Sunday, 4 June 2017
Even are exactly what they are and what Ashley Naylor wants them to be -- a band whose members love their Beatles, their ELO, their power pop, their hints of roots music appreciation. It's all in there and they're not only not hiding it; they revel in it. It would be pointless to criticize something that they're precisely aiming for, no less so than any number of acts exploring their own favorite genres almost to a fault. Even the song titles hit the trick moment for moment -- "I Am the Light," "Keep on Burning," "The Fool Who Makes You Sad" -- and are all spot-on.Even is going to be a treat, but there's still something to be said for trying to push oneself creatively -- and, ultimately, that's just not in evidence here.
Naylor's yearning vocals, the tuneful guitar crunches, the flanged vocals and buried string swells on "Only One" -- it's all designed to slot them in alongside bands ranging from the Shoes to Cheap Trick to Redd Kross to Teenage Fanclub to Jellyfish, and it's well in line with what he's been doing leading Even all these years. But so perfected is this approach now that there's almost little to say; Even as an album is such a flawless example of what Naylor aims for that it's almost something to admire and regard with appreciation more than anything else.
When a song like "Superstition Blues" is exactly the kind of stylishly formal exercise one might guess, down to the twang in the vocals as much as the guitars and mouth harp, what more can be done but to acknowledge it for what it is? So if any of this sounds like it would appeal, then Even is going to be a treat, but there's still something to be said for trying to push oneself creatively -- and, ultimately, that's just not in evidence here.
Frank Flac p1 & Flac p2 - mp3@320
The evidence is undeniable: Eurovox equip themselves with borrowed parts: chunks of guitar shrapnel left behind the Mohawk hordes from London’s Class of ’77. Although they have a ferocious enough drum kick and the guitars speed with the ferocity of passing asteroids, Eurovox are definitely not punk. Rather, this is working-class British rock, closer in sound, if not spirit, to vintage Who, the Kinks, and David Bowie. Their Bowie fixation is fairly obvious on “The World Won’t Wait,” but it’s not a pale imitation a la Spacehog or Babylon Zoo (remember them?). The group captures the drag years of Bowie quite well and, while vocalist Mat Hammond is nowhere near as flamboyant as Ziggy Stardust, he offers a solid, charismatic performance.
With artists such as Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, and Franz Ferdinand taking off in the U.S., there seems to be another British Invasion underway, one that has the potential of topping the last U.K. infiltration of this country in the mid-‘90s. However, many of these groups are flashing back to the ‘80s. Eurovox, on the other hand, refuse to settle for a single era. The band plumbs the English rock & roll encyclopedia for definitions of kick-ass music from the ‘60s to the ‘80s. Don’t expect any modern touches here; this is classic British rock with an irresistibly stubborn commitment of remaining true to its royal blue origins.(Karla Ash, thewigfitsall.com)
This is great british mod rock. But the best is that you can hear hundreds of Mod bands and you will Eurovox immediately recognize. Listen loud...better LOUDER!
Since their first single, 2008's "All I Wanna Do," the School have been a band that indie pop fans can't help but love, with sticky-sweet, lush, and lovely songs about love and lost love, equal parts girl group and C-86, impeccably played by the band and sung perfectly by leader Liz Hunt. After two albums that won the hearts and minds of all but the coldest and cruelest indie kids, their third, 2015's Wasting Away and Wondering, is another beauty. Made up of bouncy Northern soul-inflected love songs that are designed to make feet happy, girl group-y love-lost songs made to bend hearts, and late-night ballads sure to break them all the way, Wasting was made by a band at the top of its game. Not a wasted note or a wrong foot forward, with a nonstop parade of potential singles, the album doesn't top their previous work as much as it adds another layer of goodness to the recipe. Hunt and her crew lay on the horn section a bit heavier this time, with songs like "Til You Belong to Me" and the "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"-quoting title track reaching near Dexys-level excitement.
The strings are more prominent too, giving songs like the weepy "Don't Worry Baby (I Don't Love You Any More)" an extra ounce of swoon. It's an assured and powerful sound that gives Hunt's vocals a strong foundation, even more than on previous albums. She responds by turning in a performance that's the equal of anything she's done yet, and there are a couple times when she even belts it out a little. One of those times is on the album highlight, "Do I Love You?," where the song, the arrangement, and the performance all come together in a big punch that equals their finest moments of the past ("Let It Slip," "Stop That Boy"). Another is on one of the album's few surprises, the almost noisy, guitar-led minor-key ballad "He's Gonna Break Your Heart One Day," which comes off like one of the saddest mascara-streaked songs the Shangri-Las ever did, only tougher.
