Thursday, February 21, 2013

Radio Days - Get Some Action

Italy's "Radio Days" know a thing or two about Power Pop as this album very clearly demonstrates, their harmony laden songs are firmly rooted in the sixties with the melodies, riffs and jangly guitars, but they also have the edginess of New Wave Punk in there too making the music exciting and energetic.

I have been lucky enough to have this album for a few weeks now, it really is an infectious sound that the band have created here and it is absolutely no wonder that the band are being lauded as one of the best Power Pop acts around at the moment by folk such as Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame Records/Pop Geek Heaven blog, who obviously knows whats what!

Radio Days are:

Dario Persi: guitar, vocals
Omar Assadi: guitar, backing vocals
Mattia Baretta: bass, backing vocals
Paco Orsi: drums

The band have plied their music all over Europe, playing gigs with the likes of Paul Collins, Kurt Baker, Rubinoos, Marky Ramone to name a few and they certainly deserve to sit beside those names as equals, this is bloody good stuff!

The album is now available to pre-order in all formats (Vinyl, CD, Digital) and with various packages including T-Shirts, stickers etc.  The official release date is 6th of March when all pre-orders will start shipping, so don't delay, "Get Some Action!"

Pre-order "Get Some Action" in all formats here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Radio Days here: Facebook

Don't forget the check out the bands previous album "C'est La Vie" too which is also fantastic!

"Sleep It Off" from Radio Days "C'est La Vie."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Corner Laughers - Poppy Seeds

I have heard the name The Corner Laughers several times from friends but ashamedly I hadn't checked them out until now.

I have been listening to the latest album "Poppy Seeds" and I absolutely love it, it has some pretty eclectic reference points to these ears which is wonderful, it is like taking a road trip and deciding to turn left at the next corner, for no other reason than just to see where it goes!

This is very sweet sunshine pop, often reminding me of some of the classic 60's female fronted bands, as well as some of the twee pop bands that resided on the "Sarah Records" label, to name a couple reference points.  However the music goes much further touching on folk and indie pop, I even heard a splash of surf in there too (maybe not surprisng given the bands roots in California) and the lyrics are extremely well crafted too.

Listening to this album has encouraged me to listen to the bands back catologue, which is every bit as good and eclectic as "Poppy Seeds."

The Corner Laughers are: 
Karla Kane (Vocals, Ukulele, Percussion, Bass, Bell Choir) 
Angela Silletto (Guitar, Percussion) 
Khoi Huynh (Bass, Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Percussion, Bell Choir) 
Charlie Crabtree (Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Bell Choir) 
KC Bowman (Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion, Bell Choir) 

This album is certainly going to be one of my favourite summer time albums, it radiates copious amounts of warmth in every note played and sung, did I say I love it?

Stream and buy "Poppy Seeds" and check out the bands back catologue here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Corner Laughers here: Facebook

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ken Simpson - You're No Fun Anymore

I have had this little gem in my inbox for a few weeks now and due to moving house and work commitments, I haven't gotten around to listening to it until now and I am somewhat kicking myself for missing out on a few weeks of these songs from the very talented Ken Simpson.

The five tracks on this debut EP are all wonderful pieces of work and Ken, who is a veterinary surgeon by day, openly wears his influences on his sleeve, The Beatles, Jeff Lynne, Jason Falkner and The Rutles, but somehow manages to make the sound very much his own.  I am really loving these songs but as I always say, don't take my word for it, the proof is in the "pudding!"

I really hope that Ken is planning on releasing an album in the future, because if the songs contained here are anything to go by, then we are in for a very special treat sometime in the future, but for now, enjoy the EP.

Ken Simpson has been a pop music geek since his grandfather(from England) bought him his first Beatles album in 1973. Ken recalls it being the perfect birthday gift, a Capitol Records compilation that included "Hey Jude" and "Revolution". I was just a little kid, so I gravitated toward "Can't Buy Me Love"!

Simpson is also a musician with a passion for writing pop songs. He has performed onstage and on the radio with Neil Innes 
(The Rutles, Bonzo Dog Band)in Hollywood, New York and Chicago, among other places, but his dream of recording his own songs seemed a bit out of reach. That's when singer-songwriter David Mead stepped in. 

"I met David while he was recording his 2011 release, "Dudes", Ken says, "and asked him if he might consider producing a few songs for me. David asked me to send him a demo for consideration." Three months later, Ken was in Nashville recording "You're No Fun Anymore" with Mead as his producer. "It was David's first attempt to produce another artist besides himself, and as a fan of his music since "Tangerine", I was thrilled to be working with him!" 

In addition to Mead and The Beatles, Ken lists Michael Penn, The Rutles, Jeff Lynne, Pugwash and Jason Falkner as major influences.

