Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Yardbirds - Five Live Yardbirds

Five Live Yardbirds was the first important -- indeed, essential -- live album to come out of the 1960s British rock & roll boom. In terms of the performance captured and the recording quality, it was also the best such live record of the entire middle of the decade. Cut at a Marquee Club show in 1964 , Five Live Yardbirds was a popular album, especially once Eric Clapton's fame began to spread after leaving the band. Although the album didn't appear officially in the United States until its CD release by Rhino in the late 1980s, four of its tracks -- "Smokestack Lightning," "Respectable," "I'm a Man," and "Here 'Tis" -- made up one side of their classic U.S. album Having a Rave Up, and the British EMI LP became a very popular import during the early 1970s as a showcase for both the band and the playing of Eric Clapton. That album had astonishingly good sound, which was not the case with any of the reissues that followed, on vinyl or CD -- even Rhino's compact disc suffered from blurry textures and noise, though it was an improvement over any release since the original EMI LP. The 1999 Repertoire Records reissue is the first CD that matches the clarity and sharpness of the original LP, and along with that improvement, their original concert has been very sensibly expanded with a half-dozen live cuts from roughly the same period, recorded at the Crawdaddy Club. Among them is a killer live version of the Billy Boy Arnold classic "I Wish You Would."There's also a pair of live tracks from German television in 1967 -- "I'm a Man" and "Shapes of Things"; the two, in a flash, make up for what they lack in perfect fidelity.   AMG

Listen: HERE mfire file

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Some live dates for this most excellent band, if you are near any of the venues, do yourself a favour and go and have a great night out!!!!

Billeracy Football Club -  9th march
Scala , Kings Cross - DJ Set from Wombats - 24 march
Southend, The Riga Bar with The Most - 14 april
Islington O2  - 18 april
Ally club, Cambridge - 12 may
Fleece - Bristol 22 june
Help for heroes mod rally -  Birmingham 9 june
Clapham -  Granf 13 july
Fiddlers Elbow -  28 july

 Photo by: Neil McCarty

The Kinks - Live at The Rainbow 24th December 1977

I am not sure if this is an official bootleg, I don't believe that it is, it is however very obviously, a soundboard recording and the quality is excellent.
The Kinks were on the Sleepwalker tour at the time and the recording features many songs from that album as well as the classics. 

01 Sleepwalker
02 Life on the Road
03 Waterloo Sunset
04 All Day And All Of The Night
05 Slum Kids
06 Celluloid Heroes
07 Get Back In Line
08 The Hard Way
09 Lola
10 Alcohol
11 Skin And Bone
12 You Really Got Me
13 Juke Box Music

Get it: HERE

Telepathic Butterflies - Breakfast in Suburbia

Over 40 years after the Beatles grabbed North America's musical consciousness by the lapels and gave it a friendly shake, their brand of guitar-based pop is still influencing bands here, there, and everywhere, and the third album from Winnipeg's the Telepathic Butterflies, Breakfast in Suburbia, shows that plenty of good things can still be built from the Fab Four's model. The Telepathic Butterflies aren't devoted to the Beatles at the exclusion of all else — "Telescope" shows flashes of both the Hollies and the Kinks, and "If It's All Too Much" suggests someone in this band listened to a lot of Who records. But the clean melodic lines and energetic guitar figures of the Beatles circa 1963-1965 clearly loom large in the Telepathic Butterflies' pantheon of influences, and they certainly do right by their role models. Réjean Ricard's guitar work is sharp and engaging, and he's a first-class songwriter to boot, sounding equally clever as a lyricist and tunesmith, and Jacques Dubois and Eric Van Buren are an excellent rhythm section, giving the songs plenty of snap and crackle while pushing the tunes forward with just the right degree of force. Though it isn't difficult to suss out this group's influences, the Telepathic Butterflies aren't overwhelmed by them, or living in a bygone era; these are simply bandmembers who understand the virtues of a smart, well-crafted pop tune played with fire and skill, and they have the talent to apply those lessons to their own work. Breakfast in Suburbia is superb pop/rock in the classic style that anyone who still believes in the curative power of the electric guitar will want to hear. -AMG
Listen: HERE  Link refreshed and working.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Cry! - The Cry!

