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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


No Tricks, Lots of Treats (Singles and EPs)

The Connection “(Its A) Monsters’ Holiday”
One of our favorite bands has a timely holiday single available, so give “The Monster Mash” a break and try this NEW classic.

The Zags are back! Portland artist David Ricardo delivers a monster single in “A World Away,” a really catchy gem! And it’s a FREE download!

Stay “Always Here”

Brilliant jangle psyche-pop from Minneapolis, Minnesota also delves in a few covers like The Bee Gees “Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You” and The Kinks “Where Have All The Good Times Gone.” Produced By Owen Morris and featuring guitarist Andy Bell on “You Know It’s Right.” Highly Recommended.

Walty “I’m in Love With Everything”

Philly band goes all over the place from New Wave, Disco, Hard Rock and everything in between. Variety is the spice of this EP.

Hidden in the vaults of Capricorn Records USA for over 50 years, we found lost ’60s band Stone Ridge only has a single available. Fortunately for us, we also have a tribute EP featuring Vinnie Zumo, Jose Estragos and Joe Ricardello (The Modulators) that really make that song shine. And no trick folks, it’s Power Popaholic’s treat; A FREE download for your goodie bag!

Memorial Day EPs: The Smart Folk, Wishing Rock, The Morning Line, Angelo Celli

Yeah The Smart Folk are another brand of 60s-inspired mod, pop and indie-rock, the six songs tell stories of traveling, identity and the uniqueness of Australian leisure time. This has plenty of summer jangly, melodic guitar and is perfect for a lazy, sunny afternoon.

Wishing Rock is a hard rock band from Baltimore. “17 Seconds” is bright start, even if the vocals are a bit muddled. The band mellows out on latter tracks like “Piscataway.” Hey, and its a FREE download – so enjoy.

The Morning Line brings a chunky West Coast rock to the table. The lead vocalist  Peter Craft reminds me of Ed Roland (Collective Soul.) “Anybody Else” and “All Mine” are very catchy jangle-pop gems — so check it out and yes it’s also a FREE download.

Angelo Celli (Bracket) has some simple acoustic guitar songs here, but like most of Celli’s tunes they are good. Really like those multi-tracked vocal melodies and another FREE download for your Memorial Day BBQ.