Latvian Radio and Red Jacket Mine

Latvian Radio

Latvian Radio “For Love and Spite”

After a decent start on their debut, this New York band  takes a big leap forward on For Love and Spite. Upbeat from the start “To Find You There” sets the easy going pace, with its jangling guitar strum and organ chords. Next “On Display” is a great single with a catchy melody, beat and killer bridge, its one of my favorites here. The seamless composition follows on the wintery themed “North of The Keys” that will appeal to fans of REM, The Shins, and Brendan Benson.

The guitar is joined by hand claps and synth on the infectious title track, another memorable gem. Then “Growing Pains” adds a little Kinks-styled rock influence (a bit like “Father Christmas”) with the oldster lecturing you to “Wake Up Kid!” The tempo does ease up toward the albums end with “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” about being left behind as life passes by. Overall a terrific album without a wasted track. Congrats to singer/songwriter Patric Westoo, and his band for giving us an early holiday present.
power pop
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Red Jacket Mine

Red Jacket Mine “Pure Delight” EP

Seattle singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr returns with his soul infused power pop, a direct follow up to last year’s Someone Elses Cake. Produced and assisted again by Johnny Sangster from The Tripwires, this EP features Barr’s pub rock influences on the toe tapping title track. Barr then gives us some soul-pop on “I Want You To Worship Me” and goes gospel on “Crow,” a duet with Nashville songwriter Shane Tutmarc.  The bouncing piano of “Nearly Marjorie” is very much in the mold of NRBQ and the soft rock of “AM” certainly give us a variety of styles. It all ends on the fun blues riff “Get Paid” about the common musicians lament. Very much a sweet diversion from all that hard charging power pop, this sonically cleans your palette nicely.
power pop

Red Jacket Mine and Baby Scream

Red Jacket Mine  “Someone Else’s Cake”
Seattle band headed by songwriter Lincoln Barr (also in Stag), who’s smart lyrics and casual style are a mix of both Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. Red Jacket Mine also has a hint of pub rock and Memphis soul, shown on “Amy” with its tight composition and wild outro. The big hooks come out on “Ron Nasty” as the guitar and harmonies are in perfect form.

“Engineer” boasts a sax and drum rhythm and shambling Bowie-like chorus that really wins you over too. Add a touch of Steely Dan and you get “Skint City” and “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)” with its 70’s lounge vibe. It’s also got a Elvis Costello styled cynical streak that runs throughout each track. Each song is solid (no filler) and it varies the style enough, adding alt-country on “Have You Got A Permit To Preach On This Corner.” It ends with the infectious beat of “Bellar & Bawl.” Highly Recommended for sure.


Baby Scream “Baby Scream” Special Edition
Of all the bands from Argentina with songs in English, Baby Scream has had the most power pop success. Lead by Juan Pablo Mazzola, the band has produced several good albums, and has decided to revisit and re-release the debut LP, which I reviewed back in 2010. And Juan has added some original mixes by producer Muddy Stardust (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, LA Guns, Col. Parker). Lets not forget the band also has a FREE album of covers called “Lost Balloons” you can pick up here.

Bandcamp exclusive