If there’s one inescapable fly in the S-ROCK ointment, it’s the lack of meaningful lyricism, the fear of exploring concepts beyond the purely emotional (the ‘affairs of the heart’ cliche). Thankfully, that is not the case with Koji’s new free track – “Mrs Mia Wallace” – which functions as a tribute to the Pulp Fiction characters famously played by Uma Thurman in the Quentin Tarantino classic.
There’s something wonderfully shambolic about the quartet’s hard rockin’ agenda – channeling Wolfmother via Led Zep – although the quality of the vocals might need sprucing up. But one cannot quibble too much with the infectious riffs that dominate “Mrs Mia Wallace” and that is one memorable take-away. Download the track for free now!
“Myracle Brah is an American indie pop/power pop band primarily centered on singer-songwriter Andy Bopp.”
What it fails to say that at one point in the 90s, Brah’s debut LP – Life on Planet Eartsnop – was on heavy rotation, not only in my CD player but in my very consciousness. This LP served to be my doorway to the 90s Pop Underground, which was a magical epoch of 60s retrolicious goodness. Since that epochal album, there have been highs and lows for Andy Bopp’s music BUT I am so glad to report a spanking new EP that rekindles this pop lover’s belief in the POWER of POP!
For the time being, the EP is free via download at Bandcamp. If like me, you dig bands that channel The Beatles, Big Star & Badfinger without sacrificing an iota of self-expression then The Peach EP is a godsend! What are you waiting for?
In May, Foxy Shazam released its new album Gonzo and it is now available as a FREE DOWNLOAD over at Bandcamp (link at the foot of this review). I am sure I had you at “free”, eh? But seriously, folks, that’s the state of affairs for bands in 2014. Consider the album as a portfolio for the band so that you might pay actual money for its shows, merch and perhaps the vinyl LP as well.
If nothing else, it gives us music fans unfettered access to one of the strongest albums this year. Recorded by the legendary Steve Albini live in a single room, the new music comes across visceral, in-your-face, dynamic and REAL! Believe me, Gonzo SOUNDS amazing! The songs themselves are typically Foxy Shazam – theatrical, epic, and funky pop – with punchy horns for good measure.
Tracks like the stomping “Poem Pathetic”, the bouncy “Tragic Thrill”, the slinky “Shoe Box” and the gorgeous “Story Told” are prime examples of the range of Foxy Shazam’s compositional skills. Best part is that the band executes each number with lusty aplomb – with singer Eric Sean Nally in fine form. Pop music making of the highest order!
The word ‘remix’ basically defines DJ Shadow‘s stellar work and it’s a fitting tribute to the master himself for a new electronic artist like Irn Mnky to make a remix out of DJ Shadow’s own sampling works to create something new and distinct! What goes around comes around. Listen to and/or download the “DJ Shadow Mix”.
JAN is the new solo project from Kim Talon, known for being the latter half of art-rock band Eagle and Talon. Produced by John Goodmanson (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, Sleater-Kinney) at Seattle’s London Bridge Studios, JAN will release her self-titled debut album on November 13th.
This video of “Work For the City” operates as an introduction to JAN and the new album and musically bears some of the hallmarks of 90s alternative rock – loose, deliberately sloppy and knowingly clever. The video highlights Talon’s obvious sex appeal whilst presenting the disturbing conceptual issues. A good mix.
I often pontificate about how fortunate our young musicians are today. I frequently read about our young bands recording and releasing debut EPs and albums at such a tender age and I am reminded that by the time Democracy was released by Odyssey Music in August 1993, I was already THIRTY-TWO years old!
But back then – now 18 years ago – it didn’t matter how old I was. All that mattered was that I had a recording contract (in my OWN name) and I was finally going to have my own album! Looking back at Democracy, there’s much on the record that sounds pretty terrible – the drum machine for one! – but I will stand by those songs anytime of the day or year. I am still rather proud of the songwriting overall and chuffed by the ‘critical acclaim’ that followed but am also glad that 18 years later I am a much better singer and songwriter now (in my humble opinion).
Thus, for nostalgia’s sake, I am making a download of the entire album available from today till 11.59pm 1st January 2012 as my new year gift to you, my loyal and faith reader. Send an email to info AT powerofpop DOT com and I will send you a link and password. And one more thing, please go to my Facebook page and click ‘LIKE’. Thanks again for your marvelous support over the years. Auld Lang Syne
Check out the Democracy review at rock in the fine city.
Formed from the ashes of two fairly well-known indie outfits viz Piebald and Arlo, The Hunting Accident parlay powerpop-centric goodness into edgy indie rock constructs. The band has a debut 4-track EP available for FREE download over at its official website. All four tracks are worth listening to/downloading for their sharp tunage and smart licks. A band to keep a close watch on…
Lambchop is back with a new album, Mr M, to be released in February 2012. Can’t wait that long? Then here’s a teaser for you – this simply gorgeous slab of string-swept Brill Building show tune sweetness with one of the finest opening lines I’ve heard in many a year… magnificent! Now this is what I call ‘alternative music’.
