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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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THE LOST BOYS-Answers On A Postcard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

lostboys1The second album from Southampton, England’s The Lost Boys , has thrilled me with yet more U.K. pop. Answers On A Postcard, the follow up to 2011’s Not Arf It’s…The Lost Boys, delivers 5 incredible pop songs.

The album opens with “Broken Story 1“, an interesting ballad, with a wonderful melody and great harmonies. The vocals are dropped behind the instrumentation that includes acoustic guitar. The changes and transitions are nice, and the vocal track stands out. “I Fall For Everyone” has a way cool surf music hook, an amazing bridge, and a dynamite guitar solo. The wonderful drumming, the sweet riff, and the exceptional chorus, make this a terrific power pop song. The cool melody, and great hook of “Moving Pictures“, pull the incredible bridge, amazing changes and transitions, and the wonderful instrumentation together. A dynamite 60’s pop song with modern elements. “The Karaoke Age“, returns us to power pop, and offers some incredible screaming guitars, a wonderful melody, with exceptional harmonies, great changes, and some very cool riffs and mini solos. My favorite track, “From Love To Hate“, lostboys2has several different songs within it. It plays like a concept song, with distinct musical movements. The changes and transitions are effortless and perfect. The harmonies and melody are indescribably good. I hear acoustic guitar, bells, cool lead riffs and great keyboards, and an unbelievable bridge. Brilliant!!

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The album is dynamite. Fueled by the song writing of Daniel Ash (not to be confused with the Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Love And Rockets fame), The Lost Boys have created an Indie-Mod-Pop sound that is eccentric, eclectic and esoteric. The guitar is subtle, yet always evident. The effects are cool. Daniel Ash’s vocals, which drive the songs, are reminiscent of Ray Davies, with distinct, working class English sensibilities. There is an Andy lostboys3Partridge influence to the transitions, with different musical themes  incorporated into 1 song. This guy is not afraid to put any element he wants into his music. The melodies are infectious and the hooks, unforgettable. On opening for Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council), Weller called Daniel Ash “a great little song writer”. I don’t know how big or tall Daniel Ash is, but he is, indeed, a great song writer Like something out of Bowie‘s Absolute Beginners, this mod-popster could very well be the pop genius of a new generation.

Check out The Lost Boys for yourself: https://soundcloud.com/thelostboys-1

 

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BETRAYERS-Let The Good Times Die

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

betrayers2betrayers3I seem to be drawn to the weird. The different.The unique and original. Its okay. I like it. Particularly when it comes to music. It’s the excitement of finding something that defies genre; something new; something truly entertaining. And, as luck would have it, hiding deep in the underground of Edmonton, Alberta, I found the weirdly wonderful Betrayers, a fuzzed up, punk out, psych, 60’s garage band.

Their earlier EPs,  December 2012’s, Treat Me Mean, and the February 2013, The Betrayers, foreshadowed the sound of things to come.  Fair warning for December 2013’s full album, Let The Good Times Die.

betrayers4The album is filled with great guitar riffs, that often lie just below the bass and drums.I hear tambourine and a way cool organ. It doesn’t get more 1960s than that. There are choppy piano riffs and a drone that permeates the band’s sound making me think of Love And Rockets and the 1980s. I particularly enjoyed “Do You Smoke?”, with its dark, eerie mood and fuzz guitar solo, and “Little Girl (You’ve Got Some Growing Up To Do)“, a Ramone’s punk song with pop influence, cool harmonies and great drumming. My favorite track, “Song For Sue“, has an almost surf-pop melody that is counter balanced by the instrumentation. It has great changes and a cool bridge.

betrayers1Musical influences are varied. There are hints of The Clash, Be Bop Deluxe, and the opening of “”Born To Cry” had me thinking of The Four Seasons.  “Call Me When You’re Blue“, off of the Treat Me Mean EP, has that 60s, girl group feel. There are shades of The Beach Boys. But this is a fuzzed up, psyched-out rock band. I checked in with Travis Sargent, the band’s slightly eccentric front man, who confirmed that the band has 2 drummers. Yes, there are 2 drum kits! In the studio, and live. This is way cool.

betrayers5The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seem to want to  go somewhere, but the vocals and the melody take it somewhere else. There is tremelo everywhere. This is not music for the masses. Betrayers create a unique world with their music, perhaps a world on a yet to be discovered planet. Let The Good Times Die is not for the focused. I refer to this as the ADHD sound: Its all over the place. Yet, it makes sense. And it works. It is different. It is weird. It is amazingly cool. A great album. A great listen. A wonderful experience.  Can’t wait for thee guys to make it to Toronto.

You can listen here:  http://thebetrayers.bandcamp.com/

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