Stream the EP here: Soundcloud

Buy and download the EP here: itunes cdbaby amazon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Esa Linna - This Is Who I am. Album out now!

Last year I featured Esa's single "She's Not A Human Being" which featured Roger Joseph Manning Jr of Jellyfish, Moog Cookbook, Tv Eyes and Imperial Drag, now, Esa Linna has delivered a rather splendid debut album "This Is Who I Am."

The ten tracks on the album are a mix of pure power pop and some rather beautiful slower paced numbers, Esa delivers both equally well with plenty of melodies and harmonies present in the proceedings, there is even a little darkness within too, for example on the track "Meat Market," which has a kind of early Pink Floyd sound to it.

This really is quite a debut album and hopefully the shape of things to come from one of Finlands best kept secrets.

Official website:

The download is available for a limited time at a price of 8 Dollars here: Gumroad

Also find tracks by Esa Linna here: Bandcamp

Dany Laj and The Looks - Telepathic Voices

If you like your power pop with an edge, then check out Dany Laj and The Looks.  Hailing from Totonto, Canada, Dany Laj and The Looks deliver a rather tasty slice of power pop here and I am not sure if it is Dany's looks (I watched the Chamberlain Sessions video before listening to the tracks on bandcamp) but I immediately thought of Elvis Costello when I saw him and listening to the mans music, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a fair amount of Mister Costellos music in his collection. 

The tracks here remind me of a mix of early Elvis Costello and The Replacements and let's face it, they are two excellent reference points, but this isn't saying that this is all you get, it isn't, these tracks are pleasently raw, energetic, bouncy and seem to have a little punk ethos about them, I like that.  In fact there is nothing here not to like, but, as always, take a listen to the tunes and judge for yourself, me, I am going to spend the rest of today playing this EP and the band previous EP "The Match."  Enjoy.

Dany Laj
Jeanette Dowling
Vassil Mester

Dany Laj flies the flag for Power Pop in Canada. Bursting out of woods with the hooks and harmonies of Power Pop's mid 1970's heyday. This ain't no skinny jeans new wave revival band. This is pure pop.

Stream and download the EP's here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Dany Laj and The Look here: Facebook

Visit the official website here:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Sharks - South Of The River EP OUT NOW!

Never before has the term, "Throw 'em to the sharks" sounded so appealing and now the quartet from Brixton have added another absolutely rip roaring EP to their excellent catologue, you will probably throw yourself to The Sharks......and why not!

The first two tracks "South of the River" and "Girls, Girls, Girls" thunder along at a hundred miles hour, turned up to eleven, the EP starts to slow down on the 3rd track, "She's gonna make me go blind" which is less punky but still edgy enough to let you know they mean business and the more poppy approach of the band continues onto the fourth and final track "Tokyo."

I absolutely adore this band, their energy, the prolific output of quality Punky Pop and the fact that they play gigs in their home, as well as other venues, these gigs are set to continue every month, even after a visit from the local constabulary and a noise abatement notice (someone wasn't listening properly!) these gigs are set to continue and be a positively raucous, but fun affair.  If you want to get into one of these gigs, the best way to keep up to date with proceedings is to "LIKE" the bands facebook page.

Once again the band have a seperate striking image for each and every track on the EP as they have done on the 7 previous EP's.

Stream and buy the latest EP for a name your price fee (remember a small donation helps these bands to continue making music) here: Bandcamp

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

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bang 74 - High Flying Dreams

Bang 74, from Ferrol in Spain, shared the number one singles spot in my year end list last year with their fantatsic rendition on The Now's "Can You Fix Me Up With Her," and, needless to say, I have been waiting for the bands full length debut album with a certain amount of anticipation.

Well, did they deliver?  Of course they did!  The 11 tracks on the album were everything I expected and more, with a sound of classic power pop, blended with a touch of punk/rock and even a little country tinge in there, for example on opening track, "Cloud Of Rock & Roll."

With 2 EP's and a 7" single behind them and now the debut album, this band certainly look like they are really going places and quite rightly too, this debut album is full of catchy hooks and melodies as well as some rocky guitar riffs to beef it up beautifully, no doubt this album will end up in in many year end lists this year.

Cris Veiga - Vocals/Guitar
Fran Millarengo - Bass
Oscar Millarengo - Drums

Stream the album here: Bandcamp

Buy the album: Rufus Recordings

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Riots. New album and tour in March.

One of the bands that have me sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation of their forthcoming album, an album that promises to blow out the cobwebs and give the music scene a good kick up the arse, for the first time since around 1977 is The Riots album "Time For Truth."

I haven't been so excited about an album release this much since The Jam released "In The City."  A pretty long wait I think you will agree and maybe it is the fact that this band remind me a lot of The Jam circa 77, loads of attitude and great songs, mix that with a touch of Clash and you have a recipe sure to please the bored masses and The Riots promise to bring this party to you.