Brian Crace :  Lead Guitar, Vocals
Ray Nelsen:  
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Dave Berkham:  
Bass Guitar, Vocals
Maus Mersky: 
The Cry say they are going to save Rock 'n' Roll from the grave and listening to their music I can tell you they are already in command of the undertakers shovels and menacingly looking at the back of Justin Beibers head.....and I am ready to look the other way!

This is brilliant straight up rock 'n' roll with a twist of doo wop , sure, it isn't reinventing the wheel, but it is keeping the wheel rolling (at great speed) greased with a passion and energy that is so often forgotten these days.
 The album is a brilliantly crafted power pop affair with only 3 of the 12 songs going past the 3 minute mark, three part harmonies in a 50's/60's styling and echoing bands such as The Beach Boys and The Exploding Hearts, and listening to the track "Be True" on the album, you could be forgiven for thinking that these guys are the bastard sons of the aforementioned artists! 

This album plays like a dream, from track one to track twelve The Cry! don't miss a beat, look as you might, there isn't one filler track or sub standard track to be found on the album.

The band have a motto and that is "Never Suck!" What a breath of fresh air that is in a world filled with X-factor, Idol type artists that seem to have the motto "Keep Sucking!"

The Cry! are playing loads of live dates from now until June in the States, so do yourself a favour, go and check them out and "Never Suck!" The Cry are rated A+ live!!!!!!

You can contact the band, like them on Facebook and find details of the album and the shows at the following links:

Official Website:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

At first glance, the Exploding Hearts seem like mere revivalists. From the pink and yellow cover to their 1977 looks to their influences, it would be easy to dismiss them. But you need to hold the phone a minute and listen, because the Exploding Hearts are the best punk band to come along in a long time, maybe since the original wave. About those influences, here is a partial list: the early Clash if Mick Jones wrote all the songs and the Only Ones or Buzzcocks at their emotional best, but also classic power pop sounds like a (much) tougher Rubinoos, rock & roll like a tighter and sober New York Dolls, and the lo-fi approach of Billy Childish. Guitar Romantic is an amazingly raw and melodic debut, fully realized and original despite the obvious debt to the punk past. It is difficult to pinpoint just what it is about the band that helps overcome their idol worship. Maybe it is the love and authenticity that they pour into the worship, the raw production that smashes the guitars and bass into a whirling mess of tuneful noise, or the wonderfully tough but tender vocals. Most likely it is the songwriting. Too many bands that seek to re-create a sound or an era don't have the tunes to back it up. Not the Hearts. Every song on Guitar Romantic makes a bid to be the best on the album: "I'm a Pretender" is a jaunty kick in the head, "Sleeping Aides & Razorblades" is an ultra-catchy doo wop-inspired ballad with a brilliant guitar line, "Thorns in Roses" is a rollicking '50s-influenced ballad, "Throwaway Style" melds a lovelorn lyric to a Motown beat (the same one the Strokes heisted for "Last Nite") to great effect. There isn't a weak song here, not a single one that isn't on par with the best punk-pop. If you don't have this album and have even the slightest affinity for poppy punk rock or punky pop/rock, you are missing out on something special. -AMG

Listen: HERE 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Well, I can't tell you very much about this band, in fact I can't tell you anything other than who the members are and they are;

Paul Peters: Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Jon Dyer: Lead Guitar
Kathleen Peters: Bass
Trevor Rubin: Drums
The band plays in a style reminiscent of Swervedriver, The Telescopes and Catherine Wheel, nice dirty guitars and well crafted songs with an almost floating effect to them.

You can contact and like Mod Gun: Facebook

You can download Fools here with the compliments of the band: Mod Gun

The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray

If Lovey captured Evan Dando as he found his signature blend of punk-pop, jangle pop, and folk-rock, It's a Shame About Ray is where he perfected that style. Breezing by in under half an hour, the album is a simple collection of sunny melodies and hooks, delivered with typical nonchalance by Dando. None of the songs are about anything major, nor do they have astonishingly original melodies, but that's part of their charm — they're immediately accessible and thoroughly catchy. Dando's laid-back observations of middle-class outcasts are minor gems. The heartbroken title track or "Confetti," the crushes of "Bit Part in Your Life," the love letter to substances "My Drug Buddy," or the wonderful "Alison's Starting to Happen," where a girl finds herself as she discovers punk rock, capture the laconic rhythms of suburbia, and his warm, friendly voice, which is offset by Juliana Hatfield's girlish harmonies, gives the songs an emotional resonance. [It's a Shame About Ray was later re-released with a competent punk-pop remake of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" added as a bonus track. As Dando approached stardom, the album was repressed again with the title of "My Drug Buddy" truncated to "Buddy." It was later restored to its original title.] -AMG
Listen: HERE

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thee Vicars

We at Ice Cream Man  Power Pop and More think this is great and are really looking forward to the forthcoming album!!!!

