Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Spinanes - Strand - 1996

Although Gates and Plouf still play almost everything on their second outing, they make things more interesting by fooling around with a greater variety of instruments (adding more keyboards particularly) and getting outside guest vocalists to harmonize on a few songs. The songwriting (now handled by Gates exclusively) gets more penetrating as well, and the production is more imaginative (but does not approach slickness). At their most morose they recall "sadcore" groups like Low and Spain, but the Spinanes have more diversity than those acts. -AMG



Monday, May 30, 2011

Lucky Bishops - Lucky Bishops - 2000

Boasting a big, highly melodic psychedelic sound, the Lucky Bishops' debut shows a very ambitious and talented group of artists. Almost sounding like a British equivalent of an Elephant 6 band, the Lucky Bishops' craft texturally dense compositions that show off their excellent group harmonies as well as their proficiency in an impressive array of instruments. Opening with the whirling organs of the anthemic "Stratosphere," the album quickly switches gears into the acoustic Lennon-esque intro of "Right Direction," which soon melts into being a sunny, uptempo, psychedelic pop song. Certainly, elements of the Beatles are heard frequently enough, as well as touches of the Beach Boys and the Who circa The Who Sell Out. The schizophrenic tempo changes of "I'm Convinced" fit well with the more straightforward Brit-pop of "Ashtralia," which, when added to the more progressive elements of their music, amounts to a very challenging and listenable debut. Overall, a very sonically pleasing album which shows considerable promise. -AMG


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stag - Paper Crown [EP] - 2011

Stag is the kind of band that formed for exactly the right reason: because the five members found joy in making music together. If that seems simple, and old fashioned in a way, there was once a time when that was the only reason music was ever crafted by any rock band. It was that reason that inspired bands in dank clubs of Liverpool, beery barrooms of Cleveland, or in the tiny taverns that made up the Seattle music scene back in the day.

On their new EP, Seattle-based Stag accomplish the hard task of making music seem entirely joyful and easy. Even when the lyrics are sharply dark, as on the title track here “Paper Crown,” the guitars and vocals soar with an exhuburance that evokes the “High Numbers”-era Who, or the best seventies power pop.

Stag's EP is now available at Sonic Boom as well as iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.


Fellow Power Popper Needs Help

Can any one help with the name and artist of this song?

Here are the lyrics

you left on a later train
i saw you
i called your name
there's a lot of the time ahead
and a whole new life
we had such good times together
we fought forever
they all thought we were brothers
we didn't care

and we live in different ways
just too many loose absent friends

how i want you home again
won't you ride back home
how i want you home again

it's funny how when you look back
it's always the road so sad
it's funny how we can't see that
it's human right
maybe we're scared to turn back
to live on, and move on
maybe we even have some right
to cover up tracks

and we live in different ways
just too many loose absent friends

how i want you home again
won't you ride back home
how i want you home again

Answer!! Thanks to reader Powerpako

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Clarks - Let It Go - 2000

Critics normally prefer an album to contain both good songs and bad songs -- it makes the album easier to review, since you can compare and contrast. So the Clarks' latest effort is kind of irritating. How can all 12 songs be such perfectly formed slabs of emotional power pop? And for that matter, how can a band this good have remained largely a Pittsburgh-area phenomenon for so long? No matter. What's important is that from the huge and cathartic "Snowman" that opens the album to the gently soulful "If Memory Serves" that closes it, Let It Go just moves from strength to strength: "I'm a Fool" is a confession of romantic helplessness that veers from spare funk to roadhouse country-rock; "Born Too Late" name-checks various historical heroes over a shimmering bed of 12-string guitar; and "Flame" juxtaposes looped drums with jazzy guitar chords and a subtlety brilliant bassline. No, the lyrics aren't very deep; songs with titles like "Chasin' Girls" and "Better Off Without You" don't offer any surprises. But who needs surprises? There's enough pure pleasure in this album to make you give up sophistication for good. -AMG



Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Britannicas - Talkin' 'Bout Summer - The 3 sided single

The Britannicas are very much 21st century men… fully embracing technology and a DIY attitude to make classic pop music. They’ve dispensed with the idea of being a traditional band allowing them to completely by-pass the music scene in their respective cities and go straight to the world.
Every note and every scene in “Talkin’ ‘bout Summer” was produced by the band members from three different countries - Sweden, United States and Australia.

Summer is here…. enjoy!

