Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More! Albums of the year.

Last year, I chose just one record as album of the year and that was The Turnback - Drawn In Chalk, but then the blog had only been running a very short time, that made life very easy for me.  This year, however, is a little different, many bands and artists have sent me their albums and whilst I would love to feature every single one of them on this list, because they are all great, I have had to whittle it down to 30 or I would be here until next year!  I have discovered many great artists and I hope this continues in 2013.

This will be my last post for a while as I take a break over the holiday period, but I will be back next year with more great selections for you to sample.   

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the bands for their submissions to the blog and of course all the guests that have come and read the blog, I am amazed, and humbled, that each month nearly 8000 of you visit here and share the music with me.  Happy holidays to you all.

All links to the albums and contact details for the bands can be found within the blog using the search facility in the top left hand corner of this page.  Enjoy!

30)  The Joy Of Painting - Asterix

29) The Electric Mess - Falling Off The Face Of the Earth

28) Mr Day - Dry Up In The Sun

27)  The Clocktower -  Days Of Rosey Row

26)  Chris Richards and The Subtractions - Get Yer La La's out

25)  Paradise - Diary Of An Old Soul

24) Mark Crozer and The Rels - Self Titled

23) The Kaams - Uwaga!

22) The Ace - Next Time Around

21) The Frinchers - Table You Forever

20) Past Tense - Take Three

19)The Condors -3 Item Combo

      From the bands 2nd album, unfortunately there are no 
tracks to embed from this most recent one.........

18) The Bidons - Granma Killer!

17) Ruby Free - Introducing Ruby Free

16) Los Immediatos - 4 Tickets To Wonderland

15) Electric Stars - Sonic Candy Soul

14) Eytan Mirsky - Year Of The Mouse

13) The Seasongs - Out of the City

12) Marty Graveyard - Summer Holiday

11) The Sharks - Leave Me Alone (and other EP's)

(Whilst not technically an album, the bands output this year amounts to more than an albums worth of great music and I really didn't feel I could leave them off this list!)


10) Los Autonautas - Lo Que Quiero 

Great band, claim they come from "Rhea" (13th Moon of Jupiter), they certainly sound out of this world. Love at first listen!

9) Budokan - Spin A Little Gold

Pure Power Pop with a seventies feel, this one will keep you rocking until next Christmas.....and the one after that and the one after................................

8) The Jac - Faux Pas

"The Jac" is a one man band and that man is Joe Algeri, member of Jack and The Beanstalk and The Brittanicas, a man who not only has an ear for a blinding tune, or eleven in this case, but he also has a pretty cool sense of humour too.

"Faux Pas" is a wonderful blend of Power Pop, New Wave, 60's and a dash of punk, music with no boundaries, plenty of humour and a little weirdness too, how refreshing that is!

7) Trolley - Things That Shine And Glow

With echoes of The Beach Boys and The Jam amongst others, this infectious album had to be included in the top ten and I should imagine it shall be gracing many more year end lists, can't wait to hear more from them.

6) Phenomenal Cat - Postcards From The British Empire

Phenomenal Cat have been a mainstay on the blog for virtually the whole year, they have written this album one song at a time, one a month to make up the album, they have released the songs as free downloads on bandcamp (or Name Your Price) and every single one of them has had single potential.  
I am really going to miss the monthly release from these guys, but it is great to have the complete album as I think you will agree.

5) Gavin Guss - On High

When I first heard this, I was reminded of The Posies, well, Ken Stringfellow in particular, but the more I played it, the more I heard Gavin Guss' own individuality, this is a really lovely album with some beautiful, mellow songs sitting comfortably besides his more upbeat numbers.

4) Lannie Flowers - New Songs Old Stories

The cool cat in the hat, Lannie Flowers produces yet another dazzling nugget of Power Pop for our delight, a stomper from start to finish.

3) Kurt Baker - Brand New Beat

A man that really needs no introduction, the ever smiling and happy go lucky "geezer" that is Kurt Baker, making great Power Pop from the day he started making music.  "Brand New Beat" certainly continues his tradition of making catchy, upbeat and fun Power Pop!

