Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maybe Tonight - Weird Past FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD

They say that the best things in life are free, well, Maybe Tonight proves that is just the case, the bands blend of infectious Power Pop driven with great choppy guitars, beautiful vocals and a driving beat are simply uplifting and bring a smile to the listeners face and what is more they are giving their album away for free, so the best things in life really are free!

I know very little about this band, other than that they hail from Madrid in Spain, a country that is throwing some brilliant Power Pop bands out there and Maybe Tonight are in the driving seat here with Weird Past.  I have befriended them on Facebook and suggest that you do the same and don't miss a beat from the heart of this band.

Get the album here: HERE

Contact the band: Facebook  and  Myspace

The Rockin' Vickers - The Complete It's Alright!

A competently energetic but relatively faceless British mid-'60s band, the Rockin' Vickers are mostly remembered today because the guitarist for the bulk of their recording career was Ian Willis, who would eventually gain international fame as Lemmy with Hawkwind and Motörhead. The Blackpool band were still Lemmy-less when they made their debut in 1964 with a supremely raunchy version of Neil Sedaka's "I Go Ape," which was anthologized in the '70s on Hard-Up Heroes, the British equivalent of Nuggets. They'd only record three other singles, all of which had Lemmy aboard on guitar. Although capable of generating respectably raunchy, modish heat, they had nothing in the way of original material. Their third single, interestingly, was a version of a Pete Townshend song called "It's Alright," which sounds like a prototype for the much superior "The Kids Are Alright" (although, puzzlingly, The Who had already released "The Kids Are Alright" by the time the Rockin' Vickers' "It's Alright" appeared in March 1966). Who producer Shel Talmy liked the band and produced their final 45, a cover of The Kinks "Dandy," which actually made number 93 in the States (where it was far outpaced by Hermans Hermits version) before the Vickers split in 1967.
(~allmusic) by Richie Unterberger

The Rockin' Vickers a.k.a. 'The Rockin' Vicars' (or 'The Wild Ones') was a notorious rock'n'roll group from Blackpool, England, whose first record "I Go Ape" was released on Decca in 1964. The Rockin' Vicars had a reputation of a wild and unexpected live band, which they strenghtened by using the priest costumes and dog collars as their stage outfit. However, after visiting in Northern Finland in the mid 1960s, they got the new idea of wearing Lappish national costumes, which no doubt looked even wilder in Britain.

The Rockin' Vickers is also remembered as being one of the first British groups to perform behind the Iron Curtain, when they toured in Yugoslavia in July 1965 as part of a cultural exchange with the Red Army Youth Orchestra. In november 1965, the group was ready to conquer Finland as well. Besides touring here as Rev. Black & the Rockin' Vickers (mostly in Northern Finland), they also appeared at the recording studio, where they cut altogether 8 songs, including "Stella" and "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart", which were released by Decca of Finland in early 1966, and leased later to Decca of Ireland.

Only a month after the first trip, they toured again around the Southern Finland (towns of Hämeenlinna, Helsinki, Lahti and Turku). At this point they were calling themselves just The Rockin' Vickers, and the line-up consisted of Harry "Reverend Black" Feeney, Nicholas Gribbon, Stephen Morris, Ciggy Shaw and Ian Holbrook. It was unclear, when Ian Fraiser Willis alias Lemmy Kilmister (ex-Rainmakers/Motown Sect), the most famous member (and the son of a vicar!) joined the group. He might have been in the band already during the first Finnish tour, which would mean that he also appears on the Finnish Decca single. However, all the written sources published in Finland during these tours allude to another guitarist Nicholas Gribbon, a steady member of the group until late 1965. In any case, when the Vickers recorded their last recordings (including Pete Townsend-song "It's Alright" and Ray Davies-song "Dandy") in 1966 for CBS, the guitarist was unquestionably Lemmy. In December 1967, The Rockin' Vickers did their last tour in Finland, and quite soon after the group broke up. Lemmy continued working with (Sam) Gopal's Dream, Opal Butterfly, Hawkwind and Motorhead, and Ciggy Shaw for instance with Soloman King. Steve Wilks and Jeff Carter who were one of the last members to join the group, still play in a band called Manitou with another Blackpool music veteran Pete Gurney. Nicholas Gribbon has maintained some music activities as well, and plays nowadays with his band Nick Unlimited. Nod Turner who was also in the Vickers lives on the isle of Man, and Harry Feeney has a large local main dealership for cars.

Listen: HERE


THEE DIRTYBEATS (Chapel Hill NC) specialize in aggressive, maximally fuzzed-out vintage garage rock from the 60s, the sound that inspired early proto-punk pioneers like the MC5 and the Stooges. 


Monday, January 30, 2012

The Small Faces - There are but four Small Faces

Today would have been Steve Marriots 65th birthday, to celebrate the event I am posting one of the bands finest albums, There are but four Small Faces.

