Monday, January 14, 2013

John Larson - Songs About Music

If you have been missing the band, The Marlowes, fear not, former founder member John Larson has released a rather fine debut album, "Songs About Music" and will begin recording the follow up this year.  We think that this debut is a pretty fine affair and look forward to hearing more later this year.

The Marlowes with Little Anthony.

Songs About Music is the record that John Larson has been trying to make for a long time. From the infectious guitars that introduce the opening track, “Girl in the Band” to “Kiss and Yell” - the story of strangers who turn lovers after they meet at a convention devoted to the band KISS - it’s clear that listeners are in for some unconventional lyricism and irresistible melodies.
Songs About Music is Larson’s first solo effort after having fronted the Providence, Rhode Island-based power pop/rock band The Marlowes for eight years. The new release is full of the kind of down-to-earth songs with heartfelt vocals and engaging melodies that define his best work.
Songs About Music, is a collection of songs that were all written about musicians, the art of writing music or the lively characters who surround the music scene.
Lyrically, the stories and observations that Larson unfolds are among his best work. The track “Billy and Wiggy” retells a chance meeting with English folk rocker Billy Bragg’s brother at a Bragg show in Providence in the mid-eighties. Interspersed throughout the album are odes to Josephine Baker (“The Constant Caterwaul”), a lament on the lack of authentic country music in America (“They’re Not Writing Country (In This Country Anymore”), and the thoughts of an obsessed vinyl record collector (“Track You Down”), among the others.
“Although this is my first solo album, it was definitely a collaborative effort,” said Larson. “I called on a lot of my music friends, including a few of the Marlowes, and everybody contributed beyond my expectations.”
For this project, Larson enlisted long-time friend and bandmate Justin Capaldi as his co-producer to help him achieve the sound he was searching for. “Justin is someone I trust and feel a musical kinship with and he was great at capturing the sounds I was hearing in my head,” Larson explains.
Recording and mixing took place at Lunchtime Studios and Fat Trax in Rhode Island and Rich Sound in New York.
It only takes one listen of Songs About Music to realize that Larson has achieved the sound he was searching for – in spades. For perhaps the first time, the music Larson conjures up to support his songs is just as compelling as the stories they tell.

To listen to the debut album from John Larson and to find out more, go and visit John's very excellent homepage here:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sir Psych - The Popsike World Of Sir Psych

If, like me, you like something a bit different sometimes how a bout a little trip into the gloriously trippy world of Sir Psyche and let him take you to some far off places and beyond.

One month after this album was released on April 24th, 2012, the album was out of print and vaulted. If you were one who didn't receive a copy of the 500 albums that were manufactured or didn't get to download a copy, now is your chance to get a copy, as well as 15 bonus tracks of alternate versions and outtakes from the sessions. 

Venture of into the psychedelic world of Sir Psych. You might not be the same afterwards!

Stream and buy the album here: Bandcamp

Contact, follow, befriend, like and love Sir Psyche at all the links below:

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Whims - The Whims

The Whims, after a very careful and methodical selection process, chose to send their self titled release to us to listen to and we are very glad they did!
The band say that they have siphoned their music styles through the best filters available and quote bands such as ICM faves like Teenage Fanclub, The Kinks, GBV, Cheap Trick etc. and it would appear that the filter system is functioning extremely well as this release features all the jangly guitars, chops, kicks and harmonies that you would expect from the the very best in Power Pop and beyond, but as always, don't take my word for it, take a listen for yourself and see if this New York City combo grab you in the same way they have grabbed us!

The Whims

The Whims are:
Dileepan Ganesan - Vox, Guitar
Fletcher Maumus - Vox, Lead Guitar
Michael McGivaren - Drums
Matt Stupp - Vox, Bass Guitar

The bands facebook page says that there will be some CDs of this album available very soon, but for now you can stream the album and download a copy here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Whims here: Facebook

The Newds - Ready EP - OUT NOW

The Newds have released their long awaited EP "Ready" which leads with the track, that we can probably all relate to, "Go Getter" which I fell in love with the very first time I heard it, and, as anticipated, the other 3 tracks that make up this wonderful EP also command equal amounts of love and respect.

The video for "Go Getter" filmed on a shoestring budget with copious amounts of humour!

The Newds were originally formed at Art college in 1999 by Paul Meagher & Dean Woods. With very much an art school band ethic.

Vox - Paul Meagher. Drums - Corporal Vinnie. Keys - DJ Tony. Guitar - Dean Woods.Bass - John Fallon

The Newds released their first album in 2009 and needless to say, it is well worth checking out if you are enjoying the tunes here and hopefully there is another in the pipeline, in the meantime, if you like to boogie woogie when you can, go get it (the EP and the album) here: itunes

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Newds here:  Facebook

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bryan Estepa, teaser for the forthcoming album, "Heart Vs Mind."

