Sheboygan "Sheboyan"

Here is an easy one for all of you that may have been missed. I don’t know much about Sheboygan, other that this is a great self-released EP worth your time. Kinda like Pete Ham and Jon Brion influenced power pop here. Only four songs here – so the rating suffers for it – but each song is a keeper. I was very impressed and searched these guys out. They are a local Austin, TX group and according to the bio on myspace, SHEBOYGAN consists of Cory Glaeser, Gray Parsons and Chris Gebhard. The threesome met when they were all losing contestants on the popular television show, “ElimiDate”. Here the newest tunes on myspace . If you like them get them on emusic. You can also download the songs from itunes and they are contantly coming up with new songs, so check the myspace site often. C’mon guys I’m waiting for a full length CD here! Great Stuff!

The Pernice Brothers "Live a Little"

This Pernice Brothers album has been out for a few months now, but only recently I’ve gotten to evaluate it closely. The Pernice Brothers are known for their dreamy vocals and bittersweet lyric. Here it continues and if you like the chamber pop of the debut “Overcome By Happiness,” you will like this album. The song “Automation” is a good example of this. Hook filled melody and great orchestration – this is what Eric Matthews has been lacking recently. Song arrangements have become more complex and adds to the Pernice Brothers’ aura of gorgeous gloom. Some of the vocals may come off as bit too precious, but after a few listens, it really grows on you. “Conscious Clean” and “Cruelty to Animals” are outstanding tracks that deserve to be repeated and will stay on your ipod for a while. Other tracks are less memorable, “Zero Refills” sounds like filler to me, but it is available on emusic. So pick it and enjoy.

The Skies of America "Shine"

Here is gem Not Lame Records is serving up. The Skies of America are the new band fronted by former Wanderlust dude, Rob Bonfiglio. The music is immediate and commercial. Dare I say too commercial? It has all the trappings of today’s alt pop faves like Train, Nickelback, Live, but with the power pop stylings similar to the Australian band Taxiride. Let me say that the first track “Move” sounds like a great lost Matthew Sweet tune and there are more great pop nuggets here. “Fly” is a really nice rolling song that has a great melody and lyrics – my pick for a single here. There is even an ernest cover of Badfinger’s “Come and Get It” and you can’t be upset about that. The guitar work here is excellent and the vocals exceptional. Maybe I’m getting old but a few tunes like “You belong” start to sound a bit like generic alt pop to me. However, you will enjoy this album and I encourage you to listen to it. Okay now the good part. You can sample the entire album here. Thanks, Bruce.

The Who "Endless Wire"

This is another mainstream album that I feel merits a review from those who love Power Pop. When you think about it, Pete Townsend’s influence has been the main source of “power” in power pop. Here Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey make a statement to all those thinking this is a crass reunion along the lines of the Rolling Stones, who haven’t had anything meaningful to listen to since ’94. What this album says is that the Who (or “The Two” as the press likes to call them) are still relevant and can still make a good album. Please do not expect the greatness of the Who in thier prime. Some miscues include Pete’s gruff vocals on “In the Ether” and Daltry’s occassional fading away in some songs. Overall there are some classic gems here like “Black Widow’s Eyes” and “Pick up the Peace.” This is a worthy addition to your Who collection. It’s on sale everywhere, so go pick it up.

Introducing "The Standards" and "The Universe"

The Standards are an unsigned band from London that has a kick ass song called “Some Singers” that reminds me a bit of The Nines meets Nik Kershaw. All these blokes need is a record label and need to get crackin’ on making some sweet music. Visit the myspace site here and listen. They would also like you to visit and vote for them as a cool new band… Neil and Mark, the two guys who make “The Standards” a band, I am like Oliver Twist here saying “Please sir, may have some more?”

Thanks to my buddy at Seattle Powerpop blog he’s introducing The Universe and rather than repeat his review… you can link to
The Myspace page to listen or you can visit his site (see my sidebar). I read he had his own Power Pop show… anybody have some free plane tickets to Seattle?