Nick Piunti “Trust Your Instincts”
Nick Piunti has reliably delivered another amazing album. “Trust Your Instincts” is everything exemplary about power pop, the title track layers fantastic guitar melody with a great message to “trust your gut.” The next track “One Hit Wonder” pokes fun at the rush of fleeting music success, with a nice key change in the final verse. Great harmonies and melodies are all over the songs, with Nick’s throaty vocals leading the charge, which I’ve previously compared to Bryan Adams. Back in the studio assisting is Ryan Allen (guitar,backing vocals) Andy Reed (bass, synth) and Donny Brown (drums, backing vocals).
Every song here is a gem, but some favorites stick out like “Dumb It Down” with its a magical chorus and “As Far As I Throw” has the catchiest riffs you’ll ever hear in modern rock music. You’ll also hear multiple influences, but unlike past albums its better integrated into Nick’s overall unique sound. Even without a slow ballad, this easily gets on my top ten album list for 2016. Was there any doubt?
Look Park “Look Park”
Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne) goes out of his way to make Look Park feel different from his old band, and it does (to a point.) It’s much more of a “grown-up” softer sound without those guitar hooks thanks to producer Mitchell Froom. Starting out boldly “Shout Part 1” has a shimmering guitar rhythm with Collingwood’s distinct vocals. “Stars of New York” is more laid back ’70s yacht rock with its synth piano and strings.
There are gems to be found, like “You Can Come Round If You Want To” with its simple acoustic strums and “Aeroplane” with its catchy melody. Lots of pastoral sounds are found on “I’m Gonna Haunt This Place” and “Minor is the Lonely Key” where he seems to be channeling Sting. Not everything here works, but its worth exploration. Highly Recommended.