. Cool vox, tight orchestration, and fun groove. I'm sure after 15 years you have a strong local and regional fanbase, so keep gigging and having fun because that is what it's all about. Love the horns, too! Thanks for sharing. Keep rockin. 

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Along The Way (Live) by The Pulltops

D Grant Smith

Nice groove and tune. Reminds me of Better Than Ezra circa 1995. Good stuff

Leks Maltby

On this live rendition of "Along The Way" by the Pulltops, the rockers lay down four minutes of powerful, guitar-driven rock that draws equally from 90's alternative influences in equal measure with 70's classic rock. A tight instrumental arrangement and a powerful, soaring lead vocal come together to form a perfect symbiotic relationship, each fueling the other to new heights. In particular, the lead electric guitar weaves its way masterfully through the cacophony of rock 'n roll bliss to emerge unscathed on the other side of the song. In the spirit of Page & Plant, the guitar and vocal share equal responsibility in carrying the song's melody, and ultimately do so to great effect. By the song's end, the listener truly feels as if they have transcended their immediate reality and have entered an entirely new sonic dimension. To pull off such a feat in the live setting no less reveals the true powers possessed by the Pulltops.

Bob Lugowe

Solid, enjoyable tune with a great energy and post-punk vibe. You guys sound like seasoned musicians and after reading the bio it makes sense that you've been around for 15 years. If you're looking to grow your audience, I would suggest consider making a music video for a track from your new album and/or hiring a publicist to help work your next release. Make sure to try and play live with acts that are larger than you are in the region (open for touring bands, do a small run with a bigger or equal sized band) and get to know the important players in your scene in order to build a larger profile there. Make sure to work on networking as much as possible so you can get your music out to as many people as possible and keep up the good work. 

Andrea Young

This is not musically our taste but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate how well done it is.  Everything about it is right on for its' hard edged power punk sound.  We just don't have much of a place for it on our playlists or shows, where we focus on a softer sound for the most part.   Production, arrangement, vocals, harmonies, lyrics are all right in the groove, the energy comes through loud and crystal clear.   Much impressed.  Thanks for your submission, good luck with your music!

Mike Mineo

Although I primarily feature and review studio recordings, this one does excellent in showcasing the live enthusiasm and melodic charm of The Pulltops -- no doubt you put on a great show. The beginning guitar tones remind me of early Smashing Pumpkins -- very early (late '80s demos). I mean that quite fondly. Nonchalant vocals chug along melodically, with bridge at 01:14 serving as a nice lead-in to the uptick in emotion around 01:27 that serves as the core hook. The angular guitar work and chugging rhythms make for a sound that, while not defying any stylistic norms, is certainly captivating and fluidly melodic. Vocal intensity and touch of reverb in the production lends a nice dose of '80s rock nostalgia. Lusher bridge around 02:50 adds a nice amount of variation to return back to the central hook, with the track simultaneously sounding nostalgic and forward-thinking. This is a solidly constructed and thoroughly engaging effort with a good deal of infectious appeal. Nice work! Will post on Obscure Sound in the near future. Also let me know if you ever need a hand with PR -- I can provide my rates and success stories upon request, if you reach out to mike@obscuresound.com. Either way, thanks for the solid submission! -Mike


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