2)  Surf School Dropouts - Summer Is A State Of Mind

If you like harmonies in the style of the 60's surf bands then Surf School Dropouts will most certainly grab your attention and what's more they will keep it too, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my best finds on Bandcamp.  Now signed to Sunny Day Records in Spain, I look forward to hearing much more from them in the future.

Stream the album and buy the album here Bandcamp


Since receiving this album and featuring it on the blog, I have found myself going back to it time and time again.  I first heard it back in the start of summer and it very quickly became my "summer album," it was perfect to listen to at the lakes, at the beach, on a plane, everywhere, it wasn't until the autumn dawned on us that I also realised that it was perfect for that season too and so on into winter.  I am so grateful I have a download of this album because there wouldn't be much of the vinyl left if I didn't, but to play it on vinyl is the ultimate listening experience.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Frinchers - Table You Forever

Another great Spanish band, hailing from Madrid, The Frinchers deliver a wonderful cocktail of Mod Revival/Garage/Power Pop with a healthy nod back to the sixties, all of which create a well blended mix of harmonies, guitar riffs and steady beats.
On the opening track, "Across The Albert Dock" you are drawn down the path of the 60's Mersey sound, maybe no surprise given the title, but the band catch the essence of that sound so well, giving it a refreshing modern makeover and maybe picking up the beat a bit too.

"If You Know My Number" and "When Will You Realise" are prime examples of Power Pop, catchy, melodic and remind me a little of the classic 70's Power Pop sound, and, once again that 60's sound work its way into the mix, which to these ears, is a real delight, as is the whole album

The band includes members of the 80's mod band "Los Potros," a major player within the Spanish Mod scene, whose singles and EP's are now highly sought after, and the band "Sunbeat."

The band also, very kindly, sent me their first, self titled, album which is every bit as exciting as the latest and I would suggest hunting them both down, because the 11 tracks on "Table You Forever" will certainly leave you wanting for more.  This is an album that it would be very hard to pick a favourite track from, a solid and engaging album from start to finish. 

The band are currently setting up a "Bandcamp" page which should be active some time next week in the mean time you can check out more of their music at MYSPACE .

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love (and buy CDs) The Frinchers here: Facebook

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Five 7" Vinyl Singles of the Year.

Whilst I agonise and ponder over my album of the year list, honestly, it is a nightmare, I only feature bands I really like on my blog, I thought it might be fun to have a 7" Vinyl single of the year, I haven't received that many, so almost everyone will make it into the top 5, well, about 50% of those I have recieved.  Obviously it is still difficult to place them because they all have their own qualities and individuality about them and the fact that I love them all makes them all number one in my mind anyway, but here goes anyway.


"My Love" reminds me of The Yardbirds early offerings but with the professionalism and talent of their later recordings, this is a fantastic sounding single and the B'side "Chuck's Blues" is a an exciting Hammond driven instrumental that is sure to get your feet moving, just tapping or full out dancing, but your feet will move!

Contact, befriend, like and love The Above here: Facebook 

The bands official website where you can buy the single and that fantastic self titled album can be found here: The Above Official 


This one only arrived this week and I knew the track from Lannie's latest album, "New Songs - Old Stories."  An absolutely epic album that will no doubt be residing in many end of year lists, collectors of 7" vinyl shouldn't be without this sort of master class in their Power Pop collections.

Contact, befriend, like and love Lannie Flowers here: Facebook

Lannie Flowers: Myspace Reverbnation

Check out everthing, buy the album, stream the album buy a fantastic Lannie flowers underground T shirt at Lannie Flowers official site here:


The three tracks on this EP are sung entirely in Spanish, but don't let that put you off, you will be singing along fluently whilst riding the crest of the wave that the bands music creates....Rock 'N' Roll indeed!