Herb Eimerman...Joe Algeri...Magnus Karlsson...The BRITANNICAS

The Finkers - Double Back & Go - 2000

The Finkers were a powerpop four piece from Sydney, Australia. Formed in 1998 around the nucleus of powerpop drummer/collector Mickster and pop producer Michael Carpenter. Their debut live show (July '99) was also the album launch for their debut album "Fresh Set-o-Prints", and within 12 months they had released a followup in 2000's "Double Back & Go". In 2001 The Finkers toured Spain, France and Germany to promote the double 12" re-issue for the 2 albums. In 2002 Japan's Wizzard in Vinyl label released a Finkers compilation titled "Whole Lotta Fun", and 2003 saw THE FINKERS final recordings released as the "Stance".



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Urge Overkill - Saturation - 1993

When they hit the major labels, Urge Overkill followed through on their promise with the blistering Saturation. It's stadium rock by clever post-punkers who are smart enough to not let their carefully crafted image interfere with the music. Every one of the 12 songs is a killer, from the outlandish menace of "Stalker" to the moving ballad "Back on Me," as well as the tongue-in-cheek "Woman 2 Woman" and the radio hit "Sister Havana." -AMG



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Meows - At The Top Of The Bottom - 2005

Third album from The Meows (Spain). Rock and roll with a heavy blues touch, a twist of punk spirit and atmosphere like recorded in 60's or 70's. Songs are presented very fresh and loose but still are made with eye for detail. Lot's of rocking guitarriffs and leads. The rhythym section keep up the tempo while melodies cross now and then. Vocals are both firm and bluesy with a lot of variation. A lot of nostalgia but nevertheless interesting and uplifting between all fake-ass (pop)rock nowadays.......



Monday, May 23, 2011

The Badge - ...Digital Retro... - 1998

Formed in 1997 by Jeff Slate, The Badge was immediately recognized amongst the throng of mod-leaning bands as the one to keep an eye on. Slate recruited three musicians he’d played with over the years and with whom he shared a musical and aesthetic bond and crafted The Badge’s spectacular debut, “…digital retro…” Slate knew he was onto something, but as happens in the world of musicians the band soon headed in separate directions; with Dido, Jewel, They Might Be Giants, and such.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Connection - Stop Talking "EP"

The Connection are a band from Portsmouth, NH/Boston Ma. Four Rock N Roll veterans (of The Guts/The Queers/Rydells/Red Invasion/Jonee Earthquake Band) have combined to form your new favorite band!
They play stripped down '60s influenced Rock N Roll!.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Marc Teamaker - Lust For Wanda - 1998

Marc Teamaker's gentle vocals and consummate guitar playing often draw comparisons to Todd Rundgren, Matthew Sweet and James Taylor. Although a relatively unknown artist outside of the East Coast, fans of melodic pop would do well to seek out the recordings of this highly articulate singer/songwriter. -AMG



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Asteroid No. 4 - King Richard's Collectibles - 2001

Introducing... may have represented Asteroid No. 4's trip into druggy space rock, but its sophomore release is the band's ode to '60s garage. The "Psychedelphia" quintet's rock is stripped down from its effects-laden guitars, drawing from the likes of the Kinks, Nick Drake, and the Who. Several tracks, such as the upbeat "Monday Morning Gloom," are closer to traditional rock & roll, while "Poor Man's Falls" avoids electric guitar altogether, opting for flute-assisted folk. Of course, there are still psychedelic elements in the band's agenda (perhaps encouraged by the production of the Lilys' Kurt Heasley). These constants come in the form of gleeful harmonies, Byrds-esque guitars, and Mellotron. Surely enough to fulfill the needs of the psychedelia enthusiast. -AMG



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Squat the Condos - We Should Be Together

A fun EP from Chicago's Squat the Condos.  Give it a listen!
Curty Ray

Ed James - Big Time - 2004

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat...Ed James is the total package; a singer/ songwriter, and performer that grows leaps and bounds with each new release! His latest,"BIG TIME" leads off with the killer track "You And Whose Army",that is why we made it "Single Of The Week" AT POPBANG RADIO.This cd will appeal big time to fans of Nick Gilder,The States(remember them?)and The Rubinoos,as well as the fans of huge hooks and harmonies.A very welcome return to the scene from one of the top acts in power pop today!Great stuff without question! -Popbang Radio

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tommy 16 - Rockin' Big Budda - 1997

