The Alarms “Real Tough Love”
The Alarms are a perfect example of modern power pop mixing the classic garage sound of The Seeds with the melodic shine of Oasis. We’ve heard from lead singer and guitarist Robert Gay before, but here the talent is exponentially multiplied across ten deeply impressive cuts.“The Axe” is a rousing start-off, like an American version of Supergrass its dense wall of guitars drives the track along with its echoing beat. “Break It Easy” is a marching ballad, with a driving bass and slow organ, very much like The Doors, but Robert’s vocal is what carries this one.
He does an even better job on “The Only One.” This a gorgeous ballad in the tradition of George Harrison, and it lingers long after it ends. The mood shifts on the nugget “May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone” originally done by The Toys in 1966. This is a great “lost” song that gets revealed by The Alarms chiming guitars and clean harmonies. Another gem “Avalon” is very much like a classic Zombies rock anthem, and then the garage rocker “Famous Kids” keeps the party going. The title track reminds me of The Godfathers, a combination of punk and 60’s psyche-pop. Robert honors the past, but is firmly rooted in the present. The Alarms have been going off in my head, telling me this is one LP that you can’t ignore.
The Lisa Mychols 3 “The Lisa Mychols 3” EP
Lisa was one of the highlights of Power Popaholic Fest and she played music from this EP as her set. “Getting rid of that old confusion,” Lisa intones on “Back To The Truth” with her bandmates Ricky Tubb (drums) and Tom Richards (guitar). There is no confusion on my part, Lisa wants to rock harder again. And that lead single is a great example, with its killer hook.
And she continues on “Ready For Action” and “The Fool” where a full force driving riff dominates those songs. The harmonies are still there, and Lisa’s lovely vocal is still the focal point for these songs, but Richards guitar is given much more weight and prominence than past Mychols projects. Fans should seek this out and I hope Lisa continues to amaze us with her new trio on future projects.