Thee Vicars believe that life is too short for boring music. They have self-belief and faith in what they are doing. They started out by wanting to stomp on all the crap music they heard week in, week out in their small little town. They say they are “ready to, if it comes to it, to kick kung fu style all the shit bands into orbit! We will set the bullshit bands’ hair straighteners on fire...make them melt, and their hair go curly! Make them go out and buy a belt for their jeans! So they sit at the right height! Not with their arses hanging out! So kids, do you wanna be the problem? Or do you wanna be the solution?”
Following two singles and two albums, on Dirty Water Records, the band has been working hard at their sound, rehearsing, playing countless live shows, writing dozens of new songs...and have progressed along the way, from hard-hitting but trashy sixties influenced punk rock towards a more melodic but still teen-garage sound. They’ve shed a few members along the way but in their current line up as a trio with great girl drummer Alex they are sounding their best yet.
One of the hardest working bands in the UK, they are constantly travelling around Europe and the UK, and have also toured the USA, including appearing at a Vice Magazine music festival in Portland, Oregon. The Horrors chose them as support act for their first gig in a year for the live debut of the songs from their Mercury nominated second album Primary Colours. And the Black Lips chose them as their European tour support last summer. If you haven’t taken note of Thee Vicars already where have you been hiding?!
Writing about their second album Clash magazine said that, “Ironically, in displaying barely a drop of originality, Thee Vicars actually sound fabulously fresh when set against the current crop of synth-pop bunnies...” and that it “reveals both glorious tunes and a sense of mischief. Mindless, and endless, fun.”
Meanwhile, the Guardian said, “They might dress smartly, all suited and booted, but Thee Vicars create an unholy, unruly row. They are much like the Cribs’ new favourite proponents of back-to- basics rifferama, the Strange Boys. You can also hear echoes of the early Stones here, as well as of more contemporary outfits such as the Hives, and there is something in Whittaker’s snarling vocals that reminds us of Pete Shelley. Together they create a decent fuzzy racket, full of energy and heavy on the treble, with a low-end throb that does the job.”

Find more information about Thee Vicars: Facebook Myspace

The Allusions - Anthology 1966 - 1968

Fans of the early- and mid-'60s Merseybeat sound (the Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Searchers, etc.) will probably love this 21-song compilation, which assembles the Allusions' complete recorded output over a four-year period. At their best, as on "Gypsy Woman," they had a fresh, original sound somewhere midway between the romanticism of the Beatles, the dynamism of the Kinks, and the Who's early ballads, with a unique vocal sound and good attack on their instruments. "Fever (Burns My Brain)" is a strange, yet workable, mix of two seemingly conflicting themes, a harsh, smooth farewell main lyric bridged by an achingly beautiful chorus reminiscent of Gerry & the Pacemakers vocally and the Zombies instrumentally. "The Dancer" is one of those odd low visibility numbers, like "I'll Remember the Night" by the Roulettes (whom these guys also resemble) that are such smooth and catchy examples of the Merseybeat sound that they belong on any anthology of the era and the music. "Roller Coaster Man" sounds like a Searchers outtake or a Gerry & the Pacemakers reject, with a guitar part that resembles "You Can't Do That." "Looks Like Trouble" owes a bit to "I Feel Fine" in its intro, although it also includes a thoroughly American garage-band style guitar break. Some of the later numbers, such as "Roundabout," are less interesting as songs, although even this wimpy ballad offers a catchy chorus and, overall, resembles nothing less than a decent Micky Dolenz-sung Monkees song. And "I'll Be Home" is the kind of song with which Ringo Starr could have done wonders, especially with the Beatlesque harmonies at the end of each line. The album's later songs are an interesting mix of subdued, moody ballads and high-energy rockers, such as "I Gotta Move," which may be the most Kinks-like cover of a Kinks track that you will ever hear. This disc's sound quality is excellent and the annotation extremely thorough.  

