BLURB-O-RAMA FT. RAGLANS, THE ORB, LEMON TWIGS & BIG STAR

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Diversity in rock n roll is what will save it! Here are four brilliant instances how beautiful eclecticism can be! Enjoy!!

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RAGLANS – AGAIN AND AGAIN (FIERCE PANDA RECORDS)

Always refreshing to come across a new band that reflects and represents everything that we are trying to say about #THENEWROCKNROLL. This Dublin band’s new EP is a brilliant sequel to 2014’s eponymous debut. Five songs that contain the right hooks, verve, melodies, dynamism, sophistication, craft and attitude that we need more for in modern rock in 2016 and beyond. Opening rocker “Who Knows” is a heartfelt plea for acceptance that pleases heart, mind and soul and the rest of Again and Again, maintains that momentum with aplomb. For lovers of 1990s Brit-pop and the 2000s post-punk revival, this is essential. http://raglansmusic.com/ 

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Photo credit: Nina Corcoran

THE ORB – COW/CHILL OUT, WORLD! (KOMPAKT)

The ambient-techno legends are back! This time round, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann take hold of the reins to deliver a glorious chill-out work in every sense of the word. Fehlmann summed it up perfectly – “It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the fuck out, before continuing to act destructively”. Not much else to recommend COW by except to say if you dig arty, minimalist music that will free your mind to think and feel, then you certainly need this wonderful album. Chill out, indeed. http://www.theorb.com/

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LEMON TWIGS – DO HOLLYWOOD (4AD)

Consisting of teenaged (!) brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario – who look like some kind of freakish 70s holdovers – backed by Danny Ayala (keys) and Megan Zeankowski (bass), The Lemon Twigs might just be the most exciting thing that has happened to modern rock in quite a while. And you know we’re on the right track when the band describes itself as a rock and roll group on social media! BUT when you hear inventive, quirky and sophisticated songwriting that recall Todd Rundgren and Sparks, you just know that this band is something special, in the scheme of things. “Baby, Baby” and “These Words” have the pop smarts & soulful grooves that suggests that the band has been listening to 70s-era Beach Boys and early Eric Carmen albums (with the gorgeous ballad “How Lucky Am I?” qualifying as well). Do Hollywood is the pure pop gift that never stops giving. Highly recommended! http://thelemontwigs.com/

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BIG STAR – THE COMPLETE THIRD (OMNIVORE RECORDINGS)

To move forward, we often need to reflect and consider and learn from the past. Regular visitors will be aware of how much we revere Big Star here at Power of Pop and we are so grateful to the kind folks at Omnivore for putting together this legacy boxset of Big Star’s troubled third album (it was never quite properly finished or released at the time of its recording). Not as popular perhaps as the first two classic Big Star LPs but examining this collection of demos, early takes and final masters taken from the entire session tapes is certainly illuminating for diehard fans and those of you out there who want to find out exactly why the music of Alex Chilton & company continues to resonate to this day. Songs like “Big Black Car”, “Thank You Friends”, “Holocaust”, “Kizza Me” and “Jesus Christ” need to be part of your essential collection. http://www.bigstarband.com/

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… still there’s more …