Archive for 1960s

The Counteracts-‘The Curse Of The Counteracts’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2018 by TheManicBlogger

 

The Counteracts, the Kent, England duo of Simon Biscoe & Doug Smith, recently released ‘The Curse of The Counteracts‘. With 14 tracks of quirky, pop songs that deal with themes of love and love lost, the album is an incredibly fun listen. Coupled with solid melodies and cool changes, the album serves up a musically minimalist approach that is still able to deliver a surprisingly full and complete sound. The arrangements are wonderfully clever, adding the sound of strings and horns to a 1960s folk/pop vibe. There are elements of various musical styles, from the Calypso feel of  “If You Only Knew” to the singing cowboy theme running through “Here In My Arms“. I heard hand clapping, bells, trombone, some way cool organ, and great percussion. There are obvious Beatle references, evidenced by the ending of “I’ve Got A Crush On You”, the chord that lasts forever on “You Never Listen“, and the Let It Be piano intro of “And I Lost It All“.  The Counteracts have delivered their music their way, and the result is an insanely amount of fun. Favorite tracks: “The Post Bus“, with its circus/calliope feel; “And I Lost It All“, with the Let It Be piano intro, wonderful string sound, and the melodic, harmonized whistling; and “When You Were Mine“, which offers a carnival vibe, great percussion, and a trombone. A great album to take on any road trip. You can check it out and order yourself a copy on Bandcamp.

https://thecounteracts.bandcamp.com/album/the-curse-of-the-counteracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE WHIFFS-Take A Whiff

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

I recently had the opportunity to listen to ‘Take A Whiff‘,  the new release from Kansas City, MO.’s, The Whiffs. The power-pop/rock band showcases their knack for writing wonderful ‘pop’ songs, filled with memorable melodies and nice harmonies, nestled in 2-3 minutes of pop heaven. There are cool guitar riffs and solos, catchy hooks, and nice changes. At times, the album feels like a throwback to an era of fast cars and jukeboxes, yet the sound  is timeless. This is simple, well written music, with a raw edge. And we like it.  A fun time; a 60’s dance party that you’ll want to invite all of your friends to. Definitely worth  getting up to take a whiff. Favorite tracks: “Backseat“, “Out Of Mind“, “I Need You Here“.

Check it out for yourself here, and get yourself a copy.

THE ROTTEN MANGOS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

rotten mangos3The Rotten Mangos, a way cool band from Austin, Texas, released their self titled EP in November, 2014. Luckily I found it. The album is, well, Popedelic!

The opening track, ‘Tent Rentals‘ offers a dynamite vocal track with way cool effects, a great bass line, and a sweet melody. ‘Pacify Your Mind‘ has exceptional changes, and a wonderful riff, while ‘Krishna’s Theme‘ delivers a brilliant twang from a steel guitar, great rotten mangos4backing vocals, and a cool guitar solo. The insanely good percussion on ‘Jools Share‘ is complimented by cool harmonies, a great bridge, and some wonderful effects while ‘I Left My Room‘ gives up cool vocals and changes. My favorite track, ‘Moose Knuckles‘, is simply a fantastic pop song. With a great melody, this up tempo track offers some great changes, sweet backing vocals, and a dynamite riff. Add to this a wonderful tempo change, and some cool organ, and you have The Rotten Mangos!

 

 

The psychedelic pop sound of this EP is a wonderful treat. Sort of the `1960’s meets the 21st Century. The songs are wonderful, and the instrumentation is perfect. An excellent all day listening album. Have a listen for yourself here, and grab a copy. One of those name your price downloads. Enjoy the trip!

 

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THE CONTACTS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

While there isn’t a recent album out there, The Contacts have some way cool music floating around cyberspace.

the contacts32003’s Black & White Days is an insanely good body of work. Despite being recorded in a small home studio, the album rocks. At times I hear shades of Pink Floyd, The Kinks, and Zappa. There are jazz, pop, punk, and rock vibes throughout. The songs are melodious pokes at life, uniquely written and arranged, incorporating wonderfully played organ, some way cool bass lines, and interesting vocal tracks. The harmonies, borrowed from 1960s Brit Pop, are as perfect as one can get in a basement. The changes are great, the hooks standout, and the vocals are wonderfully raw, as they deliver some bizarre thoughts. Pop-Rock, kissed by Punk. A wonderful sound. A wonderful time. Notable tracks include ‘Rain, Rain, Rain‘, ‘Road Rage‘, and ‘Have A Biscuit‘.

