International Pop Overthrow Vol.20

IPO Vol.20

When I started reviewing IPO compilations, it was always a special time of year to listen to the new talent that IPO’s David Bash found throughout the globe. And over the past 20 years, IPO has grown to encompass 14 festivals all over the world. From New York to Tel Aviv it has become an institution in the power pop milieu, and a rite-of-passage for many artists seeking a dedicated fan base.

Disc 1:
The Top Boost starts us off with the impressive “What If She Loves You,” but many more good songs are here, my early favorites include Lannie Flowers “Kiss A Memory,” Diamond HandsJust Another Day” and the Beatlesque “I Don’t Know You Now” by Slyboots. Some interesting debuts too; The Harriets “The Hangers On,” the jangling Lunchbox “Everybody Knows” and  The Shamus Twins “You’ll Never Take Her Heart.” If you enjoy 10cc, you’ll love “My Soft Rock Girlfriend” by Blake Jones & The Trike Shop.

Disc 2:
The jangle-tastic Jimmy Haber’s “Chelsea” injects some fresh energy here, but the rookies are what stand out a bit more. Steve Rosenbaum gives us the rare love song for married folk “Kiss My Wife,” the new band Nine Violets “I Will Let You Down” is a catchy gem, and The Tearaways do a damn fine turn on “That’s Rock!” Many bands have those classic ’60s influences, like The Vinylos, Shplang, and New Mystery Girl. Others lean more towards modern folk-pop like Sue Hedges “Two Nearly Touching Hearts,” or Swiss rockers Jengi get more garage-style on “Rod Stewart.”

Disc 3:
The variety is more apparent as the discs are pretty equal in quality, even though by the time we get to the third disc the names are less familiar. Starting with the great harmonies of Crickle’s psyche-pop “Penelope Please” and then Caper Clown’s bouncy “Pockets,” both sound very fresh. More standouts include Leslie Pereira and The Lazy Heroes “Fly Like A Bird,” the very cool sound of The JetBeats “Top Of The Line,” and the glammy Viewers Of “Who’ll Be The One.” Some selections do push the boundaries of the genre, where you really can’t say they represent power pop at all. But the musical quality is what makes this collection an improvement over last year. Highly Recommended.

Amazon | Kool Kat Musik

International Pop Overthrow Vol. 19

IPO vol. 19

Although I’ve been reviewing IPO compilations since this blog has been active, this collection is the one of most eclectic I’ve heard in a long time. The breadth of artists here cannot be overstated, and the music really can’t be stuffed into a narrow genre anymore. Also, these 65 tracks appears more balanced than in the past, so there isn’t a “favored” disc out of the three.

Disc 1: Right away the man David Bash himself gets a tribute, “Bash” by The Tearaways. Another gem is “Remake The Stalls” by Cartoon Spirits, and the legendary Ron Dante appears with a Reggae beat on “Skills.” Some retro sounding tracks include “Shake It Out” by Starfire Band channeling The Who, and Hailee Rose and Dave Rave deliver a sweet Motown styled duet on “So Invisible.”

Disc 2: Always enjoyed Zach Jones Rundgrenesque “Everything’s Fine,” and its hard to match the amazing Greg Ieronimo on “Best Day Of Our Life.” I also loved the danceable mantra of “You’re Never Gonna Have Enough Money” by The Black Lemons. The plaintive mid-tempo ballad “All in This Together” by The Hard Way is another melodic and catchy gem. Lighter jangle is part of Hummingbird Syndicate’s “Waterfall Away” and Trip Wire’s “Winter Song.”

Disc 3: Starts out with quirky pop of New Man’s “Maybe I’m Feeling Fine and Jordan Andrew Jefferson’s “White Light.” The romantic “Linda’s A Maybe” by Dave Birk, is an funny ode to the girl who you wish would come to the party. The wild punk melody of “I’m Free” from The Forty Nineteens is a great party anthem, and the Beatlesque “Mohammed On Top Of The Mountain” is a gem from Butch Young. The reverbing bass guitar from The Dives “On The Spot” and Marston’s “These Blues” both make a psychedelic impression.

Overall a great value (as always) and a showcase for the ever expanding array of pop artists that fit under the IPO tent. Highly Recommended!

Kool Kat Musik | Amazon | Pop Geek Heaven


I was present for IPO New York at Bar Matchless, Brooklyn — Mike Daly & The Planets were introduced by my buddy Dave “The Boogieman” here. It was a great show with lots of local and international artists, and unfortunately due to illness the festival CEO David Bash couldn’t attend live. He need not worry as the artists came through for him and played to an enthusiastic audience!

Concert Review: IPO NY 2016

This year at Bar Matchless as always, I see old friends and manage to always make new ones at International Pop Overthrow. Dave Bash has not skipped a beat and continues to make International Pop Overthrow the November “must see” event in New York. I came for two nights and found the crowd has increased compared to last year. Great performances by perennial favorites The Modulators and Dave Rave bring the audience to loud cheers. And the historic reunion of John Faye and Cliff Hillis was mesmerizing as they played tunes from their solo records and IKE.

It was also great meeting new artists like singer Hallie Rose (a Dave Rave discovery) and Spain’s Jose Estragos. I was also impressed by The Pengwins and Lannie Flowers (both from Texas) and Lannie even played my favorite cover “Baby Blue” by Badfinger. I also enjoyed performances from The Reign (Feat. Joe Caravella) and Meyerman, both artists have brand new players in their bands and did a great job. Dave filmed and posted many performances on Facebook.

