Latvian Radio “For Love and Spite”
After a decent start on their debut, this New York band takes a big leap forward on For Love and Spite. Upbeat from the start “To Find You There” sets the easy going pace, with its jangling guitar strum and organ chords. Next “On Display” is a great single with a catchy melody, beat and killer bridge, its one of my favorites here. The seamless composition follows on the wintery themed “North of The Keys” that will appeal to fans of REM, The Shins, and Brendan Benson.
The guitar is joined by hand claps and synth on the infectious title track, another memorable gem. Then “Growing Pains” adds a little Kinks-styled rock influence (a bit like “Father Christmas”) with the oldster lecturing you to “Wake Up Kid!” The tempo does ease up toward the albums end with “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” about being left behind as life passes by. Overall a terrific album without a wasted track. Congrats to singer/songwriter Patric Westoo, and his band for giving us an early holiday present.
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Red Jacket Mine “Pure Delight” EP
Seattle singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr returns with his soul infused power pop, a direct follow up to last year’s Someone Elses Cake. Produced and assisted again by Johnny Sangster from The Tripwires, this EP features Barr’s pub rock influences on the toe tapping title track. Barr then gives us some soul-pop on “I Want You To Worship Me” and goes gospel on “Crow,” a duet with Nashville songwriter Shane Tutmarc. The bouncing piano of “Nearly Marjorie” is very much in the mold of NRBQ and the soft rock of “AM” certainly give us a variety of styles. It all ends on the fun blues riff “Get Paid” about the common musicians lament. Very much a sweet diversion from all that hard charging power pop, this sonically cleans your palette nicely.