The Nomads “Solna”
The Nomads are Sweden’s premier garage rock band, and their latest offering Solna is the most accessible album in years. Starting with the catchy single “Miles Away,” its got the riffs, power and melody in perfect balance. If you are a fan of The Stooges or The Hives you will really dig this. Guitarist Hans Ostlund shines here, “The Bad Times Will Do Me Good” has that minor chord fuzz with an excellent solo midway in. In fact there is a lot more pop here than I expected, “You Wont Break My Heart” has a good mix of countrified mix of guitar underneath a “la-la” chorus.
Still, plenty of crash and stomp rockers are here. “Don’t Kill The Messenger” is a good example of this and some Ramones-like punk rock appears on “American Slang.” Rounding it out are the ringing riffs and 60’s beat style on “Make Up My Mind.” Overall you have a pretty complete album with no filler and a great mix of hard-edged riffs and solid melodies. Highly Recommended.
Advertised as “late 60s influenced psychedelic proto power pop band from Chicago,” Althnor is a the collaboration of Greg Herriges and Rick Vittenson. The pair dreamed of rock ’n’ roll stardom, toiling away in their basement back in 1972 and they released a single “Inner Space” that got some local radio play. Forty years later (!) they finally got a record contract from an indie British label looking to release the bands entire output.
While most of the bands music falls into the psychedelic folk genre, it boasts nice Beatlesque harmonies on “I Don’t Mind” and “Memory (Don’t Fail Me)” which is akin to Badfinger or The Aerovons. The fuzzy Lennoneque “Habits” and “Read Me” sound good, given these were made in 1975. This a perfect compliment for fans of other rare psyche-pop bands like Lazy Smoke, Creme Soda, and The Only Ones. For power pop completists, the four songs mentioned above are essential listening.
Radio Ready “Lost Power Pop Hits 1978-1983: Texas, Vol 1”
This is a fantastic new regional power pop compilation series from Cheap Rewards Records. This first volume covers bands from the Lone Star state and contains many hard to find singles and unreleased demos. Fully authorized by all the bands and expertly mastered, it rightly belongs in your power pop collection.
Staring with Lannie Flowers first band The Pengwins “What You Gonna Do” is a fantastic single, and the rarely heard Bruce Moody “This Is It” reminds me of The Toms. A few gems included are The Take “Tonight” and True Hearts “All My Time.” Lots of punk influences here with local bands like The Rattlecats, The Spies and others I’ve never heard of.