Yorktown Lads “Songs About Girls and Other Disasters”
The buzz for this release was so long in coming, that many added it to their 2014 best-of list. It started as a Kickstarter campaign, endorsed by author & drummer John Borack, it was quickly funded and finally released to the public this year.
Yorktown Lads are Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts grads Cameron Lew, Addison Love, and their teacher Michael Simmons (SparkleJets*u.k.). They start off with a note perfect Beatles-Beach Boys hybrid “Something To Write About,” that will knock your socks off. The album doesn’t stay retro but it stays melodic; “Before You Leave” is a laid back Belle and Sebastian styled pop that sticks in your head nicely. “La La” is the textbook template of a great power pop song; an upbeat and catchy melody about giving up on love until you meet that perfect girl. This is one example amongst many. The styles vary from the sullen pep talk “Dear Ethan” to louder Cheap Trick riffs of “He Got It Down” and “Cool Shoes, Bro.”
While not everything here works (“Make Her Smile” is eerily like The Spin Doctors,) most of this album hits the mark and earns its 2015 “best of ” nomination. Don’t miss it!
Watts “Flash of White Light”
When we last heard Watts, it was an impressive collection Stones-y rockers similar to The Doughboys or The Satisfactors. Glad to hear things haven’t changed much, its still straight-up rock n’ roll full of hot licks and high-powered riffs, with more of a modern nod to bands like Aerosmith and AC/DC. While the opening title track is traditional, “The Mess is The Makeup” has a heavier rock vibe. “Sidewinder” has a touch of Allman Brothers or Bob Segar in its DNA with some awesome guitar work here.
The tendency of heavy rock is to get ponderous, but Watts avoids this with catchy riffs like on “Wasted Angels” and also smartly trying different lead vocalists for many of the songs. Between John Blout, Dan Kopko, and drummer Johnny “Rock” Lynch you never fall into predictability. More highlights include “Better (For A Girl Like You)” and the very Guns ‘N Roses inspired “Flying Over With Bombs.” Check’em out now!