Graham Alexander “Graham Alexander”
When I hear someone tell me that power pop is for “older” bands, I shake my head and say listen to Graham. He’s very much in the pop mold of McCartney, but with a hip, youthful approach. And unlike some contemporaries, Graham reeks of authenticity and talent.
There is enough nostalgia to impress an old fogie like me, but fresh compositions to charm a legion of new young fans. “Don’t Give In Tonight” has some rock n roll muscle, and “Biggest Fan” has both amazing vocals and an irresistible hook. “Only Fools Rush In” is pure Beatles music hall, and he sounds most like Macca here. Just to prove he’s not all pop ditties, “Replace Me” has a riff best suited to Collective Soul, and Graham makes it work splendidly. It touches all the bases, with no filler to be found. Best young pop debut album I’ve heard in along time.
The Hi-Risers “Hang Around With You”
Classic rock trio from Rochester are Greg Townson (vocals and guitar), Todd Bradley (vocals and bass) and Jason Smay (drums). The band has a sound that pays tribute to those early rock bands like The Crickets, The Beatles, Peter and Gordon and The Dave Clark Five.
For older music fans, the most identifiable tune ever is “I’m In Love With My Record Collection” with its Rickenbacker jangle and harmonies. You can play “spot the riff” for most of the album, like “Fire Hazard” is built from The Kinks “All Day and All Of The Night.” But as a retro collection it’s the high quality musicianship that’ll win you over. Sit back and enjoy.