 

 

 

the contactsThe band’s Soundcloud page has a truckload of other tracks as well. There is the 1980’s electro pop style ‘No Way Out‘, that reminds me of Love & Rockets. ‘If You Only Knew‘, offers a dynamite melody, electric piano, and way cool organ. You need to check this out. Head over to Soundcloud, and check them out on facebook. I have heard through the British grapevine, that there are thoughts of heading into a studio and working on another album. Could we really be that lucky? I hope so. The Contacts are unique, and interesting. The music is simply a good time!

 

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B & NOT B-Popular Pastimes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

bandnotbSan Francisco‘s B And Not B recently released an album that is both Pop, And Not Pop. Popular Pastimes contains 8 tracks filled with wonderful pop melodies, infused with psychedelic effects, soul, horns, and dynamite harmonies. There are great riffs, nice changes, and a wonderful rhythm section. The vocals have a way cool Brit pop feel. The emphasis is on the songs, simply constructed and arranged, with saxophone and trombone thrown in as a bonus. And the reverb on the title b and not b2track is dynamite. An all around fun 1960’s pop event. Not a bad song on the album. Favorite track, ‘Think I’m Falling‘, has to be listened to over and over again! This is one of those albums that you play at home to impress the hell out of your friends when they come over. It is available to download at a “name your price” purchase. Be sure to pay whatever you can afford. It is worth it!  A wonderful pop party in your home album. I just wish that there were more than 8 tracks! Listen & purchase your copy here: http://music.bandnotb.com/ , and like them on facebook:  http://facebook.com/bandnotb

 

 

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CRASHDOLLZ

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

cd2I had no idea that this was going on in Detroit! I am referring to CrashDollz, whose 2013 self titled release landed in my lap last week.  Way cool riffs, great vocals, and a solid rhythm section fill the 12 tracks. The songs are wonderful, with dynamite changes, cool effects, hard rock guitar, and  a punk attitude. The sound attacks from the 1st note, grabbing you by the throat, and never letting go. There are no bad tracks here, but pay particular attention to ‘Novocaine‘, with its great riff, cool changes, and cd1almost psych-rock guitar solo. ‘Sugar Rocket‘ delivers great guitar, cool effects, and nice changes. ‘I Will Not Be Ignored‘ has a dynamite vocal track, great guitar effects, and stands out as the anthem for a new generation of punk. My favorite track, ‘Dollhouse‘ has a surprisingly interesting intro, and some way cool effects, tripping me back to the psychedelica of the late 1960s.

 

 

 

This is no holds barred, pure unadulterated Power-Punk. The songs are great, and the album features production techniques I do not usually associate with punk. The energy level is off the chart. CrashDollz has forever changed my image of punk, and now I am thinking of heading down to Detroit to catch a live show. Or, maybe I could entice them to come up to Toronto for a few gigs. This album just plain kicks ass. cd3Excitingly innovative and inventive, I only wish that I found it sooner. Play it loud. Play it often.

You can check out & purchase the album here. The band is offering a ‘pay what you can’ download, so be sure to pay something. Please also check out & LIKE them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrashDollz?fref=ts

 

 

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THE BLANK TAPES-Geodesic Dome Piece

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

blanktapes1California’s The Blank Tapes released ‘Geodesic Dome Piece‘ in January 2015 with 12 tracks of 1960’s pop that sounds like it stepped out of another dimension. Sort of Paul Revere & The Raiders meet The Twilight Zone! The sound is infectious.  From the opening chords of “Way Too Stoned“, with its ethereal,  dream like vibe, I was taken away by 60’s pop melodies, great harmonies, cool effects, and insanely exciting riffs (check out “For Breakfast” and “Buff“). There are wonderful changes, particularly in “Brown Chicken Brown Cow“, and way cool mandolin on “To Your Dome Piece“. The album is filled with surprises, including wonderful guitar and saxophone solos on “Slippin’ Slide“, and a jangly surf-pop vibe to “Oh My Muzak“. Favorite track “Do You Wanna Get High“, with its dynamite pop chorus, an amazing change in key, and lyrics that include ‘do you wanna get high, just like Chucky and me, cause we’re likely to be all the time’.

 

 

 

bt1I could listen to this for days on end, and have spent the better part of 2 weeks digesting the entire The Blanks Tape catalog. The songs make me feel like I did in 1969. The album is wonderfully arranged and produced. The vocals are wonderful, and the lyrics, sardonic and witty. There is an acoustic demo version of “Do You Wanna Get High” as a bonus, and “To Your Dome Piece” is worth a few listens just for the lyrical phrasing.. This is one of those must have albums. The kind that you have to have in your collection, just because it was done. Bizarro-garage-psychedelic-stoner-surf-pop at its best.

