Field Music "Tones of Town"

Field Music had a really good, if quirky album last year the self-titled “Field Muisc” was a nice clean indie pop album that came from the old Apples in Stereo mold. With this new album “Tones on Town” — the group’s quality music improves vastly. Listen to the amazing song cycle in “A Gap has appeared” and then the follow-up “Closer At Hand,” that begins with a gorgeous chorus and then runs a killer hook right away. With their clever vocal harmonies and angular riffs, and sounding similar to The Beatles, “English Settlement-era” XTC, and Harry Nilsson, this is what great modern power pop is all about. A great complex album with witty lyrics and baroque beauty. “A House is not a Home” is another catchy alt-pop slice of heaven. Sometimes I run out of adjectives for an album – other than the cliche: “All killer, no filler.” Get it now at emusic.

Here is the video for “A House is Not A Home”

The Ruby Suns "Maasai Mara"

Here is another new band from New Zealand, originally billed as Ryan McPhun and the Ruby Suns. These lads sound alot like the Shins meets The Beach Boys. I hope to hear more of them soon!

Maasai Mara sets a benchmark as the best pop record about Zebras. Good, if odd, vibrations all around. — Q Magazine

Bubblegum Lemonade

Sometimes I marvel at who isn’t signed and just floating out there on the myspace network. Here is a guy from Glasgow, UK who’s music would fit in with Rainbow Quartz Records. Sounding alot like Outrageous Cherry mixed with the Jesus and Mary Chain. Bubblegum Lemonade is a nice 60’s influenced treat for your ears. If you love that Byrdsian twelve string jangle you’ll appreciate this. There is no album yet, so download the samples here at his myspace page.

Thanks alot to the boys at Indie MP3 blog for finding this for me. The indie blog has some great stuff most power pop fans from the USA would like but never get to hear, so check’em out!

You Am I "Convicts"

The Aussie band You Am I has continued to do a great job of producing melodic garage rock on a grand scale. The latest album “Convicts” continues the tradition. Sounding alot like the Replacements these guys have the goods. “Thank God I’ve Hit Bottom” is a slice of punk heaven and the album continues it’s loud rolling drums and blistering guitar riffs with “It ain’t funny how we don’t talk anymore.” My biggest complaint here is that the album continues in high gear for over nine tracks, without a slower tune to balance it out. In fact, the ferocity of the tunes come closer to AC/DC meets The Who, by the time we get to “Constance George.” We do get two mid-tempo tunes at the end “Explaining Cricket” and “I’m a Mess” that recall the wit and pop savvy of The Kinks. Overall, another Tim Rogers classic to add to your collection. Visit the band’s site to hear some streaming goodness. Get this one at

The Hard Left "The Avant-Garde Sounds of The Hard Left"

Here is a really cool band from Minneapolis. Sounding like a rowdy, uber-macho version of the Barenaked Ladies, The Hard Left have a really good album on it’s hands. The opener, “Who’s she gonna turn to” is like a lost Smithereens tune. “Take it out on me” is a great song that really hits the aggressive Smithereens vibe. The rest of the album stays loud and fast – sometimes loses a bit of focus by the end, when they jam out a bit too much and start to morph into Southern Culture on The Skids on the songs “Lost Not Found” and “Sad, Soft and Sleepy”. Not that there is anything wrong with that – but guys, can I get a ballad in here to break things up? Utimately this is a really good EP consiting of eight hard rockin’ tracks. It’s even better if you’ve overdosed on caffine. You can listen to the whole thing streaming on the band’s site. You can buy it at and KoolKat Music