The Krayolas “Canicas/Marbles”
Once again the San Antonio power pop of Hector Saldana returns, and each time the band impresses me. Canicas starts with “Tony Tormenta” a simple guitar ballad about a drug lord no one will mourn. Both “Canicas” and “Lala la Lala” boast bright hum along melodies with organ and accordion, full of childhood nostalgia followed by a great cover of The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” The T-Rex bass line of “La Inundacion de Piedras Negras” creeps along making it a cool highlight. The slow “Lazy Afternoon” sounds exactly like it’s supposed to, and best of all this album is a FREE download from Amazon. If you don’t get it, you are truly loco, mi amigo.
Pop Interludes “Manhattan Charade”
Pop Interludes is a collaboration between songwriter/musician Dino De Angelis and lyricist Peter Morley. Simple synth keyboard pop with little melodic hooks. De Angelis is a man of many talents, a biomedical researcher, culinary teacher and talented musician – but vocally he is merely passable here, doing a flat kind of speak-singing. The bands’ sound is not unlike Jeff Boller’s project The Simple Carnival or XTC’s Colin Moulding, with its dynamic compositions. The bouncy “It’s Over” adds a guitar as harmonies overlay with the main melody. “Talkin’ About Sunshine” has a spacey echo with its sugary lyric. Morley’s narrative fits the music well, but occasionally feels forced (“This Masquerade”). Some tunes take a few verses to build, but are worth it – recommended tracks are “Addition,” “Invisible,” and “Transforming.”