Born under the original moniker Hardy Nilsson, Tommy 16 brought on their influences of Teenage Fanclub and Big Star to their home country of Sweden. Consisting of Urban Holmberg (vocals/ guitar), Lars Hall (guitar /vocals), Jan Pettersson (guitar), Niclas Marklund (guitar), Mikael Eriksson (bass) and Patrik Sundqvist (drums), Tommy 16 soon found themselves being heard on the radio with the release of their first single appropriately titled "#1 single." After signing to the local indie label A West Side Foundation, Tommy 16 soon established themselves as Swedish pop icons with their first album Shauna. Followed by the singles "Racerboy" and "Come on, Come on (Please Let Me See It)" in 1997, their follow-up album, Rockin' Big Budda, came out that same year around the time of their first full-fledged Swedish tour. -AMG



Monday, May 16, 2011

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Origin, Vol. 1 - 2005

Sweden's the Soundtrack of Our Lives have been swinging for the rock fences for a decade. Origin, Vol. 1, the band's second stateside-issued full-length, offers close, up-front proof of the inspiration for perseverance. These tracks are drenched with unabashed homages to TSOOL's heroes from rock's family tree, from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Love, pre-Tommy Who, the Doors, the Stooges, Barrett-era Pink Floyd, etc. And while it is true that TSOOL have dipped into the well before, on Origin, Vol. 1 they immerse themselves in it. The set opens with "Believe I've Found," a midtempo rocker. Echoes of psychedelic music from the ages waft through its mix, as Ebbot Lundberg traces through the wasteland of his past and underscores his new sense of mental and emotional equanimity without saying what it is. With a great hook, a roaring electric guitar and organ chorus, and poignant lyrics, it's one of the best tunes in the band's catalog. "Transcendental Suicide" comes right out of TSOOL's obsession with the Who, with a dramatic, tight-wristed strummed acoustic six-string flourish that gets eclipsed by an anthemic electric thrum and a propulsive bassline that rings above it all, driving the tune out of the groove and into the backbone of the listener. Lundberg spits his words, doing his best garage band wail à la Rob Younger from Radio Birdman. "Bigtime," the album's first single, is a bit more problematic. There isn't a riff and the song's hook is skeletal at best. Endlessly repetitive, it is also drenched in cheesy sequenced keyboards that are thankfully overshadowed by the electric guitars in the refrain and then eclipses itself in an orgy of noisy distortion in the bridge. Why it was chosen as a single is puzzling, to say the least. "Heading for a Breakdown" is a layered psych rock tapestry with a barely disguised riff from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," while its overdose bass pummel displaces the hook and turns it over into a beautifully textured heavy pop song. The whomping "Mother One Track Mind" comes right out of the band's longtime Stooges worship -- and it works. Snarling, razor guitars overshadow Lundberg's vocal until the chanted distorto-groove chorus. "Midnight Children" features a guest duet vocal by Jane Birkin. Underscored by a minimal organ that threads the melody, Lundberg references Lou Reed as Birkin wafts and winds her way around his words and croons sweetly in the refrain. The Serge Gainsbourg influence on the cut is pronounced, but doesn't carry it off into parody. The hook feels organic and the duet is seamless. Ultimately, Origin, Vol. 1 is a look back through the past -- musically, personally, poetically, and culturally -- as a way of moving toward the future, celebrating its influence and shaking free of its baggage. TSOOL have arrived after a decade of carefully and meticulously crafting a passionate and compelling rock music that incorporates everything it finds genuine and necessary in pursuit of a music and lyricism that powerfully and beautifully articulate that which is less than obvious. -AMG



Sunday, May 15, 2011


Chicago rockers, THE LAUREATES announced that their second full-length album, Spells, will hit the streets June 28, 2011 on 12” vinyl on the band's own imprint, Funambulist Recording Company. In 2010, while the band recorded and released a cover every month as part of their “Year of The Covers” experiment, they also wrote and recorded another 10 original tracks with all the passion and grit expected of these Chicago favorites. Spells’ basic tracks were recorded by Johnathan Crawford on an 8-track tape machine at Catalyst in Chicago, and finished at Clown Town during the summer and fall.

