Bruce's NEW AT NOT LAME Update for early June 2008!!!
Here are the Top New Releases on the Not Lame web site for June. There are many new releases on da 'ole home page, but for the time starved, these are the ones worth of your precious time. Click on the links for full mini-reviews on each CD and listen 'n sample lots of soundbites, as well. Have Fun!
ADRIAN WHITEHEAD - "One Small Stepping Man"
Fans of Jason Falkner, Brendan Benson and Sloan – listen up!! Stop what you are doing – listen to the songs below, right?! Absolutely stunning debut from Australia and Adrian Whitehead! Don’t miss out check this wondrous bugger out as it merits special attention, without question. Years of multi-flavoured musical experiences combine to colour Adrian Whitehead's unique brand of songwriting.
Bouncy hooky, enchanting melodies ride proudly atop simple arrangements, letting the pop shine clearly, without hesitation. Whitehead is a bright new talent and we should be talking about him for some years to come - It`s a grown up sound that reels you in with its infectious melodies and delicious arrangments. Big Time Extremely Highly Recommended!!
ROGER JOSEPH MANNING, JR.- "Catnip Dynamite"
It's here! AND - it's UTTERLY AMAZING (but Japanese only import!) I'm serious - I'm so completely blown away as I listen to this, not only did I put up 12 soundbites below to prove how transcendent this album is for fans of this style of power pop, but to state that "Catnip Dynamite" is one of THE best albums of the decade and ---get ready I'm going to blaspheme here --- is as great as either of the two Jellyfish album.
Every bit as great and transcendant as "Spilt Milk", Jelly-fans!
Blasphemy! I know. I stand by it. Listen. Click on the cover above - soundbites of ALL 12 songs are on there for you listen for yourselves. Most of the songs here push the 'over 5 minute range', believe it or not - and they ALL need every single second to say their piece. Anyway, a MAJOR event for many us even if we are stuck for 2008 without a possibility of a US release any time soon. Worth the price? Only the heart knows.
SPIRALING - "Travel Made Easy"
Fusing sophisticated songwriting and razor-sharp musicianship with pure rock passion and pop savvy, what results is a powerfully moving and altogether original sound.
Listening to Time Travel Made Easy, with its panorama of sonic landscapes, you almost get a sense that Spiraling actually has perfected some method of time travel, one that has allowed it to go back to a time when New Wave was actually new, before "prog" became a four-letter word, and when "alternative" was more than just a facile marketing cliché..
Melding the manic melodic genius of Ben Folds with the tortured geek romance of Fountains Of Wayne while channeling classic rock acts ranging from Queen.
DANNA & THE CHANGES - "Consonant Cacophony"
Fans of The Figgs, Sloan, This is a wildly joyous, fully melodic, super-high-charged tune-fest. It’s raw, it’s fresh, it’s brittle, it bites down hard and it’s still massively POPPY with all its rich, jangly guitar tones and, well, Danna & The Changes just approach the ‘same-old, same ‘ole” from a completely different angle and make it HIT THE MARK.
Stop, right now – there’s 5 soundbites when you click on the front cover above. Go the 5th one – the last. Listen. THERE’S the spirit of “Consonant Cachophony”. Bingo.
So these guys are new. They REALLY good. So do your part for the good of rock ‘n roll, mate – don’t let me write something along the lines of this when their second record comes out – “Why no one knows of this band is just wrong, criminal and Not Lame is out to rectify that for you all!” The Time Is Now. Engage.
BRYAN ESTEPA - "Sunday Best"
“Sunday Best” is a stunning collection of pop gems glazed in head-nodding hooks and romantic longing, spanning a sonic spectrum that echoes Gram Parsons lilting alt-country to You Am Is crunching mod-rockers. It`s inspirations are diverse yet blend in a coherent album that a total listening experience. Equal parts of early/mid 70`s Rolling Stones, Elliot Smith, Whiskeytown, a bit of 70`s soft rock(think Bread) and modern day power pop.
On one level, it`s a classic rock album for the power pop lover, filled with assertive arrangements, pumping melodies, confident solos and on the other it`s a quintessential songwriter album, wonderfully restless to explore so many different musical vistas. With a fresh organic air throughout, Estepa was inspired by what he calls his eternal search to find that killer melody and hook.
LANNIE FLOWERS - "Same Old Story"
WOW!! MAJOR FIND, Pop Fans! Lannie Flowers has a voice similar to Nick Lowe and the melodic and hooky charms of Squeeze and Badfinger but he really splatters all kinds of pop reference points just makes it all sound fresh as mid-spring fruit.
Same Old Story is a 45 minute pop music collage.
From the first glance, through all the struggles of young love, to the inevitable end, Lannie’s delivery is a refreshingly new twist on that but where the music lands in between your ears is what matters – matter it does. Click on the cover and go listen - NOW. Uh, pretty please.