As promised, here is your chance to download the entire Democracy album, released by indie label Odyssey Music in August 1993. The album was recorded at BOSS Studios from 6th to 26th June, over seven sessions and cost about S$5,000. The songs were mostly written by me and produced/performed by Tony Makarome & myself. Cover and sleeve was designed by my good friend, Eric Khoo. The album (both CD and cassette) sold about 4,000 copies and the single, My One & Only was a #1 radio hit. You can read a cool review by fan/friend Ricky at his wonderful blog Rock In The Fine City.
As the album has been long out of print and as Odyssey Music no longer exists, I am making available a download of Democracy available in the month of August. I do need a favor though. You would need to follow me at Twitter @powerofpop, send me a Direct Message with your email address and join Dropbox in order to download the album! It may be free but you need to work at it sometimes. Like Democracy…
In the meantime, check out this 5 minute documentary on Democracy by Ricky.
As much as I love power pop, I often find myself disappointed with ‘new’ releases of the power pop persuasion. Reason being that most of the time, the artists concerned seem to be satisfied merely regurgitating past glories of the best power pop and fall into the derivative trap. So, I am quite excited about the new album from singer-songwriter Scott Gagner (release date: 1 June), based on the two advance tracks now available for free download. Basically, these tracks contain enough freshness and verve to suggests that Gagner is using his declared influences (Guided by Voices, Wilco, Elvis Costello) as mere starting points. The high melody and energy levels certainly bode well. Check them out! Review to come…
The Strokes To Release First Single From Angles, Under Cover Of Darkness on February 9th
Song Available to Stream and Free Download for 48 Hours from TheStrokes.com
Under Cover Of Darkness Available to Purchase In The U.S. on February 15th
The Strokes are set to release their newest single, Under Cover Of Darkness, on February 9th via a stream on their website. The song will be available to download for free for 48 hours from www.thestrokes.com , and will arrive at radio on the same day. Under Cover Of Darkness will be available to purchase digitally in the US via iTunes on February 15th.
The song is the band’s first released track from their highly anticipated upcoming album Angles, out on March 22nd via RCA records in the US, and March 21st via Rough Trade Records in the UK.
NEVER SHOUT NEVER GIVE AWAY FREE DIGITAL EP TO FANS WHO PURCHASE AN ITEM FROM BAND’S WEBSTORE DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY
THE LOVE (LIVE) EP FEATURES THREE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LIVE VERSIONS OF SONGS FROM BAND’S TWO ALBUMS WHAT IS LOVE? AND HARMONY
Burbank, CA – Never Shout Never has announced that it will give away a free three-song digital EP to anyone who purchases an item from the band’s webstore (http://www.nevershoutnever.com/store), including CD and vinyl versions of NSN’s two albums What Is Love? and Harmony. This offer begins on February 1st at 1 a.m. PST and ends February 28th at midnight. The EP will be delivered beginning February 14th.
We have been informed by our good friends at Merge Records that Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) are releasing a debut album together as Jonny. The self-titled, co-written album will be released via digital download on February 1st and in stores on April 12.
Jonny album track listing:
Wich is Wich/Candyfloss/Waiting Around For You/Goldmine/You Was Me/Circling The Sun/English Lady/The Goodnight/Bread/Cave Dance/I Want To Be Around You/I’ll Make Her My Best Friend/Never Alone
In addition, Jonny are giving away a free, four-track download EP of non-album songs. Click to download!
The EP is rather stripped down, largely acoustic folk except for the track Continental, which sounds like classic Beach Boys pop. Album review to come.
Yes, it’s sweet and bouncy and a little familiar in that way but given a chance, Kai’s I Choose Me will keep you toe tapping for awhile. Listen below to understand what I mean. Download here if so inclined.
The sophomore EP of the New Jersey-based indie and powerpop band Airplane Noise, Getting Down is highly interesting. At the first listen, it sounds rather simple and straightforward like the obvious angst in a teenage boy. However like the emotions of an adolescent, it is a lot more complex with the intricate vocal harmonies and the solid drum beats. I found the track Go Ahead to be fun and catchy which was highly ironic as it lyrics were of a darker theme.
Over at the Museum of Robyn Hitchcock (and I’ll clock you one if you ask “who”?), free download of the latest Phantom 45 viz Thankyou Time Girl b/w Violent Rain is available for a week starting 16 August. Okay, so we’ve missed a day but there’s still time. Go!
Back in the day, critics would bestow the dubious honour of the “new Bob Dylan” on every promising folkie singer-songwriter. This list would include the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Loudon Wainwright III, Steve Forbert and John Prine, amongst others. Well, that habit has died down a little but let me revive it once again by placing this burden squarely on the shoulders on Joe Pug.
It’s here! Lunarin’s lead single Zero Point Red off the upcoming Duae album is available as a free download. The track is sheer muscular fragility as sinewy metallic strings mesh with Linda’s angelic larynx. Check it out here.
In addition, the second Duae trailer has been posted. See below.