Chris Lund, Rich McCulley and The Spinto Band

Chris Lund

Chris Lund “Great Event Syndrome”

Chris Lund is best known for his work with Lund Bros, who have an impressive discography of excellent guitar-oriented rock, so it’s no surprise that Great Event Syndrome boasts all the right influences. Although a DIY record was done in his home studio, it sounds amazing due to Lund’s attention to detail.”Tell Me” is a very Cheap Trick-styled opener with its thick guitar hooks and overlapping solos. “The Path” is loaded with musical ideas and almost prog styled, anchored by the acoustic strum and “Glimpse” is a solid Badfinger styled rocker with a jangling chorus and sizzling solo. But the golden nugget here is “700 Miles,” a perfect amalgam of Beatles/Big Star sound, and one of the best songs of the year IMHO.

Chris packs a lot into each song, so repeat listens are required to fully appreciate the juxtaposition of chords, solos, and harmonies. The next several tracks all have great moments, especially “Remember The Daze” with its reminiscing chorus and terrific solo break. Other standouts include “What’s Her Name,” the Led Zeppelin-like folk song “The Juice” and dense pop closer “Fare Well.” Overall, a great power pop album that is highly recommended.

CD Baby | Kool Kat Musik

Rich McCulley

Rich McCulley “Out Along The Edges”

Roots rocker Rich McCulley is still finding new inspiration as he writes of both love and loss, good and not so good, hard and better times. With his distinctive gravelly voice, he opens with the emotional “Hey Trouble” about the “broken ties that bind” and the fine guitar melody of “Eventually” really grows on you.

The strong “Burn A Hole In The Sky” recalls Tom Petty with its defiant attitude. McCulley leaves his Americana style and tries blues-pop on “Pilot,” jangle pop on “Sinking Sun” and the brilliant look back at NYC “Midtown” and wondering where all the record stores are. Another satisfying album that deserves to be heard. 

CD Baby | Amazon

The Spinto Band

Re-issue Spotlight:
The Spinto Band “Nice and Nicely Done”

Wilmington, Delaware’s The Spinto Band is possibly planning a comeback, but in the meanwhile it has re-issued 2006’s Nice and Nicely Done, chock full of B-sides and rare tracks. Their geeky pop sound has been influenced by The Talking Heads, and fans of Field Music, They Might Be Giants and Neural Milk Hotel will enjoy the quirky energy.

Vocalist Nick Krill does have a David Byrne-like vocal he uses to great effect on the mandolin heavy “Oh Mandy.” A lot of highlights, including “Crack the Whip,” “Direct to Helmet” and Pavement-like “Trust Vs. Mistrust.” If you missed it back then, I would revisit it now as it has aged very well. Highly Recommended.

Amazon

Rich McCulley and Annie Dressner

Rich McCulley “The Grand Design”
In a complete change in tone from his last album, roots rocker McCulley’s outlook has gone from bittersweet to joyful. “Here Right Now” states that he doesn’t “wait for sunshine” but here it is, with a richly arranged melody. This is an album that puts the past behind him, celebrating a better life today, with new love in his life and a young son of his own.

One of the best tracks here is “The Most Beautiful Thing,” a gushing love song with chiming guitars and catchy chorus. The sunny tone is almost like The Eagles hooking up with Smashmouth on “Let You Go” and”The Gift.” It gets a little more rootsy as we get past the mid-point, “Just Begun To Run” and “Don’t Know What To Do” are good examples. No filler here, and the album is a real statement on McCulley’s life. “Little Bit Broken” is a perfect theme for today’s middle aged dude who’s been “kicked around, but still here.” Bravo.

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Annie Dressner “East Twenties”
A girl and her guitar. It’s almost a cliche now, but Annie’s music is like an intimate conversation. A confession with sweet multi-tracked harmonies, “Heartbreaker” is like a melodic soundtrack to a summer stroll down a country creek. “I Can’t Forget” is a twee ballad about the memory of a loved one. Unlike her debut LP Strangers Who Know Each Others Names, Annie leaves the quirky pop behind for a more serious and poignant musical statement. Fans of The Cranberries and Jenny Lewis will enjoy this heart-felt folk pop.