Friday, 30 June 2017
L.A. garage psych revivalists the Allah-Las didn't mess around with their winning formula much on their second album, 2014's Worship the Sun. Working with retro-leaning producer Nick Waterhouse again, the quartet can still effortlessly crank out chiming ballads that sound worthy of a strong volume of Pebbles, dish out moody midtempo tracks that have the feel of classic West Coast bands like the Chocolate Watchband, and take the occasional instrumental detour that come off like surf music that's been dragged through some desert dust.
It definitely feels like an extension of their debut album, only instead of being a retread, it's an improvement. Stronger songs, vocals that lean a little less on the snotty side of the garage in favor of some nuance, and slightly softer focus production mean that the album is a slight bit of an improvement. The band's songcraft feels sharper and more focused, whether it's the near-rollicking "Artifact" (half borrowed from the Chocolate Watchband's "Are You Gonna Be There [At the Love-In]"), the slowly swaying ballad "Nothing to Hide," which anchors the middle of the record like a big fat teardrop, or the album's title track, which manages to make melancholy sound sun-kissed and peaceful. Along with this overall strengthening of their core, the group mixes in a couple off-speed pitches, like the countrified jangle pop gem "Better Than Mine" that beats the Beachwood Sparks at their own game, or the psychedelic bubblegum rocker "501-415," that give the album the little bit of growth and expansion it needed to sound fresh. No one will ever accuse the Allah-Las of being particularly original or exciting, but that's not really what they're aiming for.
If you were to call them revivalists who found a tiny niche of the garage rock scene that nobody else was exploiting, and revived it with a charmingly relaxed and assured style, then you'd be dead right. On Worship the Sun, their subtle excavation is even more impressive, richly rendered, and worth checking out than before.(allmusic)
Revivalists or not, retro or not this is a fantastic piece of psychedelic garage and there are not many bands in these days who do it so well like these guys.
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If you like what you hear you can buy the album here
Beaulieu Porch is the work of one man and judging by this he’s some sort of twisted, psych pop genius…It’s a huge, kaleidoscopic album, with all the bells and whistles one would hope for from an ambitious piece of modern psychedelia, with plenty of memorable tunes at it’s core.
(active listener blogspot)
All the songs are written, produced and played by a man named Simon Berry. I know not much about this guy. You can listen and buy the works at bandcamp. I had listen to all the stuff on bandcamp and that all sounds very good. But it seems there are no physical cd copies to buy. It's only download files. Anyway this is real good psychedelic pop. Give it a try
Easy listening Pop by Gene And Debbe - Playboy The Best Of Gene And Debbe 1967-68 (2006 Sundazed) Flac & mp3
Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville were a fresh-scrubbed pop duo from Nashville, TN, who sounded something like a twangier Sonny & Cher, or as if Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood had been stripped of their eccentricities (particularly Hazlewood's tumescent ego). Gene & Debbe's sole Top 20 hit was "Playboy" in 1968, and this collection from Sundazed features that tune as well as 21 other sides from the short-lived duo. While these songs were obviously aimed for the pop charts, there's no avoiding the fact this stuff was recorded in Nashville (and released on TRX Records, an offshoot of the powerful Acuff-Rose publishing concern) -- the keening pedal steel on "Torch I Carry," the banjo on "Lovin' Season," and the cheatin' song ethos of "Rings of Gold" all point to the act's Music City heritage, and producer Don Gant (who later recorded with the Neon Philharmonic) was clearly shooting for lots of charm rather than a significant share of hipness (as if the presence of a Dean Martin cover wouldn't make that obvious).
Still, Thomas and Neville sang well together, and the former brought some good songs to the table, especially the Dylanesque "The Sun Won't Shine Again" and the heartfelt "I'll Come Running." Playboy: The Best of Gene & Debbie collects everything they released during their two-year lifespan along with four songs that have never been heard before, and frankly this is more Gene & Debbe than anyone but an obsessed fan would want to own. But if you want to hear Gene & Debbe, this is clearly the place to go, and the typically excellent remastering and packaging from Sundazed show this material more respect than they'd likely receive from anyone else.(allmusic)
Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville never had a reason to hide behind artists like Sonny &Cher or Sinatra/Hazlewood. They had excellent songs and the voice of Debbe Neville is just to melting away :-). Also Gene Thomas was a good interpret. He had a very strong expressive kind to sing the songs. They had another audition but that said nothing about the quality. In my opinion they deserved more attention and success. But that's how things work, right? Great compilation and i hope you enjoy it.