Listen: HERE
Alternative link: HERE

Thursday, February 23, 2012


The Cycle Paths. Formed in April 2011,the line-up is Stace Rose(guitar/vocals) Ian 'Edde' King(bass/backing vocals) and Andrew 'Bungle' Hardwick(drums).

 Stace and Ian had been messing around trying to put something together for a couple of years but both being guitarists, it was going nowhere.  Ian dabbled with drums to try and kick start things,but,despite being adequate, it wouldn't have worked.  Next up was the bass guitar for Ian,which he took to like an escaped con in a knocking shop!  Around that time Andy Hardwick asked on the off chance if the band needed a drummer. Thus The Cycle Paths were born officially(even though the name had been with Stace and Ian for 2 or 3 years).

 The next 6 months were spent getting songs ready until the debut gig,playing 2 sets to an enthusiastic crowd. More gigs have followed since around the Sheffield/Chesterfield/Nottingham area with the band growing in confidence and playing electrifying sets.

 On 22nd Jan 2012 the band went into G2 studios in Sheffield. The day was a success with 5 self-penned tunes turning out really well. This is to result in a debut ep due out soon (March) on Dizzy Holmes' Detour Records subsidiary label Paisley Archive.  "Last Tram To Halfway" also features "You Must Be A Devil" "Living With My Guilt" "Getting Better" and "Time To Say Goodbye." 

The band play anything from 60s garage to mod revival stuff plus they have their own takes on soul tunes and anything that takes their fancy. Such songs like, You're Gonna Miss Me, Frustration, Billy, The Magic Touch, Maybe Tomorrow, What A Way To Die ,Tube Station etc. 
The whole point of this band is enjoyment, both for the band and the people that go to see them. The band have a healthy following of people that go to their gigs, which usually end up in dancing and drinking and much merriment!
Upcoming gigs are-25th Feb,Three Horseshoes in Brimington, near Chesterfield.  24th March-Ashleigh Club, Clowne near Chesterfield.   25th April-Viper Rooms,Sheffield.   8th June-The Cremorne, Sheffield. 

You can contact and find out more about The Cycle Paths here  Facebook  and  Myspace

The upcoming EP has had extensive play on the 6 Towns Glory Boy radio show which airs on Sunday evening 7pm to 9pm GMT, so if you enjoy your Mod, Mod Revival , 60's Garage, Freakbeat and The Cycle Paths, check it out HERE

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Stairs - Mexican R'n'B

The weed bus takes us on a wiggy ride out of London, accompanied by the rustlings of Rizla and the popping of beer caps. We watch the dopey mess that is Help on the telly, and when we stagger off the charabanc we're properly pie-eyed and disoriented. Just about ready for planet Liddypool.
OK, so this may be an exceptional night at the (replica) Cavern, but it gives you some kind of crash course in the stuff that's both great and lacking in the music of this city. You realise just how schooled the bands are, so attentive and finicky about the tones and details that characterise beat music and early prog-rock. They're complete fans. What isn't so healthy is the way this can become so obsessive, how introverted and out-of-it the whole scene can be.
Anyway, The Stairs represent the better end of all this. They bounce around and give the impression that they're having an terrific time. Ged Lynn is a little waif of a bloke, but he goes into twang frenzy from the start, while another guy who looks like Eric Idle in tne Rutles twats his tambourine and then Edgar opens his enormous gob and produces a mass of growling, gut-bucket effects. The Stairs are fun.
I guess it was a mistake to do a set of covers before the 'real' show. It was a revelation to see them biffing out 'Over, Under, Sideways Down' - squint a little and see Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck shaking it with the Yardbirds in '66. But presently you get The Stairs' own songs, and you find that they're not so hugely different. 'Weed Bus' and 'Take No Notice...' have funny, spliff-suckin' storylines, but they sound like the other old things, and they haven't yet got the beauty in their writing - like The La's have - to transcend this.
The Stairs are good, but a wait-and-see band, deffo. They need some kind of perspective. Maybe - with all due respect - they should get out more. -[Stuart Bailie] New Musical Express

Listen:  Part 1  and Part 2 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Los Guajes - Life is like a Carousel. Review by Chusin Crochette

"Life is like a carousel" is the third album from the group, Los Guajes, passionate garage revival and Spanish sounds of the 60's.
For recording the third album, Los Guajes have relied again on the demolishing machinery of the Circo Perrotti analog studies, and have been back in the hands of the great Jorge explosion, which runs music production.

