Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HotSocky - HotSocky - 2003

Formed in 2001 on Manhattan's Lower East Side, HotSocky's mission is to make rock'n roll fun again. By combining infectious melodies, raw guitar-drive and over-the-top stage presence, HotSocky stand out as the premier act in today's New York City rock scene. The band's stripped down power-pop incorporates crunching staccato guitars which give way to big, hooky choruses that inevitably stick in your head for weeks.
Singer/guitarist Lattimer (formerly of Thin Lizard Dawn) creates the group's loud and creamy pop gems. "It's all about capturing beautiful accidents," he claims, flashing a wit and charm that also distinguishes HotSocky from other New York bands. Breathing life into these timeless wonders, Lattimer runs his semi-hollow bodied Gretch guitar through a Marshall stack, smoothly giving his intricate creations the illusion of three-chord pop songs.
Dynamic guitarist, Jerry Stereo, offers a thick layer of tone on his Guild Star-Fire Six and deftly gets the party started. Whether it's jumping, spinning, or just blasting away in his rocker stance, pounding out the power is what Jerry does best, both live and in the studio.
Throw in the booming, steadfast rhythm section of Adam Stahl and Chad Royce, and you've got a colossal rock foundation cradling Lattimer's addictive, soaring melodies. -CD Baby


Monday, February 27, 2012

Mark Kleiner Power Trio - - 2002

A power pop trio of the highest order, this group is intent on thriving on bubblegum pop riffs and cavity-inducing harmonies, particularly on "Beautiful Slide" and "Tivoli Park." Although this is Mark Kleiner's album in the fact he wrote most of the lyrics, the supporting cast of drummer Kurt Dahle and bassist Pete Mills is just as important in carrying the album's message of good times and fun. Some of the numbers work much better than others, notably "Love Tonight," which throws a slight curveball into the mix by opening with a piano lead and Kleiner's falsetto in the proceedings. "Fell in Love With the Girl" also evokes a British Invasion influence and a Paul McCartney tinge on the vocals. Only on the pretty "Birth to Blue" does the band stray into a soppy, melodic piano hook for its payoff, but it seems to work regardless over the lengthy track despite the lyrics being clichéd. The cover version of "Baby It's You" is another highlight of the album's conclusion. None of the tracks particularly stand out, but the album as a whole has several great gems on it. -AMG


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ultimate Fakebook - Open up and Say Awesome - 2002

While This Will Be Laughing Week relied on three-chord riffs, Ultimate Fakebook's Open up and Say Awesome switches up the magnitude for a fresh punk-pop approach. The band is tight, far more than they've ever been, and the energy is infectious. Frontman Bill McShane is quick-mouthed, and songs like "Before You Leave" and the twangy cool of "Inside Me, Inside You" mosh around the likes and losses of love. "Wrestling Leap Year" is oddly similar to the riveting guitar rock of Killing Joke while showcasing some of Ultimate Fakebook's best work. Ultimate Fakebook is more like Weezer's second cousin -- not sappy enough to be emo, not angry enough to be post-grunge. Open up and Say Awesome is a pure rock record, decadent in the rawness of it all. -AMG


Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby Woodrose - New single online today

Baby Woodrose have just finished recording their 6th studio album entitled Third Eye Surgery and release is set for April 16th. All Baby Woodrose albums have a different vibe and with Third Eye Surgery they have made their space rock album. For the first time Lorenzo Woodrose integrate the heavy psych of his side projects Dragontears and Spids Nøgenhat with the fine song writing of Baby Woodrose.

No matter how much the fuzz guitar is wailing or the echo machine is tripping, there’s always a good song hiding beneath the rumble. Several of them clocks in at 6 minutes so there are only 9 songs on Third Eye Surgery. Songs like Nothing is Real and Love Like a Flower have an Eastern flavour thanks to the sitar of Vicki Singh while Just a Ride sounds like a trip to India in more than one way.

Even though the central songs on Third Eye Surgery like Waiting for the War, Bullshit Detector and the title song are very spaced out there are also a few tunes that sticks out. Dandelion is a sweet and melancholic psychedelic pop song and is also a duet with Emma Acs while Honalie is a dreamy ballad that makes time stand still. Almost.

Third Eye Surgery has been recorded in the Black Tornado studio in Copenhagen and is engineered by Anders “Evil Jebus” Onsberg and produced by Lorenzo Woodrose. The artwork is made by German artist Kiryk Drewinski who has worked with the band several times before and also did the artwork for the demo collection Mindblowing Seeds and Disconnected Flowers released in 2011. LP is gatefold as usual.