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Alan Millington and Mick Skinner's songs were solid if perhaps a little too safe, however. The breezy rocker 'Making It Hard' drives along at a nifty pace, while the likes of reflective strummer 'Simple Man' and the sun-kissed 'It's All Right' contain echoes of The Hollies and early Bee Gees...
Record Collector (October 2013)
'Shanty' alone is worth the album, a brilliantly composed tale of the sea broken into segments. Starting out with a mere flute, the narrative voice sings of a ship about to embark on a voyage, with someone's sweetheart left behind on the quay and tears streaming down her face. These emotions are emphasized by melancholic guitar riffs, strings, punctuated keys, and an altogether floaty and dreamy quality.
Gradually though, it all turns heavier and the dreamy quality makes place for excellent but hard riffs and keyboard sounds - obviously reflecting inner turmoil as well as the stormy sea. Once the musical climax is reached, the sound mellows and the narrative voice picks up again - singing of a sea that by now has calmed down, and of the ship heading back to the harbour while the Captain is looking older. Some delicate a-capella singing brings the voyage to an end. Simply fantastic!
The album is a rarity indeed, and it's a bonus that Ironbridge songs don't sound the slightest bit rusty to the modern ear.
music-news.com (September 2013)
Formed from the ashes of The Birds and TheBees and Fluff, Ironbridge released their one and only album in 1973 on the then EMI International label.
Having released no less than five singles under their name Fluff this Shropshire band made their final bid for the big time by changing their name to Ironbridge (the worlds first iron bridge had been built in the Shropshire town) and the album sold extremely well in France whilst gaining rave reviews.
Now having achieved a cult status the album is released on CD for the very first time and the music today falls under the “power pop” category but at the time was described by reviewers as “somewhere between The Beatles and The Moody Blues”!(angel air.co)
Very good album. Give it a try you will not be disappointed.
If you like the sound of Sinatra/Hazlewood you can't go wrong here.
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They never had hits, because their unabashed pop was never in fashion; plus, Andy Partridge's voice was too pinched and his lyrics frequently too cerebral. But XTC's music stands as some of the best and most influential pop of their era, and nowhere is that more evident than on Fossil Fuel.(almusic.com)
Hello Folks, i start today with another one of my top 10 favourite british pop bands. I had think about it what i could post from the band and the answer was a single collection. And what's a better single collection of the first 15 years by XTC as Fossil Fuel? This collection is full of real great songs and real good songs. And i think everyone of us who love the band will have its very personal favourites. And to all who don't know the band i think this is a good collection to start.
SB1 Flac - mp3@320 p1 & mp3@320 p2
Thursday, 29 June 2017
Flac links added! Various Artists - Children Of Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The ll Psychedelic Era 1976-1996 (2005 Rhino) Full artwork Flac & mp3@320
One of the most underrated power pop bands of the '80s, the Spongetones released several albums of effortlessly catchy guitar pop that captured the feel of '60s British Invasion pop with remarkable accuracy and innocent charm. While they never received much critical or commercial attention, their music has aged much better than most power pop of the era (late '70s and early '80s), and among specialists they're highly revered not only for their studio prowess but also for their spirited live shows.
They are one of the few bands that gracefully carried on past the "skinny tie" fad into the '90s and beyond -- not as strict revivalists but as something unique. The band, comprised of Steve Stoeckel (vocals, bass), Pat Walters (vocals, guitar), Jamie Hoover (vocals, guitar), and Rob Thorne (drums), began as a covers band in Charlotte, NC in the early '80s. They signed to the Ripete label in 1982 and released their first full-length, Beat Music, the same year, following with the Torn Apart EP in 1984 -- the latter featuring esteemed guests Don Dixon, Mitch Easter, and R.E.M. on handclaps. Stoeckel temporarily left the band, returning in 1991.
I posted the album some time ago imp3. Here is now the album in Flac.
