The BMX Bandits "Wonderful World"

Just another cool pop band I wanted to hear today. Listen to some nice stuff on the BMX Bandits Myspace page. Stay tuned — some big things are coming to the later this week!

Jeff Murphy "Cantilever"

This is just a fun album. Jeff Murphy of the legendary power pop group Shoes has put together an organic sounding album with more hooks than a bait and tackle shop. The song “I’m a Tool for You” sounds a little like Lindsey Buckingham mixed with McCartney on a sunny day. The ballad “Unconditional Love” has a slow dreamy quality, not unlike my favorite Moodly Blues ballads of the 70s. The closest thing to Shoes here is a jangle mid-tempo number “It Happens all the Time,” but alot of this Jeff doing his best to spread his wings and enjoy the process without trying to “sound” like a Shoes record. in my opinion he hits solid gold with the song “Won’t take Yes for an Answer,” an amazing hard driving guitar pop classic that stands with the best work he’s ever done. This album easily makes my “best of 2007” list so far. It’s for sale at Not Lame and CD Baby and this one will make you smile!

Listen to “I’m a Tool For You”

Bryan Scary "The Shedding Tears"

Oh jeez! Something amazing showed up on emusic and on Kool Kat Recordings so I had to download this after hearing a track or two to make sure this guy was not the second coming of Godley & Creme of 10cc. Bryan Scary’s music is a wonderful mix of many styles. Lots of 10cc, Ben Folds, Loud Family, ELO and XTC are showing up all over the place. It’s almost unsettling, all the tempo and instrumental changes throughout each song. If you remember a little power pop group called Fluid Ounces’“In the Old Fashioned Way” where lots of operatic themes lead songs on a strange melodic paths, the same happens here. Except it works much better here. Byran mixes themes and hooks in a carnival atmosphere – a perfect example is “The Lessons I Learned” and every song follows this pattern. More influences float around like Beatles, Early Genesis, Frank Zappa and Squeeze on each trippy track! It is exhausting to listen to and this will either earn your respect and admiration or totally turn you off. And with fifteen tracks, part of the fun is finding a melodic theme you like and listening to it again and again. Like the amazing track “The Ceiling on the Wall” you’ll be “losing your marbles” over this album! This is the definition of a cult power pop hit. You can listen to the tracks here. And if you have an emusic account, this is a no-brainer. Download from emusic now.

Bravo Johnson "Aimlessly Drifting"

Bravo Johnson falls into a Tom Petty-styled Americana Pop vein. His album “Aimlessly Drifting” features awesome guitar work, much like Joe Walsh and the already mentioned Mr. Petty. We can stretch the term power pop here, because it still has great melody and hooks that won’t quit. Alot like early Joe Walsh LPs, the vocals take a bit of a backseat to the guitarwork and occassional organ. It makes for very pleasant listening in any case, although many of the ten tracks on the album could use a bit of trim, most being over 4 minutes long and the epic track “Change Your Ways” which sounds like a Carlos Santana-rip on “Evil Ways” clocking in at a whopping 8:17 . This jamming style is great in concert, but a bit heavy for a studio album. This is the reason I stopped listening to the Doors back in Jr. High School. Overall the album is a strong one with mass appeal. Best of all you can hear the entire album streaming on Bravo’s website. You can purchase the CD at NotLame for a mere ten bucks! Very nice.

The Peppermint Trolley Company

A great example of mid 60s Sunshine pop lost to the ages. The Peppermint Tolley Company were best known for singing the themes to “The Brady Bunch” and “Love American Style” TV shows. Signed to the Acta label in 1967 and vanished from the scene soon after. I have not been able to find a re-issue anywhere and hopefully this video will start some interest in this long forgotten band.