Small Faces' first album for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label originally appeared in two different forms in England (where it was known as Small Faces) and America, and the two song lineups have been combined on an early-'90s American Sony Music reissue: There Are But Four Small Faces. The music here is much more fully developed and experimental than their preceding album, still largely R&B-based (apart from the delightfully trippy "Itchycoo Park," the band's sole American hit) but with lots of unusual sounds and recording techniques being attempted.  - AMG


Paul Bertolino - Bandmaster Flash. FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD

Paul Bertolino is a behind-the-scenes musician's musician from Berkeley, California... a short-list Bay Area session player who has done time fronting one of San Francisco's toughest garage-soul outfits The Sleaves, and is currently playing drums for major label breakout band Persephone's Bees.
Paul draws from a well that incorporates the toughest 60s jangle-rock, the softest 70's a.m. gold, and maybe even a pinch of Radio Shack synth swagger. Almost in spite of that it's laid back, California songwriting so solid and proprietary that it refuses to be picked apart into it's base elements...try as you might. This is the stuff that will make up the Nuggets Boxes of the future, so why wait? Come feel the love. - Paul Koehler 


Contact and more info. Facebook  Myspace

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mascots: 1964-68!

A 32-track compilation of their 1960s recordings, including all five of their Swedish Top Ten hits, lots of A-sides, and some B-sides and LP cuts. "Words Enough to Tell You" is top-drawer Merseybeat and better, in fact, than some genuine Merseybeat songs that were international hits. But nothing else here matches that high point, although "A Sad Boy," "When I Return," and "Goodbye" are fair Merseybeat-ish tunes that should be crowd-pleasers among intense British Invasion pop lovers. Too often the production is thin, the English vocals awkwardly accented, and the songwriting slight, and sometimes there's a mawkish Nordic folk-meets-pop/rock vibe. Originals like "Nobody Crying" and "I Close Your Eyes" have a heavy Hollies influence; "I Want to Live," with its moody intensity, frantic rhythms, and undisciplined fuzz guitar break, is by far their wildest outing (and an uncharacteristic one). The later selections tend toward limp pop/rock, and although their earlier recordings are no more original, they're certainly more fun to hear.   - AMG

Listen:Part 1  Part 2

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Aftermath - Friendlier up Here. FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD

A brilliant find over on Bandcamp that I would like to make you aware of and what is more, the band are giving this little gem away for free!!!

The Aftermath's debut album which boasts 3 top 20 singles in Ireland and was voted The Hot Press list of the 250 best Irish albums of all time.
It features guest appearances. from Steve Wickham from The Waterboys on violin, Vyv Long on cello, Helen Turner from The Style Council on piano and Duncan Patterson ex Anathema on Bass.

What some of the papers say:
“The saviors of Irish lad rock.”
The Irish Independent

“Say hello to rock's latest heroes - Who just happen to be Irish”

“A record of uncompromising, inspired rock anthems. A stellar debut.”

“The hardest working band in Irish showbiz.”

“The record hurtles along in a dizzying myriad of styles but is gratifyingly stuffed full of good tunes... like the Bad Seeds on top form.”

Download the album free: HERE

Contact and read more: Myspace Facebook

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cherry Twister - At Home With Cherry Twister

The title says it all: Cherry Twister are a homespun pop group, and At Home With Cherry Twister is a collection of their homemade demo recordings. Led by frontman Steve Ward, Cherry Twister embody the D.I.Y. ethic of Ram-era McCartney while sounding like they spend lots of time listening to Beach Boys and Big Star records. The guitars are alternately chiming and crunchy all over this one, with gooey, almost sticky-sweet background vocals drenched over every bridge and chorus. The problem is that it sounds better on paper. Like all too many of their peers, Cherry Twister fail to stumble across anything resembling a truly memorable hook (with a few notable exceptions, such as "Meteorite"). And at 16 tracks, the album is an awful lot to swallow, given the lack of an obvious entry point, and given that Steve Ward's rather pinched vocals are an acquired taste. Even with these limitations, At Home With Cherry Twister became one of the most popular guitar pop cult records of the late '90s, showing that Ward's endearingly quirky songwriting and the Twister's devotion to '60s-influenced three-and-a-half minute pop singles certainly reached quite a few listeners.-AMG
Listen: HERE

LIVE. The Jam Farewell Concert, Brighton 11/12/82. LIVE

By no means is this a great quality recording, but given the year, the technology available and the gig in question, it is worth a listen!

Start!/It's Too Bad/Beat Surrender/Away From The Numbers/Ghosts/In The Crowd/Boy About Town/Get Yourself Together/All Mod Cons/To Be Someone/Smithers-Jones/Tales From The Riverbank/Precious/Move On Up/Circus/Down In The Tube Station At Midnight/David Watts/Mr. Clean/Going Underground/ In The City/Town Called Malice/Butterfly Collector/Pretty Green/The Gift


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nederbeat Dutch Nuggets 63-69 - Vol. 2

Between 1963 and 1969 beat music was really happening in the Netherlands. Renowned bands such as the Outsiders, The Motions and Q65 received a great deal of attention. They got a lot of airplay, resulting in many hits and even more gigs. The familiar Beat sound, which was mainly played by Radio veronica, was contagious and all over Holland people were playing the Beat. Hundreds of musicians rehearsed in attics, sheds and garages. Many bands got the chance to record a single...

