Stephen Lawrenson “OBSCURiOSiTY”
Stephen Lawrenson makes a huge impression here, starting with “Your Karma” it channels early pysche-pop of The Idle Race and The Move. The title track runs at a faster tempo, adding a fantastic chorus worthy of The Pillbugs. Then chiming 12 string Rickenbacker strums greet us on “Words to Say” with George Harrison-style slide guitar flourishes. “Small White House” is a SMiLE-styled character study tribute to Brian Wilson, and the jangley “Ordinary” is like a lost Gripweeds track. Stephen slows down for the moving “Forever And A Day,” with its West Coast feel and banjo backing – very much a treat for fans of The Autumn Defense. It closes out with the early-ELO inspired ” Pale Yellow.” So as you can see from all the links, this becomes a mix tape of power pop influences from across four decades. It’s hard to find fault here, as the songwriting and musicianship are top notch. It’s another addition to my new top ten for 2013.
Hot Nun “Hot Nun”
Jeff Shelton (Spinning Jennies, The Well Wishers) opens up 2013 with more than just a new album. He has a new band called Hot Nun. Still the crunchy riffs and catchy melodies remain the focus, as “Brave New World” the opening track blasts through the headphones. A bit harder rock than The Well Wishers, reminding me of the Posies or Velvet Crush. Lots of great tracks here include “Thank You For That” and “Who Do You Love,” “Queen Bitch” where you’ll hear a distinct glam (Sweet) influence. No ballads to balance things, but its a very short album. Only 8 tracks here but they are all killer examples of great power pop, so crank it up to 11 mate!
Bandcamp Only expect CD release in February.