Coke Belda “Nummer Zwei”
On his debut album German musician Coke Belda proved his mastery of power pop style and production techniques. Belda takes the next step by crafting irresistible ear candy on Nummer Zwei (Number Two). The illustrious Alan Haber introduces the very Jeff Lynne-like “Rainbow” with its layered harmonies and strong synth lead. “You’re Not in Love” has a shimmering guitar rhythm and a catchy melody. And each song that follows keeps the quality high, “Hold Me Tight” is another winner that recalls Pilot.
The joys and frustrations of songwriting are part of the ballad “Songwriting” and “Another ****ing Song,” the latter ending with high falsetto harmonies. While the musical techniques are sharp, its the song composition that really impresses here, “Where I Am” is a great example that hits all the right dramatic notes with George Harrison styled guitar flourishes. Belda is also fairly consistent with his style, there is no doubt that this makes my top ten list this year. As a bonus, if you buy Belda’s new LP, you’ll get a free download of his debut album!
The Expected “Radio Night” EP
The Expected is a melodic rock/power pop band from Finland. The opener “Free Me” is a model of quiet/loud contrast with a riff heavy chorus of “Free Me Now or Forever Be Damned.” It’s a great single that deserves a spot on your playlist. The title track “Radio Night” is a showcase for lead singer Janne Äyräväinen and his layered harmonies with echoing guitar goodness are in the chorus. “Songs Of Hate” has a more anthemic chorus and is driven by drummer Tero Rikkonen’s beats. The European accents are barely noticeable and overall we have a great start for this rocking quartet. Check it out.