Obviously some of these lucky artists will be invited to play at Power Popaholic Fest 2016 coming this June. If your band would like to be considered for our summer show, please contact me before March.

International Pop Overthrow “Vol. 18”

International Pop Overthrow

It’s that time of year in New York, the fallen leaves and chill in the air reminds me that the International Pop Overthrow is almost upon us! It’s coming back to Bar Matchless in Brooklyn starting tonight! Check out the schedule and come early and often, and show your support for new power pop.

I have to say, this 18th volume of the IPO 3 disc set is the most diversified and stretches beyond the traditional sound of power pop with a new crop of future pop superstars. All produced by maestro David Bash, mastered by Alan Brownstein, and put out by Bruce Brodeen‘s Pop Geek Heaven Record label, making a concerted effort to keep the CD format alive in the age of ephemeral electronic files. God bless these power pop taste makers for continuing to deliver the best music value on the planet. This set is noticeably balanced in that no single disc really stands out, so lets get started onto my favorite tracks:

Disc 1: I’ve never seen so many new bands in an IPO comp, so I’m sure to find some new favorites like Ivan Mudd’s “Wake Up Call” and the DIY gem “First In Class” by newcomer Steve Rosenbaum. Sweden-based Cranbury Sauce’s “Merry-Go-Round” and Marston’s “Shabby Shakes” upholds those psychedelic guitar traditions and of course old friend Jeremy Morris leads The Jeremy Band in a rockin’ theme song for the festival with “The IPO Song.” I heard some distinct 80’s influence in Vinyl Floor’s “Colorblind” and The Pickpockets “The Ostrich Defense.” Also note even more female vocalists than ever before, at least 2 per disc.

Disc 2: Kylie Hughes (a fave from last years set) returns with the bouncy “Dream Dream Dream” and another favorite, Dave Rave comes back with some “Sweet American Music.” Some bands still clearly have that sixties pop influence here like Junebug (“She’s An Ape, Not A Monkey”) and Cloud Eleven (“A Sadness in Sorry”). More standouts include the catchy guitar rhythm on Harvest Moon’s “Wanna See You Dancin'” and Claire On A Dare’s “She Knows/Photographic Memory” channels Chrissie Hynde perfectly. Tommy Sistak delivers the requisite Beatlesque “Ordinary Words,” but you’ll find music that really pushes the pop envelope like the atmospheric “The Boy and Marlene’s Ghost” from Warm Morning Brothers.

Disc 3: Greg Ieronimo’s opener “You Love Me,” rocks as he continues to deliver impressive melodies, followed by the crisp harmonies of Coke Belda’s “I Understand.” And “The Perfect Year” by Vanilla stands out with its glossy production, as Cash For Gold’s “Out All The Time” does with its wicked glam sound. I’ve already raved about Jared Lekites “Five Separate Lives,” and Honeywagen’s “The Only One” is a classic power pop single sure to thrill listeners. I heard less garage styled power pop than past volumes, but Stacked Actors “Disinfect” is a strong example here. Listen to select tracks at the IPO website, and get this long awaited compilation. As usual, it’s the cure for the common playlist and Highly Recommended every year!

Pop Geek Heaven | Kool Kat Musik | Amazon

International Pop Overthrow “Vol. 17”


One great thing about David Bash’s IPO collection is that he has soldiered on (online comps be damned!), continuing to bring fresh power pop to the masses through CD format only. In the past few years he’s slowly opened up the scope of his collection, so you get some indie pop, pysche-pop, and other sub-genres represented. I’m happy to say Power Popaholic has reviewed many of these artists already, so I have my favorites but I’ll always get several new discoveries that I can pass along.

Each of the three discs has truly wondrous music that is curated by David, a dedicated music expert (something I can’t say about all those programmed, target-marketed radio stations). You’ll also find some weird stuff, like Sue Hedges “Liars ’n Lovers” which is like Lady GaGa lite, or the prog droning of Split Sofa‘s “10,000 Light Years From The Sun.”As we have three discs to go through, I’ll highlight my favorites:

Disc 1: The Bobbleheads are one of my favorite bands this year, so it’s great that they start things off with “Turn The Radio On” and also Greg Ieronimo’s cool “Roller Coaster Ride.” Kylie Hughes love letter to California pop “Calipopicana” is another keeper as is Secret Friend’s bouncy “Starting Today.” New discovery Chris Smith made a good impression with “No One Has To Know” and Northern Sugar’s “Ride” has a late 90’s Brit-pop feel.

Disc 2: A good example of something different is Alex Jules “The Key” where pop craft and composition are more important than guitar riffs. Another highlight is the mod-influenced, modern sounding “What More Can I Do” from Monogroove and the orchestral sweep of The Sharp Things “Flesh and Bone” which has a hint of classic Procol Harum. It’s also great to hear French power popper Tommy Lorente’s “Mirabelle” and the beautiful harmonies by The Tripping Souls’ “Place That I Love.”

Disc 3: As with past sets, this disc is a bit more inconsistent. Both Peter Fedofsky and B-Side give us Beach Boys influenced tunes, and Phonograph gives us the memorable “She Knows It.” The reliable Lisa Mychols 3 is “Ready For Action” and the rocking Beyond Veronica does a great job on “Crazy Girl.” I noticed a few older tunes here (Dave Birks “Speed Queen Mystery Date” is from 2012 and The Tor Guides “Dynamo” is from 2013) but they’re deserving anyway. A real buried gem here is The Newds “Go Getter,” with a hummable chorus that will stick in your head. Overall, like past IPO comps this one has a great mix of songs and most of them are highly recommended listening.

Pop Geek Heaven | Amazon