The New Trocaderos and Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms

The New Trocaderos

The New Trocaderos “Frenzy in The Hips” EP

Formed last year, The New Trocaderos are a mini supergroup consisting of Geoffrey Palmer and Brad Marino of The Connection, and Kurt Baker. They released a few singles and an EP (or two) late in 2014. Well if you missed any of these hook-filled songs I’ve got some good news. Kook Kat Musik is distributing a compilation of these singles under the 6 song EP “Frenzy In The Hips.” The music is hard charging pop that’s rooted in the British Invasion and garage rock style. Each single is compelling, but my favorites are “Dream Girl, ” “The Kids” and “Luckiest Man in the World” which is only available on CD on this release! Fire this CD up for an instant rock and roll party. Highly Recommended.
power pop

Kool Kat Musik Exclusive

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Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms

Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms “Heart String Soul”

It’s great to hear Ryan again, his last album was nearly three years ago. After many listens, its clear that Ryan Allen bleeds rock & roll dreams. His energy and melodies are the very stuff power pop fans yearn for. “Should Be Me” is the first song, about his lack of radio play and the hopeful refrain of “one more day” to figure out how to “make it.” It’s a little like a mix of The Ramones and Richard X. Heyman. “Looking Forward to Looking Back” has Raspberries-like riffs and a catchy chorus making it an infectious rocker, “We are all born broken” starts the chorus that hits every note perfectly.

“Become a Disaster” is an anthem for disaffected young adults, building with massive harmonies and riffs like Weezer and a Fountains of Wayne styled narrative. Everything here rings true from the timeline affair of “Angela ’97” to the Big Star influenced “Not Hanging Out” to the quiet heartbreak of “Bonded By Blood,” about the difficulties of fatherhood. Ryan has blown me away here, and this easily makes my top ten album list for 2015.
power pop

Bandcamp | CD Baby

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Guardians of The Galaxy and Free Music Mondays

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Can you believe it? The hottest movie of the summer, Guardians of The Galaxy features tracks of classic ’70s power pop. Most notably The Raspberries “Go All The Way” and 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love” added to the official soundtrack. Rock on!

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Here are some new EPs that are absolutely FREE. Great music that doesn’t even touch your wallet. All are bandcamp downloads. Enjoy!

Ballard is back! The UK based singer continues to refine his polished guitar pop with “Crossing Every Line/What If We Went Back? EP” Keep’em coming Ballard!

Dragmatic is a 4 piece indie rock outfit out of Raleigh, North Carolina. The band opened for The Posies recently. “You’re All Mine” and “Hot Mess” have plenty of energy. Give’em a listen.

Declan Snowden is a Dublin-based singer/songwriter hailing from Galway. The EP – recorded at the famous Westland Studios in Dublin – is a combination combines Declan’s soulful songwriting with an appreciation for pop music, old and new.

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Braddock Station Garrison and Ward White

Braddock Station Garrison “High Water” EP
Rock solid debut from this local Washington DC touring band. A hybrid of Roots rock and pop melodies. Lead singer and guitarist Steve Schillinger carries each tune with confidence, and a cadence that reminded me of Chris Isaak. Highlights include “Maria With Child” and “A Lot To Ask.”

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Ward White “Bob
It’s been a few years since I heard Ward White, so it’s both maddening and satisfying to listen to his new LP Bob. Once again assisted by Joe McGinty on keys, White tells a winding dense narrative akin to a one man Rock Opera about the perils and crimes of the title character. White’s delicate tenor is brilliant, similar to those 70’s rock deities (Todd Rundgren and Bowie come to mind).

It’s tough to initially go through the sparsely composed and dramatic first half, but after repeated plays it grows on you, “Dentist” being a highlight. After the quirky “Intermission,” the guitar chords really come out and “Little Coca Cola/Lucky Ones” resembles a Ray Davies ditty. One of the better tunes “Dissent” takes a very Zappa-esque turn, and “Fridge” sums it up with Jeff Hermanson’s trumpet. There is a great musical story buried here if you’re willing to sacrifice immediacy. I see “cult hit” written all over this one.

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The New Trocaderos and The Rationales

The New Trocaderos “Money Talks/The Kids” EP
The New Trocaderos are Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer from The Connection and fellow power popper Kurt Baker in a wild collaboration with songwriter/producer Michael Chaney.  “Money Talks” is straight from the Connection template of fast tempos, solid guitar riffs and harmonies all the way through. “The Kids” is sung by Baker and comes closer to the Ramones/Elvis Costello style. Either way this is a really nice EP and great way to start the year. Any chance a full LP will be on its way?

Bandcamp Only

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The Rationales “Dream Of Fire”
Even after giving myself a rest after my top 25 last week, I will find lots and lost of music I missed. The Rationales’ latest EP, Dream of Fire,  features 5 tracks recorded with producer Ed Valauskas (Juliana Hatfield, Graham Parker)and showcases the improved songwriting and skilled musicianship that make them a band that belongs on your radar. “Drunk all the Time,” and “Radio” are hard driving pop tracks that have plenty of melodic muscle. The remaining tracks allow the band the get denser, anthem-styled rock songs out, and I look forward to more from this talented band in 2014.

CD Baby
| Amazon

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The Pengwins, Gentlemen Rogues and The Connection

The Pengwins “Naive/Life After High School” EP
Way before Lannie Flowers became one of the most beloved musicians in power pop, he had a band called The Pengwins that played from 1978 into the ’90s. In fact this Texas band was one of the great “lost” power pop bands of the midwest. The band also had Alan Petsche on guitar and vocals, Delbert Raines bassist, and Danny Wilkerson on drums. This box set EP is the first of the remastered singles. Its amazing how good they were, and unfortunate that they weren’t well known outside of Texas. Now you have your chance to re-discover them.

CD Baby | Amazon

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The Gentlemen Rogues “The Gentlemen Rogues
Speaking of Texas, A new group of guitar centric rockers from Austin wow’ed me with their riffage skills. Even if the first track “Run From The Light” is a bit long winded, the ’90s melodic skills shine through on “Persistence is Futile.” Another standout “Is Tomorrow Worth Tonight?” with its Green Day-ish pop cynicism. This is a decent start and I look forward to hearing more from these Rouges.

Amazon | Bandcamp

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The Connection “First Time
What else can I say about The Connection?  The album Let It Rock is already on my top ten list. But while my Poperpopaholic Fest was playing,  Brad Marino and
Geoff Palmer were off touring in France. They got a day off and decided to hit the recording studio to do this nice addendum. Pick it up now only on Bandcamp.

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