Elvyn “Valley Of The Kilowatt Hour”
Elvyn is another artist we haven’t heard from in several years. This Toronto band still knows how to expertly craft a solid melody with catchy hooks as evidenced by the opener “Ellie.” Lead vocalist/lead guitarist Ryan Beerman is in fine form as on “Here We Surrender” is part Alan Parson Project and part Fastball. “Landslide Cities” has an infectious beat with great call-and-response harmonies in the chorus.
And as soft as much of the melodies are, it still can rock with the intensity as “AM” is chock full of vibrant guitar riffs. Other highlights include the Beatlesque sweetness on “True Luv Can’t Hide” and the Everly Brothers styled ballad “Robins Song.” Overall, each song is a very soothing listen (with just enough riff accents) and highlights the bands wistful approach. Highly Recommended.
Cleaners From Venus “Rose of the Lanes”
Martin Newell (aka Cleaners From Venus) is still going strong, and for the Anglophile there are few musicians who can compare. Newell is the self described “poet laureate of late summer melancholy,” and the songs are all simply produced using a Tascam DP-006 Pocketstudio. But even stripped down Newell is joy to hear as he makes his way through these 15 tracks.
The high addictive jangle of “Rose of The Lanes” is a song that lyrically references the BBC’s Doctor Who. “Little French Blue” is a fuzzed-up gem and the acoustic melody of “Isn’t She The Biz” are what you listen to Newell for. A series of songs look loving back to Newell’s youth with “Third Summer Of Love” and “Liverpool Judy.” The “nite-club” styling of “Tatterenalion” is another charmer. He runs out of steam a little towards the end, with the exception of the Davies-like “Denmark Street,” but this is still a highly recommended collection of tunes.