 "Life is like a carousel" album at hand, is a clear example of the qualities of this consolidated combo. Still apply the immediacy and freshness of the beginning of the band, and does not stop the imagination to make his lyrics sung in authentic dramas,  Hispanics vaudevilles .Their songs can range from a pure exercise in style as "Nothing in the world" to the vibrant melodies of "Carousel" or "See you is like dying", without neglecting its most villain in songs such as "Employee of the home" or "Marcelino" and without sacrificing the rawness more garajera of its chords in "Poison" or "nerves",or approaches to the psychedelia of "Crazy" and "Fiesta", or musical landismo who demonstrate, in effect more than ever in "Afine guy." And of course, if you forget, his expertise in recovering the classics, which in this example demonstrates a superbmicrogrooves and risky version of "Is It True" by Brenda Lee.
All this, combined with the excellent artistic design of this LP by John Roller.

You can find more information about Los Guajes at the bands official website: HERE 
(Use the drop down box in the top right corner to select your language) 

Chusin Crochette is bass player with Mod/Power Pop band "Stanley Road" who you can check out HERE and HERE

The Kinks - The Great Lost Kinks Album (1973)

After posting the Arthur album yesterday I went off on a right Kinks trip playing all my vinyl albums back to back and wondered what I was missing in amongst all the general releases and bootlegs and after very little research I came across this, I wondered how I managed to miss it.....maybe the clue is in the title?

The Great Lost Kinks Album is an Unreleased Compilation Album by the British Rock Band The Kinks.
The Kinks changed Labels. From Reprise Records they jumped to the RCA Label. Losing The Kinks was of course a great revenue loss at the time, so Reprise in an attempt to continue to capitalize the name, released this compilation, unauthorized by the Band Members. It consists mostly of Songs discarded on some sessions, the ones who weren't removed ended up appearing in the Album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, alias the name The Great Lost Kinks Album, was the name Fans gave to the Album that was supposed to be released in 1969 but ended up becoming the Village Green Preservation... But this is not the only source, some of them were recorded to appear in British TV and Films, and of course two songs from Singles. Davies and his crew only got to know of the existence of the Album when they saw it on the billboard Charts and they immediately sued the company, forcing Reprise Records to discontinue the Album in 1975. Of course right after this it became a Collector's Item, even though it stayed in circulation for 2 years. As the songs were recorded in a 4 year span it is hard to say who were the Members that participated in this Album. I'll just put the names of the Members of the Band that played at the Time.
Best Tracks - "Til Death Do Us Part", "Lavender Hill", "Rosemary Rose", "Mister Songbird", "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" and "Plastic Man". The Cover is pretty weird, and it isn't as good as most Kinks Covers. Some strange looking ghosts and some Neon Letters with the Name of the Band.
Listen: HERE

The Aerovons - Resurrection

The dozen songs that would have been on the Aerovons' album had it come out (though a couple of the songs did come out on a 1969 single) form the core of this release, Resurrection,the U.K. bonus edition also tacks on four bonus tracks. The Aerovons' unusual story -- a band from the American Midwest recording in Abbey Road in 1969, led and produced by their 17-year-old singer-songwriter -- might be the main reason there was interest in excavating these sessions, but this CD is not a mere curio. It's quite respectable late-'60s Beatles-style pop/rock, if a little green around the edges and pretty derivative. In fact, in a couple of spots it's downright imitative, with "Say Georgia" taking licks from "Oh! Darling," and "Resurrection" itself lifting from "Across the Universe." (Neither of those songs had yet been released by the Beatles at the time of the sessions, but the group heard them by virtue of working in Abbey Road.) Fortunately, those are the only blatant cops, though Beatles comparisons abound throughout, particularly in the Paul McCartney-esque piano-playing. Songs like "With Her" and "The Years" recall the acoustic outings of both John Lennon and Paul McCartney on The White Album, while "Bessie Goodheart" uses McCartney's more vaudevillian Sgt. Pepper-era outings as an obvious launching pad, and "Something of Yours" brings to mind "Michelle." To this list you could also add the very Lennon-esque echo on the vocal of "The Children." The Aerovons leaned more toward wistful and sadness-tinged moods than the Beatles did, though. One of the best tracks, "World of You," brings out that quality very well, recalling the better late-'60s orchestrated Bee Gees opuses. The bonus tracks include both sides of a non-LP 1969 single ("The Train," their poppiest number, which echoes both the Hollies and the Bee Gees), the outtake "Here" (very much like McCartney's piano ballads), and a demo of "World of You."  

