Monday, February 6, 2012

Model Rockets - Tell the Kids the Cops Are Here

Saying that a band is power pop may automatically evoke thoughts of Big Star, the Raspberries, or the Knack, but such a narrow definition would completely miss a band like Model Rockets. Yes, they are power pop — whatever that means — but they owe a lot more to late-period dB's than to any of the above. Actually, the dB's comparison is crucial here, as not only does Tell the Kids the Cops Are Here sound pleasantly like Sound of Music-era dB's, but lead vocalist John Ramberg is occasionally a vocal dead-ringer for Chris Stamey. And as if that isn't enough, Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows returns to twiddle the knobs on this release. If any of those references sound familiar or give an idea of what to expect, then Tell the Kids the Cops Are Here is almost certainly for you. The Rockets' old sense of humor is intact here, with lighthearted if not explicitly goofy lyrics sprinkled throughout the album, and the songwriting is consistently memorable and upbeat. Model Rockets are very much a jangle pop band, but are easily one of the best bands in that often hit-or-miss subgenre; while many rely too heavily on craft and style, Model Rockets' sardonic wit, unpolished hooks, and willingness to delve into both alt-country and post-punk give this album its vital edge. Even the tracks that don't make an instant impression reveal their charms on repeat listens, establishing Tell the Kids the Cops Are Here as one of those rare pop records that sounds different — and better — on the tenth, 30th, and 50th listens.   (All Music Guide)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kowalskiy! Free compilation EP Downloads of Scottish bands!

They say all the best bands come from Scotland, well, that is what The Very Most sang and I wouldn't disagree and nor would Kowalskiy who has compiled over nearly 20 free EP downloads for your listening pleasure, and, it really is a pleasure from EP number one right the way through to number nineteen.
Kowalskiy is, supposedly, a "cult" Scottish music blogger. He's not really though. He does do a fine line in free monthly 5-track Scottish EPs mind you, featuring the best up-and-coming artists from around the country. There's 20 for you to wrap your lugs around. Enjoy!
 Download all 19 EP's free and discover some new bands here: Kowalskiy Bandcamp

One of the bands featured on the first EP are one of my favourites, Cancel The Astronauts.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Julie Ocean - Long Gone and Nearly There

The target audience for this Washington D.C. pop combo doesn't need to be told that Julie Ocean isn't a female solo artist: they already have the Undertones' classic 1981 single of the same name memorized. They're also well familiar with the quartet's previous work, particularly singer/guitarist Jim Spellman's stint in much-beloved alt-popsters Velocity Girl and fellow singer/guitarist Terry Banks' string of cult favorite twee pop acts, including Glo-Worm, the Saturday People and Tree Fort Angst. Happily, Long Gone and Nearly There isn't a throwback, either to the mid-'90s indie pop scene or to '80s U.K. records (like "Julie Ocean" itself) that directly inspired so many of those bands. These ten songs are utterly timeless: the bracing, jangly rush of the barely two-minute opener "Ten Lonely Words" could have been recorded at any point from 1965 onwards. Crucially, however, there is no sense of retro kitsch even on the most overtly backwards-looking tracks here: "#1 Song" and "My Revenge" are pure sweet-tooth power pop, right down to the falsetto harmonies and the fake-out endings, but Julie Ocean are no Flamin' Groovies-style genre copycats. "Here Comes Danny" is so overstuffed with clever turns of lyrical phrase, ear-grabbing production tricks, and good old-fashioned hooks that its five minutes whiz past in a seeming blink, but what's most impressive about Long Gone and Nearly There is that nearly every other track on the album manages the same trick in less than three minutes flat: Julie Ocean understand that brevity is the soul of pop, and that a perfectly constructed two-minute pop song is half as effective at twice the length. When the album's over just barely 25 minutes after it began, the only logical response is to start the whole thing over again. -AMG  Buy the album here!

Listen: HERE

Friday, February 3, 2012

Art School - Sound Gallery. A Review by Sabino Stanley of Stanley Road


Art School is a Power-pop trio born in Murcia (south-east Spain) towards the end of 1995.  Juanfra Godoy (guitar & vocals), Jorge Izquierdo (bass & vocals) and Paco Ruiz (drums) played together for the first time in and they started their never ending trip around Spain, playing their genuine, original music with a smashing attitude.

