Jamie and Steve “The Next Big Thing” EP
When we last heard of Jamie (Hoover) and Steve (Stoeckel), formerly with The Spongtones, they had become a duo with a English Afterthoughts. After much acclaim the two decided it was time for more, and in 2011 it was their Next Big Thing. The guys still have that Beatleseque style and it opens with the XTC-like “Seaside Sparrow,” full of pastoral plucking. “Can We Start Again, Girl?” once again is classic ‘Tones with an amazing middle eight. “Dancing On Ice” has a breezy chorus, but then the guys take a few chances on “Half A Mind” – where an angry rant contrasts with the singers sweet thoughts. An excellent group of songs, that’s followed up by…
Jamie and Steve “Imaginary Cafe” EP
“Imagine a place,” Jamie said, “where our guitars are always in tune, our voices in great shape, the audience smiling after every song…the perfect gig. What would we call it?” That’s the premise of the title track, with a few Pepperisms thrown in. “Gold Mine” has a country rhythm, with fantastic beat and banjo picking. The gentle “Tokyo Sleeping” has some sweeping Brian Wilson styled harmonies at the song’s end. But unlike the previous EP experiment, “A Dangerous Man To Know” doesn’t quite work. They redeem themselves with “We Two,” a creative song that should be theme music for the duo whenever they take the stage. A highly enjoyable EP that makes a perfect pair.