Nothing is Real has been chosen as the first single and it is available on iTunes today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Andersons - Separated at Birth - 1998

The Andersons are somewhat of a late-'90s power pop supergroup; featuring Derrick Anderson of Chewy Marble and Bob Anderson of Martin Luther Lennon, the band gained a substantial cult following with its colorful 1998 debut Separated at Birth. The gag here is that the three bandmembers, or three "Andersons" -- Bill, Bob, and Derrick -- are all brothers despite looking nothing alike. (Bob is pudgy and long-haired, Bill looks like your basic "indie kid," and Derrick, who is the only black member of the group, is pensive and literate.) The Andersons experienced a slow but steady rise to power pop stardom after the release of this album. Following its 1998 release, positive press and the band members' links to other, more familiar power pop acts led to a large curiosity factor that caused many to seek them out. In 2000, the band was one of the headliners at the annual International Pop Overthrow festival, a collection of dozens of like-minded power pop bands. All of this helped propel sales of Separated at Birth, making it more than just a footnote of power pop. Given how many fans warmed to the band in the few years following the album's release, it's not hard to tell why the Andersons became a power pop favorite. Driven in part by two anthemic numbers early in the running order ("The Truth Is Out" and "Retro Girl"), the album sets its claws in immediately and they are rarely loosened throughout. Derrick Anderson is the group's primary singer, and his throaty yet warm vocal is as distinctive as it is inviting. At first the songs contributed by the other two Andersons seem weaker, but the large picture with this release is that the diversity of its 13 tracks is why they are so engaging. There are some pop culture references sprinkled throughout, from Emma Peel's hair in "Retro Girl" to the iconic love of "(I'm in Love With A) TV Girl" and the chronicle of road rage in the album's closer, the rocking "Big Trucks and Old People." At times, the production does seem a bit muddy and too bottom-heavy, but on repeat listens it only seems to sew the album up more and contribute to the warm familiarity of the disc as a whole. -AMG


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Explorers Club are Checking into "The Grand Hotel"

Imagine if Marc Eric recorded a second album.... Well this is it. The Explorers Club, after a long dry spell, have just released their follow up to Freedom Wind and it is stellar. Rich melodies with intense, dense harmonies and incredible lyrics, The Grand Hotel is a true "Wall of Sound". You have to hear this one for yourself! The production is clean and the arrangements inventive and lush.

For anyone wondering where all the great vocal groups have gone, look no further than The Explorers Club.

The Grand Hotel is available  today at Amazon for the ridiculously low price of $4.99.

The Explorers Club - Run Run Run (Exclusive First Listen!) by expclubmgmt

The Explorers Club

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Merrymakers - Andrew's Store - 1997

Andrew's Store assembles the Merrymakers' long-out-of-print early singles, dating back to 1992 and 1993; although the group's Swedish retro-pop is still in its formative stages, there's no denying the promising catchiness of songs like "Magic Circles," "Nobody There" and "I Won't Let You Down."  -AMG

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New track from The Brigadier

Here's a track from The Brigadier's forthcoming 5th album, 'Do you want me too?' It is pretty sweet. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Do you want me too by the brigadier

Friday, February 10, 2012

Joey Molland - This Way Up - 2001

Joey Molland's group Badfinger was one of the great power pop bands of all time. Before the Raspberries, the Dwight Twilley Band, and other tunesmiths found the magic of energetic car radio melodies, Molland and crew led the way. This Way Up continues that work and is one of the best solo discs that ex-members of the Beatles never made. It bears repeating -- This Way Up contains the essence of what was great about those early solo Beatles albums, not surprising because Molland played on some of them. The surprise is that a sideman from those sessions has created a mini-masterpiece rivaling, and on some songs equaling, those classic and important recordings. As good as Molland's power trio is live, why it doesn't perform originals onstage the way they are presented on this disc is a mystery. Molland is an excellent guitarist, and in concert he can veer off from the hit material and rival Pat Travers. That isn't always what his audience wants -- what his audience wants are the pretty guitar lines and vocals in a song like "The Bust," a slice of the stuff that made everyone into Badfinger fans, still alive and well and current. This is a very, very excellent recording, make no mistake about that. From the opening track, "Mirrors," to the bounce of "Happy," and from the cool John Lennon-ish "This Must Be Love" to the final production, a moody and melancholy "Isn't That a Dream," 13 perfectly constructed songs by Molland do more than just carry on a tradition -- they combine to give proof that this style of music is still so very vital. -AMG


