Lisa Mychols “Above, Beyond & in Between”
If power pop ever crowned a queen, my vote goes to Lisa Mychols. Originally “discovered” by The Wondermints, Darian Sahanaja and Nick Walusko who helped release her debut in 1991. She has since been in several bands (The Waking Hours, The Masticators and Nushu) and was usually the best part of them, incorporating her love of 60s and 70s classic pop.
Her latest Above, Beyond & in Between continues the tradition of superb power pop with instrumentalist Tom Richards. The bouncy “Heart Beats In Stereo” is a confident song of girl power, with Tom’s terrific guitar solo in the break. “Taken” has a catchy melody that reminds me of ELO’s “Turn To Stone,” but Lisa really knows how to update the sound of those classic 1960s girl groups. “Make Believe,” and “Summertime Dream” both fall into that category. “Foolin’ The World” has an irresistible rockin’ beat, and “She Lied” is an atmospheric theme that wouldn’t sound out of place in a James Bond title sequence. Each tune resonates, fans of other female power pop artists (The Bangles, Kelly Jones, etc.) will want to get this one. Easily one of the best albums this year with “the melodies that kick your ass in stereo.”
Travel Lanes “Hey, Hey, It’s Travel Lanes!” EP
This Philadephia band follows in the footsteps of Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, as evidenced by the energetic opening “Scared of Girls.” Led by Frank Brown (Flight of Mavis, Buzz Zeemer) he has a knack for melodic songcraft and intelligent songwriting. Even a deceptively simple tune like “Rainy Day” is compelling with its tropical rhythm. “Delinquent” is a very much in the Costello /Nick Lowe style and invites repeat listens. “Let You Down” adds a heavier Deep Purple-type of riff to close things out. Overall an excellent EP you need to hear.