Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grant Lindberg - The Narrows. OUT NOW - FREE DOWNLOAD

Another one of our very favourite artists, Grant Lindberg, has a new album out and as expected, it is an absolute corker!

This one man band produces some of the finest power pop out there.  Citing his influences as Cheap Trick, Nirvana, Brendan Benson and Ash, without hearing his music you can come to the assumption that his music is both melodic and noisy and you would be correct, the tunes are there, the guitars, the pounding drums and driving bass lines and after listening to "I Would" from this album, I would add Dinosaur Jr to that list of influences too as it has that bitter sweet quality to it that J Mascis has in his music.

Grant is a keen angler and spends a large part of the year fishing Muskies in the lakes around Minnesota, fortunately for us, the fishing season only last for 6 months and then Grant gets back into the studio and fills his time making great music for our absolute delight.  

This album is certainly one of my favourites so far this year and will surely be many other peoples favourite album too and to think that Grant is giving it away FREE is absolutely mind blowing, but that is the way he rolls.....when he isn't fishing!

This is a totally FREE download and I can't recommend it enough, go get it!!!!!!!!

Downlod "The Narrows" FREE here: Bandcamp
(Check out the back catologue too which is not only great but FREE as well!)

Find more music from Grant Lindberg here: Reverbnation

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Reply - Downtown Soul

After my feature of "Quitty and The Don't,"(Who "The Reply" will be playing with in Toronto soon) I received a rather nice e-mail from James Bond, no, not that one but it did leave me shaken and stirred!
James plays Keyboards and sings in Toronto based  Mod/Soul outfit The Reply who have a fantastic sound, like a mash up of The Turtles, Them, early Manfred Mann and Arthur Connoly on speed!
They very kindly sent me a copy of "Downtown Soul" their Debut EP which is fantastic, encompassing the feeling of 60's America and beyond, anyway, I am not going to teach you lot to suck eggs, you know what's great, have a listen and see if I m wrong.....I don't think so!!!!!

In a musical landscape where almost everything is referential it's hard to acknowledge a deep musical heritage without becoming nostalgic or appropriative. Trying to copy a sound misses the point: great soul is not a guitar sound, an organ sound, or a bassline. Great soul was, is, and will be as innovative and varied as any genre, growing and changing through every artist. And so great soul just *is*... if you love soul music, you know when you're hearing something soulful. It doesn't have to have horns; it doesn't have to not have a guitar solo. It's a feeling. It lifts you. It speaks to your heart and moves your body.

The Reply are about this idea of music, and have the pedigree to do it. Each member has 10+ years of performing, recording, and touring under their belts. The Reply knows how to play and they know how to be a band.

Carl Nanders (bass, vocals)
James Bond (keys, vocals)
Freek Ace (guitar, vocals)
Dr. Twist (drums)

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Reply here: Facebook
(Also some free tracks here to download)

More info here: Reverbnation 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quitty and The Dont's - All Of You.

Hailing from Brooklyn New York, Quitty and The Dont's deliver some extremely tasty slices of 60's Garage Pop, these guys have to be one of the best bands out there playing this style, sure it is retro, but there is a reason that these bands, and many of them young, keep playing this music, is because it is simply brilliant!

The three tracks that these guys have up on Bandcamp are all equally superb, organ driven beauties to behold and at a "name your price" fee, you have to ask yourself, can you afford not to have them, which I will answer for you, NO, you can't!  And, if like me, you love your vinyl, that band will be releasing 2 of these tracks on a 7" single in May.

"Sometimes the most trivial of pursuits can spiral into an intense labor of love. Inspired by both the classic mod sound of early Kinks and the gritty revivalism of Billy Childish and Thee Headcoatees, drummer Quitty Bastardo set out in 2009 to form a basic 3-piece, all-girl garage band. This primitive conception of Quitty and the Don'ts didn't last long, however, as Quitty began collaborating with keyboardist Nogood Nick in early 2010, and Mike Q. joined on lead guitar later that year. With a more stable lineup, the band's signature sound emerged: urgent but soulful garage pop with dispassionate lyrics, driven by angular beats, layers of moody organ, and stabbing guitar lines.

After a year-long break, Quitty, Mike, and Nick reformed the Don'ts in 2012 with bassist Matt M., and vocalist Jordan D. Arsie completed the lineup in the summer of that year. Digging deeper into mod R&B and beat influences, the new quintet began playing shows in the fall and have recently recorded their first singles."

