Shake Some Action! “Full Fathom Five”
More than previous efforts, James Hall has remained consistent in his love of guitar oriented power pop. He’s touched on the Manchester sound in Fire and Ice and the garage elements in Sunny Days Ahead.
Now with Full Fathom Five, James continues with his 60’s Brit pop style. The unmistakable Rickenbacker 12 string jangle greets us on the opener “Lost In Space.” Without missing a beat the magic continues on “Nothing Can Stop Me Now.” “Soul On Fire” is a fantastic single with its goose bump inducing chorus, rivaling Supergrass or Oasis (at their peak). Even the mid tempo “Lost Without You” has great big hook, and no filler anywhere. The Merseybeat ” I Didn’t Know What To Say” is so good, it sounds like a lost track from those Liverpool lads. It also varies its sound enough to prevent falling into a rut, making each of those 14 tracks fly by. More than other albums, the vocals are better and the songwriting is rock solid. It’s a retro treat and a definite contender for best album in 2013.
The Junipers “Paint The Ground”
The Junipers are a psychedelic pop group with a new line up following 2008’s Cut Your Key. Paint The Ground is one of the best sunshine folk pop LPs ever with sweet harmonies and shimmering guitars similar to Curt Boettcher and Millennium. “Willow and The Water Mill” is a song that paints a vivid picture of a summer day in the country.
The gentle “Phoebus Filled The Town” is a heartbreaking melody with a prog-folk sound that will remind many of Steve Hackett era Genesis. Each song seamlessly blends into a perfect tapestry of mood, as in “Antler Season,” the ethereal chorus rides along an acoustic melody. The only issue is that these songs tend to be indistinguishable from each other. Using a full load of instruments from Mellotrons to Zithers, it perfectly evokes the sunshine pop era without blatantly ripping it off – a true musical treasure.