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - The Land Of Pure Imagination - 2006

Sounding like the "lost" Jellyfish album, the record is produced by Manning and features the artist playing all the instruments on this tour-de-force. Solid State Warrior is a dazzler, a stylish, and intricately orchestrated slab of transcendent Pop, imbued by Manning`s keen artistic vision, sublime songwriting chops and blazing instrumental virtuosity. Opening with the hazy psychedelia of "The Land Of Pure Imagination" (a ringer for inclusion on the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory soundtrack), the record unfolds like a towering musical tree of riches, each branch displaying a newfound exploration of sonic wizardry and clever songcraft. Manning bats .1000 on the record, each track rewarding the listener with each successive listen. -Not Lame


Monday, February 6, 2012

Seven Long Years - Chained to your love is now available on Bandcamp!

The opening moments of "Don’t Break My Heart In Ink" make it very clear that 7 Long Years, the first solo project of Eric Knoxx (The Ratboys, Thee Martian Boyfriends) , is a Psychedelic/Dream Pop explosion . Layers of sound are stacked one by one until the songs are so full they have nowhere to go but outward in all directions, and holds true for most of Chained To Your Love. It's percussive, but pleasingly melodic cover to cover. It's not "all-sound-all-the-time", though. Song writer Eric Knoxx does however leave a little breathing room throughout the entire album, which is good. You'll need to catch your breath.
In all, what you’ll find on Knoxx’s latest release, is a sound that pays homage to psychedelic and pop rock of the 60’s that’s embraced an up-to-date feel to achieve its enthralling sound. The good news is that you can download it now on Bandcamp, the bad news it that it is not available on CD yet. -Curty Ray, Power Pop Overdose

Friday, February 3, 2012

Superpop Paste(swe) - Superpop - 2001

Thomas Johansson and Mikael Frithiof met for the first time in 1995 at a local music store in Halmstad. After becoming better acquainted, they discovered that they both lived on the same street, just a few doors away from each other.

Thomas needed a guitar solo on one of his songs. That particular song turned out to be the first one Thomas and Mikael worked on together, and Paste(swe) was formed.

Mikael and Thomas share many influences, from The Beatles to Depeche Mode. In the early days, their sound resembled, synth-orientated, melodic, industrial guitars, with distortion on both instruments and vocals. To some extent, this sound is recognisable on the EP Wired. After removing the distorted vocals, the music leaned more in the direction of catchy pop.

In 1997, they decided to record their own album, but since money was a major issue, they settled on the EP Wired, which features five songs. This release was supported by local record label, Silver Records. All the music on Wired was recorded in Thomas' studio in Halmstad. Shortly after the EP was released, Mikael moved to Stockholm, leading to a pause in their mutual work. The project was forced to rest for a while.

In the year 2000, Paste(swe) tied up all the loose ends, and recorded and released their first full-length album, Superpop. Part of the album was recorded in the Halmstad studio, and part in Stockholm. Superpop gained lots of interested and Paste(swe) received various distribution deals worldwide. -CD Baby


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Bottles - The Bottles - 2006

Born in a basement in the woods of New Hampshire, The Bottles are about having fun making music. Yeah, some of the themes are heavy at times, but then, so are the times. The important thing is that it was FUN being heavy on occasion while writing these songs. We are Beatles fans all (hence the name The Bottles). The main ingredients to our misguided musical sense are humor (dark or otherwise), harmony, melody, and energy. The kind that only comes when four people who really enjoy making noise together do what they do. Give it a listen. We think you'll agree.
The Bottles are: Shoanie Semco - vocals, Jim Spilios - guitar/vocals, Don Semco - bass/vocals, and Chris DuBios - drums.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview with Tommy Flake - Getting under his second skin

Rich Rossi has kindly allowed PPO to share this interview with Tommy Flake . Presented here is the second half. For the first half head over to the fabulous site and get it!

You spent significant time in two cities known for great power pop, Champaign Ill (Cheap Trick, Shoes, Material Issue) and the Minneapolis MN. (Prince, Replacements, Blow Pops). How did these scenes influence you, if at all ?

