The Pinecones and The Saltshakers

The Pinecones “Ooh!”
After I heard the opening track on this 70’s styled rock band, I exclaimed the title and made an effort to listen to more of “Gloomy Monday.”  Then the the light harmonies of “Its Always On Her Mind” recall late-era Hollies, with a rousing chorus and hand claps. The jangle magic comes back on “Kimberly Keeps” with singers Paul Linklater and Brent Randall doing an effective contrasting lead vocal. Sometimes the lyrics are a bit simplistic, like on “She’s So Confident” but it sounds so damn cool, like The Grass Roots playing Herman’s Hermits.

The band starts to move backwards in time, and “Come On Back” is a psychedelic 60’s gem, and then Linklater channels Gilbert O’Sullivan perfectly on “That’s The Way I Wanna Do It.” If you are a fan of this early lite rock style, The Pinecones will fit your music collection like a glove. Each track is expertly performed, the only fault being it doesn’t distinguish itself enough from the era it emulates. But I suspect the retro-lovin’ audiophile will be very forgiving.


The Saltshakers “Change The Channel” EP
Milwaukee indie rockers have lost that rough edge and are a now finely tuned band with excellent singles. The melodies are driven by crunchy guitars and a hook-filled chorus on the opener “Change The Channel” and the shredding on “Triple Word Whore” is another gem. Then we get an even richer sound on the mid-tempo “Astrology” and that’s it. Short and sweet, but I admire a band that goes for quality over quantity as they did the same thing last year with the Halley EP. Both EPs are highly recommended.