 

Check out The Blank Tapes catalog at http://theblanktapes.bandcamp.com/ and visit and LIKE their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blanktapes

 

 

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SHAGWAGON-Island

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

So, the boys from Orillia, Ontario spent 6 months, in 2 countries, writing and recording their new album, ‘Island‘. Released January 1, 2015, the 8 tracks are excitingly unique.

sw3Shagwagon continues to delve into electro-psych-pop with reckless abandon. “Dope” has an esoteric Pink Floyd thing going on, with wonderful voice overs. The melancholy “Chronic” has cool effects, and a haunting melody. “Psychedelic Jungle” offers electric piano, and some wonderfully synthesizer produced strings. The effects are way cool, giving the track an experimental feel. The wonderful pop melody of “No Beauty” is accentuated by a cool vocal track, and sweet harmonies. There are some great effects in “Cosmic Ocean“. I swear I heard sea birds. The changes rock, and the guitar is wonderful. “Islandsw2has a 1980s electro-pop flavor, with great synthesizer, and cool changes. The different musical themes are layered, giving the track incredible texture. Check out the ending! “The End Of Us” offers a beautiful melody, with wonderful harmonies. The acoustic guitar, augmented by background synthesizer and some way cool guitar licks, is surprisingly perfect. My favorite track, “Help Me Out” has a wonderous psych feel. More up tempo than the other tracks, the riff is great, and it comes complete with a way cool 60’s psych rock guitar solo. Incredible track.

sw5The songs are wonderfully written. Eclectic in nature, the music evokes emotion and defines moods. The band refers to this project as a product of isolation, and separation. In the melancholy, I feel the angst. Jack Finlayson and Jacob Thompson have stepped out there and have created something different, something original, and something that is their own. I am impressed with their desire to create what they love, and what they feel. This is refreshingly cool! Check it out, and get yourself a copy. A wonderful album that just never quits.

https://www.facebook.com/ShagwagonMusic/

http://shagwagon.bandcamp.com/

 

 

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2014 INDIE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

With a significant number of quality Indie releases this year, narrowing a list down to 10 albums, worthy of I Can’t Believe My Earz‘  2014 Indie Album Of The Year, was no easy task. There are some honorable mentions: Neverfriend-‘Evolve‘, The Everywheres-‘Habitualism‘, Harbour-‘Grade School Summer‘ & Social Strife-‘With Friends Like These…’.  We listened to them all, and here is our pick for the top 10 Indie Albums of 2014.

 

#10     DRUCKFARBEN————–‘Second Sound’

druck I am not certain why Druckfarben has been a mystery. These Toronto based musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work.   ‘Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. If you like Progressive-Rock, Druckfarben is the real deal.

 

 

#9     THE RED RAILS———-A Living Fiction

theredrailsno2The Red Rails offer ‘A Living Fiction‘, a classic rock sound immersed in blues.  The Ottawa band has a sound that reminds me of Cream meets The Black Crowes. With a 21st century edge. I like it! This is not background music. This is an album you play in its entirety. In your car. While taking a 40 minute drive down a highway. Make sure it is a highway. You cannot drive slow while listening.

 

 

 

#8     THE SATISFACTORS——–‘The Satisfactors’

the satisThe Satisfactors self titled debut album. It rocks from beginning to end with a wonderful garage groove. The songs are amazing. They are wonderfully crafted, and played with a beat that just doesn’t stop. Bruce’s vocals are great. Cool to hear from  Jersey’s Fantastic 4! The bass lines, and  guitar riffs are insanely good, and I like the less is more approach to the drumming.  This is rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be played! This is Rock Til You Drop! This is The Satisfactors!

 

 

#7     SOUTH OF BLOOR——‘The Street’

south of bloorThis Toronto band has re-generated my lust for pop with the release of ‘The Street‘. The songs are exquisite 2-3 minute masterpieces. Their ability to write wonderful bridges and changes has me almost awe struck. The vocals are spectacular. The melodies, wonderful. This album delivers 5 terrific pop songs with alternative rock influences. And it works. A wonderful album. A fun time.