One of the Ice Cream Mans favourites, Bryan Estepa, is putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming album, "Heart Vs Mind" due out 1st of March.

Behind the scenes during the recording of the album.

The new album is to be released on vinyl, the superior format in my humble opinion, so get ready to hear the warm, rich sounds of Bryan's music even warmer and even richer as that needle traces through the grooves!

"Seachange" the first single from the new album "Heart Vs Mind." Featuring Bree De Rome on vocals.

There will be a full feature of the album on the blog as soon as the album lands in the offices of the Ice Cream Man, in the meantime, go on over to Bryan Estepa's "Reverbnation" page to get a free download of the new single.

Listen to more songs and download the latest single free here: Reverbnation

Contact, befriend, keep up with the news, like and love Bryan Estepa here: Facebook

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ballard - Little Rockets LP

Ballard is a one man lo-fi Power Pop band that produces some tasty bites of Power Pop influenced by the 60's Mod scene bands like The Who, The Kinks and  The Move to name a few.  To date, Ballard, have released one album, one EP and one Free single.

I can hear several other influences or similarities but not enough to take anything away from the originality of the tunes of the songs themselves.  I was pretty gobsmacked to find out that this album had been written and recorded in just 10 days, which is testament to the talent on offer here, as each track has it's own distinctive qualities making this an amazing debut album with no fillers or fodder in sight.
Darren Riley, he is Ballard! (Photo by Ed Lake)

I am not sure if there are any left, but there is a limited edition cd of this album which will include a drawing of yourself by Darren on the cover if you send him a photo, so if you have ever had a desire to be a cover star, now you can be, you just send Darren (Ballard) your photo and hey presto, not only do you get a fantastic album, you can also wow your friends by being the cover star!

Stream and buy the album here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, like and love Ballard here: Facebook

Official band page:

To check the availability of physical copies with a drawing of you, contact Darren here:

Follow Ballard on Twitter:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Phenomenal Cat - Wild Animals (Of The British Isles)

The 12th and final single of the "Single a Month" that has now completed the bands ambitious project, "Postcards From The British Empire."

Phenomenal Cat have now amassed an albums worth of songs, which was how this project was intended, the only difference is that they wrote and recorded a song each month to a deadline.  Of course, this could have amounted to little more than a couple of half decent singles and some fodder, but this, now 6 piece outfit, after the addition of a 2 piece brass section during the year, have an album of songs where each track is of single release quality.

Sam and Mik Guitars and vocals.

I was sold on this band from the bands first release "Letters Home From Nazi Occupied France" and eventually got in touch with them after the release of the second single "Ramshackle Heart" to find out some more.  At this time, singer Sam told me that there was a lot of pressure to write, record and produce a single each month and he wasn't sure that they would continue with the project.
Around this time, the band started to amass a following from all four corners of the globe and the bloggers started to blog about the band, radio stations in America, the UK and across Europe started to play their songs and halfway through the project the band were taken on by "Futureman Records" who released the first half of the album digitally, and thankfully the band continued with the recordings and completed the album.

Natalie, Bass.

I have a great admiration for the band for seeing the project through, I met them a couple of times in the year on my trips to the UK, they all have homes and jobs and some have young families and to produce 12 singles in a year is no mean feat, to produce 12 singles of this quality is amazing, and, if that wasn't enough, they have been gigging through the year too to promote themselves.
Also, another feather in this bands cap, every single that was released was pressed in a limited edition of 25 cds, they were then passed to a different charity shop each month who were told to sell the singles and keep all the profits for their charity.  Time for a massive applaud?  Not just yet, a friend of the band was commissioned to make a limited run of "Phenomenal Cat" keyrings for the band to sell at gigs with the all the money going to Guys and St Thomas' hospital charity in London, the first set of keyrings went at the first gig after they were made, another limited quantity were made and once again sold out at the next gig, raising even more money for Guys and St Thomas.  Now applaud, 12 great singles, and every penny they have made from the singles and bespoke keyrings going to charity.

Ben, Drums
So, what next for the "Cat?"  Well, a good rest and a break from the pressure of recording a single a month, a well deserved rest I would say, then the band are going to promote the 12 singles as an album and try to take the album to the next level and have it physically released during the year.   More new material?  Watch this space, but for now, enjoy the last single of the project and if you have not done so already, go and download the previous eleven singles for a name your price fee, this band is one of the best English bands out there right now, so go ahead and enjoy them!

Tim and Dan, Brass.

Download the latest single and all previous singles here: Bandcamp

Show the "Cat" some love, follow them, befriend them here: Facebook