Part 1. HERE Part 2. HERE

The Dylans - Spirit Finger

The band was formed in early 1990 by former 1,000 Violins guitarist, songwriter, and occasional singer Colin Gregory, now on bass guitar, Jim Rodger (guitar), and Andy Curtis (guitar). They soon recruited Quentin Jennings (keyboards) and Garry Jones (drums), continuing 1,000 Volins sixties-tinged retro style, but with a nod to the "baggy" scene of the time. The band were signed to Beggars Banquet Records' "indie" subsidiary Situation Two (RCA Records in the United States), who released their debut single, "Godlike" in January 1991, which reached the top 10 of the UK Indie Chart.[2] They subsequently replaced Curtis with Andy Cook, and released follow-up singles "Lemon Afternoon" and "Planet Love", before the band's Stephen Street-produced self-titled debut album was released in October 1991. After extensive touring, the band returned in 1992 with the "Mary Quant in Blue" single, but further line-up changes ensued, with Jones and Jennings leaving, to be replaced by Craig Scott and Ike Glover. With interest in the band growing in the United States, the band were signed to Atlantic Records, moving to the main Beggars Banquet roster in the UK for subsequent releases. Two further singles were followed by the band's swansong 1994 album, Spirit Finger. In the face of disappointing sales, the band split later that year.

Get it:HERE

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


When the La's released their debut album in 1990, it made immediate waves in the British pop scene, as well as American college radio. Drawing from the hook-laden, ringing guitars of mid-'60s British pop as well as the post-punk pop of the Smiths, the La's' self-titled first album had a timeless, classic feel. It seemed like effortless music, yet that was not the case. From their inception in 1986, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Lee Mavers was a perfectionist with a nearly obsessive eye for detail. Consequently, the La's were never able to totally fulfill their promise.

Mavers formed the group in Liverpool with bassist John Power, guitarist Paul Hemmings, and drummer John Timson. On the strength of their demo tapes, Go! Discs signed the band in 1987, releasing the single "Way Out"; it received good reviews, yet it wasn't a chart success. Similarly, the following year's "There She Goes" received good press yet stalled on the charts. With a new lineup featuring bassist James Joyce, guitarist Cammy (born Peter James Camell), and Lee's brother Neil on drums, the La's began recording their debut album that same year. The record didn't appear until 1990. Even though Mavers claimed it was rush released, the Steve Lillywhite-produced The La's received glowing reviews and strong sales; a re-released "There She Goes" entered the U.K. Top 20 and hit number 49 in America. For most of 1991, the band was on tour. At the end of the year, they went back to the studio to record their follow-up. This time, Mavers was in complete control and he took his time to perfect the album, re-recording tracks and rewriting songs. The La's disappeared without a trace from the pop music scene. Mavers and a reconstituted band resurfaced in the spring of 1995, playing a handful of supporting concerts that featured a couple of new songs.

Get It: HERE

The Girls of Texas 60's - Various Artists

The best known girl group in Texas during the late 60's was The Heart Beats of Lubbock who are included on this album, along with other great female led bands and that is unfortunately the extent of what I know about this album, but it really is worth a listen!

1. [02:19] The Heartbeats – Crying Inside
2. [02:44] The Heartbeats – Poor Side Of Town
3. [02:36] The Brazen Hussies – Climbing The Wall
4. [02:12] Kay Gramm & The Bandettes – Cross My Heart
5. [03:07] Leisha Brodie – Cross My Heart
6. [06:14] Lou Ann Barton – I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home
7. [05:22] Lou Ann Barton – He’s Gotta Use His Head (To Turn Me On)
8. [03:15] The Heartbeats – Choo Choo Train
9. [02:08] The Heartbeats – Little Latin Lupe Lu
10. [02:34] The Bombshells – Treat Her Right
11. [02:24] The Brazen Hussies – Imitation Me
12. [02:03] The Bad Girls – Santa’s Got A Brand New Bag
13. [02:02] The Baxterettes – Why Oh Why Does Barbara Cry
14. [02:18] Friday & The Girls – An Older Boy 

Get it: HERE

Monday, January 23, 2012


Releasing their second album "Shame" today, another band blowing the bloody doors off the little shop of audible wonders is The Loop from Cambridge, a band with a great bunch of songs to make your feet tap prior to your whole body leaping up and dancing around wherever you are! 
 The Loop are: Martin Holt - Guitars, Vocals, Darren Day - Drums, Vocals, Steve Wilson - Bass Guitars


Formed in the Summer of 2003 The Loop have steadily established themselves as a no-frills guitar based power trio playing gutsy, melodic, powerful songs with a simplistic ‘in yer face’ approach. Martin draws on life experiences when writing the songs and refuses to envelop them in sugary, stereotypical coatings for the masses to conform. Darren & Jamie provide the tight driving force behind this unique, refreshing and energetic collaboration.

