Freebies, Singles and More: Dan Rico, Everet Almond, Justine and The Unclean, Andy Reed, YYY

Chicago musician Dan Rico’s take on glammed-up blues pop is solid here on “Flesh & Bone,” sure to bring up memories of Marc Bolan. “Gold Volvo” also features some nice guitar work.

Everet Almond delivers a demo EP, “The Starlight” is a good acoustic number with attitude. “Summertime” has that McCartney bass line, and “Call My Name” features piano by his son Waylon (age 6). A fun little EP that’s a FREE download.

Brand new single from the upcoming Rum Bar Records release Justine and the UncleanGet Unclean’ has lead singer Justine Covault pleading with her idiot boyfriend, also check out the related “Love Got Me Into This Mess” both are FREE Downloads and both rock!

The super talented Andy Reed released this single under the moniker The Reed Brothers featuring Jason Reed. This advance single will be part of a full-length concept album in 2018.

Minneapolis synth player YYY does the whole Pet Sounds album. Features many guests and to some, this is interpretation may be sacrilege. On the other hand, it’s tough to mess up Brian Wilson and some of this is quite lovely (“You Still Believe In Me” and “Caroline No”). A FREE download.

Monday Freebies and Singles

Cirrone’s music video debuted this Saturday with “All Night, All Right” from the EP Kings for A Night. It’s a great party tune!

Tom Baker and The Snakes fresh from their last album Lookout Tower we get a 2-fer for FREE from that album. Raw rock the way it was meant to be played.

Vista Blue is back with some timely Halloween music. As with most Vista Blue FREE music, it’s great garage doo-wop rock with nice fuzz guitar, fans of The Ramones will love this stuff. ENJOY!

Static In Verona, the band name for Chicago musician Rob Merz – has gone further away from slickness to a more bedroom pop aesthetic on his new full-length album. Secrets Like Shadows makes good use of the echoing fuzz production and electro-pop flourishes. Recommended songs “Sleeping In (Dreams),” “Burning Flowers,” and “Last Night.” FREE download.

Down Time is a Denver band with a sweet bedroom pop vibe, full of harmonies and echoing reverb. Great little EP “for a long desert drive.”

Freebie Friday: Travis Bretzer, Hector & The Leaves, Ricky Demetro

Edmonton indie pop songsmith Travis Bretzer is a jack of all trades musician, singer-songwriter who plays all of the instruments. The album’s first single “Are You Ever Gonna Change?” is a jangling power pop gem and the romantic “Peace, Love and Harmony” shows off his sunshine pop tendencies. “Up in Morning” is like a lost Mike Nesmith tune! One of the best FREE albums you’ll hear this year.  Time for me to investigate his back catalog. Also available in CD form on CDBaby.

Hector and The Leaves return with a bedroom pop treat. Tom Hector delivers the opener “Watching The World” in a hushed whisper. It stays quiet with acoustic guitar and his songwriting has improved tremendously from previous releases, “Call You Up” is a catchy gem that fans of Elliot Smith will eat up. Several songs sound like demos, but they are compelling. Music for those late nights with a mug of mint tea.

Way back at Power Popaholic Fest 3, Ricky Demetro was the lead singer in The Rhino House Band. Sadly, the band broke up and Ricky has the moved to Japan. Fortunately, he still likes to make music — this is more of a personal album, with no commercial aspirations as he does some experimental pop here. Oh yeah, and it’s a FREE download.

Lo Tom and Any Version Of Me

Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers

Lo Tom “Lo Tom”

David Bazan and his Seattle band Pedro The Lion teamed up with members of Starflyer 59 to form the supergroup, Lo Tom. It’s Bazan and friends TW Walsh, Jason Martin and drummer Trey Many. The low-pressure setting delivers a memorable, well crafted LP, starting with the driving “Covered Wagon” led by the smooth dual guitar rhythms of Walsh and Martin.

Like indie rocker Robert Pollard(Guided By Voices,) Bazan’s melodies stick with repeated plays and the guitar work of Walsh and Martin are refreshingly effective. Missing are Bazan’s religious overtones and songs like “Overboard” and “Bad Luck Charm” are more abstract in the messages sent. “Find The Shrine” mines an AC/DC styled riff throughout the song, but the album’s second half runs out of steam. Worth checking out even if you’re not a big Pedro fan.

Amazon

Any Version Of Me

Any Version Of Me “VI (Side One)”

Parisian Guillaume Lepine is back with his retro flavored British pop on VI (Side One). “New Year” opens with a Kinks-styled dance hall tune and continues to stay in the late 60’s era and recreates the sound flawlessly. He goes back to Beatlesque well on “Two Days” which borrows liberally from “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

The sunshine pop of “Some Saturday Morning” is another highlight with its Beach Boys styled harmonies and layered keyboards move seamlessly into the slide guitar of “Four Walls.”  Then it goes psychedelic with “Little Girl Lost” and acid-dripped riffs of “Thanks Ronnie.” It’s like finding a lost bin of old nuggets and the music is considerably better produced than previous AVOM releases. Best of all, this is a FREE download, with the promise of Side Two coming later this year. For fans of 60’s rock and pop, this is highly recommended.

Friday Freebies: Robyn Gibson, Ed Ryan, KC Bowman and Vista Blue

Bob of The Pops Vol.2 – The Juniper lead singer Robyn Gibson did such an impressive job with Vol.1, he decided to make more covers. Vol.2 was recorded from January to May, 2017 at the sofa studio in Leicester and at the Junipers’ studio, while the band weren’t watching. FREE download everyone, so sing along to The Monkees “The Girl That I Knew Somewhere”

Ed Ryan decided to give us a bonus track from his well-reviewed Roadmap album. It’s a new recording of a song he wrote with his old band The Rudies. Enjoy the crashing drums and quick riffs!

KC Bowman (Gigolo Aunts, Corner Laughers) is an undisputed pop talent that we hear from all too infrequently. It’s been ages since he’s done a solo album, but he delivers us two excellent pop singles here I am happy to share. Keep your eyes and ears open for more! KC – if you are reading, we would love a new full-length album, please.


Vista Blue is back with a selection of covers that’s sure to warm a power pop fans heart. From Big Star’s classic “Thirteen” to a rocking garage version of Depeche Mode “Dreaming Of Me.”