The Modulators “Try, try, try”
New Jersey band The Modulators formed in 1980, released three singles and an album in 1984. They’ve continued to tour (New York’s IPO is a regular spot) and now the band finally delivers the long-awaited self produced sophomore album. The jangle and layered guitar melodies aren’t that different from the bands earlier material, so fans will love it.
Opener “Upper Hand” and the title track are straight forward guitar pop. “What’s On Your Mind” is a wonderful Merseybeat styled throwback, and “Someday” boasts some great vocal harmonies along with a killer rhythmic hook. The vocals are a little deeper, but sung with earnest confidence as evidenced by the ballad “With Your Love.” Fans of old school DIY pop will appreciate the added acoustic textures and roots based influences, and overall no filler here either. If you buy it at Kool Kat you get an exclusive 4 song bonus EP with demos, including the live version of “Down At The Dirt” from 11L RNI Radio NY International. So its definitely Highly Recommended.
We don’t have any samples of the current album to post, but here is the bands original “hit.”
Joel Boyea “Here Again, and Lost”
Boyea’s opening “Upbeat” is a great marching anthem, full of ringing guitar melody and solid drum work, one of the better opening singles I’ve heard this year. The lower key “Breaking Up” has echoes of smooth California styled pop about a relationship that’s run its course. Most of the tunes are closer to this mid-tempo style as the album follows the stories of self actualization from differing points of view.
Strong melodies are layered into the “Impossible Puzzle” and “Until It’s Too Late.” But if you delve into the lyrics, it’s got surprising depth for example, “Outwitted” deals with the nature vs. nurture debate about homosexuality. Sparsely produced by Andy Reed, Joel’s vocal is similar to Lannie Flowers in style and timbre. Definitely for those who crave meaningful songwriting.