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.

The Sheers "Goodbye World"

If you love sophisticated lyrics and gorgeous melody you can appreciate The Sheers. Singer/Songwriter Danny DeLaMatyr sounds alot like Roger Manning, doing mid tempo power pop along the lines of Doug Powell and The Posies. The album also does a bit of McCartney balladry with “It is what it is” and then rocks all out for “You’re just Lonely” a nice slice of hooks and chorus. Bill Shupp and Luke Adams round out the band and with great drum work and excellent guitar playing. “Take That” continues The Posies-styled awesomeness. The song “Shakedown” has a great epic rock bridge and a melody line that was made for an arena event. I have to say this is another CD without a weak track on it. Listen to the track below “Goodbye World” for a taste of this great album. For more music to hear, go to the myspace page. You can get this album at CD Baby, Not Lame or KoolKat Music or itunes.

Listen to The Rutles!

The blog world is always evolving. And really wanted to make the music available to people immediately, instead of just a nice description of the music and a link. So I wanted to add a small music player to the site. So now, I’m able to post a great example of an album and do it with a minimum of fuss. My first choice for this is The Rutles. And based on the song I am posting Dirk is not Deaf!

Enjoy the tune, “Let’s Be Natural” – one of my favorites of the Pre-Fab Four. Thanks alot to the Little Hits blog for the link to get this music player. More reviews are coming… I have a huge backlog of CDs to listen to and post. Stay tuned!