SB1 Flac part 1 & Flac part 2
Various Artists - Children Of Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The ll Psychedelic Era 1976-1996 (2005 Rhino) Full artwork Flac & mp3@320
This might seem like a dodgy proposition, either as music or for the subject of an exhaustive retrospective like this, but the garage and psych revival of the '80s -- which also encompassed such diverse but related movements as power pop, British C-86 indie pop, the paisley underground, punk-blues, cowpunk, and surf rock -- was a surprisingly fertile scene, as this absolutely terrific box set proves. Far from sounding monotonous, Children of Nuggets has a tremendous variety of sounds, styles, and attitudes. As producer Alec Palao states in his introductory liner notes, the idea was to adhere to Lenny Kaye's idea for the original Nuggets LP, which was to "compile together the good tracks from all those albums that only have one good track," not caring whether the featured songs adhered to a strict definition of what was or was not garage or psych.
Of course, Palao and his co-producer, Gary Stewart, and their assistants on this project do have a template to follow and not just because there are bands that were tagged at the time as '60s revivalists. They have Kaye's work to guide them; plus they have the work of Greg Shaw, the journalist and record label head who championed this music at first in his fanzine, Who Put the Bomp, and then on his Bomp and Voxx labels. Stewart salutes Shaw at the conclusion of the booklet for Children of Nuggets, and in a way, this set does function as a tribute to the music Shaw helped shepherd during the '80s, since it celebrates all kinds of '60s-inspired guitar pop made in the post-punk years -- music that arguably wouldn't have existed without Shaw's input.
Yet, as the best music should, the music on Children of Nuggets transcends such behind-the-scenes particulars and exists simply as flat-out great music. Sure, there are some bands that faithfully re-create the sounds of the '60s, but most of the groups are inspired by the '60s, picking up their favorite elements -- whether it's dirty, raunchy guitars, jangling 12-strings, sweet harmonies, trippy swirling guitars, or catchy choruses -- and assembling them in a manner that sounds fresh, new, and invigorating.
The other big names are represented by some of their earliest and, in many cases, best songs: there's "(I Thought) You Wanted to Know" and "If and When" by Chris Stamey & the dB's, the Smithereens have "Strangers When We Meet" and "Beauty and Sadness," Primal Scream are captured in their pre-Screamadelica incarnation with "Gentle Tuesday," the Posies show a strong British Invasion bent on "I May Hate You Sometimes," Teenage Fanclub's "Metal Baby" is pulled from their cult classic, Bandwagonesque, while the Bangles show up with their earliest songs, "The Real World" and "Getting out of Hand," which was released under the name the Bangs.
A few songs here show up regularly on '80s comps -- the Hoodoo Gurus' "I Want You Back," the Lyres' "Help You Ann," the Spongetones' "She Goes out with Everybody," the Church's "The Unguarded Moment" -- but most of this is devoted to bands that had one or two songs that were staples on college radio and are now forgotten to all but the die-hard underground garage rock fans. Now that they're part of this compulsively listenable set, they help define the canon of underground rock and pop of the post-punk years: surrounded by other bands of a similar mind and vision, these songs sound like forgotten classics. And that's why Children of Nuggets is such a resounding success -- it not only shines a light on the bands that carried the torch for this kind of music in the '80s, this box, like the original double LP, helps rescue worthy bands from the scrap heap of history and, in the process, becomes an essential piece of rock history itself.
Fantastic box full of great bands and songs.
Flac part 1 & Flac part 2 & Flac part 3
Alternative Flac download links: Alt link 1 & Alt link 2 & Alt link 3 & Alt link 4
In case the bigger Flac links make problems use the alternative links please.
The Byrds’ wingspan of influence stretched across three full decades and flew through the sounds made by some of the most important bands in the history of rock, including Big Star, the Jayhawks, R.E.M., Matthew Sweet, Hüsker Dü, Echo and the Bunnymen and countless others. For a time it was de rigueur – if not downright cliché – to see the Byrds name-checked in almost any band’s bio. They were part of the holy trinity of influential B-named bands: Beatles, Beach Boys, and Byrds.
But to everything there is a season, and an apparent decline in the band’s influence on popular music seemed to coincide with the deaths of two of its original members, Gene Clark (in 1991) and Michael Clarke (1993). Notwithstanding this decline, the Byrds have always flown high and commanded serious respect among certain pockets of fans and bands alike – folks in Northern England especially, for some reason. Since 1990, we’ve seen the likes of the La’s, the Stone Roses, the Coral and Shack flying the jangle-pop flag. Since 2007, Kontiki Suite, a talented sextet from England’s Lake District, has continued in this tradition, evidence of which can be readily found on their sophomore release, "The Greatest Show On Earth".