It's a nice addition to their repertoire and something they could explore more on the next album. Not that they need to change anything much, since Wasting Away and Wondering is another classic slice of indie pop. The School could keep releasing albums just like this forever and it would be just fine. Better than that, it would be simply lovely.(allmusic.com)
The School make pop music with an early - mid sixties girls pop feel.
Frank Flac p1 & Flac p2 - mp3@320
Thirty years after Stephen Burns made his first bid for cult hero status with the Scruffs' debut album, Wanna Meet the Scruffs?, the man stubbornly refuses to give up the power pop ghost, and Pop Manifesto is the third Scruffs album since Burns decamped to Scotland in 1999 and assembled a new version of the band. Those who haven't checked in with Burns since checking out Wanna Meet the Scruffs? years ago may be a bit surprised with the group's latest work; in many respects, Pop Manifesto recalls Burns's short-lived Messenger 45 project, revealing a more baroque tone in the arrangements and a less aggressive attack than in the nervy tone of the group's early sides. The delicate piano, strings, and horn accents on "September's Lost" are a far cry from "You're No Fun," and "What Can I Do for You" almost makes the Left Banke sound like the Nerves. But Burns is still writing terrific songs with glorious melodies and superb hooks, which is the real link between this music and his past, and for good or ill he's still trying to figure out the opposite sex, as "There's a Girl I Know" and "She's Got It for You" amply demonstrate. "Situation Critical" shows he hasn't entirely let his more rollicking side go fallow, either. Pop Manifesto isn't quite the Scruffs as you remember them, but it's a fine and well-crafted visit to smart pop heaven that proves Stephen Burns isn't running out of interesting ideas.(allmusic.com)
I was quite surprised when i heard back then in 2007 or 2008 The Scruffs had released a new album. But it was a positive surprise. That's not the Scruffs from the eighties that's the Scruffs of 2007. 4 and a half star out of 6.
Good Morning Folks, hope all started well into the weekend. In the last weeks a lot of requests come in and a lot who asked for power pop artists. I think i have a quite good amount of power pop music on my external HDDs. But i think around 90% in mp3 only. Usually i prefer to post albums in Flac & mp3. The original idea, as i started the blog, was to post only in Flac. But after a while i perceived that a lot of the readers (two-thirds) of this blog would love to download in mp3.
I would be glad to see your opinions in the comments.
Enjoy your lazy Sunday afternoon
Power Pop/Garage from Down Under: The Stoneage Hearts - Turn On With The Stoneage Hearts (2002 Off The Hip Records) Flac & mp3
The Stoneage Hearts were a band from Australia and they played a fine Power Pop/Garage style.
In the band were famous names like Danny McDonald and Dom Mariani. Only this speaks for the high quality of the songs . ''Turn on with...'' was the debut by the band and is a great work of powerful pop music. Listen loud and have fun!
SB1 Flac part1 & Flac part2 - mp3@320
Sneetches take pains to distance themselves from their '60s rave-up past; there's more to them than He's Frank. Naturally, a band fond of covering the Zombies -- we had to look at the songwriting credits here just to be sure that "What I Know" wasn't a Zombies' song we'd inexplicably missed -- can't resist throwing in a few throwbacks such as "...And I'm Thinking," and "All of Everything." But those come on the second half, and by then, they've established the new territory.
As hinted at by the dark-lit photos on the cover, most of this, such as the opening "The Weather Scene" into "Saving It for Me," and the closing "Try To Make It All Work," reflect a more reflective side, a more engrossed, effervescent, spiritual sound. Though no less melodic (almost Bacharach-ian) than their earlier efforts, by turning moody and dark, it's just less derivative (no matter how pleasant they were before). Nice progress, highly delectable.(allmusic.com)
The Sneetches were one of the handful of bands in the U.S. playing classic British Invasion-inspired, mid-'60s West Coast-sounding guitar pop in the late '80s. Their short run of albums and singles never had a large audience, and they never found the major-label success they desired, but the band remains a hidden pleasure for fans of witty, melodically rich pop music.