The band was developed with a simple ethos in mind: "We've all chased the dream before, we have paid our dues many times over. We would love to turn professional but, we are realistic (not cynical!) and enjoy what we do but our friendship and families come first." 
With debut Album ‘Game Over’ available from I-tunes and ‘the difficult’ 2nd Album ‘Shame’ getting glowing reviews prior to it’s release The Loop are looking to steadily claim more converts by gigging extensively. Keep an eye out and catch them when you can. 

"As British as the river Thames!"

 This band are being raved about just about everywhere I look right now, Mod Radio UK to Glory Boy Radio, to name a couple of places, don't miss out on them, that would be an absolute crime!!!

You can contact The Loop on FACEBOOK and at their MYSPACE page and you can purchase the new album on Itunes or you can order a physical copy of the album at DETOUR RECORDS

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Squire - Get Smart! - 1983

Somewhere between the delicate power pop of Shoes and the classy British pop of mid-period Jam sits the wonderful world of Squire. No, not Billy "The Stroke" Squier. This is Squire, the groovy mod trio fronted by Anthony Meynell, one of pop music's unsung heroes. Spanning the years 1980-1984, this exceptional compilation concentrates on the latter half of the band's career, and contains almost their entire Get Smart album. By this point in the band's career, Meynell had tired of the musical restrictions that the mod scene had thrust upon him. Adding more overdubs in the studio (including a horn section), Meynell created some of the brightest, most exhilarating, guitar-based pop music of the early '80s. Sidestepping such influences as the Who and the Kinks, and embracing Lennon's edge from the Beatles ("No Time Tomorrow"), and the bright, sunny vibe from the Monkees ("Standing In The Rain"), Squire did not create disposable pop, they created timeless pop. Many of these tracks could have been released in the mid-'60s or even in the early '90s at the height of Brit-pop. "Every Trick In The Book Of Love," "You're the One," "My Mind Goes Round In Circles," "Girl On A Train," "Stop That Girl," and "Take A Look" are nothing less than perfect pop songs. When Meynell puts down his pen and records a cover version (including Shoes' "Boys Don't Lie" and Big Star's "September Gurls"), the results are nothing less than Squire-like. Sadly, the only low point on this disc is the A-side of their fan club-only final single, "The Young Idea," which, strangely enough, was probably considered a high point when first released! Mod and power pop fans should keep their eyes peeled for this gem of a CD. It's worth the hype! -AMG

Available at itunes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Who - Sell Out (Deluxe Edition)

The Who Sell Out was given a deluxe reissue in 1995, a reissue that greatly expanded upon the original 13-track album, adding a plethora of outtakes -- some heavily bootlegged -- and rejected jingles to the end of the album proper. That 1995 reissue seemed to mine the vaults pretty thoroughly, removing the need for another expanded reissue, especially not one as lengthy as this 2009 double-disc expansion. In a certain sense that's true, as there's not a whole lot of previously unreleased material among these 53 tracks: there's a rather excellent, snappy studio take on "Summertime Blues," a full version of "Premier Drums," an instrumental called "Sodding About" that could function as the introduction to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (and was indeed planned as part of a rejected instrumental EP with that track), and a tighter yet inferior remake of "Rael 1 & 2," plus a few scattered jingles on the first disc, while the second has a stereo demo of "Relax" that's quite different, and a stereo "Glittering Girl," along with alternate mixes that are rare enough to seem previously unreleased. Unreleased tracks aren't the reason for this package, un-reissued mixes are, with the first disc containing the original stereo mix of Sell Out, the second the original mono mix. Often, parsing these kinds of mixes is the province of fanatics...and to a certain extent that's true here, at least in regards to the stereo mix, which does feel different than the 1995 reissue: it's different but not dramatically so. That's not the case with the mono mix, which is punchier and occasionally graced with additional flair, like a completely different guitar solo on "Our Love Was." Also, this reissue flows differently than the 1995 deluxe edition, which was sequenced to mimic the original album's pirate radio flow. That sensibility is retained on the first disc, where unbilled commercials pop up between the bonus tracks, but on the second disc the bonus material stands slightly apart from the rest of the album, which may be an appropriate move because this disc houses many of the alternate mixes and trails out with uncredited backwards backing tracks for "Armenia City in the Sky" and an unreleased commercial for the U.S. product Great Shakes. Despite all the repeated songs and differing mixes, it's only these hidden clips that feel like collector bait; there's such infectious joy and invention to this music, it's easy to get swept up in its momentum. Besides, repetition has always been the name of the game in radio, so having songs repeat throughout this deluxe edition of The Who Sell Out only accentuates and strengthens its initial pop art concept, which makes this a rare Deluxe Edition that manages to improve an already great album, and offers up a wealth of rarities while still being immensely entertaining. (Collector's note: even though this does have a wealth of rarities, it does not contain "Melancholia" and "Glow Girl" which were on the 1995 disc, giving further reason than the different mix to hold onto that reissue.) - All Music Guide
Link in comments.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dodgy - The Dodgy Album

