Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Tearaways - Ground's the Limit - 1997

While the Tearaways could've easily faded into power pop oblivion, their charming, ringing power pop came to the attention of some of the right people. Especially notable is that the haunting "Jessica Something" was included in Rhino's genre-defining Poptopia series of power pop classics of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, even though the Tearaways were still relative unknowns. It endeared them to the right audience: The rabidly cult following of power pop leeched on and this album became a bit of a left-field hit. The Tearaways' sound is obviously indebted to '80s jangle pop -- especially Let's Active and the dB's, but their alternately haunting and punchy pop songs have charm that's all their own. "Jessica Something" is certainly not the only highlight: As the rocking "For Free" or ringing "I Can't Get Through" prove, the Tearaways certainly have quite a few good songs in them. -AMG

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Perfect Day - Don't Smile - 1995

After a somewhat lackluster sophomore release, This Perfect Day rebounded with the critically successful (albeit commercially slow) Don't Smile. While it was only released in the band's native Sweden, there's a ton to love here, especially for fans. Opening with the fuzzed-out, over the top "Flamingo," a song dripping with smooth vocal harmonies and a crashing guitar solo, the band barely relents throughout. The guitars are turned up to the max on every track, completely washing the ten-song cycle in distortion and feedback. The effect is tremendous, as quick comparisons could easily be made to other excellent discs like Oasis' Definitely Maybe, Matthew Sweet's 100% Fun, and Silver Sun's self-titled debut. Album highlights also include the sizzling single "It's a Shame" and the summery title track. -AMG

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marty Graveyard's new album 'Summer Holiday' due June 21st

The Madd's former drummer /songwriter is about to release his first solo album. Summer Holiday will be released by V2 Records on the first day of Summer, that's June 21! You can bet that it will be filled with relentlessly catchy, hook-laden, guitar driven power pop. What a great way to start out a summer that is sure to be filled with great music. Summer Holiday will be available at V2 Records and other fine music outlets. PPO will keep you up to date on this one. And also,.. Don't forget to like Marty Graveyard on Facebook!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stream The New dB's album now

Get ready! Power-pop legends the dB's will be releasing their first full length album in 25 years. It’s also the first in three decades to feature the band’s original lineup of singer/songwriter/guitarists Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, bassist Gene Holder and drummer Will Rigby, the same lineup that recorded the beloved early-’80s classics Stands for deciBels and Repercussion
The dB's new album is due out June 12th but you can stream it now.  Can't miss top ten for 2012!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hal - Hal - 2005

Hal are destined to be compared to the Thrills: both groups are from Ireland; both are purveyors of ultra-hooky, dramatic vocal harmony-drenched tunes with a West Coat slant; and both are very, very good. Once you get past the surface comparisons, though, there are enough differences to reduce the similarities to a happy coincidence. Hal certainly aren't ripping off the Thrills; there is far too much exuberance and excitement on their debut album for them to be written off as mere imitators. They lack the pretension and arch concept of the Thrills; they also have more emotional depth and a more relaxed feel. Besides, they just might be better anyway. The first two songs give the Thrills and just about anyone else a serious run: "What a Lovely Dance" is a chiming mini-epic that encompasses walls of guitars, humming synthesizers and organs, lyrics about lost mittens and messed-up hair, spiraling falsetto harmonies, and a totally alive sound that feels like you have your fingers knuckle deep in a light socket, and the Edwyn Collins-produced "Play the Hits" is a star-spangled blast of sunshine and manic energy that is hard to listen to without picturing Hal racing around like the Monkees on the beach as brothers Dave and Paul Allen croon and careen through wall of bells, maracas, and Motown guitars. The rest of the record is no real letdown either, as the Allens' vocals are a constant treat and the group proves itself equally adept at laid-back ballads that utilize subtle string arrangements (the aching "Keep Love As Your Golden Rule," "I Sat Down"); gentle, summery rockers ("Don't Come Running," the falsetto-drenched "Fools By Your Side"); and even arena-friendly soft rock ballads (the weighty "Worry About the Wind," which shows bands like Coldplay that you can be serious and deep without being boring). Echoes of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, the Beach Boys, and Phil Spector are everywhere, and while those aren't exactly unique or even very interesting reference points in 2005, Hal again go beyond imitation and use their influences as a good band should, as guides and not blueprints. Hal really sound like another in the long line of melodic bands from the British Isles that has been dazzling music fans since the late '90s -- think Super Furry Animals, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and (again, in case you forgot) the Thrills. Add some American groups like Mercury Rev at their poppiest and a choir-less Polyphonic Spree, or Canadians like the Heavy Blinkers, and if that list sounds like your record collection, you shouldn't think twice about adding Hal. They'll be stuck in your CD player for weeks, guaranteed. -AMG

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Music of note

Don't forget that Dan Kibler's jangly and twangly (with some pedal steel flourishes sprinkled about), self-titled Kool Kat debut is available now. It is definitely a contender for the 2012 PPo top 10! Also this comes with a cool bonus when you order it from Kool Kat. Tell 'em Curty Ray sent ya...

Bill Lloyd has released a video from his excellent new album (which should also make the 2012 PPO Top 10)"Boy King Of Tokyo ". Enjoy the video then go get the disc here, here or here. You will not be dissappointed.

Massachusetts poppers Hot Molasses have a new EP that is worth a listen and it is free! Check it out.

"POWER POP PRIME - Volume 1" is available and shipping. This special book comes with a limited edition physical 15-song CD that will ship with the book, featuring tracks from The Shazam, Bill Lloyd & The Sky Kings, The Spongetones, DM3, Myracle Brah, The Nines, The Mockers, Splitsvilly, Cockeyed Ghost, The Gladhands, Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings, Kenny Howes, Sun Sawed In /12 and Ken Sharp.

(If you order by June 7th, Bruce will send you a special link to download 20 out of print songs from the Not Lame label catalogs - even if you were a hardcore fan of the label, there will be some you have not heard...)

To order "Volume 1" - Click here and if you missed the other two books in the series, maybe you can still get a copy by getting in touch with Bruce here.

Here is the premiere of the new Little Barrie video “Tip It Over” from King of The Waves. Click here for upcoming tour dates.

As always, thanks for being a PPO Junkie!

Curty Ray


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