The album is due for release on March the 6th and hopefully I shall be reviewing/featuring it here on the blog.  Watch this space!

Tour dates to support the release of the album are as follows:

06.03.2013 D - FRANKFURT - DKK Album Release Party :: versus C-TYPES

07.03.2013 F - BESANCON - Les Passagers du Zinc

08.03.2013 F - PARIS - Cafe de Paris :: versus FRENCH BOUTIK
09.03.2013 F - LYON - La Triperie :: versus CAVEMEN FIVE
10.03.2013 F - DIJON - Deep Inside Klub Rock :: versus THE CHEMIST & THE ACEVITIES
14.03.2013 D - FREIBURG - The Great Räng Teng Teng :: versus DELILAHS 
15.03.2013 D - MÜNCHEN - The Atomic Cafe 
16.03.2013 D - NÜRNBERG - Kulturbrauerei
17.03.2013 D - LEIPZIG - Conne Island Cafe
18.03.2013 D - HAMBURG - Yeah Yeah Yeah Studios
19.03.2013 D - HAMBURG - Yeah Yeah Yeah Studios
20.03.2013 D - HAMBURG - Hafenklang :: versus THE LAST THINGS
21.03.2013 D - KASSEL - Nordstadt
22.03.2013 D - BERLIN - Bassy Cowboy Club :: versus THE PIKES
23.03.2013 D - KÖLN - Sonic Ballroom :: versus THE MAKE
26.03.2013 D - BIELEFELD - Desperado Concerts
28.03.2013 A - VIENNA - Chelsea :: versus NORB PAYR + BAND
29.03.2013 D - PFARRKIRCHEN - tba
30.03.2013 CH - BASEL - Schiff *Mods vs Rockers*
31.03.2013 TBA - Secret Last show

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

The album will be available here Time For Action as are the bands earlier singles which are all well worth checking out, also check out the bands previous incarnation "The White Trainers Community" which is also excellent.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

John Hopkins - Sunlight Madness NAME YOUR PRICE

With an affliction of Brian Wilson's Smile and perhaps some ELO, this charming piece of work sets the mood for a sunny day, a day to be spent chilling and listening intently to the lush arrangements and harmonies.

"My music is a mix of a variety of styles, most of which have been defined at some time or another as "pop," with further elements drawn from the orchestral realm. Vocal influences include everything from the Beach Boys to the Mills Brothers and any group in between that made extensive use of close harmony."

Stream and download the album here: Bandcamp

Contact, follow, befriend, like and love The Musical World Of John Hopkins here: Facebook

Jeff Melin - Smile Like A Lemon, Kiss Like A Papercut

SMILE LIKE A LEMON PEEL, KISS LIKE A PAPER CUT has the best record title of the year, bar none FULL STOP... PERIOD...if that wasn't enough, it's a classic US feisty Powerpop bounce-along, a little bit EDDIE & THE HOTRODS, a little bit ELVIS COSTELLO (with Attractions, natch), and a whole lot BESERKLEY... when Jeff gets to headline Madison Square Gardens THIS will be the tune the 19,522 punters scream for throughout the set... THIS will be the tune WINONA RYDER, PHOEBE CATES and MOLLY RINGWALD ressurect JOHN HUGHES for to retrospectively make the best US college flick EVER, solely to have it played over the closing credits... oh, and also features DOUG YULE and Helen and Steph from SHRAG, and as such is the past, the present and the future handily compressed into 2 minutes 56 seconds of MAXIMUM POP JOY... GRIN, SPIN, WIN... oh yes..

wiaiwya-7777777 is a series of seven 7" singles released during 2013, one on each day of the week, and always on the 7th of the month, in the 7 colours of the rainbow, with exclusive tunes from 7 of the most exciting indie, electronic, folk and alternative bands around... oh, they come in editions of 777 too... 

the bands and release dates are:

Thursday 7th March (yellow) – Jeff Mellin
Sunday 7th April (orange) – Hong Kong in the 60s
Tuesday 7th May (violet) – Darren Hayman and the Long Parliament
Friday 7th June (red) - Sourpatch
Wednesday 7th August (blue) - Pups
Saturday 7th September (indigo) - Comet Gain
Monday 7th October (green) - the Middle Ones

Find them all: Bandcamp
More information here:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Unswept - Surf Song EP

Where possible I try not to draw too many comparisons with other bands when putting my features together on the blog, but I feel I really have to with The Unswept, not because they lack any originality, they really don't, but, the influences here are so much fun when brought together, I can't help myself.  Imagine The Jesus and Mary Chain jamming with The Mighty Lemondrops (you remember them right?) and The Monkees swing by and add some 60's stylings to the equasion, what you would have is The Unswept.
I like this a lot, it is good fun and the O'Brien cousins obviously don't take themselves so seriously which is refreshing, see the video for the explanation of this statement.