The Dodgy Album is the debut 1993 album by the British indie group Dodgy.
"Water Under the Bridge", the first single released from this album, saw the beginning of "the way of dodgy", a step-by-step enlightened 'dodgy' philosophy that would appear on the record sleeves for each of their future recordings. The artwork also included their 'mdv' logo. The single was released in early 1993, and the video for the song featured the band in Amsterdam.
The second single was "Lovebirds", a song that had won them award on Gary Crowley's GLR show during the band's youth. Included on the single was the acoustic live favourite "Big Brown Moon".
Continuing their new shiny artwork single success, Dodgy released "I Need Another", the cover of which depicted the band as garden gnomes and included a campfire version of "Never Again", complete with the sound of crackling logs.

Get it: HERE

Thursday, January 19, 2012


The Theme are:
Gary Davis -lead vocals, Paul Bassom - lead guitarist, Martin Gamby - Drums, Anthony Morgan - bass and Reece Wiggett - lead/rhythm guitar.

 I heard THE THEME recently on the Glory Boy Radio show playing the track "The first time I saw you" and I was immediately taken back to 1979 where I was sitting in front of a remoteless, fat television set, microphone in one hand and the other hand poised above the pause button of my mobile cassette recorder in pretty much the way I did when waiting for The Jam to appear on Top of the Pops back then.  The Theme's sound is full of energy, it is exciting, melodic and fun, and whilst it takes you back to another time of great music, it also sits comfortably besides the likes of Oasis The Real People and Ocean Colour Scene.


                                   The Theme is bringing the britpop/mod scene back to life!

The Theme describe themselves as a South London fusion of Brit-Pop and post-Punk Modrock! This is not sixties flower-power, it's hard-hitting rock music in the best traditions of Mod-Revival Power Pop.  "We're not trying to re-invent the wheel, we just wanna play some rock and roll."


The band have just released an excellent six track EP/mini Album, all six tracks have a real British sound about them, something that is extremely refreshing in amongst all these pseudo American RnB singers that seem to be thrust upon us from every direction at the moment, the EP is available to download from itunes HERE.

            "We love the music, we love the clothes, but this is our music and this is our sound…"

100 Club Oxford Street Friday Febuarary 3rd
Purple Turtle Camden Friday Febuarary 10th
Camden Rocks Friday 24th Febuaray
Billeracy Football Club Friday 9th March, supporting The Mannerquins.
Southend Riga Bar April 14th supporting The Most (mod band)
Islington O2 April 18TH.

The Theme are a good honest, well dressed rock 'n' roll band playing the music they love and are having a great time doing it..........and that is exactly when the best music is made!

You can contact the The Theme on FACEBOOK  and read more about them at REVERBNATION

MOD ON! (Expression copyright Carl Grisley)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Purple Hearts - Beat That. 1979

Outstanding disc by one of the best of the Mod Revival Bands.  Solid musicianship, witty and well-delivered lyrics. This album is brilliant.  Thirty years after its release it sounds as fresh, energetic and as relevant now as it did in 1979.  If you are looking for a very good example of what "Mod Revival" sounds like, this is as good a place to start as any. 

 Get it: HERE (NEW LINK)

The Bank Holidays - As a Film.

It must be frustrating for a band like the Bank Holidays, with all their effortless talent and charm, to watch the culturally effulgent east coast spawn artists who, almost by protocol, manage to gather momentum and interest by sole virtue of exposure in the ‘big’ cities. You know, those cities where all the reputable indie labels are, where all the most forceful writers, announcers and lifestyle spruikers are. It’s probably extreme to paint Perth bands as outsiders – victims – but to an extent it is true. Most Australian musicians already understand the limits of our geographical predicament. Imagine living in Perth.
Still, with the opportunities for exposure and career-fulfilment being slimmer in Perth, there’s probably an instinct for the bands to work harder, or to play to their own strengths rather than the benchmarks set by others. The Bank Holidays is one of a handful of Perth bands at the moment that seem incapable of failure, if you ignore circumstance and concentrate solely on their efforts. In essence, As A Film is a marvellously consistent, lyrically thoughtful, emotionally provocative and seasonally specific (i.e. summer, i.e. now) album brimming with sincerity and melodic hooks to die for.
It’s an album for pleasure – an album replete with songs that mark moments like musical milestones. The lyrics are infused with the type of pop wisdom that we all take for granted but like to have reinforced in song. Take ‘Teaching Pupils’, where in the first verse a rather undesirable group of friends ‘tip your bag out on the lawn’ and ‘pin things to your uniform’. Following these accounts, sometime vocalist James Crombie warns us that, in order to save face and dignity, you’ll need to lie and ‘teach your pupils not to dilate’. Anyone who has ever forced back tears to save face will understand and cherish the sentiment.
Of course, being pop music it’s got a large capacity for nostalgia, and the strength of the melodies and harmonies involved here echo certain oft-referenced Californian luminaries, but if charisma and endearment are both essential ingredients for a good pop album, As A Film is a quiet classic.
by Shaun Prescott
Get It: HERE

Frisbie - The Subversive Sounds of Love.

