Travel Lanes “Let’s Begin To Start Again”
Its been a while since the last Travel Lanes album, and Frank Brown (Flight of Mavis, Buzz Zeemer) channels power pop influences like Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello on the opener “Class Trip” with its hook filled chorus and rumbling guitar chords. The follow up “In The World” is a jangle rock song about memories of the prettiest girl (in the world.) “No Go” is like an early U2 song, but played with simple rhythm and rich layered instrumentation.
The infectious “100th I Told You” has a quick tempo and quirky lyric like a Squeeze song and then the solid alt country “The Year” follows it, and Brown is at his best “when the wheels fell apart” on his year. The next few songs channels Tom Petty’s style from the catchy “TA” to the slower “Death,” where he tries to trick the Grim Reaper at his door with a very memorable opening line. The fuzzy guitar on “Cream Soda” is another treat and every track is solid. Brown has upped his game here and you should not miss it. Highly Recommended.
The Bazillions “On the Bright Side”
On a rare occasion I find a “kids” pop album that will appeal to parents even more than they may expect. “Super Hero Rock Band” imagines a group of comic book heroes jamming together as a way to unwind, and Batman sounds like Johnny Marr. The song reminds me of a slower, calmer version of Weezer. The power pop on “Use A Contraction” may sound basic, but the arrangement is tight and harmonies sparkle here.
The guitar lead melody “My Teacher’s An Alien” is another gem with some great uncommon chord progressions. Like the classic Schoolhouse Rock series, some songs really do teach concepts, as “Personification,” “Q and U”and “Water Cycle” are catchy and more intelligent than typical dumbed-down kid music (I’m looking at you, Wiggles). The earnest “Bad Haircut” is a well written ballad about your first trip to the barber. Overall a fun and memorable pop LP that you can share with your kids.