Well, Cheap Trick was a huge influence as well as Prince and the Replacements. The Elvis Brothers, Last Gentlemen, Farmboys, Hum, Menthol, Didjits, The Bears, Pop The Balloon, and That's Rentertainment (not a band - a store that rented records and had several musicians that recommended bands to me - Jeff Merritt (owner of Parasol Records and That's Rentertainment), Paul Chastain, and Steve Scariano) were all influences from Champaign. BTW, Three of those bands included Adam Schmitt. In MPLS, besides the before mentioned: Bands like The Honeydogs, Vena Cava, Rex Daisy,
The Hang Ups, and Polara. I would say these bands and artists influenced my music as much as all the other great bands I came up listening to.

You've opened for some of music's luminaries including Throwing Muses, Primus, Smashing Pumpkins, and Material Issue. Any favorites? Anyone you care to forget?

Cheap Trick, Primus, The Elvis Brothers, Pop The Balloon, The Tarbabies among others that we opened for early on in my experiences were influential to me as a drummer due to the amazing drummers in those bands (Bun E. Carlos, Herb, Brad Elvis, Rick Menck, Dan Bitney- now in Tortoise).

Lets say you're flying over the Pacific accompanied by the other guys in one of the bands you've toured with. Your plane goes down on an uncharted island. In order to survive you have to eat one of the guys in the band. Which one would you sacrifice and why?

Well, the band was Hot Glue Gun it would have to be Mike Clayton since when I was in the band it was really the two of us with different bass players all the time. Peachfuzz- Ken - he looks tasty. The Beatifics - I would say Chris cause I would need him to stop coming up with harebrained ideas of what we were going to record on the next record instead of ideas to get us off the island. The Elvis Brothers - Graham would be eaten because he would be the best preserved and most likely to annoy me to death. Pinnipeds - I would have to eat my cousin Drew since he's the only other member. Clip the Daisies - I would eat Dan since he was the biggest of us and probably held the most amount of THC. Phyllis - I would have to pick Dave - again for sheer mass. Tommy Flake - I would have to eat myself I guess. (I'm leaving out quite a few bands, but there are too many to list here and I really need to get back to work).

Having toured for several notable bands, I'm betting you have a humorous story or two. Can you share one?

Definitely, my best Rock n Roll story is when I opened for Cheap Trick in the Elvis Brothers. We were in our smallish dressing room and Robin walked in. I was 19 and had grown up listening and loving this band and now Robin Zander was talking to me. He invited us to their dressing room. I take a seat on the couch in there and moments later Bun E. walks in with a brief case, sets it down on the coffee table and opens it up. Inside, the only contents were: a box of kleenex, a cartoon of cigarettes, and about an ounce of weed with pipes in the pen holders. If that weren't enough, when they went out to play in the outdoor amphitheater, he had a window unit air conditioner right behind him on full! I didn't think that my love for him could get any bigger...

You can order Tommy Flake's latest LP as a CDR from Kook Kat Musik HERE or download it at CD Baby HERE.

Dead Leaf Echo - "Kingmaker" (Premiere)

NYC-based dream pop act Dead Leaf Echo have released their new single, "Kingmaker."  The song is four minutes of shimmering, Cocteau-esque bliss rock that's sure to make any shoegazer feel waves of cool nostalgia wash over them.
"Kingmaker" was mixed by legendary 4AD producer John Fryer, and is the first single from the band's forthcoming debut LP. The song is available on 7-inch via Custom Made Music, backed with exclusive track "I Belong." The first 100 people to order the 7-inch will receive limited, hand-screened copies. Check out Dead Leaf Echo's official site to see a preview of how the hand-screened art will look.
A 7-inch release party for "Kingmaker" will be held at Spike Hill in Brooklyn on February 4, where Dead Leaf Echo, Apollo Heights, Her Vanished Grace, and Washerwoman will all perform live. Perfect Prescription DJs Stephan C and Voidsong spin between bands.
Take a listen to "Kingmaker," and check out Dead Leaf Echo's tour dates below.

Kingmaker by Dead Leaf Echo
Tour Dates:
02/04 - Brooklyn, NY - Spike Hill ("Kingmaker" 7-inch Release Party)
02/09 - Chicago, IL - Darkroom
02/10 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
02/11 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups
03/07 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
03/08 - Washington, DC - Velvet Lounge
03/09 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nitelight
03/10 - Atlanta, GA - TBA
03/11 - New Orleans, LA - TBA
03/12 - Houston, TX - Dean's
03/13-17 - Austin, TX - SXSW


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