Stream and download the tracks here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like, love and Mod on with Quitty and The Dont's here: Facebook

For enquires regarding the 7" single, contact the band here:

The Pearls - The Pearls FREE DOWNLOAD

Featuring one of my favourite female vocalists, (well, two of my favourites, now that I am aware of Simona) Stella from the fantastic Italian band The Sensibles, Simona is the front person with Thee Bomb'o Nyrics and together they have created an alternative, psychadelic 8 track album that will have you plucking influences out of the air and dismissing them faster than they hit you, but they have created something quite unique and audibly pleasing.

At times it reminds me of some of the bands from the late 80's indie scene with DIY ethics, raw but honest and what's more good fun!

Check out more and download the album FREE here: Bandcamp

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

Details for purchasing a physical copy can also be found on Bandcamp.

I also recommend that you check out the other bands of these ladies, The Sensibles and Thee Bomb'o Nyrics

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Baby Scream - Baby Scream (Special Expanded Edition)

Blog favourites "Baby Scream" are back with yet another release, is this the 7th or 8th album now?  
One could be forgiven for thinking that this is a massive output for a relatively unknown artist and question the quality of the songs on that many albums, but principal songwriter Juan Pablo Mazzola is a craftsman with a keen eye on his quality control and this 14 track albums maintains, and, exceeds his usual high standards of song writing, you only have to read the press the band receives to know that I am not alone on this one.

This album was originally released in 2010 by OK Records and received a fantastic response from, radio stations, blogs and specialised sites in the UK, USA and beyond.  Now Juan and OK records have decided that now is the right time to re release the album with original mixes by Muddy Stardust (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, L.A Guns, Col. Parker).

Tracks like the sombre and musically rich "Lazy" the volcanic "The Ghost Of Valerie" which features Eric Dover (Alice Cooper, Jellyfish, Sextus) and the progressive and beautifully melodic "Nipone" are mere examples of how fantastic and magical this album really is, elegantly written and masterfully played, "Baby Scream" is an album with limitless potential and an abundance of songwriting power that can not be undermined or overlooked.
Be you a lover of the classic or of the modern, with a sound that sits comfortably between Lennon, 70's Power Pop and T-Rex, there is something for everyone to cherish on this album.

Are friends electric?

You can find this album to stream at Bandcamp along with Baby Scream's previous output, some of which are free and are all most certainly worth taking some time to indulge in, and remember, they don't just come highly recommended by myself, but everyone else who happens to be in earshot of this remarkable band.

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

Stream "Baby Scream Special Extended Edition" here: Bandcamp
(Don't forget to trawl that back catologue!)

Physical copies of the album are available to buy here: OK RECORDS STORE

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Felt Tips - Symbolic Violence.

Once again we are joined by our favourite guest contributor "Interplanet Janet" who will guide you towards a love affair with Scotlands "The Felt Tips" and their soon to be released album, "Symbolic Violence."

The Felt Tips have a new album out called Symbolic Violence. Having really enjoyed their first album Living and Growing, I wondered if the second album would be similar or depart into new musical territory. The steady, melodic nature of their songs haven’t changed much, which is a good thing because if it ain’t broke, you know. This is down to guitarist Miguel Navarro’s magic touch, which continues to lift the songs up to pop heaven. Anyone who is a fan of a particularly melodic blend of 80’s pop and social realism, along the lines of The Smiths, Squeeze and The Housemartins will find The Felts Tips to be in the same vein, but refreshingly now. This also means you might even be lucky enough to catch them play live.

In a world saturated with indie bands, The Felt Tips hold their own because they have a combination of strengths which make them stand out. On top of Navarro’s melodic contribution, we have the talents of Scottish singer-songwriter, Andrew Paterson (Morrissey to Navarro’s Marr, although Paterson truly has a style all his own). His laid-bare Scottish accent adds to the delightful mix, but it is in the highly-personal lyrics where we really see his unique fingerprint. As a writer, he doesn’t so much write songs, but scenes. Really awkward ones at that, quite frankly, yet for some reason we do not want to leave.

It’s clear the album retains The Felt Tip’s melodic nature, Scottish accent and delightfully tense social scenarios, however one aspect that stands out as different in this album is in the production. I sense they had the confidence to play around with it and it really works well. Another difference is in the lyrics. They have become more sophisticated, observant and tongue-in-cheek than on Living and Growing. What we still have, though, is an open window to observe a memory or a moment that can be seen as both ordinary and extraordinary. This is reassuring because that’s what gives them depth. A good pop song does not necessarily need depth, but when you find one, you know it’s been lovingly crafted. This is good news for those who like to dance to music, but also like to have a few thoughts provoked by it as well.