THE HEATERS - "The Great Lost Heaters Album"
This is is the new wave/power pop band who released an album in 1979 on Ariola Records that lots of pop fans of the time were very excited about. Problem with that record was, it was a product of major label manipulation and machination which sucked the life out of it and which did not represent the band. Fast forward to 2008 and the band gained control of their masters and went to work to salvage their original vision!
Here are 15 songs, including the first album recorded, remastered and remixed from the original trax and some live songs to tell the full story(well, the extensive liner notes do that, as well!). A wonderful, joy-filled fan for old school power popsters!
BILL DONATI - "Never Like This"
Here’s a huge find for fans of Ardent Records, Big Star and Tommy Hoehn and the whole Memphis scene of the early/mid 70s. Never Like This” has some fantastic displays of AM pop and post-Beatle-esque pop in the vein of Tommy Hoehn and Van Duren. A great find from the early/mid 70s!!
THE EXPLORERS CLUB - "Freedom Wind"
20 year old kids who are not only obsessed with Brian Wilson and classic Beach Boys, The Explorers Club just received a rare ‘5 star’ review in Uncut.
We can hear why, to a large degree. Classic status? Probably not, but it’s certainly going to have fans of Wilson/BB majorly ga-ga because there has not been a band to light this style and side of pop since Wondermints hit the scene in the mid 90s. It’s not just Beach Boys going on here, either. Mamas & Papas, the Byrds, the Zombies, Glen Campbell, the Bee Gees, the Association, and Emmit Rhodes. All this from 20 yr olds! Hope for humanity!
JEREMY - "Pop Explosion" (2 CDs)
Fans of The Beatles, Byrds, Big Star, The Kinks, The Who, and all the classics will feel right at home with "Pop Explosion" which is one of Jeremy's most radio friendly cds to date! The sound culls the best from the 60's and 70's school of classic melodic rock and pop. The home run hits abound on this platter of pure pop heaven. Stellar power pop indeed.
COMES WITH LIMITED BONUS 24 Song COVERS CD! The covers disc contains 24 covers by classic bands such as Teenage Fanclub, The Monkees, Sweet, Idle Race, Lou Reed, 10cc, The Byrds, The Who, The Beatles, Left Banke, Klaatu, Genesis, Yo La Tengo, The Replacements, 1910 Fruitgum Company, Neil Diamond, Squire, The Jetset, Big Star, Bay City Rollers, and more! For this price, oh yeah – Extremely Highly Recommended!
TOM FULLER BAND - "Abstract Man"
Fans of Doug Powell and Parthenon Huxley, pay attention here. The Tom Fuller Band gives new meaning to melodic classic pop rock music.
THE BLACK WATCH - "Icing The Snow Queen"
2008 new studio album!! Their entire catalog is a paradigm of not only consistent, high craft but contains many moments of transcendent beauty. Each and every album is pastoral, moving and yearning gem. The sound here, as always, utilizes windswept, atmospheric indie pop combined with chiming, chilly guitars and the use of occasional touches of strings to add depth and mystery to these proceedings. The songs here are a beautiful portrait of the intense melody and mesmerizing mood that this long-standing violin/guitar-attack, boy/girl indie band is so well known for.
Think along the lines of a sad Beatles leavened by an insouciance worthy of vintage The Go-Betweens(like Tallulah/16 Lovers Lane) , sprinkled with tinkling touches of XTC`s more pastoral moments, and seasoned with lyrics as poetic and smile-inducing as any written by Mr Andy Partridge himself.
It`s a truly unique blendings of moody, melody drenched hooks colored divinely with violin and cello stringed strummings that breathtakingly beautiful and leaving fingerprints of music`s ability to capture feelings of the soul.
ATOMIC - "Coming Up From The Streets"
German import and a good ‘ole fashioned rock band with influences and sounds grounded in 90s British rock(Oasis), Swedish rock(Mando Diao) and a bit of gritty old school punky pop(anyone remember the post-Sex Pistols band, The Professionals?!
More? Supergrass, Stereophonics, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, The Kooks, The Coral and all kinds of guitar-driven modern rockers who pay homage to the greats of the 70s, 80’s and 90’s. ood looks, an elusive charm, modern sounds stacked on top of old fashion pop tunes and, simply, a killer, old fashion ROCK record, start to finish.
GORDON WEISS - "Sum Of Its Parts"
Out of nowhere comes “Sum Of Its Parts”, the debut from one Gordon Weiss.
And a more perfect title could not be had as Weiss blends, bleeds and balances a bit of varying song styles, evident with the contrast of “Fountains Of Weezer”(which sounds like, ahem, you know who) and is followed by “Too Much”, a mid-tempo rocker that could have walked off either a Black Crowes album or a late 70s Eric Clapton one. A compliment, for the record! Then comes “It’s Easy” which starts off with an Eagles/Bread guitar exchange and ends up finding its way to sounding like a lost track from the Barenaked Ladies. Then the killer “Red Shoes Revisted” pulls off the difficult task of evoking a hero who shall be un-named if you can’t pick up on the obvious reference. Listen to the first song below for further reference help.
Bold, Beautiful and Very Highly Recommended!