Friday Freebies: Robyn Gibson, Ed Ryan, KC Bowman and Vista Blue

Bob of The Pops Vol.2 – The Juniper lead singer Robyn Gibson did such an impressive job with Vol.1, he decided to make more covers. Vol.2 was recorded from January to May, 2017 at the sofa studio in Leicester and at the Junipers’ studio, while the band weren’t watching. FREE download everyone, so sing along to The Monkees “The Girl That I Knew Somewhere”

Ed Ryan decided to give us a bonus track from his well-reviewed Roadmap album. It’s a new recording of a song he wrote with his old band The Rudies. Enjoy the crashing drums and quick riffs!

KC Bowman (Gigolo Aunts, Corner Laughers) is an undisputed pop talent that we hear from all too infrequently. It’s been ages since he’s done a solo album, but he delivers us two excellent pop singles here I am happy to share. Keep your eyes and ears open for more! KC – if you are reading, we would love a new full-length album, please.


Vista Blue is back with a selection of covers that’s sure to warm a power pop fans heart. From Big Star’s classic “Thirteen” to a rocking garage version of Depeche Mode “Dreaming Of Me.”

Plasticsoul and Cotton Mather

Plasticsoul

Plasticsoul “Therapy”

Steven Eric Wilson took his sweet time to deliver Plasticsoul’s follow up to Peacock Swagger. The opener “My Heavy Soul” is the calm before the storm, the title track screams out with Wilson’s trademark heavy riffs. “They All Died Pretty” is another melody thick with layered guitars and “In Her Raincoat” adds layered harmonies to the Cheap Trick meets Big Star-like jangle.

For all the greatness of the best Oasis song Noel Gallagher never wrote “Come Down From Your Raincloud,” it takes a few curious twists. The forgettable bossa nova tune “The Girl of Many Tribes,” and the long “King of Hash” resemble Anton Barbeau’s experimental side. Thankfully the fast paced “Monkey On A Stick” brings things back with shades of Led Zepplin, and the fantastic “Keeping A Light On” and “Biff Bang Pow” take it to the next level. Overall, worth the wait and makes my nominee list for best power pop album of 2017. And hopefully, it won’t take another 8 years to deliver another album like this one. Highly Recommended.

Bandcamp only


Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather “Wild Kingdom”

Robert Harrison’s mystical songwriting quest to create 64 songs that correspond with the 64 hexagrams of the 3,000-year-old Chinese book “I Ching” continues from last year’s The Death of Cool. The new LP’s opener “The Cotton Mather Pledge” is unapologetically power pop, with a fantastic guitar riff alongside its fuzzy synth and strutting vocals. The songs all vary in style, like the pop hook of “Hide yourself from me…” in the chorus of “Fighting Through” to the brooding, bass-led “High Society” where the instrumentation reaches a blistering piano crescendo.

Overall no real duds, and plenty of great catchy rock in “Better Than A Hit” and “Girl With A Blue Guitar.”  A few songs make an effort to tell a bigger story, like “King William” with its Lennonesque approach or the slow psyche-pop march of “The Army” deserve multiple spins to stick. And that may be the biggest complaint here, as good as it is – no song stands out or digs into your head immediately. Still, a very highly recommended album.

Amazon

The Greek Theatre and The Cool Whips

The Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre “Broken Circle”

Sweden’s premier West Coast psych-pop outfit is back. If you can stay awake during the seven minute plus instrumental opener “Fat Apple (at About Noon)” you will be treated to the pastoral prog greatness that is “Paper Moon” with sweet laid back harmonies and finely textured melody. The slower “Broken Circle” is a folk influenced gem with layers of banjo, vocals, and bass.

Vocally its part Harpers Bizzare and part Beach Boys, as Sven Fröberg and Frederick Persson weave the songs together into a tapestry of many moods. The title track shreds like Eric Clapton playing on a Free Design album and its another highlight. Fans of prog and folk will enjoy this, but if you are looking to “rock out” I’d pick something else.

Amazon | Kool Kat Musik

The Cool Whips

The Cool Whips “Baddies”

Portland band, The Cool Whips play a very bubble gummy style of power pop. Mainly using guitar and Farfisa, they churn out songs in the late ’60s tradition and Baddies is a perfect companion to their 2014 album Goodies. The first track is the slow tempo “My Old Man is A Drag” and it’s a psychedelic teenage rant that’s actually timeless.

The bubble gum is quite sticky with “The Peppermint Tree” and “There Must Have Been Sugar In It,” like a lost 1910 Fruitgum Company track. Then they shift a bit with “Field of Flowers” and the lead vocalist sounds like Elvis Costello here, so it’s a nice change of pace. Other highlights include the bouncy “Time Will Tell” and “Inside Outside.” This band serves its niche well, so check it out.

Power Popaholic Fest 2017: Day 2


More music and fun on our second night at Power Popaholic Fest. We had Somerdale start things with selections from their top ten album Shake it Maggie. Then straight from Chicago came The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club, playing an electric mix of rock, psyche, and pop. We also welcomed the return of Jana Peri, who played at our very first festival six years ago. We ended things with The Rockinghams playing classic garage rock covers. Thank you all for attending! Our 2017 Fest page will be updated with tons of photos later this week.

Power Popaholic Fest 2017: Day 1


A great time was had by all on our first night at Power Popaholic Fest. We had The James Rocket blast off to start things followed by the awesome combo of Slyboots, they started with a version of Cheap Trick’s “Tonight It’s You” that had the crowd jumping! The Successful Failures followed and impressed everyone too! We then introduced a new band; The Great Fraud, and people were dancing late into the night! One more night to go!