If you really want to analyse Symbolic Violence (and who wouldn’t? The name alone practically begs for analysis) then I would suggest not to focus too much on it as a whole, like in a feature film, but rather think of it as series of shorts. In each song, the listener enters the world of a complex and interesting man. Although, however much we are taken in, we are still essentially voyeurs. The realism and awkward nostalgia are interesting because they are from the point of view of someone who seems still quite young. These are not the usual world-weary musings of the middle aged (nor should they be) but they are also too sophisticated to be dismissed as speaking only for the young. It’s a delicate balance of looking back, but also an awareness that so much can change in such a short amount of time.

There are a number of standout tracks on the album. The opening track and the first single, “Iron Lady”, is especially noteworthy for it’s blend of pop bliss and unique subject matter. A scene of psychological tension plays out on New Years Eve and we witness it through the lens of someone with an extremely determined weight-loss resolution. Perhaps she is the Iron Lady of the song’s title, but we never really know. That infamous Kate Moss quote makes up the whole of the chorus—
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. It’s hard to read this as anything other than parody, because as a straight piece it would border on the ridiculous. The lyrics are very clever throughout, for example, I’m counting down to zero might be an aspect of the New Years Eve scene, but it could easily refer to counting down to the unrealistic size zero that dieters sadly often have as their ultimate goal.

Another track,“Lyrics by Lennon”, is one of those simple-yet-complex narratives that I could see James Joyce writing if he were in the business of writing awkward pop songs. Perhaps it’s just as well it’s Paterson doing it, because he is clearly made for it. If you are a huge Beatles fan, try not to judge the subject too harshly in his hatred of the unnamed Lennon and McCartney songs. Besides, regardless of who it is, haven’t we all uttered opinions that, in the end , came back to haunt us?

Although they all have their merits, the final song I want to mention is “Backwards Born”. In terms of personal, it doesn’t get more personal than this. This is a bitter tale of sibling rivalry that makes me want to consult a qualified family therapist for advice on how I am supposed to feel about it, um, but at the same time enjoying its lovely and melodic nature. It can happen (see The Smiths).

Overall, there’s a strong theme of the passage of time in this album. Each song seems to be chronologically going deeper back in time. Looking at the track listing, I notice that the first song, Iron Lady, plays out during the last moments of the last day of the year and the final song, Backwards Born, describes the subject’s first moments in this world. For The Felt Tips themselves, time will tell if they continue to hone their craft well (of course they will), but for now, we can live in the moment with this exceptional second album.

Buy it. Enjoy it. Think of your own awkward past and wear it with pride.

Review by "Interplanet Janet"

Find the official "The Felt Tips" site here, complete with music streams:

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Felt Tips here: Facebook

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Shade - Born Too Soon

I first heard about this band at the recent "March Of The Mods"tour, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, in Brighton, unfortunately, due to a tyre blow out on my car and discovering that the spare in the boot was the wrong wheel, I arrived at the venue late and missed their set.
It must have been some set though as the venue was really buzzing and several friends of mine that had caught the set were really raving about them to me.

The Past Tense took to the stage and dedicated one of their songs to The Shade and said, "I hope you like it."  To which the guy standing next to me (who turned out to be The Shade's singer) said, "Like it, I'm gonna f***ing dance to it too!" and so he and another band member from The Shade did, and they gave it all, no shuffling around, they were jumping about and really having fun.  I caught up with them later and said I was sorry I missed the set and they very kindly bestowed upon me a CD and a button badge, on my return to Sweden the next day I put the cd in the stereo and you know, they play just like they danced!

 This is one of the most exciting young bands to come onto the mod/power pop scene, young, full of energy, passion and dedication (they travelled 300 miles to play the one show AND for charity!)  
Singer Callum Grimshaw has a voice that for me sits somewhere between that of Stairs frontman Edgar Summertyme, Steve Marriot and Paul Weller, and once again full of passion in the delivery of each and every word sung.  Of course, this is all backed by three very able bandmates in the form of Nathan Griffiths on guitar,  Josh Greenwood on drums and Jordan Hunt on bass who drive the music along with all the power you would expect from a young, supercharged band.

I have a feeling that we will be seeing these guys a lot more in the future and judging from the buzz they charged the Volks Tavern venue with, I would suggest that you go see them live if you get the chance, be sure to check your tyres before you set off! 


Listen and download more songs here: Soundcloud

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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Sharks - Blow EP. FREE DOWNLOAD

The Sharks are back again with yet another 4 track EP available for free download.  Once again this prolific band serves up 4 very tasty chops of guitar driven Punk/Power Pop sure to blow (excuse the pun) the cobwebs away and the bloody doors off, as usual!


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