Andy Kentler and Departure Kids

Andy Kentler “No Love Lost”
Aussie musician Andy Kentler gives a solid effort on his new solo LP. The biggest influences I hear are Tom Petty, Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen. “Getting’ On Home” is in Petty mode, with slide guitar in the chorus and the smokey blues style of “Invisible” has a touch of Pink Floyd in its DNA.

Not exactly power pop, but this changes with the sing along chorus of “Big Hits & Misses.” He goes off in another direction with the hard guitar punk of “Lillian Roxon.” While the variety is appreciated, he excels with story-styled melodies like “Marnie & Stan,” “Walk Out On Me” and the memorable “Nobody’s Fool.” There is plenty here to recommend, so I would add this to your list of artists to keep your eye on.

CD Baby | Amazon


Departure Kids “On The Go”
Fans of Mod-era Who will just love The Departure Kids, a French band that gets its inspiration from Swinging ’60s London garage pop. “Right Now (Tell  me About It)” and “Wanking Too Hard” just crackles with energy. This Marseille quartet sound like they are having a great time with the jangling chords and manic tempos without strictly following the retro playbook. “Left On Earth” and “Suit It Up” are effective and all without accents.

The ballad “Pas Besoin De Toi” combines both English and French, using the tuning bar to warp chords and it gets all melancholy. While musically songs like “Wondering” are great, the harmonies are too ambitious for the band, and it gets a bit rough. However, “Let Me Stand There” is a big standout with its echoing guitars and chugging rhythm.  The band is worthy of attention, and will definitely grow on you.

Bandcamp | Howlin Banana Records