B-Leaguers “Death of A Western Heart”
James Styring (The Popdogs) forms a new band with a harder edge and a thicker guitar sound. The title track refers to the loss of the past, and James slowly builds the song from a simple bass line to a riff driven rock anthem where eventually “you come back to where you start.”
“Amnesia” has a punk energy that keeps the song afloat and “Numbers” has a neo-metal riff alongside its chiming guitar rhythm section. It keeps to the standard pop-punk rock until we get to the excellent “Lemonade” with its frantic harmonies and faster tempo. Definitely worth checking out.
The Miamis “We Deliver”
It’s hard to believe, but there are still “lost” bands out there that never made it to the limelight in the classic rock era.The Miamis were an active part of the ‘70s New York club scene, playing at CBGB, Max’s Kansas City and the Mudd Club. They headlined shows alongside Blondie, the Ramones and New York Dolls, but the lack of a recording contract kept the Miamis forever in obscurity. They did record a self-released album, but the industry execs at the time dubbed them “too punk for pop, too pop for punk.” I don’t hear any punk, but the energy and melodies clearly belong to power pop, so fans of The Knack, The Raspberries and Rubinoos will really enjoy this.
The infectious melody on “We Deliver” is unmistakable, and could easily be mistaken for a Rubinoos single. “Cry Baby” is like early Ramones with horns, and “Dancin’ Together” is like T-Rex playing an NRBQ hit. You can hear some Todd Rundgren influence in “I Want A Girlfriend” and “Just Too Many People In The World.” You then realize that the Miamis were not so easy to categorize. The live songs are also where this band really shines, with a bluesy “That’s Life” capping 23 total tracks. Don’t miss this slice of lost power pop history. Highly Recommended.