The songs on Spells combine the crystalline, modern-pop sensibilities of their first album, There Are No More Gentlemen with the more echoed, vintage analog acoustics of the No Kontrol EP, producing an electrifying amalgam of the energies of their previous recordings. The new album finds the band straying from the 3-minute pop song formula on tracks such as “Life of Leisure” and “Moon Bitch,” the former starting out as a bouncy strut of sunshine-y pop before veering into darker psychedelic noise, and the latter closing out the album as a slow-burn vamp that brings to mind a marriage of Ziggy Stardust and Doolittle. The narrator on the menacing track, “Robbers” slips in and out of paranoid nightmares of both the sleeping and sleep-walking varieties while the drums shuffle along in concert with a Velvets-inspired guitar riff. But the record still retains The Laureates’ signature blasts of pop on songs like the anthemic “Changes, Etc.”, the angular “Don’t Lose Your Cool”, and the weary but bright-eyed “Oh, Delusion.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sorry! Wrong links!

I posted the wrong links for The Wake Ups. The links have been corrected . I apologize for any inconvenience.

Curty Ray

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Wake Ups - Wanna Meet the Wake Ups - 2002

With feel-good power pop and snappy songwriting, the Wake Ups follow in the footsteps of acts like Big Star and Cheap Trick, but never make the mistake that many of their contemporaries fall prey to -- pop/punk. Nope, the Wake Ups maintain a crunchy, Beatles-loving, retro sheen, and while not as original as, say, Brendan Benson, songs like "Can't Believe My Luck" recall Big Star's "September Gurls," while "Second Time Around" resonates with a '70s countrified flavor. The Wake Ups can do a little glam rock, too ("Nobody Slows"), but they never seem to simply be rehashing old territory. By the end, despite all the different influences, the sound of Wanna Meet the Wake Ups can come off a little homogenous, but this record is a substantial debut that forecasts good things to come. -AMG


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Housemartins - London 0 Hull 4 - 1986

Like a box of chocolate truffles with BBs hidden in them, a Housemartins album offers deceivingly simple and tuneful pop songs that are designed to cause you some discomfort once you start chewing on them. Singer and songwriter Paul Heaton sings with a disarmingly boyish voice, high and adenoidal, and his bandmates contribute angelic harmonies as well as sweet and straightforward guitar pop instrumental settings. But listen closely to Heaton's lyrics and you find yourself plunged into a world of class resentment, bitter economic disappointment, and strangled rage. "Get Up Off Our Knees" includes the deathless couplet "Don't point your fingers at them and turn to walk away/Don't shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today," while "Sitting on a Fence" ridicules those who "see both sides of both sides" and "Sheep" bemoans the apathy of the downtrodden masses. Heaton is no simple lefty -- his politics are a strange amalgam of Marxism and Christianity -- but his views are brutally uncompromising, and they constitute a very iron fist wrapped in the velvet glove of the Housemartins' blissful guitar pop. Agree with him or not, there's no denying the music's power. -AMG



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Dentists - Behind the Door I Keep the Universe - 1994

The Dentists on a major label? An American major label at that? Something not to be imagined, and yet such was the case when Behind the Door surfaced on EastWest in 1994. In some ways it's not so surprising -- after all, the Dentists' core strength was always an instant, thoroughly catchy and captivating guitar pop sense, as commercial as one could ask for, one might think. None of that was lost along the way here, and if there's a subtle pushing up of some elements for even easier digestion -- Michael Murphy's voice is even more clear here than before, for instance -- the beauty and rush of the band isn't gone at all. Longtime fans will find no cause for complaint, and it's easy to imagine new ones picking up on the album's many joys. The changes and approaches on the album are but slight in comparison to the past, but sometimes totally effective -- whether it's the excellent interweaving of Bob Collins and Mark Matthews on backing vocals throughout, or the very sudden stop-start on the shimmering jump of "Space Man." Then there's the gentle but still good trancebeat on "In Orbit," the slow but sure build and surge of "Gas," and many other moments besides, all while retaining the sprightly, energetic feel that characterizes the band. Lyrically, the group's eye for life's seemingly smaller details and crises and how to make great music out of them remains unchanged. "Sorry Is Not Enough," on the surface, may just be about coming home too late, but the sweep of the music matches the perhaps surprising emotional heft of the words, especially in the surprisingly effective synth-tinged mid-song break. Add in an amusing cover with Grigg's bald head covered with little toys and trinkets, and Behind the Door is another fine Dentists album. -AMG