Listen: HERE

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Kinks - 1969 - Arthur or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) extends the British-oriented themes of Village Green Preservation Society, telling the story of a London man's decision to move to Australia during the aftermath of World War II. It's a detailed and loving song cycle, capturing the minutiae of suburban life, the numbing effect of bureaucracy, and the horrors of war. On paper, Arthur sounds like a pretentious mess, but Ray Davies' lyrics and insights have rarely been so graceful or deftly executed, and the music is remarkable. An edgier and harder-rocking affair than Village Green, Arthur is as multi-layered musically as it is lyrically. "Shangri-La" evolves from English folk to hard rock, "Drivin'" has a lazy grace, "Young and Innocent Days" is a lovely, wistful ballad, "Some Mother's Son" is one of the most uncompromising antiwar songs ever recorded, while "Victoria" and "Arthur" rock with simple glee. The music makes the words cut deeper, and the songs never stray too far from the album's subject, making Arthur one of the most effective concept albums in rock history, as well as one of the best and most influential British pop records of its era. [Castle's 1998 CD reissue of Arthur contained ten bonus tracks, including mono and stereo versions of the non-LP singles "Plastic Man," "Mindless Child of Motherhood," and "This Man He Weeps Tonight," mono versions of "Drivin'" and "She's Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina," the B-side "King Kong," and the previously unreleased "Mr. Shoemakers Daughter."]  

Listen: HERE

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mama's and the Papa's - 1966 - If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears

In the spring of 1966, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears represented a genuinely new sound, as fresh to listeners as the songs on Meet the Beatles had seemed two years earlier. Released just as "California Dreaming" was ascending the charts by leaps and bounds, it was the product of months of rehearsal in the Virgin Islands and John Phillips' discovery of what one could do to build a polished recorded sound in the studio -- it embraced folk-rock, pop/rock, pop, and soul, and also reflected the kind of care that acts like the Beatles were putting into their records at the time. "Monday, Monday" and "California Dreamin'" are familiar enough to anyone who's ever listened to the radio, and "Go Where You Wanna Go" isn't far behind, in this version or the very similar rendition by the Fifth Dimension. But the rest is mighty compelling even to casual listeners, including the ethereal "Got a Feelin'," the rocking "Straight Shooter" and "Somebody Groovy," the jaunty, torch song-style version of "I Call Your Name," and the prettiest versions of "Do You Wanna Dance" and "Spanish Harlem" that anyone ever recorded.

If the material here has a certain glow that the Mamas & the Papas' subsequent LPs lacked, that may be due in part to the extensive rehearsal and the exhilaration of their first experience in the studio, but also a result of the fact that it was recorded before the members' personal conflicts began interfering with their ability to work together. The work was all spontaneous and unforced here, as opposed to the emotional complications that had to be overcome before their next sessions.

Listen: HERE

Friday, February 17, 2012


Splitsville's fourth album is a complete departure from anything the band had previously done. Originally recorded as a four-song EP to be given away as a sort of party favor at the first International Pop Overthrow festival in Los Angeles, the much-expanded The Complete Pet Soul is, as the title implies, a dual tribute to both Pet Sounds and Rubber Soul. On the original EP, the Pet Sounds influence came through more strongly, thanks to the heavily orchestrated feel, but on this full-length version, the orchestral tracks are nicely balanced with several new songs that recall the low-voltage, almost folk-rock sound that predominated on the original U.S. edition of Rubber Soul. Still, the Pet Sounds pastiche tracks are the real standouts simply for being done with such obvious affection and good humor, especially the swooning "Caroline Knows" and the almost Smile-like multi-part mini-operetta "The Love Songs of B. Douglas Wilson," which is the album's high point. Musically, it should have been the album's closing track, but instead, a cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" recorded for the soundtrack of the cheerleading film Bring It On is tacked on at the end. It doesn't quite match the mood of the rest of the album, and it's certainly not a patch on Dionne Warwick's version, so it's an odd, equivocal ending to an otherwise superb album.-AMG
Listen: HERE

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Off for a few days.......back soon, but in the meantime......

