Derrick Anderson and The Dolly Spartans

Derrick Anderson

Derrick Anderson “A World Of My Own”

Bassist Derrick Anderson, known for his work with the Bangles and Dave Davies (the Kinks) is breaking out in a big way on his solo debut. Prior to that his band The Andersons! were a popular LA power pop band, so he certainly has a top pedigree. In fact, he’s got an all-star line-up of past bandmates helping out. His smooth inviting vocals are key in the ear-worm opener “Send Me Down A Sign” full of jangle and harmony as well as the gem “Waiting For You,” with a bit of help from the Smithereens. Anderson knows to shift his style and tempo easily, so the mid-tempo rock “You Don’t Have To Hurt No More,” almost resembles a lost Squeeze hit. The Kinks-like riffs populate “Phyllis & Sharon” and buddy Matthew Sweet gives an assist with the bouncy and crunchy rocker “Happiness.”

Almost every song here hits the right buttons, “A Mother’s Love” and “My Prediction” rely on crisp melodies and brilliant musicianship. It takes a fast-paced live turn on “Stop Messin’ About,” with an energy that recalls Little Richard mixed with Paul McCartney. The Bangles lend their “do-do-do” backing vocals to “When I Was Your Man,” a song that just won’t leave your head. Easily this is one of the best releases I’ve heard in a long time, with a perfect balance of style and song composition. A true example of a “must-get” album that makes my top ten list for 2017.


Dolly Spartans

Dolly Spartans “Time Sides With No One” EP

Few young bands survive the cards The Dolly Spartans have been dealt. Their debut cracked the top 10 in CMJ, were awarded Record of the Month and Artist of the Month, in The Deli Magazine. Then in 2015, Dolly Spartans 22-year old guitarist Christopher Elmer died suddenly of a drug overdose. The band has channeled that loss into more music, as lead singer Michael Eliran described the new EP as “…about coming to terms with the idea that the passing of time can bring joy one day and pain the next.”

The opening track “When The Wheels Stopped Moving” recalls early Coldplay or Radiohead with its dynamic chorus. The frantic guitar rhythms of “Hangin’ Out” are tied to solid emotions about trying to break out of the funk that accompanies a loss. “I Hear The Dead” is chugging-alt rock theme that brings to mind The Smiths and the title track is a dramatic mantra to live each day because “I’ve given up a lot to be myself.” A solid alt. rock EP that deserves to be heard. Highly Recommended.