The Cherry Drops “Life is A Bowl of Cherry Drops”
Is it possible to love the sixties sound too much? Nah. Vern Shank and his band the Cherry Drops have concocted an album that absorbs those retro influences like a sponge. Opening with a vocal Beach Boys prayer “Bliss,” it’s followed by the bubble gum gem “We’re So High” with its mellow psych-pop groove, reverbs and farisa organ. Then the band turns on a bit of the guitar muscle with the “Far Out,” and mentions almost every dance craze of the era. And its not just paying homage, as Steve Boone of The Lovin’ Spoonful is included on the sunny chorus of “Sweet Lovin.”
A few more guests include Mighty Manfred (Woggles) and Tony Valentino (The Standells.) There are a few covers (including a rare Badfinger tune), but its the originals that have plenty of hooks as “Light ‘Em Up” proves. Plus “It’s A Surfing’ Thing” is chock full of Dick Dale guitar licks. The danger here is a few songs can appear saccharine (“Everything’s Alright”) but most of the time The Cherry Drops deliver their pop with a sincerity that can’t be faked. Highly Recommended.
Propeller “Fall Off The World”
Propeller is back and with another quality power pop release. “Can You Here Us Now” is part Bryan Adams, part Bram Tchaikovsky with a great leading riff in the chorus. The bands compositions have gotten tighter as “Mismatched Shoes” and “Wish I Had A Picture” densely packs the harmonies on top of a bed of guitars. Lead singer Greg Randall’s vocal style reminds me of Nick Piunti too.
“She’s So Alive” is similar to Tom Petty with its jangling rhythm, and its one of my favorite songs here. The lyrics are mostly about the common teenage crush; “a girl with a beautiful name” is the source of inspiration for “It’s Kinda Why I Like You.” Not a single note of filler as the band goes through all ten high energy tracks. If you want to nitpick, the band doesn’t take its foot off the gas, and it would be nice to have a slower tempo break things up a little. Otherwise this is a real winner, and you can download these tracks on Bandcamp at a “name-your-price” or buy the traditional way. Highly Recommended and no excuses for letting this one pass you by.