Please could I ask you to take a look at this page Ruby Owen Appeal this little girl desperately needs help, I have made a donation personally for this little girls plight and if you can make a donation however small, it will really help.
You can read full details about Ruby at the page and find all the details of the registered charity.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read and see you all soon.

Peace and love Rick.N.Baker

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Action - The Ultimate Action

This collection is a slightly expanded version of an LP that first appeared in 1984. There are no notes -- an unthinkable oversight today -- but otherwise, this is one of the best pieces of British beat-style R&B available, a match for the best tracks off The Beatles' Second Album, and any of the best R&B-style numbers by the early Who. The material isn't in chronological order, although that's not a huge problem for CD listeners, but it's heavily scrambled. The stuff stands on its own, in any case -- "Harlem Shuffle," "Since I Lost My Baby," and "In My Lonely Room" are among the finest English R&B covers of the period, and even originals like "Never Ever" (written by Alan King, Reggie King, and Mike Evans and the group-composed "Twenty Fourth Hour" are fine pieces of songwriting, with attractive hooks and choruses, and good soulful performances. One fascinating discovery unearthed on this CD, amid hits that never were (like their cover of the Marvelettes' "I'll Keep on Holding On" and the brooding, modish "Wasn't It You,") is the group's cover of the Spector-Goffin-King classic "Just Once in My Life." In contrast to the Righteous Brothers' Wall of Sound approach, the five-piece band does it by themselves with no overdubbed help, and Reggie King and company are good enough singers to pull it off, despite a few awkward moments on the fade. The attempts at experimental, quasi-psychedelic material ("Shadows and Reflections") are nicely played and sung, but they lack the depth and urgency of the group's earlier material, and it's easy to understand EMI's misgivings over the direction the group was going in, based on this evidence. As an added attraction, the production by George Martin is also among the best work of his career in rock & roll, second only to his work with the Beatles.  

Listen: ACTION

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Leftovers - On the move

Hailing from the famous punk rock town of, er, Portland, ME, the Leftovers released their debut full-length after touring regionally with the likes of the Mopes and Teenage Bottlerocket and putting in their compilation-and-splits dues. "Full-length" is something of an exaggeration (On the Move clocks in at under 30 minutes), but that's part of the charm of bands like this -- there's no time wasted on intros or outros, no stupid "sketches" or "interludes" to weigh things down, just short, sharp, hook-laden tunes all featuring heart-on-sleeve vocals and buzzsaw guitars. There's pure bubblegum lurking underneath the crunchy veneer of "Dance with Me," and the handclaps that you keep expecting throughout that compact gem of a song appear on the next and equally hooky track, "She She She." "Mind Off You" and "See You Tonight" are the band's twin masterpieces, a pair of punk-pop classics that last almost exactly two minutes each (and the second of which, if you listen carefully, evokes Elvis Costello circa Get Happy!). On a few of these songs the hooks could be just a bit sharper and more memorable, but it seems likely that the band is going to progress in just that direction. Highly recommended. (AMG)
Listen: HERE

The Boo Radleys - Find the way out.