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads - 2006

Many bands break up at the right time, or at least a little past it, but the Lemonheads' disbandment seemed premature, particularly because it didn't seem like they officially broke up; they just faded away. For Lemonheads leader Evan Dando, it was a surprisingly quick fall from glory -- or at least from being a Sassy star and one of People's Most Beautiful People, touted as the next big thing after Kurt Cobain, to being alt-rock's most notorious also-ran. Not long after the group's fourth album for Atlantic, 1996's Car Button Cloth, he quietly pulled the plug on the group and slinked away from the spotlight, taking a long, long time to recharge. After seven years, he resurfaced with a sleepy but likeable solo debut called Baby I'm Bored in 2003, and that activity apparently lit a fire underneath Dando, since three years later he reunited the Lemonheads, releasing an eponymous album that fall. The album only confirms the suspicion that the group should never have broken up -- unless that Dando needed the time to sober up and get refocused, since he certainly couldn't have made a record as tight and direct as this in the mid-'90s. Lord knows he tried, but for as wonderful as much of 1993'sCome on Feel the Lemonheads and Car Button Cloth are, both are ragged and filled with aimless filler, two things thankfully missing from The Lemonheads. Like the 1992 power pop classic It's a Shame About Ray, this is brief, lively, and tuneful, filled with two-to-three-minute songs that make their point and then get out of the way. If this isn't as incandescent, joyful, and effervescent as It's a Shame About Ray, that's because this is the work of a different band, one that's a bit older and not quite as exuberant, but one that nevertheless displays a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. And not only does the band sound excellent -- whether they're working as a trio or being goosed along by J Mascis, who provides typically excellent guitar on occasion here -- but they have a good batch of songs here that add up to Dando's most consistent album in years. They're zippier and catchier than anything on Baby I'm Bored, and even if there aren't any outright immediate classics along the lines of "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You," song for song this builds into not only a strong comeback, but one of the group's better records. The best thing that can be said about The Lemonheads is that it sounds like the album Dando and company should have released in 1995 -- and that it sounds like they could turn another of these out soon and that it'd be every bit as good. Which is the right kind of return for a band that should never have gone away in the first place. -AMG



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fountains of Wayne sign to Yep Roc. New album SKY FULL OF HOLES available 8/2.

Fountains of Wayne sign to Yep Roc, plan to release new album in August.

Fountains Of Wayne's long-awaited new album, Sky Full Of Holes, will be released in the US on August 2 via Yep Roc Records. This is the acclaimed band's first new release since 2007's Traffic And Weather.

Recorded in New York City, Sky Full Of Holes features 13 new songs by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger, ranging from high-energy power pop to intimate, acoustic-driven ballads. Songs like "The Summer Place," "Action Hero" and "Richie And Ruben" showcase the band's renowned storytelling abilities and flair for creating memorable characters; elsewhere, they take a more impressionistic approach, as in the shimmering "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," the lilting "Firelight Waltz" and the elegaic closer "Cemetery Guns." In signature FOW fashion, the album manages to be simultaneously witty and wistful, imaginative and personal.

Formed in New York in 1996, Fountains Of Wayne took its name from an iconic garden store in nearby Wayne, NJ (which, sadly, closed recently). The band has received steady critical accolades since its inception; "Dean Of American Rock Critics" Robert Christgau has called them "lyric poets" and "true art heroes." The group's line-up, which also includes guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young, has remained unchanged since they toured in support of their 1996 self-titled debut album. FOW were nominated for two Grammys, including a slightly belated Best New Artist nod, in 2003, after scoring a hit with their third album, Welcome Interstate Managers.

Sky Full Of Holes is the band's fifth full-length release, not including 2005's two-disc B-side compilation Out-Of-State Plates. Produced by Collingwood and Schlesinger, it was mixed by longtime collaborator John Holbrook, who also worked on Welcome Interstate Managers and Traffic And Weather.

The band will tour extensively in support of the new album, beginning with a string of US dates in August and September. - Yep Roc Records

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Brandos - Honor Among Thieves - 1987

A must for indie-rock fans! The Brandos play with great verve on this strong set of compositions. "Gettysburg," an anti-war song that spans three generations of loss has both passion and purpose. Further on, they cover John Fogerty's "Walk On The Water" making it their own in the process. While often coming off like angry young men, "Come Home" shows a softer, more melancholy side of a band that can rock out with the best of them. It's a shame more hasn't been heard from them. -AMG



Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Crayons - What Color Are You? - 2002

