A few quick EP reviews before the ball drops on 2011…
Kurt Baker “Rockin’ For A Living” EP
Former lead singer of The Leftovers, Kurt has made a big splash with an album of cover tunes, and now his own material wows us on Rockin For A Living. This EP proves to be one of the best of 2011, opening with “Just Forget About It” with a memorable chorus similar in style to classic Elvis Costello. The handclaps and harmonies are all over “Don’t Steal My Heart Away” and it proves to be incredibly catchy. “Can’t Have Her Back” and “Why You Gotta Lie” are also real power pop gems. Kurt’s enthusiasm for the material spills out over the speakers on each tune. He even gets a little punky on the closer “The Problem.” Easily a “must-get” EP for fans of great rock and roll. I can’t wait to see what Kurt does next!
Ross And The Wrongens “Live In The Loos” EP
This is a talented new band with some classical rock and jazz influences. Opening with “That Magic Feeling, ” it’s got those sweet “sha-la-la” harmonies and Hammond organ slides. The next gem here is “Summer Sun” with it’s jazzy flair and bouncing melody. Lead singer Ross Wrongen has a vocal that wavers between hope and angst, and it’s pretty expressive on “Through with You (Ballad Of An Alcoholic).” Live In The Loos reminds me of The Kinks, Counting Crows and The Turtles all having a jam session. It’s a short but sweet EP with 4 “ready for AM radio” styled tracks. Give it a listen.