By 2005 -- in America, anyway -- hearing the story of how the Boo Radleys didn't make it was more common than hearing any of their actual music. The recap: the Liverpool band came up shoegazers, became pop songwriters, and blew up with a single that shone like gold. But then they tore stardom to shreds with a brilliantly noisy follow-up, and disbanded soon after releasing a frustrated swan song. Since that awkward end the Boos have been a footnote for some, a pleasant memory for others, and a reason for fanatical devotion to still more. So ideally, Find the Way Out pleases all parties. It's a two-disc, fully remastered, 35-song chronological recap of the band's eight-year career, painstakingly compiled by guitarist/songwriter Martin Carr both to tell the Boo Radley story and satisfy the diehards. It begins with two songs from Ichabod & I, the noisy (and rare) 1990 debut that shoved American alternative rock into a wall of Kevin Shields-ian distortion. The dynamic between Carr's roaring guitar and Sice's effortless songbird vocals on "Catweazle" would define the group's sound. "Happens to Us All" is here too, as is a demo version of "Hip Clown Rag." There are highlights from the Boo Radleys' Rough Trade singles and EPs, including the incredible funky blister of "Kaleidoscope" and "Everybird"'s blend of pedal stomp crunch and twining acoustic strum. The set includes the lengthy 12" version of the 1992 Creation single "Lazarus," as well as its B-side, "Let Me Be Your Faith"; devotees might wonder where "At the Sound of Speed" is, but they'll have to make do with the creaky, gentle "Cracked Lips/Homesick" -- a Giant Steps-era B-side -- or any of the five songs from that album. The brassy, handclapping "Wish I Was Skinny" and "Best Lose the Fear"'s fuzzy psych-pop are highlights, showing off the Boos' songwriting development. Of course Find the Way Out's second disc starts with "Wake Up Boo!" -- it's their career definition and ultimate death knell tied up in an unstoppably glorious pop experience. The nine-minute version here -- subtitled "Music for Astronauts" -- trips out at the end in a way Super Furry Animals would soon perfect. Its flip, "Blues for George Michael," is another epic, and "Find the Answer Within" (from the Wake Up! LP) rarefies Carr's guitar to a conventional jangle. 1995's "From the Bench at Belvidere" is a breezy masterpiece of lilting piano and dripping guitar notes; there's even a flute solo. (Pray that Teenage Fanclub someday covers this.) C'mon Kids, the blaring fame freak-out album that followed the popular embrace of Wake Up!, is represented here by four tracks, and the finale Kingsize gets three. (The previously unissued "Tomorrow" is a faraway trumpet, rainy streets meditation with the gem lyric "trap set in the slums.") By Find the Way Out's end you're either convinced of the Boos' place in the U.K. music canon or mad at Carr because he didn't include your favorite song. But either way you've walked the band's creative arc with one of its creators. And that's way better than just hearing about it.  

Listen: Part 1Part 2

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sloan - One Chord to Another

Following the bungled American release of Twice Removed, it seemed unlikely that Sloan would survive, let alone record an album as wonderful as One Chord to Another. On the group's previous album, Sloan had refashioned itself as a power pop band, often with terrific results, but on One Chord to Another the songwriting blossoms. Filled with catchy, jangling riffs and memorable melodies, the record is a tour de force of hooks and harmonies, filled with exceptionally strong songs and forceful performances, which give the record a firm, rocking foundation. Few power pop records of the '90s are as infectious and memorable as One Chord to Another. -AMG

Listen: NEW LINK

The Lambrettas - Beat Boys in the Jet Age

The Lambrettas are an English mod revival band, first active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Named after the iconic Italian Lambretta scooter brand popular among Mods, the band was formed in Lewes. Their original line-up consisted of Jez Bird (singer/guitarist), Doug Sanders (guitarist/vocalist), Mark Ellis (bassist) and Paul Wincer (drummer).
Their biggest hit was in 1980, with a cover version of the 1950s Leiber and Stoller song, "Poison Ivy", which reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart. They scored a #12 hit with the follow-up, "Da-a-a-nce". In the same year, they released the album Beat Boys in the Jet Age, which reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart, and scored another minor hit single single, "Another Day (Another Girl)" (hastily renamed from "Page 3" after complaints from the Sun newspaper. After the Mod revival faded, subsequent singles, which included a 1982 cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love", and a second album, 1981's Ambience, were commercial failures. The band played their final concert in their original incarnation in London on 14 April 1982. Bird re-formed the band for a time in the 1990s.
The band reformed in 2009 and are busy touring the UK and Europe.

Beat Boys in the Jet Age was the debut album by English mod revival band The Lambrettas. It included the bands hit cover of the song "Poison Ivy" which reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart. The band would continue this success with the release of their very own "Da-a-ance", reaching #12 in the UK Singles Chart. The album reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart, and scored another minor hit single, "Another Day (Another Girl)" which reached #45 on the UK Singles Chart.