Heralded by many as the banner carriers of power pop for the 21st century, few bands have displayed such a mastery of pop songcraft on a debut release. Though not horribly adventurous with their sound, the unabashed reliance on sophisticated harmonic vocal arrangements, fuzzed out guitars, and occasional brass sections was seen as near revelatory in some critical circles. No doubt, the sweeping Big Star-inspired melodic progressions of tracks like "Shine" and "To See and Be Seen" more than deserved the accolades that The Subversive Sounds of Love garnered. When upping the tempo and volume on tracks like the galloping "Paid in Kind" or the punchy "Vertigogo," Frisbie can sound downright anthemic, though the more California-styled rock of "Disaster" probably fits their sound just as well. Still, it's hard to say that you ever get a real sense of the group dynamic that's at work in the process. And while that process delivers on an undeniably cohesive pop product, the personalities involved are never totally evident. An exception to this, the album closes with the theatrical whimsy of piano and banjo in "The Shuffle," proving the band can put a more pronounced face on their sound. Although artists like this emerge on a semi-frequent basis, and usually don't amount to very much in the long term, Frisbie gives hope to the power pop true believers. -AMG

Get it: HERE

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GIG DATE. Sixties Garage, Power Pop night of love. GIG DATE

The Fighting Cocks in Kingston hosts a three band extravaganza on February 10th, the three bands gracing the stage are The Legendary Groove Men, The Past Tense and Pope.

Check the Fighting Cocks web page for times and venue location THE FIGHTING COCKS

Helium Angel - Early Clue to a New Direction

Helium Angel are a young mod band from San Francisco, so correctly mod in fact, that they thank their local Vespa Club and their scooter suppliers in the liner notes. The influences are all right too—The Jam, The Who, The Small Faces. But like the Small Faces before them, Helium Angel clearly dig psychedelia too, though theirs seem to come mainly from the Byrd’s “Eight Miles High” school.

As the album wears on, you realize there’s not a lot of fury here, but then Helium Angel aren’t playing in the shadow of Thatcherism and the Sex Pistols either. There is plenty of self-assured, catchy and crunchy power pop (yes, crunchy can be good), played with the confidence and ability only earned through generous amounts of practice, live playing and, dammit, heart. The punkiest song on the block is “When the Plane Touched Down,” about equal parts Who and Buzzcocks. Here and there, Keith Moon-style drums surface, but then so do Beatlesque harmonies, and a slashing Pete Townshend-ish rhythm guitar. I bet these guys have done a few windmills on their guitars—at least in front of their mirrors. It all adds up to an exciting debut, that while it could use a bit more variety, clearly sets them up for a killer effort next
By PopMatters

Get it: HERE 

Monday, January 16, 2012


Sometimes a band or musician seems to fly just below the radar and therefore get missed by the masses, one such band, who after 7 albums and EP,s of finely crafted power pop gems, should be flying so high above that are Baby Scream.  Listening to the musical output of this band, you may be left wondering why they are not picked up by satellite radars and beamed into every house across the globe!

Baby Scream is a project lead by Argentinian, Juan Pablo Mazzola, who crafts his songs in a similar vein to Jason Falkner, Bryan Estepa, Matthew Sweet and even early John Lennon solo material. All of Baby Screams songs are sung in English and it is very easy to forget that this is not the bands first language, the lyrics are so well written and delivered on each and every track the band have released.
The most recent album by the band, Secret Place, their 8th,  has a very retro feel about it, in as much as it is awash with great melodies reminiscent of The Stones, The Beatles even T-Rex, in fact the B-side of the "Hit and Run" single from the album is a version of "20th Century Baby" a song written by Marc Bolan and only released as a demo after his death. 
Secret Place is a typical Baby Scream album: it shares a vision equally desolated and hopeful of a world that combines innocence, evil, stupidity, youth culture, classic rock and roll, the escapism and the ravages of drugs, the different cities and places you visit when you're on the road, love, treason, rage, fear of the unknown, all of this expressed with an almost immaculate point of view that could belong to a child that observes the world without any kind of prejudice. It is maybe because of this that the album cover and the pictures inside the CD booklet, (taken by Marcia Hill) depict a somehow childish universe: the sweet grandma that offers us a tea in a suburban afternoon, the furry cuddly toys in the park, the toy windmill forgotten in the garden after playtime…

There is a secret place, seems to say Baby Scream, in which we are still children and we see things as they are: as an eternal dream passing in front of our eyes, always changing, always surprising, sometimes depressing, sometimes thrilling, in which we don't actually know our place or our role, but we still try to enjoy ourselves as much as we can.

