New Talent: Asbury Keys, Didn’t Planet, Hi Electric

Ashbury Keys “Wake Up” EP
Texas brothers David and Darwin Keys are joined by bassist and vocalist Bill Walter on this new EP. It’s got a blended sound,  just add equal parts of Foo Fighters, Noel Gallagher and Taking Back Sunday.  Each of the five tracks give us solid hooks and loud guitars, starting with the pounding drums and guitars of “Swimmer.” And these guys can still do the melodic as evidenced by “Hero” with its great minor chord shifts. The bands versatility is displayed through the punk beat of of “Oh My God” or the ballad-like start of “Break.” And if you want to hear more, then listen the full length LP Growing Up.

Didn’t Planet “We’re Goin’ Nowhere”
Why didn’t I hear about this band? Maybe its the horrible pun for a name, but this Massachusetts group won me over with its light-hearted intro “the Fat Albert theme.” Then it rocks right into “Maryanne” with ringing guitar riffs and harmonies. The  POV with “Any Requests?” is a band struggling to play at venues “going nowhere” and doing covers. The narrative on “Bitter” is that of a resigned musician “out of touch with the kids” wanting to play what he wants. I’m sure every power pop artist can relate to this song. However there are too many self-pitying songs, fortunately most of them are pretty good. Recommended.

Hi Electric “Hi Electric”
Indie band from Memphis,TN that references garage, soul, rockabilly is lead by  singer Neil Bartlett. Influenced by Big Star, Queens of The Stone Age and The Grifters it starts off with the subdued but effective “Bicycle Blades,” that has almost a grunge redux with snarling guitar solos after the chorus. It shuffles along like a softer version of Soundgrarden, but never really impresses until the mid-point with the catchy tracks “Open Cuts,” “Foolin’ Myself,” “It’s Not You” and the mid tempo shimmering “Come Down.” After additional listens, the melodies help the fuzzy exteriors take shape, so overall it’s a grower… why not give it a try?