Contact, follow, befriend, like and love Hula Baby here: Facebook

Order your EP here: KOTJ RECORDS
(If you have any problems with the language, drop them an e-mail and they will help you out)

Find more by Hula Baby here: Bandcamp


With two great single behind them now, we wait with baited breath for the album from this mod 3 piece from norther Spain, Mieres Bridge is a classic slice of revival mod that would sit comfortably among the peers of the revival classicists of that period.

Listen to and buy the single here:  Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, like and love Stanley Road here: Facebook

Ok, now this totally goes against the grain of end of year lists, but it is my blog and I can do what I want, so, there are 2 singles that sit together in the top slot, both of which have been absolute favourites, not just for me, but everyone that I have played them to.

First up is The Sensibles, from Italy, with their limited pressing (which I believe may have become slightly less limited due to demand) "7" S/T" this Power Pop Punk nugget really blew my socks off!

Download, stream and buy the latest sing and the free demo here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, like and love The Sensibles here: Facebook

Sharing the top spot with The Sensibles is a Spanish band that first caught my attention with this very single, once again, it has received such a great interest from everyone that has heard it and I just can't stop playing it at least once a day, it is of course BANG 74 and their cover of The Now's "Can You Fix Me Up With Her" which is possibly the best cover I have heard and actually blows the original away!

Contact, follow, befriend, like and love Bang 74 here: Facebook

Downloads available to purchase here: CDBABY and here: Bandcamp

Physical copies of the EP available here: Rumble Records

Congratulations to all the bands featured and thank you for sending me your 7" vinyl and allowing me to share your music with the world.

All the bands can be found on the blog by sing the search facility in the top left hand corner, so if you like what you have heard, please check them out and let's keep vinyl recordings alive, it is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate format to listen to music on!

Now, I am off to agonise a little more over my album of the year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Maladaptive Solution - Heal

The Maladaptive Solution is an international music collective which is a great concept for making music with other musicians from around the globe and turning out some brilliant tunes that would not otherwise exist and it can all be done online too!

I have heard a few of these and one band that springs to mind that does it rather successfully is The Jac who I featured on the blog recently.  The Maladaptive Solution who also make a fantastic job of it as the 5 tracks that they have up on Bandcamp testifies, go check them out!

With influences of Big Star, The Monkees, Teenage Fanclub and Velvet Crush, you instinctively know this is right and right it is!

The Maladaptive Solution are:  Brad Beard,Micheal Carpenter, Jimmy Haber With:  Kylie Whitney and Mike Giblin 

Check out and buy all the songs here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Maladaptive Solution here: Facebook

The Buttshakers - Wicked Woman

I love to hear great Soul music, delivered with real passion and errr.....soul and The Buttshakers certainly do that and they deliver it with power too, singer Ciara, from St Louis makes sure of that!
Ciara is more than supported by 5 guys from Lyon who play like their lives depend on it, this really is top quality soul that is played by a band that are so aptly named, shake your butt, because this band are going to kick it anyway!

A rhythm n’ blues vibe, dose of garage, and a high part of sex-appeal make their songs a blast of powerful hits, turning their shows into furious dance action. Formed in early 2007, and quickly joined by Ciara, gospel diva from St. Louis (Missouri), The Buttshakers immediately imposed their soul energy well beyond the local scene. As early as first concerts, the group distilled soul music to the four corners of France and beyond: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, with over an hundred dates behind on the last two years.

Within this vibes they recorded their first two vinyl singles for copaseDisques in 2008 & 2009 followed by the album "Headaches and Heartaches" in early 2010 for a french label. Unfortunately the label called it a day shortly after the album release.
Coming back to Germany in 2012 for a short live-tour the band ended up in a recording studio in Hamburg to lay down some brandnew songs for our tiny copaseDisques label.
These songs gonna see their release on a 6-track 10” sized piece of vinyl!! (plus digital download via ITunes, Amazon, Musicload, Finetunes and many more....)

You know you gonna need this to bring back the Soul to your heart! 

Contact, befriend, follow, listen to some songs, like and love The Buttshakers here: Facebook

Pre order the vinyl here: Copasetic

Downloads will be available at itunes Amazon etc.