Cupid’s Carnival “Everything Is Love”
We don’t know where Cupid’s Carnival has been hiding (yes we do), but thanks to Kool Kat Musik we can now discover the music of Roland Skilton and Thomas Gray. The band is an overtly Beatlesque treat at every level starting with the Harrison-like slide guitar riffs on “Girl.” After a psyche-pop “The Right Time,” it runs into the McCartney-like melody of “Working Girl” and then the layered arrangements on “The Magical Mystery Tour” styled “I Was The Boy.”
Literally no bad tracks here and “Summertime” is another sunny gem before a faithful cover of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” featuring original Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher reprising the song’s signature organ parts. The piano echoing on “Our Life” and the title track are a dead ringers for John Lennon solo style. Even the ending track “Sunny Days” liberally takes from ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.” Luckily, the all the tunes are a combination of original composition and recognizable stylings that make it into my year end top ten list. Don’t miss this one!
Gleasons Drift “Gleasons Drift”
Pottsville, PA band with a lot of spunk is actually on their fourth LP, and its got those riff-heavy pub rock melodies similar to The Replacements or The Stones. The opener “Mixx/REM” is almost like Southern Culture On The Skids with its rural garage vibe, and standouts “Ghost In The Corner” and “Pumpkinhead Jones” makes a great showcase for the band’s energy. However things drift into dullsville with “Stop Draggin Me Down” and “Say Goodbye.” Still, enough here to keep most listeners around like “Stag Martyr” and the catchy guitar lead on “Acquiring Satellites.”