The O'Brien cousins, Charlie and Ryan, grew up on the same estate in sunny Sheffield, UK and attended university near London. With a couple mates at school they formed The Council Walls, whose one and only independently released single, “Unimpressive,” managed to scrape the bottom rungs of the local indie charts.
Following a show on a stifling summer night at the 100 Club that ended in a food fight, the band split. Charlie & Ryan soon found their way to the USA, eventually settling in Chicago, Illinois and forming The Unswept.

They now write & record tunes in a small but tiny apartment in the Logan Square neighborhood.

The Unswept have been confirmed for the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Chicago this year, so go along there and catch the guys live, along with all the other great bands that the IPO book.

Check out more tunes from the unswept and download the EP here: Bandcamp

Official Band Page:

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

Paradise - NEW VIDEO - Enjoy!

One of the "Ice Cream Mans" favourite mod outfits, rolls out a great new video for the stomper song, "Humans and Stars."  Enjoy.

The Portland quintet took over a Portland Eagle's Lodge for the night and set up a Mod revival show complete with scooters and their friends dressed to the nines in retro attire.This is the official video for their second single "Humans and Stars" off of their first full-length album "Diary of an Old Soul." The video was shot mostly on Super 8 and directed by Michael Cogliantry. 

"Paradise pulls enthusiastically from the same songbook as the Troggs or Small Faces, adding their own uniquely modern spin to those evergreen tunes with plenty of distortion on their flashy guitar chords and the occasional Farfisa organ mixed into their stripped down rock. The result is loud, brash, energetic and incredibly fun." IFC
Pradise's Website:
Paradise's Facbook:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stephen Lawrenson - Obscuriosity

This is wonderful!  Stephen Lawrensons latest offering, his first on the "Kool Kat" label, really is something special.
From the very first few chords of opening track, "Your Karma," you know you are in for a real treat or 10 as is the case here, this album is beautifully immediate, no slow growers here within, this is one of the rare albums that grabs your interest from the word go and what is more it holds your interest!

Stephen makes quite a pop splash here on his 2013 Kool Kat debut! Playing every note on the record, he proudly wears his pop influences on his sleeve. 'Small White House" would pass for a Brian Wilson-penned song. His inner Jeff Lynne pops up on both 'Pale Yellow' and the 12-string laced 'Words To Say'." It's intelligent, well written, and completely catchy. Power pop, with loads of great hooks, melodies and harmonies. A masterful melange of 60's, 70's, and 80's guitar rock mixed and matched with no concern for the namecheck. That's how good this is. Five stars isn't enough. Six, maybe!" - MR Gomez --Mr. Gomez

"What do you think would happen if you threw The Goldbergs, The Beatles, Three Hour Tour, Teenage Fanclub (in their fuzzy period), Big Star, The Posies (circa 'Frosting On The Beater'), 'Pet Sounds' period Brian Wilson, and the Electric Light Orchestra into a giant pop blender? You'd get Stephen Lawrenson, that's what!" - Max Humphries --Max Humphries

I have to admit, that I didn't know much of Stephen's work until now and I certainly intend to look back at his back catalogue and see what I have missed, if it is anything as good as this album, then I have missed an awful lot!!!!!

Buy the album: Kool Kat Amazon itunes and CDBaby

Contacts, befriend, like and love Stephen Lawrenson here: Facebook

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sam Page - Breach OUT NOW

Last year I featured Sam Page's EP "Waiting For Another Spring, which we all loved here at "ICM" and I am pleased to share the details of his new 10 track debut album.
The album has been released digitally so far on itunes, Spotify and other good download sites and the cd release will be available on March 29th.
This guitar driven pop/rock will sit very well with fans of Matthew Sweet, Weezer, Cake, Jack White, Dinosaur JR and Blur to name a few.

Sam Page is an independent singer/songwriter who creates guitar-driven pop/rock. In 2010, he began performing at open mics, learned to home-record, and made an EP (The Garage Band Files). Sam then formed a band in 2011 and did twenty gigs in southern California. In April 2012, he released a second EP (Waiting for Another Spring) that earned an encouraging amount of praise. Sam's first full albumBreach was released digitally in January 2013. 
     In a past life, Sam scored a PhD in Philosophy and for five years was a full-time college professor. But then he needed a break from being rational. So he decided to pursue a music career . . .

This album is a real sparkler from start to finish, pleasently upbeat with plenty of guitar riffs and jangly guitars in abundance, if this fails to get you moving, then you must be dead!

Contact, befriend, follow, like, love and download the album at the following links: