The Kingbees “The Kingbees”
Singer-Guitarist Jamie James formed The Kingbees in 1980 with Micheal Rummans on bass and Rex Robert on drums. They had formed a tight trio paying homage to the early spirit of rock and roll, and sounds like the “lost link” between the Power Pop sound and Rockabilly. Signed by RSO records they had a hit in Detroit with “My Mistake” the following year. It’s a textbook rock and roll single with a catchy bridge that just sticks in your head.
Comparisons to The Stray Cats are appropriate here, “Sweet Girl To Me,” “Man Made for Love” and “Fast Girls” are fast paced rockers that have plenty of energy. But they aren’t afraid of slower rockers like “No Respect” or danceable guitar pop on “Once Is Not Enough.” Thanks to Omnivore Records for reissuing this lost gem that shows that after 35 years these Bees have plenty of sting. Highly Recommended.
Simian Ghost “The Veil”
Simian Ghost is an alternative pop act from Sandviken/Gävle, Sweden, consisting of Sebastian Arnström, Erik Klinga, Mathias Zachrisson, Maja Agnevik and Wilhelm Magnusson. I’m very picky when it comes to alternative pop, but this band got my attention.
Opening with the rich harmonies of “Float” are very Beach Boys like, and the bright “Cut Off Point” merges nicely into this ethereal atmosphere. Fans of the recent Orange Peels LP will want to check out this album, as “A Million Shining Colours” is bold and shimmering in its presentation. A few spare acoustics break up the sunshine, like “August Sun” and “Fight Even” but there too many highlights to ignore. Listen to “The Ocean Is A Whisper” or “Be A Good Kid” on good headphones and marvel at the depth of the sound, and “Never Really Knew” is a little more commercial but just as compelling. With 18 tracks it will take a little effort, but totally worth it.