Cheap Star “Rosetta Stone” EP
This musical link to both Big Star and The Posies is lead by French native Remi Vaissiere (vocals/guitars) and his super-star band: Brian Young (Fountains of Wayne) on drums, Jon Auer (Posies) on guitar, and Ken Stringfellow (Posies) on bass/keyboards/vocals.
This third EP is very much like the earlier efforts. The Gram Parsons cover “A Song For You” and country-styled “On The Other Side” are superb low key ballads that don’t draw too much attention, and the energy level pushes up with the catchy chorus of “Kelly Slayer.” The guitars start to crunch on “Live Without It” but are careful not to overwhelm the lead vocal. The instrumentation here is also excellent and nothing here feels like filler. While its very palatable and will please most fans, the music will not make you forget those early Posies hits either. The band dedicated this EP to the memory of Scott Miller from the Loud Family and Game Theory. Amen.
Dream Boys “Dream Boys”
Dream Boys is an L.A. band with the right combination of West Coast indie attitude and 80’s jangle pop. Lead by Glasgow born Wallace Meek, his jangle-tastic approach also recalls Paisley Underground greats like The La’s, Three O’Clock and Dream Syndicate. The swirling chords are positively hypnotic on the catchy “Born Yesterday” and “Through and Through.”
Most of the songs here follow that rhythmic pattern, but the vocal harmonies are a highlight on “Holding Pattern” that bring to mind The Ocean Blue. No throwaway tracks here, and the quality of musicianship is consistently excellent. Some may find the lack of stylistic variety a little dull, but the Dream Boys really do craft a psychedelic experience that few bands can match. Highly recommended.