Vitsa Blue and its garage power pop sound has been featured before, now the band has a new collection of FREE holiday music. My fave on this EP is “A ’90s Kind of Christmas” with plenty of references to that era, like the lyric “We’ll sing lots of Weezer songs this Christmas.”
‘Welcome Christmas Time’ is a free song recorded by Red Cabin (aka Jonathan Foster) included on a Christmas Compilation from the Powerpop Academy (JAPAN).
The JAC (aka Joe Algeri) delivers a free Christmas single from down under.
The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco is a UK band with an uncanny resemblance to Steely Dan, but with an ability to travel beyond simple sound emulation. All these tracks are cool as hell, especially the opener “Kiki vs. Alice From The Breakers” as they mention my hometown in the first opening words of the lyric.
The Roaring Juniors are an energetic Michigan band we’ve heard before and leader Ronnie Riggar frantically jams to the fast tempo “Manzanita,” and does an equally good job on a cover of The Beatles “Hard Days Night.” Check it out on Bandcamp or Amazon
Son of Skooshny is Skooshny frontman Mark Breyer with Steve Refling. The band has slowly built up its collection of singles into a EP for you to enjoy. Fans of Tom Petty and The Traveling Wilburys will love this music. Get it on Bandcamp or Amazon
Video Spotlight: Cinema Star
Cinema Star has been making power pop music since around 2000, this is their latest “Attractive” single. Get it on Bandcamp or Amazon!
Talk Show Host – Like the pop punk of Green Day? Then enjoy this fast paced band from Toronto. Band is described as “Two recovering punks and an indie rocker walk into a bar.” FREE download (no drink minimum).
Richard Cummins – Yet another Beatles cover album, with an emphasis on McCartney’s work and some of his solo stuff. very well done and a FREE download. Hey Beatle tribute bands, he may be available!
And since Macca “taught him to play,” he wrote an original song about that too.
Music Video Spotlight
The Anderson Council’s Facebook exclusive video for “Magical” from their newest CD Assorted Colours. We review it here.
Seattle quartet featuring the vocal duo Bret Dylan (guitar) and Nick Myette (bass) alongside percussionist Andrew Ginn and guitarist/keyboardist David Easton. The sound is very sunny pop with a great melodic sense, after the psychedelic “Daydreams” it veers into the bouncy pop of “Pears & Mangoes” with its sweet harmonies and minor chords. “She Said No” is my fave here; part Zombies, part Rundgren – all catchy goodness. These guys recently finished playing IPO Seattle. Highly Recommended.
More traditional rock release from Todd Wicks (Prime Ministers) and the songs focus on universal emotions (obsession, grief, love, resignation) found living in suburban Detroit. Nicely produced, with steady guitar on my favorite track here “Rock Yourself.” Best of all, it’s a FREE download on Bandcamp.
Bracket “The Last Page”
Forestville, California band that gave us the wonderful Hold Your Applause a few years ago, tries an experimental album that is one single track at over an hour and 10 minutes long. It zips through melodies at a quick pace, buzzsaw riffs one minute, Zappa-like instrumentals and multi-tracked harmonies the next. The lyrics say “its a work in progress” at 4 minutes in and it feels like a collection of demos strung together. However some brilliant stuff is buried in here, so be patient. Worth the trip.
Cartoon Spirits are determined to bring power pop back to where it belongs: the Pacific Northwest. Gray skies and drizzle can only be battled with hooks, fuzzy guitars, and raspy harmonies. The Portland band has just released its debut recording, Crustacean EP. Its hard to argue their point, as “Remake The Stalls” is a catchy bit of modern pop magic, with solid guitar riffs and a timely opening falsetto. The trio of Michael Faherty (guitar), Loredana Corallo (bass) and Jeff Davis(drums) are a tight unit on the follow up “Common Law,” with fine job shredding to the layered vocal harmonies. “Back to The Cult” is another catchy tune that reminded me of Squeeze a little. Overall this is a great great debut. Highly Recommended!
Another modern power pop band with a great sound, The Kickstand Band is from Detroit, Michigan with a good back catalog of excellent music that deserves to be heard. “How It Feels” has a confident fuzz rhythm and layered guitar melodies.The leads, Gordon Smith and Allison Young give us some great harmonies on “Next To Me.” Young goes solo on “Regret You” and her sweetness shines through on the chorus. This “yet-to-be-discovered” band is making its music available at a “name-your-price” point, so take advantage of the musical goodness!
The James Rocket “We Are Here For You b/w Derby Girl”
The James Rocket are a 5 piece from Brooklyn, NY delivering a sweet quick single sure to please, “We Are Here For You.” Lead singer James William Roy is reminiscent of They Might Be Giants with a little more alt. rock fuzz. And check out the bands 2012 debut, the first track “Paper Valentines” is free. Love the spunky guitar buzz melody! Highly recommended!