Music News

Forward Motion Records' Focus: Jim Camacho, Chris Alvy, and Ominé

The latest offerings from Fernando Perdomo's Miami-based Forward Motion Records label are impressive, both in terms of substance and variety. They include bows from

newcomers Tyler Bernhardt, Jesse Young, Jennifer Kaiser, and Sylvia Emmerson

and new discs from three artists worth singling out in particular -- Jim

Camacho, the Chris Alvy Band, and Ominé.

Jim Camacho's Is It Me EP is his debut on Forward Motion. Ever since his involvement with the Goods, a band that set the standard for pretty much every South Florida outfit that followed, Camacho has earned the distinction of being our area's foremost singer/songwriter and musical auteur. Culled from the sessions forming his latest full-length, Beachfront Defeat, the new EP features five songs also recorded at those sessions. Each holds to Camacho's now-familiar template -- arched, aching vocals accompanied by a sense of resilience and resolve, all of which culminate in a stirring catharsis in terms of the outpour of emotion. Check out the anthemic surge of "It's Over" and the hushed and reflective "Debutante" as among Camacho's best, which, as his fans will attest, is ample compliment in itself. 

Chris Alvy's Anything Goes EP has a similar emotional template, but he turns up the amplitude and rocks relentlessly. On "Inside Job" and "Anything Goes," Alvy and his colleagues, Darrell Killingsworth (bass) and Todd Toulbee (drums, background vocals), create a powerful presence of the arena-rock variety. There's the occasionally curious moment, specifically the "Yabba Dabba Doo" refrain that accompanies "Your Smile Shines a Light," being that it evokes Fred Flintstone's famous rallying cry, something only those of a certain age might notice. Still, Anything Goes should reignite interest in Alvy, being that it's both an assertive effort and a capable comeback.

Then there's Ominé's Whiskey & Chocolate. Ominé Eager, as she's formally known, is a brash newcomer whose new album is as enticing as its title would suggest. Her sultry, soulful vocals lash out above the instrumental fray while bringing to mind Chrissie Hynde in all her sassy exuberance. After jump-starting the set with the robust rocker "Knock," Ominé keeps the energy intact throughout, her only respite coming toward the set's end. The seductive ballad "Come Back to Me," a sympathetic cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold," and the album's country-sounding conclusion "Songbird" moot the aggression and guarantee the diversity. Ominé's combination of attitude and ability works well in sync, but credit is also due Perdomo, who applies his usual agile touch while providing both production and a good portion of the instrumentation. The liner notes find her giving several shoutouts to family and friends, noble sentiments that affirm her clarity and commitment.

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Lee Zimmerman