As with their debut release (2013’s "On Sunset Lake"), Kontiki Suite proudly flies its Byrds banner via some obvious stylistic hat-tips to 1968’s "The Notorious Byrd Brothers". This time out, the band boasts a batch of impressive new Rickenbacker-based janglers (mainly from the pen of guitarist Ben Singh) and a tougher sound from the rest of the band (Jonny Singh, lap steel guitar; Marcus Dodds, guitar; Mario Renucci, bass; Chris Brown and Craig Bright on drums and percussion respectively). The result is a cohesive, 50-minute flight high above exquisitely atmospheric psych/country-rock/chamber pop soundscapes.
The opening moments of guitar/rim shots in the rousing, Golden Smog-like opener “Bring Our Empire Down” recall David Crosby’s serene “Dolphin’s Smile,” after which some Neil Young-like crunch is thrown in as the song gathers steam. “My Own Little World” features the kind of textured ‘n’ trippy triple-guitar interplay (including lap steel and 12-string Rickenbacker) that characterizes the overall tone of the album – tone that is often upended by deliciously abrupt shifts in tempo: the lads in Kontiki Suite are more than happy to jolt you out of the hypnotized state in which they deftly placed you. Occasional, judiciously chosen blasts of harmonica tug on the same heartstrings as in Big Star’s “Life is White.”
“Free From Sound” and “Here for You Now” are tremendous pop songs, the kind of tracks that, back in the day, would’ve jumped out of an AM radio and grabbed you by the throat. The former features a keening pedal steel hook that’s hell-bent on becoming your next earworm. The latter blends a “Ticket To Ride” beat with power-poppy rhythm reminiscent of Gene Clark’s evergreen “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.”
Elsewhere, the band flexes its muscle on two lengthy guitar workouts, “Burned” (with its nod to Younger Than Yesterday’s “Renaissance Fair”) and the slow-burning “Under the Rug,” while “All I Can Say” shows the effortlessness with which Singh’s vocals can reconcile an ostensibly bouncy rhythm with a melancholic melody. In places he sounds uncannily like Gary Louris. Fans of "Sound of Lies"-era Jayhawks would feel right at home with this release.
Ultimately, "The Greatest Show On Earth" reveals increased depth, both in Ben Singh’s writing and the band’s collective vision. Kontiki Suite has created much more than a simple paean to the legacy of the Byrds; they have taken vital steps in forging a legacy of their own. (The Active Listener)
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A long time in the making as well as a complete surprise on its arrival, the self-titled debut from FFS -- the collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks -- is the work of two great, and distinctive, acts at the top of their game. In fact, FFS works so well because these groups aren't carbon copies of each other. Over the years, Sparks brainy shape-shifting has touched on glam and new wave, two of the styles that were most influential on Franz Ferdinand's suave dance-rock, but that's just the tip of their musical iceberg. What the bands do share -- jaunty wit and a flair for indelible choruses -- gives FFS plenty of fertile common ground. These songs are inspired, even-handed combinations of all of their strengths, whether Ron and Russell Mael lend a dash of weirdness to Franz Ferdinand's spiky hooks, as on "Call Girl," or the Glaswegian outfit adds some heft to Sparks' flights of fancy on the satirical "Police Encounters" or the hyperactive "So Desu Ne." FFS' strongest moments bring passion to its abundant cleverness. Somewhat perversely and sometimes poignantly, the supergroup is at its best when singing about different kinds of solitude. "Piss Off," the first song Sparks sent Franz Ferdinand back in 2004 after the release of their debut album, is a cheerfully antisocial anthem for those who'd rather be alone. "Collaborations Don't Work"'s self-referential duet turns into a duel, with Alex Kapranos and Russell Mael trading barbs like "I don't need your navel gazing/I don't like your way of phrasing." However, the best showcase for their vocals is the brilliant opening track "Johnny Delusional." At once grandiose and self-deprecating, it's a vivid portrait of unrequited love that combines Kapranos' smooth baritone and Mael's anxious counter tenor like a juxtaposition of fantasy and reality. Similarly, FFS boasts so much personality that character sketches like "Dictator's Son," which tells the story of a despot's offspring who is more into creature comforts than tyranny, also rank among the standouts. A near-perfect blend of Sparks and Franz Ferdinand's skills, FFS is a collaboration that works very well and offers just about everything a fan of either band could want.(allmusic)
As i heard about the collaboration of Sparks and Franz Ferdinand i couldn't believe that. But it was true and that's good. To me as a long time fan of Sparks the album remembers me partly to their finest works of the seventies and eighties. I am not really familiar with Franz Ferdinand. I knew the first album but that was it. To me the album sounds sometimes like an Sparks album with the production done by the FF band. I know that this is not the case. It would be interesting for me to know what a Franz Ferdinand fan, who's not familiar with the Sparks, think about the album. For me it is a very nice surprise how strong the album is. If you haven't heard it give it a try.
