The Paul & John, The Bolts and Swim Atlantic

The Paul & John “Everything Comes Together” EP
The Paul & John is not a Beatles tribute band. Nor are they particularly big followers of the Papacy. Their name tells it like it is, they are the combined songwriting and performing talents of Paul Myers and John Moremen. Produced by Allen Clapp (Orange Peels) its technically a single in advance of the new album “Inner Sunset,” but this is so good – I wanted to give you readers a heads up now. The B-side “Long Way Back” is a more rock oriented song – only two bucks on Bandcamp.

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The Bolts “Wait Til We’re Young”
The Bolts waste no time in pushing out a new LP (with tracks from the EP included here). The polished slick sound of “Tell Me” is radio-ready pop rock, but without a hook and over 4 minutes long (ugh!) Once again “Walk Away” has a much better command of rock melody but the band moves away from this guitar heavy sound on most of the album. On the title track, “Wait Til We’re Young” the guitars help support the lead vocals, and the melody is compelling. The band pulls off some impressive 4-part harmonies in a dance rock format, think The Killers meets The Click Five on “Caving In” and “Play The Music” has the synths and dance beats “That make the ladies sigh.” Then it mimics Queen/Mika vocally on “This Can’t Be Real” with heavy guitar riffs. It’s this dual nature (rockers/dance popsters) that makes The Bolts stand out.

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Swim Atlantic “Swim Atlantic” EP
Portland, OR based group that loves harmonies. The opener “Seam To Seam” is a terrific single with a catchy melody which sounds like Weezer meeting up with The Explorers Club. “Cripple The Villian” while ambitious with a great bassline, lays it on thick and doesn’t work until the chorus. Those gorgeous harmonies come back on the short “We Will” which leads to the sweet surf tune “Runaway,” a Beach Boys homage that works nicely (even if the falsetto is used a bit too much). The multiple melody lines in “Closest to Perfect” is another demonstration of the band’s ambition and talent, with Spanish styled guitar breaks. Clearly these guys need better producing and mixing to prosper – I’m hoping some label will come to the rescue. This band deserves it!