Pop Co-Op “Four State Solution”
A group of like-minded musicians from different geographic locations decided to make a power pop album. Not a new idea, as 8×8 and The Britannicas have done this very effectively. The results are dependent on the musicians involved. Steve Stoeckel (The Spongtones) is joined by Bruce Gordon, Stacy Carson, Joel Tinnel, and others so the spirit and influences are good (Beatles, XTC, Squeeze, etc.)
What you get is a mixed bag of great and not-so-great tunes. “If Everything Was Easy” and “Feint of Heart” have fast-paced pop melodies. But it does venture into different directions, from long psychedelic “Lila,” to the very messy “When Wave Was New.” Ultimately there are some singles that shine, like “Malaprop” and the Who-like “It Aint Easy Being A Boy.” Definitely worth exploring.
Paul McCann “The Magician” EP
Paul McCann is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from County Cavan, Ireland. Paul has been singing and playing various instruments in bands since 1996 (including power pop band ‘The Plan’ and highly acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute ‘Get Rhythm’) and has performed with Pugwash, The Strypes, Duncan Maitland, and Nelson Bragg (Brian Wilson Band/Beach Boys), among others.
While not new, I was pleasantly surprised by the catchy opener “Keep The Devil Within” and richly melodic ballad “All The Words You Say.” The title track is more a blues rocker with an atmospheric alt. pop stadium approach and “Widow Maker Blues” is a banjo lead blues song featuring Majella O’Reilly on vocals. His style has everything power pop fans could want and more, so while Paul works on his follow up we have this short EP to make sure he stays on your radar.