The Gurus "The Swing Of Things"

The Gurus are a band cut from the retro-cloth of ’60’s British Pop and Pyschedelic Fuzz. After all they are on the Rainbow Quartz label (where else?) and they evoke the era perfectly. This is great music to listen to with the room lights off and the lava lamp on. This is also a big improvement over the last album that concentrated more on Sitar-styled melodies. The songs here are stronger and closer to the Minders in style. “Tears on the Wardrobe” is a great pop tune that bears deserves listening. And “Soup” would be very happy on any Olivia Tremor Control album. A big complaint here is the lack of songs — really if you don’t include the instrumental genre experiments, there are only six songs here. A cover of The Kink’s “I Need You” completes the entire hippie picture here, but it could really use a more dramatic finale, much like Andrew Gold’s great LP “The Fraternal Order of the All”. Oh well, turn on that black light for your glow-in-the-dark posters and download this from e-music here.

El Goodo "Goodo"

Since I’m re-visiting the retro-sounding bands today, here is another one. El Goodo is another ’60’s styled power pop album – you know you’re in for a treat when the song “Surreal Morning” resembles a mix of Byrds and Beatles just perfectly. Most of studio techniques used here are the same as the Rainbow Quartz band, Outrageous Cherry. In fact, listening to both groups together make it hard to tell them apart. A very Kinks-like “Chalking the lines” continues with Brydsian jangle and after a minute has a really great “broken-record” break in mid song. The next tune “Stuck in the Sixties” is really a great treat for an audiophile who loves to play “spot the studio technique” – listen to this and hear bits of Beach Boys, ELO, Curt Bochetter, Moody Blues and of course, the Beatles. A real treat. It has more songs than the Gurus LP and thus gets a better review. download this from e-music here.

Impar "Melhor Aqui"

IMPAR – Melhor Aqui

Now for something completely different! A Brazillian Power Pop Band! A new pal from Brazil has opened my eyes to the South American Power Pop front. Typically we in the US concentrate our music imports on the latest from Scandiavia and Europe, after all the bands sing in English and we all like that. But there is so much more out there. If you just listen to the melodies and riffs, you will enjoy Impar just as much as any English speaking release. And who knows when they may be picked up by an American Label for an English version of their stuff? Here it first here!

Brittlestar "Secrets"

Thanks to Bob for turning me on to this album. Brittlestar is a Canadian Band that has a great sense of melody and beat. You can listen to the samples here.. Some songs have a great Matt Pond PA meets Metro Jets feel to them (okay it’s a stretch). The site also has a nice video “So Close So Faraway.” This is a nice little hidden gem not too many people have heard about so I wanted to get the word out. “Flying To New York” is my favorite song here so far- lots of chiming guitars and clean production make it a real treat. You get the music from Amazon or itunes. Enjoy it while it’s still a “Secret!”

Linus of Hollywood "Triangle"

Linus of Hollywood is a long time favorite power pop legend. Sounding alot like Glen Tilbrook without all that Squeeze baggage – “Triangle” pumps out lots of quick pop gems under three minutes each. “Farwell to the King” is an excellent single that floats on a melodic breeze and worth repeat listens. A few tracks feel a bit like throw-aways though. “How Do I do it everyday” is a quick comment on the music business he is in. The best part of this album is that you can listen to the whole thing on through this link. Linus’ subject matter is also more mature here, less of the optimism of earlier albums. The ballads are well written McCartney-styled songs. My favorite is the burlesque “I’m not so great,” a self-depreciating turn and it lightens the albums mood perfectly. Listen and you be the judge- Bruce at Not lame also has a special deal with this album.