The Foreign Films and The Tonighters

The Record Collector

The Foreign Films “The Record Collector”

Commanded by Bill Majoros and assisted by a collection of musicians like Steve Eggers (The Nines), Carl Jennings, and the late Wim Oudijk to name a few, The Record Collector is an expansive box set.

Like Robert Harrison’s (Cotton Mather) recent I-Ching song cycle, the music is varied in style and touches several themes. There are six sides to the entire project and many songs can be heard on Bandcamp. The vinyl version includes 3 records and a 12 page booklet with a short story “Emily Blue and The Star on The Moon.” The songs all relate to the story of a lonely star-struck girl and her adventures.

Starting With “Shadow in The Light” it builds to a solid chorus, with lots of energy, but then we hit the ELO-like epic “The Sun Will Shine Again” as it slowly wraps around you with its harmonies and guitar solos, it feel like an album finale in “Let It Be” fashion, not a second song. “Junior Astronomer’s Club” has a swirling psyche-pop feel, Majors vocals are soft and brimming with earnestness. The harmonies are extraordinary, for example on “Cinematic Kiss (in Dreams).”

At points the psychedelics approach Pink Floyd proportions like on “Emily Blue,” and “Emily’s Dream Sequence” but its the power pop gems here that will ring your bell. Some great ones early on are “Broken Dreams,” and “Lucky Streak.” There are a few outlier pop songs like “Land of 1000 Goodbyes” with guest Kori Pop delivering with her silken vocals. Kori and Bill make a great duet on “State of The Art.” There are elements of Bowie-like glam, folk-pop, and blues sprinkled throughout, but with 31 tracks it’s a lot to take in. As a passion project, this succeeds because Majoros puts a lot of craftsmanship into each musical phrase and the overall story. A concept album can be like a large meal, you take in each morsel and savor it. Highly Recommended.

Amazon breaks this into 2 albums: Junior Astronomers Club & The Record Collector

 

The Tonighters “Kathleen Rose” EP

A new UK band from Newcastle that has a great power pop sound. Check out the opener “Kathleen Rose” and the acoustic “Flower.” Lead singer Billy G does a crackerjack job. I can’t wait to hear more — someone sign this guy to a label! Listen and hope downloads are coming soon.

Reissues and Freebie Friday: The Pozers, Imp of Perverse, Zeus Springsteen

Daisy House

Reissues: The Pozers “Embrace Your Addiction”

With their 5th CD release, The trio known as The Pozers (Jim Richey, Kenny Swann, Jeff Hamm) serve up some brand new “addictions” for your listening pleasure.The albums overall theme is on memories (specifically 1987) and musical influences are straightforward; starting with “The Time and Place” it slowly morphs from harpsichord into a rich combination of guitars and Beatlesque harmonies. Then “Cindy See” is a very Fountains of Wayne styled gem to honor an obsession with supermodel Cindy Crawford.

Richey’s poignant fuzz guitar “Lucky Face” emphasizes “We get no guarantees (I guarantee that)” and the Beatles style is especially strong on “When Intellects Collide,” and then it changes slightly for the breezy gem “Sunshine (Smiling Face)” with some horns added to the raw vocals. Many songs densely packed, with sharp wit between each drum fill and chugging riff. The band’s arena rock indulgences come out toward the end, but this is still one of best Pozer’s albums out there.

Amazon | CD Baby

Freebies!

Imp of Perverse is a Texas band with a mellow psyche-pop style full of sleepy low vocals. Check out “Misunderstanding.” A FREE download too.

Zeus Springsteen is just hoping “The Boss” sues them, but this solid alt. rock band has some serious arena rock chops. The Vermont-area trio is made up of David Evan (lead vocals, drums), Chris Farnsworth (lead guitars) and Josh Shedaker (bass) and they have a little glam influence too, just check out “Your Funeral” and “Rental” Oh yeah and it’s a FREE download.