 This is the bands first Long Player launched in 98, and rumour has it, the best LP ever animal records have edited. They were always put into the mod revival, new wave and punk scene, although this album and ,above all, the live shows gave them something else, that made them very genuine. Within the songs here you can find true  anthems for the generation like “People talk about us” or “ I don’t care”. The band released three  albums  on three different record labels and played in Germany twice and once around the US east coast.

                      Art School- Sound Gallery (98)
1.- Tin Soldier, 2.- I Don´t Care, 3.- My Mind Goes Round in Circles, 4.- Another waste of time 5.- Leaving Home6.- We can work it out 7.- People Talk ABout Us 8.- Stolen Soul 9.- Sounds From Yesterday 10.- Meanings,11.-
See12.- Strange Days, 13.-Killed In Action 14.- Wicked, 15 My Little Treasure

Get it:HERE   Find Art School: HERE

Check out Sabino's band STANLEY ROAD: HERE

The Choir - Choir Practice

The Choir was a garage rock band largely active in the greater Cleveland area from the mid 1960s into the early 1970s. Originally called The Mods, their largest commercial success came with the release of their first single "It's Cold Outside" in December 1966. The song, considered by many to be a classic of the garage rock era, was featured on Pebbles, Volume 2, one of the earlier garage rock compilation LPs (issued in 1979). The flipside, "I'm Going Home" was included as a bonus track when the Pebbles album was reissued as a CD, and it can also be found on a garage rock compilation LP on Ohio bands, Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 9. The Choir is well known for containing three of the four original members of Raspberries (all except lead singer Eric Carmen).

The first bandleader of The Choir, Dann Klawon (also called Dan Klawon or Danny Klawon) discovered Beatlemania in late 1963 before most of his peers, since a girl he knew had been to England and brought back a copy of the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do" and one of their early albums (probably With the Beatles) before their release in the U.S.[1] Within months, he had organized a band with three of his friends who all attended Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio. Dann Klawon began as the drummer for the band, Dave Smalley and Dan Heckel were the guitarists, and Tom Boles served as lead singer. (Randy Klawon, Dann's brother, did not officially join the band until 1968; but he filled in on drums for one concert in 1966 when he was just 14).[2] They called themselves The Mods, and again, Klawon was ahead of his time: although Mod was established in England by the late 1950s, the British band that is most often identified as "mod" in the U.S. is The Who, which was formed in the same year as The Mods.
Soon, The Choir had subtracted Heckel and Boles and added Dave Burke on bass, Wally Bryson on guitar, and Jim Bonfanti on drums; while Klawon moved to the rhythm guitar post. Klawon recalls: So we began playing songs by the Beatles, the Who, Stones, Zombies, Troggs, and Moody Blues. If they were from England, we played it. We had this song list that was unbelievable... And everybody alternated instruments, depending on what song. We'd have that written on [index] cards, as to who played what on what song.[2]
In the summer of 1966, the band traveled to Chicago, where they recorded their first single with "It's Cold Outside" (written by bandleader Dann Klawon) on the "A" side, which was originally released on Canadian-American Records.[3] According to Klawon: I used to write quite a bit then, and one day I was thinking of some sort of theme to use with the moon/spoon, boy/girl lyrics. I decided to go with a weather analogy.[2] While there, they discovered that a Chicago band called The Modernaires had shortened their name to The Mods, so they renamed themselves The Choir.[2][3] The song was hugely popular in Cleveland and topped the Cleveland charts for six weeks; the song did quite well throughout the Midwest, particularly after the re-release of the single on Roulette Records in early 1967. By the spring of 1967, "It's Cold Outside" peaked at #68 on the Billboard Charts and at #55 on the Cash Box charts, and it even made the CHUM Charts in Toronto, Canada.
Not long after the single was recorded, however, Dann Klawon and Dave Burke left the band; and a succession of line-up changes ensued. Ironically, considering that he would later front the Raspberries with three core members of the band, Eric Carmen's audition to join The Choir did not go well; Kenny Margolis was selected instead.[4] Carmen had been a major fan in the band's early years and was hurt by the rejection; not long after he joined Cyrus Erie, Carmen lured former Choir guitarist Wally Bryson to his new band, and they soon eclipsed The Choir as the most popular local band.[4] The band's second and third singles did not have the same success as their first, and in the spring of 1968, The Choir disbanded.[4]
The Choir reformed in late 1968 – for the second time, with the bandleader also being the drummer (Jim Bonfanti) – and regained much of their earlier popularity in the local scene. According to Denny Carleton: The new Choir's repertoire encompassed jazz, R&B, ballads and classical rock, and about 20 original songs. The group had an unusual keyboard-dominated sound, sometimes even using three keyboards on songs like "MacArthur Park" and Traffic's "Colored Rain". While other bands were simply performing standard tunes by The Beatles, Stones and Who, etc., The Choir was attempting projects of some magnitude, like taking "MacArthur Park", which was written for full orchestra, and rearranging it for three keyboards, bass, drums and guitar, or performing a 7-minute concerto with four time changes.[3]
In 1969, the band returned to the studio and recorded a planned album that had a more psychedelic flavor, with eight original songs and a cover of a song by the Kinks. The tape was shipped to several different record labels without success.[3] After releasing a final unsuccessful single on Intrepid Records in 1970 – including a cover of a song by the Easybeats as the "A" side, "Gonna Have a Good Time Tonight" (which was a hit song for INXS many years later) – the band broke up for good. (Wiki)

