The Who "Endless Wire"

This is another mainstream album that I feel merits a review from those who love Power Pop. When you think about it, Pete Townsend’s influence has been the main source of “power” in power pop. Here Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey make a statement to all those thinking this is a crass reunion along the lines of the Rolling Stones, who haven’t had anything meaningful to listen to since ’94. What this album says is that the Who (or “The Two” as the press likes to call them) are still relevant and can still make a good album. Please do not expect the greatness of the Who in thier prime. Some miscues include Pete’s gruff vocals on “In the Ether” and Daltry’s occassional fading away in some songs. Overall there are some classic gems here like “Black Widow’s Eyes” and “Pick up the Peace.” This is a worthy addition to your Who collection. It’s on sale everywhere, so go pick it up.

Introducing "The Standards" and "The Universe"

The Standards are an unsigned band from London that has a kick ass song called “Some Singers” that reminds me a bit of The Nines meets Nik Kershaw. All these blokes need is a record label and need to get crackin’ on making some sweet music. Visit the myspace site here and listen. They would also like you to visit and vote for them as a cool new band… Neil and Mark, the two guys who make “The Standards” a band, I am like Oliver Twist here saying “Please sir, may have some more?”

Thanks to my buddy at Seattle Powerpop blog he’s introducing The Universe and rather than repeat his review… you can link to
The Myspace page to listen or you can visit his site (see my sidebar). I read he had his own Power Pop show… anybody have some free plane tickets to Seattle?

The Gurus "The Swing Of Things"

The Gurus are a band cut from the retro-cloth of ’60’s British Pop and Pyschedelic Fuzz. After all they are on the Rainbow Quartz label (where else?) and they evoke the era perfectly. This is great music to listen to with the room lights off and the lava lamp on. This is also a big improvement over the last album that concentrated more on Sitar-styled melodies. The songs here are stronger and closer to the Minders in style. “Tears on the Wardrobe” is a great pop tune that bears deserves listening. And “Soup” would be very happy on any Olivia Tremor Control album. A big complaint here is the lack of songs — really if you don’t include the instrumental genre experiments, there are only six songs here. A cover of The Kink’s “I Need You” completes the entire hippie picture here, but it could really use a more dramatic finale, much like Andrew Gold’s great LP “The Fraternal Order of the All”. Oh well, turn on that black light for your glow-in-the-dark posters and download this from e-music here.

El Goodo "Goodo"

Since I’m re-visiting the retro-sounding bands today, here is another one. El Goodo is another ’60’s styled power pop album – you know you’re in for a treat when the song “Surreal Morning” resembles a mix of Byrds and Beatles just perfectly. Most of studio techniques used here are the same as the Rainbow Quartz band, Outrageous Cherry. In fact, listening to both groups together make it hard to tell them apart. A very Kinks-like “Chalking the lines” continues with Brydsian jangle and after a minute has a really great “broken-record” break in mid song. The next tune “Stuck in the Sixties” is really a great treat for an audiophile who loves to play “spot the studio technique” – listen to this and hear bits of Beach Boys, ELO, Curt Bochetter, Moody Blues and of course, the Beatles. A real treat. It has more songs than the Gurus LP and thus gets a better review. download this from e-music here.

Impar "Melhor Aqui"

IMPAR – Melhor Aqui

Now for something completely different! A Brazillian Power Pop Band! A new pal from Brazil has opened my eyes to the South American Power Pop front. Typically we in the US concentrate our music imports on the latest from Scandiavia and Europe, after all the bands sing in English and we all like that. But there is so much more out there. If you just listen to the melodies and riffs, you will enjoy Impar just as much as any English speaking release. And who knows when they may be picked up by an American Label for an English version of their stuff? Here it first here!