 

 

 

#6     TOXIC MELONS———‘Bus Therapy’

tm ‘Bus Therapy‘ is my kind of therapy. This album by Northern England’s Toxic Melons is inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

 

 

#5     THE MINNOWS———‘Live At The Belfast Barge’

the minnowsAside from Yessongs, Waiting For Columbus and The Last Waltz, I have never been a big fan of live albums, but I have to add this Irish band’s ‘Live At The Belfast Barge to the list of great live albums. The songs are as wonderful as I remember them, and they stand up to the passage of time. The band is insanely cohesive, and the musicianship, extraordinary. I have spent the better part of the year immersed in The Minnows and I can tell you that swimming with the fishes is not a bad thing. This is a must for your collection.

 

 

#4     THE CORSETS———–‘Are You Lonely, Are You Scared’

the corsets

Are You Lonely, Are You Scared is a wonderful adventure. Toronto’s The Corsets manage to harness their individual talents into a harmonic whole that is indeed the sum of its parts. Each is easily identifiable, yet needs the other parts to be heard. The energy level is wonderfully exciting, and the songs well, incredibly creative. Add this to your collection. It is that good.

 

 

 

#3     XPRIME——–‘The Album’

xprimeXprime should be big. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario, they write incredibly melodic songs with amazing harmonies and unforgettable hooks. These are talented musicians who seem to be having fun with every note played. ‘The Album‘ is a must have album. Give it 4 or 5 listens. At least. Pay particular attention to “To See You Here“, a 70′s pop-folk tune that reminds me of Poco, “Feels Like I’m The Only One“, a way cool song with R & B overtones, and “Early To The Sun“.

 

 

#2     THE AFTER HOURS——-‘Shaken, Not Stirred’

the after hoursI really like Los Angeles’ The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960′s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. ‘Shaken, Not Stirred captures the essence of 60′s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album.

 

And, finally, the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2014…

 

#1     THE HOT SPROCKETS——‘Brother Nature’

hsBrother Nature‘ by Ireland’s The Hot Sprockets. 13 tracks, and not a bad one to be found. I have listened to this album over and over, and it just keeps getting better. The songs are insanely good. The production, wonderful. These guys can write. These guys can play. The album has a ‘live off the floor’ feel to it. I haven’t heard this much energy in an album in a long time. The Hot Sprockets refer to their music as ‘country dirt”. I prefer to call it Irish Soul! Brother Nature is one of the most powerful albums I have heard in 2014, filled with the unusual, and the unexpected.

 

And there you have it. 10 exceptional albums. The I Can’t Believe My Earz picks for 2014. Give them a listen. Purchase them. Support Indie Music, and Indie bands.

 

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THE EVERYWHERES-Habitualism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Habitualism‘, the 8 track album by Halifax, Nova Scotia’s The Everywheres, was released in May, 2014. Somewhat unfortunate that I did not discover it until October!

the everywheres3The opening track, “Through Flowers“, offers some great 1960’s vocal effects. The melody & the bridge are way cool, and the guitar solo wades waist deep into surf-pop. Great first track. “End Of Time” has a great 60’s vibe, created by guitar & vocals, with dynamite reverb, cool vocal tracking, and a sweet melody. The riff and solo are wonderful. The way cool blues solo in “Courtyard Blues” highlights the great riff, amazing changes, and dynamite melody. Way cool! “Organ” has a great psych-pop feel, with cool drums, great vocals, and dynamite keys. The title track, “Habitualism“, has a somewhat faster tempo, and delivers sweet drumming, wonderful changes, and a great solo and riff. I dig everywheres2the vocal track. The melody of “California Reeling” brings the great solo, changes, and cool bridge together. There are 2 tracks that are standouts.  “Egyptian Drag” offers some of the coolest vocals I have heard, above a wonderful melody. The bass line can only be described as great, and the solo, very cool. There are great changes, and I swear I hear a flute. The song has a dynamite 1960’s psychedelic energy. The way cool psych-pop riffs and reverb of “Sacred Cow” make this dreamy 60s track come alive. There are great changes, and more great keys, with an almost John Lennon thing going on in the melody & vocals. Very cool!!

the everywheres1Pop. Psych-pop. 60s pop. Psychedelic. Dream pop. They all work. The Everywheres have delivered an album that captures the essence of the psychedelic 60s. At times I hear shades of The Mamas & The Papas doing dream pop. The vocals are wonderfully elegant, and the effects dead on. The songs are exceptionally written, filled with exciting and esoteric arrangements, creating a wonderful feeling, and a wonderful time. I could listen to this over and over again. Check ‘Habitualism’ out, and then treat yourself and download a few copies at a “name your price” offer, or purchase hard copies on cassette. Way cool!!

 

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