The Crayons first appeared as a boston based group around 1998. There was some recording and playing but the project was shortlived. Singer/ songwriter Keith Caruana took flight from Boston and after a short stay on the West Coast returned to his New Jersey hometown. While playing solo acoustic shows as "The Crayons",  Keith recorded an acoustic e.p. at a friends garage. The 6-song "236 astor" was released in 2001 on Keith's own Shimmerwax label.
Capitalizing on favorable reviews and successful live shows Keith played throughout the Northeast finishing the year with a month long tour of the Southeast.
With a desire to expand the sound Keith turned to his friends, indie pop masters The Churchills.
The recording was done at Frankensound studio in North Brunswick,NJ. The Churchills both produced and lent thier playing skills to the sessions. The combination proved to be a perfect fit. The resulting 10 track disc is a collection of pop hooks, harmonies, and lots of guitars. The new release will come out under the New York based indie label Cropduster Records. This label features some other great artists such as Bob Perry, of Winter Hours fame,The Health and Happiness Show and Patti Rothberg to name a few. -CD Baby



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Action Figures - Big Wonderful - 1992

The Action Figures' debut posits the group as worthy inheritors of the power-pop tradition -- their sound is darker and more spare than most bands in the genre, resulting in a more immediately distinctive identity than usual, and while not all of their songs are memorable, Big Wonderful certainly holds promise for the future.-AMG



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teen Machine - After School Special - 2000

The name of the band and the title of the album pretty much say all you need to know about this groovy Hollywood side project. For those who were born and grew up in the 1970s, watched Saturday morning cartoons religiously, sported feathered and blow-dried hairdos, wore tube tops or half-shirts, and swooned or danced to Shaun Cassidy records around the family hi-fi, After School Special is a fabulous flashback to a golden pop past. The album is full of expert examples of musical shoplifting. "Bitchin' Camaro," for one, is essentially the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" all jacked up to muscle car viscosity, at least up until the chorus, and "Sugarland" is a great knock-off of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room," with its huge drum kick and dirty guitar riff. The riff on "Hot Mom," although considerably more fuel-injected, is nicked straight from the piano chords that open the Monkees' "Daydream Believer," and "Demolition Girl" swipes the arena-filling beat of Gary Glitter's "Rock 'N' Roll, Part 2" while suitably referencing Farah Fawcett. After School Special is certainly knowing and ironic, but it sounds much more like a loving tribute, a joyous celebration of everything that made and still makes the music of the 1970s so campy cool. Teen Machine makes no musical judgments. The band throws every '70s genre into the same pot, and treats it all with the same adoration. Glitter rock, bluesy boogie, bubblegum (a cover of the Ohio Express classic "Yummy Yummy Yummy" is included), power pop, and disco -- even the Laurel Canyon sheen of Fleetwood Mac from time to time -- all make appearances on the album, although the band leans most heavily on the shining guitars of power pop and the thick beats of glam. The songwriting duties are shared by Fuzzbubble main man Jim Bacchi (who is probably the band's pseudonymous lead guitarist El Diablo) and lead vocalist Cody Jarrett, and the co-ed septet also includes members of Dig and Felicity cast member Amanda Foreman, one of the trio of female background singers dubbed the cartoon-like Tube Tops. Their LP collections seem to all have the same records in common: Sweet, T. Rex, Kiss, Cheap Trick, the Partridge Family, the Brady Bunch, Leo Sayer, and Elton John. And they know how to combine them into wonderful pastiches, as on their cover of ABBA's "Does Your Mother Know?," which in their hands sounds as if the rhythm section of Blondie, straight from the sessions for "Heart of Glass," hooked up the Bay City Rollers with Leif Garrett taking the lead vocal. Jarrett's wonderful, raspy voice puts the music all the way over the top. He can sound like John Lennon one minute and David Cassidy the next. In many ways, the record is more a game of "spot the reference" than anything else. It doesn't pretend at anything like originality, but that is precisely what makes it such great diversion, an imagined time capsule to a one-of-a-kind era. As Bacchi writes in "Sugarland," you can "check your brain at the door" while spinning After School Special, but definitely not your sense of humor and bitchin' retro fun.-AMG

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blue Cartoon - Blue Cartoon - 1998

For fans of AM Pop of the 60's and 70's, listening to Blue Cartoon will be like a visit from an old friend. Their self-titled debut release favors timelessness over trend in a 14-song calling card deftly produced by 20/20's Ron Flynt. Press reviews draw comparisons to Marshall Crenshaw, Alex Chilton, Teenage Fanclub, and Elvis Costello. -CD Baby



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sassy!!! Diggin' Deep on CD

The hottest 2 piece female sensation out there featuring Lynda Mandolyn on guitar and vocals and Christa DiBiase on drums and vocals - Their amazing harmonies are mind blowing and can only be beat by their insane outfits!! Check it at http://press.badabuzz.com/sassyarmy/


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