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With a love for the musical excess of Meat Loaf and Queen, Foxy Shazam storm flamboyantly into the night with their third album, the eponymously titled Foxy Shazam. While the band is incredibly talented (especially the piano playing of Sky White), the show is really all about mustachioed frontman Eric Nally. Over the course of the album, Nally’s performance is an homage to the theatrical bombast of charismatic greats like Freddie Mercury and Russell Mael (with Nally bearing an eerie resemblance to the former). Backing up his big voice is the rest of the band, consisting of the standard rock setup plus piano and horns. The music combines the relentless drive and positivity of Andrew W.K. with the dramatic flair of Jim Steinman, with sweeping guitar riffs pushing the songs forward while the piano brings a pop sensibility to the whole thing. Given how big the presence of the music is, it’s really a testament to Nally’s over the top persona that he’s able to stand out among everything that’s happening in the background while somehow never feeling forced. Nally sings like a pop hero on songs like “Killin’ It” and “Wanna-Be Angel,” as if he’s confident he’s a superstar and whether or not anyone else knows it is inconsequential. With such a classic combination of pop and rock, this is an album that’s just dripping with crossover appeal, with big hooks for the radio and enough rock and emotion for the post-emo crowd to sink its teeth into.(allmusic.com)
At first: here are great musicians at work. The whole album is a musically hommage to Rock'n'Roll, to rock heros, to R'n'R lifestyle and always with a wink. You think automatically to the guys with long curly hair, too tight glittering pants, guitar pose, screaming girls and aftershow parties where no one gets out alive, except he or she is a real rock'n'roller.
The band plays a kind of glam rock/pop (what else..) and they do it really good. The voice of Nally often recall to Freddie Mercury. This album not only makes a lot of fun, here are also very good songs on the album.
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Mod Pop: Queen Annes Released!
From the late 70’s right through to the mid 90’s, some of the greatest bands in power pop history were from Seattle. Bands such as Exploding Hearts, Super Deluxe, Sparkler and the greatest Seattle power pop band of all time, The Heats.
Not to be overlooked in the power pop craze at the time, Mod Pop counterparts The Queen Annes released a cassette in the early 80’s entitled Something Quick. I recall really enjoying their sound, one that had all the drive and unbridled energy of The Who. The way I understand it, they tried to follow up on the release in 1997 with a full length LP entitled Revenge. However, like so many worthwhile recordings of that time, the project was shelved.
Thanks to the folks at Green Monkey Records, Revenge has been unveiled in all its splendor… but re-titled as Released!. With Released!, The Queen Annes offer up a variety of styles and influences that prove to be broader in scope and so much more entertaining than their earliest work. It’s a shame that it didn’t find it’s way to the marketplace back in ’97.
The Who influence is still there of course, as on “Circus Train”, the opening track. This song has jangle to spare and the horns in the beginning are a nice touch. “She Swims Sideways” is an interesting psych-pop number and sounds almost as if it could be a Jeff Kelly composition. “What’s It All About” is another favorite and has the lyrical feel and DIY treatment of a good dBs song.
Other highlights include “It’s Not My Life” with its sideways Motown feel and well placed horns, “Kiss Me I’m Dead” (another psych-pop song that reminds me of The Green Pajamas a little bit – just a little bit). There’s a couple of great cover tunes too. The Bee Gees’ “Harry Braff” and the Brian Wilson composition “This Whole World” are great covers, the latter showing us that these guys could have been a really good harmony group if they had wanted to.
Whether you remember The Queen Annes or not, Released! should not be missed.(powerpopnews.com)
I needed two or three spins and than the album kicked me ....
Give it a try
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