 Listen:Part 1  Part 2

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Music Machine - The Ultimate Turn On

The Music Machine's "Talk Talk" is one of the epochal moments in '60s garage rock, two minutes of killer fuzztone guitar, roaring organ, stop-on-a-dime bass and percussion, and the angry, frustrated bellow of Sean Bonniwell as he details the myriad ways in which his life stinks. On the surface, "Talk Talk" isn't that far removed from what the Standells, the Chocolate Watch Band, or the Seeds were doing at the time, but there was a precision in the Music Machine's performance that few of their peers could match, and even in a genre that encouraged lyrical and vocal melodrama, Bonniwell was tapping into something deeper, darker, and spookier than other bands of the day. And the group's matching black outfits, complete with a single black glove on the right hand, made them look as dramatic and threatening as they sounded. The Music Machine might have become one of major acts of the garage era if they'd lasted longer, but the group's original lineup was together for less than 18 months, leaving behind just one album and a pair of non-LP singles before most of the band split and the act evolved into Bonniwell's Music Machine (who released an uneven album for Warner Brothers). Many garage rock obsessives champion the debut album, (Turn On) The Music Machine, as one of the overlooked masterworks of the genre, and the British Big Beat label have paid homage to the LP with The Ultimate Turn On, a definitive study of the group's brief golden era. The Ultimate Turn On features the entirety of (Turn On) The Music Machine in both its stereo and mono mixes (the latter sounding noticeably more powerful), as well as both sides of the two non-LP singles, but that's not all. Along with the Music Machine's entire recorded output for Original Sound Records, this set includes a second disc featuring rehearsal tapes, demo recordings, and alternate mixes, offering an intriguing picture of how the Music Machine's original songs evolved and what their second album might have been like if they'd stayed in their original form long enough to record it. While Bonniwell's songs -- which snarl in a literate fashion and openly wear their social and psychological viewpoints on their sleeve -- are often cited as the Music Machine's secret weapon, the rough rehearsal tapes demonstrate what a solid and capable band he had, and the wealth of original material on disc two makes the presence of five covers on Ultimate Turn On seem like a wasted opportunity. The extensive liner notes by Alec Palao and video clips (playable on a personal computer) of the band performing on the television show Boss City are icing on a very satisfying cake. The Ultimate Turn On is the ultimate Music Machine collection, an exhaustive portrait of a band considerably more fascinating than their sole hit single would lead you to expect.  -AMG

Buy here: Amazon

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maybe Tonight - Weird Past FREE ALBUM DOWNLOAD

They say that the best things in life are free, well, Maybe Tonight proves that is just the case, the bands blend of infectious Power Pop driven with great choppy guitars, beautiful vocals and a driving beat are simply uplifting and bring a smile to the listeners face and what is more they are giving their album away for free, so the best things in life really are free!

I know very little about this band, other than that they hail from Madrid in Spain, a country that is throwing some brilliant Power Pop bands out there and Maybe Tonight are in the driving seat here with Weird Past.  I have befriended them on Facebook and suggest that you do the same and don't miss a beat from the heart of this band.

Get the album here: HERE

Contact the band: Facebook  and  Myspace