Montana power pop powerhouse Ryan Maynes returns after 2 years, to bring us his 6th release with the requisite influences of ELO, Beatles and Jellyfish. Maynes starts with the plaintive melodic ballad “Bitter Sun,” a sweet piano couplet and catchy chorus is exactly what I expect from The Secret Powers.
“Palarium” is a more forceful melody with the “ba-ba-ba” backing vocals, numerous layers of chorals, drums, violins and guitars. Truly an amazing piece of music, with a mandolin break before the end. “Spare Parts” shares the same tempo as “Mr. Blue Sky” in a bouncy tune about an android in love. The Ramones styled riffs on “Reservoir” starts out pretty simple, then Ryan lays on keys, guitar solos, and tambourine slaps. Each song here shines with a minimum of production echo. “Paula Brown” is another gem, with a shift time signatures and Ryan’s best rocker rasp. He’s even come to terms with his mid-life crisis on “Ready To Get Old and Die.”
Yeah, no filler either, so it quickly enters my top ten for 2014 best-of list. This is an early gift from The Secret Powers that I gladly give thanks for this season and unlike leftover turkey, you’ll want to nosh on this album into the new year.