You can contact and find out more about Baby Scream: Facebook  Myspace  Reverbnation

You can buy Baby Scream - Secret Place here: CDBABY

The Singles - Start Again

During the 15 minutes that Detroit became the center of the garage rock universe in the wake of the White Stripes' breakthrough, the Singles received a bit of international acclaim for their debut album, 2003's Better Than Before, but like a number of other Motor City bands, the hype machine didn't turn over for them, and four years later, leader Vince Frederick is fronting a new lineup of Singles for the pointedly titled Start Again. However, Frederick thankfully is still in firm command of the gifts that made the earlier version of the band memorable -- British Invasion style melodies, pop hooks galore, and plenty of energy, with the results sounding a good bit more like the Flamin' Groovies than, say, fellow Detroiters the Dirtbombs. Frederick wrote a dozen solid pop songs for this set, and he sings them with commendable spirit and force, and his new rhythm section (John Hale on bass and Brian Thunders on drums) are entirely simpatico, knowing when to push hard on a rocker like "I Want You Back Now" or "Start Again" and when to ease back on the more measured "Better Days" and the heart-broken "I Don't Wanna Be the Last to Know." Jim Diamond, who produced Better Than Before, is back behind the board for this set, and he gives the Singles a full-bodied sound that's equally friendly to the crunchy guitars and the precise harmonies. If you ever wondered what happened to power pop, it's alive and well and living in the Singles' rehearsal space, and with any luck, Start Again will earn this band the recognition they so richly deserve.
Get it: HERE

Sunday, January 15, 2012

YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS - Electric Bird Digest

The decline in the Young Fresh Fellows' wackiness factor (and the growth of their relatively serious side) that began on This One's for the Ladies following the departure of Chuck Carroll continued on Electric Bird Digest. Musically, the band sounded harder and more aggressive than ever before, with Kurt Bloch and Scott McCaughey's guitars sounding much better integrated than on their previous go-round, though the pop sensibilities of primary songwriter McCaughey were still very much in evidence. And while there are glimmers of the band's trademark sense of humor (most obviously on the goofy snippet "The Teen Thing" and in titles like "Tomorrow's Gone (And So Are You)" and "Swiftly But Gently"), for the most part Electric Bird Digest is witty rather than laugh-out-loud funny, and there's a thin but audible undercurrent of angst running through much of the album (especially on Kurt Bloch's songs, which suggest the Fastbacks without their undertow of gleeful sloppiness) -- not particularly surprising from a band still trying to struggle by on a cult reputation after close to a decade on the boards. But as a rock band, the Young Fresh Fellows rarely sounded tighter or more emphatic than they do here, and, as on This One's for the Ladies, the best songs on Electric Bird Digest prove that the band could get serious and still have plenty to say, both musically and lyrically. And the production by Butch Vig gives the band's sound a muscle it rarely had in the past, without losing their melodic sense along the way. It's not one of the Fellows most fun albums, but, from a musical standpoint, it captures them at the top of their game. 

 Get it: HERE

Saturday, January 14, 2012

International Pop Overthrow San Diego 2012

The International Pop Overthrow festival  is back in San Diego for the fourth straight year! IPO San Diego will feature 26 of the best pop and rock bands from San Diego and beyond, with all shows to be held at the groovy venue, Eleven!

Here are the lineups:

Friday, February 17 (Cover: $10)

7:30 Eugene Edwards Band
8:15 Phil Vandermost and Telesound
9:00 Plane Without A Pilot
9:45 King Washington
10:30 Yoya
11:15 The New Kinetics
12:00 Dave Rave

Saturday afternoon, February 18 (Cover: $8)

1:00 Veronica May
1:45 Sue Hedges
2:30 The Bigfellas
3:15 The Secret Seven
4:00 Math & Science Pretend Band (Trio)
4:45 Suite 100

Saturday evening, February 18 (Cover: $10)

7:30 Subsurfer
8:15 The Shambles
9:00 The Cherry Bluestorms
9:45 Cannoneers
10:30 Trenchtown
11:15 City Of Blue
12:00 Lexington Field

Sunday afternoon, February 19 (Cover: $8)

1:00 Spud Davenport
1:45 The Condors
2:30 The Midwinters
3:15 The Very
4:00 The Swarm
4:45 My Revenge

Eleven is a 21+ venue; no exceptions.

Splitsville - Presents...The Complete PetSoul

Splitsville's fourth album is a complete departure from anything the band had previously done. Originally recorded as a four-song EP to be given away as a sort of party favor at the first International Pop Overthrow festival in Los Angeles, the much-expanded The Complete Pet Soul is, as the title implies, a dual tribute to both Pet Sounds and Rubber Soul. On the original EP, the Pet Sounds influence came through more strongly, thanks to the heavily orchestrated feel, but on this full-length version, the orchestral tracks are nicely balanced with several new songs that recall the low-voltage, almost folk-rock sound that predominated on the original U.S. edition of Rubber Soul. Still, the Pet Sounds pastiche tracks are the real standouts simply for being done with such obvious affection and good humor, especially the swooning "Caroline Knows" and the almost Smile-like multi-part mini-operetta "The Love Songs of B. Douglas Wilson," which is the album's high point. Musically, it should have been the album's closing track, but instead, a cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" recorded for the soundtrack of the cheerleading film Bring It On is tacked on at the end. It doesn't quite match the mood of the rest of the album, and it's certainly not a patch on Dionne Warwick's version, so it's an odd, equivocal ending to an otherwise superb album.-AMG


Friday, January 13, 2012

Mando Diao - Bring 'Em In.