Tuesday EPs: Cotton Mather, Orouni, You’re Among Friends

Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather “Young Life” EP

Following Cotton Mather’s Wild Kingdom album from April, bandleader Robert Harrison’s ambitious goal of his “Songs From The I Ching” project is near the halfway point. The project includes writing 64 tracks, one for each hexagram of the I Ching, the ancient text which he refers to as an “extraordinary book about ordinary life”

Young Life E.P. adds six more originals to the project and its sadness is apparent as these are the final recordings with the band’s late bassist, George Reiff, who’d been with them since the Kontiki days.“Mighty Girl” is a standout with a jangling riffs and poignant chorus. “Dutch Light” continues the somber tone, with the sole rocking songs here “Eleanor Plunge” and “Shepherds Purse.” Harrison’s music is consistently excellent and highly recommended.

Amazon

Orouni

Orouni “Somewhere In Dreamland” EP

French band Orouni isn’t power pop, but it is a lot of fun to listen to. I enjoyed “Makeshift Fans” from their 2014 album Grand Tour. This EP was a little more mainstream reinterpretation with French-British artist Emma Broughton (Bon Iver, Lisa Hannigan) providing the lead vocals. The distinct percussion is what stands out, “Speedball” is a quick bouncy tune, and “Unca Pugilator” has catchy synth chorus with Emma’s light as air vocals. This short EP is definitely worth exploring.

Amazon

You're Among Friends

You’re Among Friends “One Day You’ll Look Back” EP

This Cleveland rock band has been described as “bluesy power pop,” but it sounds to me a little bit like a really loose version of Steely Dan, the jazzy “I’m Happier Now” and funky wah-wah chords on “Back To Work Tomorrow” are worth exploring. The production is a little muddy, but the band does a good job in composing each song. And you can explore the band’s entire output on Bandcamp and you can name-your-price.

Bandcamp

EPs and Singles: Freddy Monday, Ken Sharp and The Vice Rags

The catchy goodness of Freddy Monday is back with a new single “Me Are You Are Me” and I hope it’s the start of a new album since it’s been a long while.  Get it on Amazon

Ken Sharp was also a big fan of the late David Cassidy. So he quickly wrote this song to help support David’s charity, the Alzheimer’s Association. Ken is joined by Fernando Perdomo and Rob Bonfiglio. Get this one today! Also available on Amazon



So the band Readymade Breakup has broken up… and in its place is The Vice Rags. This is a band that’s willing to give you the unwashed truth with three chords and a deadly hook, just the way you like it. Based in Asbury Park, New Jersey its members are: Paul Rosevear (vocals/guitar), Joe Chyb (drums), Jack Roberts (guitar) and Gay Elvis (bass/vocals). Check out this cool debut EP, “Shut Up and Love Me” rocks all out, “Jersey Boy” and “Out On The Street” are great rock anthems. Don’t miss it! Bandcamp only

Thanksgiving EP Feast: The Condors, Fuzzy-Vox, The Cleaners From Venus

The Condors

The Condors “Joie De Vivre” EP

The Condors is the main duo of singer/guitarist Patrick DiPuccio and drummer (Sitcom Neighbor leader) John Murphy, with selected bass players filling in. The trio creates a full and energetic sound that ignites their live shows. This EP collects some singles, and will really appeal to fans of The Connection, Watts or Kurt Baker. Highlights include “Girl Trouble,” “Tell It To The Judge” and my favorite instrumental this year, “High Chaparral.”

Amazon | CD Baby

Fuzzy Vox

Fuzzy Vox “Ba-Da-Boom” EP

Fuzzy Vox is a hook-heavy trio who’d easily pass for The Hives’s younger French cousins. They’re pushing a kind of power pop that’s heartfelt, but endearingly immature. With Ba-Da-Boom the band harnesses that explosive energy on “I Fell In Love With The World” and “Eyes On You.” A bit of Elvis Costello snarl comes through on “Cold Justice.” A great little EP that gives you a sense of the band at a live concert.

Amazon

Cleaners From Venus

Cleaners From Venus “Martin Newell’s Jumble Sale”

While technically, not an EP, this is a collection of unheard/unearthed recordings dating from 1975 to present day from the great Martin Newell. Lots of stuff that I’m amazed didn’t get released elsewhere, lots more stuff that’s very much like demos. The jangling “Scarecrow Hair” is a wonderful Cleaners single. Other highlights include; “Red Guitars and Silver Tambourines,” and “The Lunatic Lantern.” Worth exploring for sure.

Bandcamp