Allyson Seconds “Little World”
Allyson is based in Sacramento, CA and “Little World” is a great example of California pop, with contributions from Anton Barbeau, Colin Moulding (XTC) Kimberley Rew (The Soft Boys) Beavis Frond and the late Scott Miller (Game Theory, The Loud Family) amongst others. Her silvery timbre is not unlike The Bangles Susanna Hoffs.
The album sticks to environmental themes with a warm energy that doesn’t sound preachy. On the fast paced title track, Allyson’s soft vocal flows over a keyboard melody and on “Sun Don’t Shine,” Barbeau’s psychedelic fuzz guitar dominates. The momentum slows with the ballad “Summer of Gold” and the new age folk of “Great Blue Heron.” But there are several highlights here; the sparse “Octagon,” “Burning Burning” and “Apples Are Falling” all make good use of Allyson’s gentle voice. Fans of The Jayhawks, The Bangles and Aimee Mann will surely want to pick this album up.
Rob Martinez “New Love Environment”
Rob Martinez is an Albuquerque singer-songwriter with a crisp retro pop style on Adam Marsland’s Karma Frog label, he brings to mind all those squeaky clean pop singers of the early ’60s transitioning to the psychedelic era like Bobby Sherman or Tony Burrows. “Hanging’ On The Line” and “Love Life” are great examples of sunshine pop with just a dusting of psychedelic flourishes.
“Some People Never Change” gets a little more aggressive, with Hollies-like harmonies and the confessional ballad “Hey Girl” are perfectly fine pop singles. While Martinez innocuous vocal doesn’t put himself apart as much as Allan Clarke (The Hollies) he comes pretty close. And some winning melodies break through, like the catchy “When She Comes To Town” with its Rickenbacker flourishes and the multi-layered chorus of “Hard To Take.” By the albums end we finally get a riff heavy power pop tune “Better Get Ready.” Marsland does a great job on guitar here and provides Martinez ample support. Fans of McCartney and The Left Banke will enjoy this too. Highly Recommended.