One of Mute's more unlikely signings, Mando Diao mixes Swedish garage rock and soaring, Brit-pop-inspired melodies -- not exactly a perfect match with the rest of the label's darker, more experimental and largely electronic roster. Still, if Mute felt obliged to acknowledge the garage rock revival, they could've done worse; Mando Diao's debut album, Bring 'Em In, shows a little more flair than some of the cookie-cutter bands that have appeared in the wake of the White Stripes and the Hives. Speaking of the Hives, it may be lazy criticism to compare Mando Diao to its better-known countrymen, but the band's sharp, strutting riffs and Gustaf Norén's raspy sneer of a voice share some obvious similarities. Slightly less obvious, however, are the similarities to Oasis' swaggering but decidedly poppy hooks and conquer-the-world attitude, but traces of both these bands' sounds infiltrate and inform Bring 'Em In, particularly on harder-hitting tracks like the title track, "Sheepdog," and "Motown Blues," the title of which alludes to some of the band's deeper influences. Mando Diao's love of '60s soul and R&B -- or, at least, love of mod and British Invasion bands such as the Who and the Animals, who loved and were influenced by '60s soul and R&B -- adds a distinctive touch to the band's sound.-AMG

Get It: HERE


The debut album by Glasgow's Astrid follows three EPs, no songs from which are included here. Although the Nick Drake and Sarah Records-influenced twee pop of Belle and Sebastian was getting the majority of the Scottish music industry press in 1999, Astrid's considerably peppier sound has much more in common with earlier Glaswegian heroes as Teenage Fanclub or the BMX Bandits. Obviously '60s-influenced (the band is named after famous Beatle girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr, after all) but not at all slavishly retro in the manner of Oasis, this teenage quartet mix their Merseybeatisms (dig the jangly guitars and close harmonies of "Plastic Skull," which sounds like what the La's album might have if it had been properly finished, or "Like a Baby," which sounds exactly like an early Kinks B-side) with enough odd synth wiggles and snippets of feedback and noise to make it clear what decade this was recorded in. The lyrics are nothing special, but neither are they particularly dopey, and the amount of variety in the band's arrangements (the mix of William Campbell's electric and Charles Clark's acoustic guitar adds depth to their basic sound) and Edwyn Collins' production keeps Strange Weather Lately from sounding as samey as many other albums in this style. Strange Weather Lately found a fair amount of critical and commercial success in the U.K., but the fact that an album this melodically satisfying and sonically interesting could not find an American distributor simply boggles the mind.
Get it: HERE

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The van accident that claimed the lives of three of the Exploding Hearts was tragic on many levels; musically, it wiped out the future of possibly the best punk band since 1977.
At first glance, the Exploding Hearts seem like mere revivalists. From the pink and yellow cover to their 1977 looks to their influences, it would be easy to dismiss them. But you need to hold the phone a minute and listen, because the Exploding Hearts are the best punk band to come along in a long time, maybe since the original wave. About those influences, here is a partial list: the early Clash if Mick Jones wrote all the songs and the Only Ones or Buzzcocks at their emotional best, but also classic power pop sounds like a (much) tougher Rubinoos, rock & roll like a tighter and sober New York Dolls, and the lo-fi approach of Billy Childish. Guitar Romantic is an amazingly raw and melodic debut, fully realized and original despite the obvious debt to the punk past. It is difficult to pinpoint just what it is about the band that helps overcome their idol worship. Maybe it is the love and authenticity that they pour into the worship, the raw production that smashes the guitars and bass into a whirling mess of tuneful noise, or the wonderfully tough but tender vocals. Most likely it is the songwriting. Too many bands that seek to re-create a sound or an era don't have the tunes to back it up. Not the Hearts. Every song on Guitar Romantic makes a bid to be the best on the album: "I'm a Pretender" is a jaunty kick in the head, "Sleeping Aides & Razorblades" is an ultra-catchy doo wop-inspired ballad with a brilliant guitar line, "Thorns in Roses" is a rollicking '50s-influenced ballad, "Throwaway Style" melds a lovelorn lyric to a Motown beat (the same one the Strokes heisted for "Last Nite") to great effect. There isn't a weak song here, not a single one that isn't on par with the best punk-pop. If you don't have this album and have even the slightest affinity for poppy punk rock or punky pop/rock, you are missing out on something special.

Get it: HERE