Archive for power pop

The Easy Outs-‘Hot Mess’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2018 by TheManicBlogger

 

With the release of The Easy Outs new album, Hot Mess, on Dead Walker Records, the band has secured their spot in the annals of legendary Jersey garage bands. With a kick ass Jersey rock beat, this album adds many layers that bring the in your face rock sound to new heights and recreates the band’s raw energy on a studio recording.  ‘Hot Mess‘ is a powerful album from a rock solid band, with wonderful 1960s harmonies, exceptional melodies and unforgettable hooks that are layered over dynamite guitar riffs and solos, great vocal tracks, and a way cool rhythm section. There are blues, power-pop, and 1970s California vibes sprinkled throughout, but the kick ass Jersey garage comes rockin’ through. This is The Easy Outs, and they have delivered one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. Beautifully written, arranged and produced. Definitely one for the collection, and a contender for Indie Album of The Year. A solid album filled with songs that will make you want to be an Easy Out too, so go on and get yourself a couple copies of ‘Hot Mess’. Released March 16/18, and found on Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, Googleplay, cdbaby, and others. Favorite tracks include “(I’ll Be) Long Gone“, “Ephrata“, “Dirt City“, and “Wake Up“. Check out The Easy Outs on Facebook, and visit their website here.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Bruce Tunkel

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

 

I started off with the intention of writing a review of Bruce Tunkel‘s latest release. Another New Jersey musician, I thought. I was sent several cds, and after listening to them, over and over again, I have discovered that Bruce Tunkel is not just another New Jersey musician.

The most recent release, 2017’s ‘Bittersweet‘, is a poignant look into the artist, filled with songs that deal with emotional upheaval, love, hope, and depression. There are wonderful melodies, accompanied by beautiful piano and powerfully soulful vocal tracks. The simplicity of using only piano and vocals, adds to the mood of the album, and touches the listener. The songs are well written, and to be honest, I really didn’t miss any additional instrumentation. The exception, “So Many Ways“, uses acoustic guitar and mandolin to exact the same emotions I felt in the other tracks. A brilliant release, one which you should get your hands on. You can check it out here.

We’ll Make It Up As We Go‘, a double cd released in 2015, is insanely good. A very different sound than that on ‘Bittersweet’, this album is filled with melodic Jersey rock songs, with influences as diverse as power-pop, country and blues infused throughout. I heard very cool guitar, organ, strings, and powerful vocals. The arrangements are dynamite, and I was unable to find a track I didn’t like. At times there is a familiarity to the album, and I can hear bits of Bon Jovi drifting in, only to become part of something bigger in the track. Wonderfully done. I only wish I had been aware of this album in 2015. Favorite tracks: ‘Losing Kind‘, ‘Drive Me Sane‘, ‘Dream Big‘,  and ‘Birthday Girl‘.Check it out here.

There was 1 project I was able to listen to, the 2017 release of The Susan Rumors debut album. A pop-rock-blues album that would be a dynamite addition to any collection. You can check out The Susan Rumors here: https://thesusanrumors.bandcamp.com/.

After my weekend spinning Bruce Tunkel cds, I have realized just what a talented artist he is. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, songwriter, and arranger, able to pull several genres and fuse them into one cohesive album. Wonderful stuff.

Jenny & The Felines-‘Don’t Judge Me’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2017 by TheManicBlogger

 

As a follow up to their 2013 album ‘Don’t Look Back‘, New Jersey’s Jenny & The Felines released the 9 track ‘Don’t Judge Me’ in March, 2017. 4 years in the making, and well worth the wait. Backed by a new clowder of cats, the disc is filled with catchy pop melodies, and is significantly more guitar focused. The songs are wonderfully written, encompassing influences from early 1960’s rock, country-blues, power pop, and rockabilly. There are memorable hooks, sweet harmonies, great changes, and way cool riffs.  The lyrics are brilliantly written, with no subject off limits, and I heard some incredible, yet subtle effects. Dynamite cat-pop! Get yourself invited to this feline fiesta, and pick up a copy. Favorite tracks: ‘Mrs. Pratt‘; ‘Jail Bird Johnny‘.

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

 

 

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THE UNSWEPT-The Unswept Today

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2016 by TheManicBlogger

the unswept1Although it was released over 1 year ago, this album by The Unswept, deserves some recognition. So, the story goes, the 3 O’Brien cousins from Sheffield, England, were playing in local bands together. Following a hurriedly hushed up pre- international incident, they headed to Chicago and well, the rest is history. The album, The Unswept Today, released in April, 2015, contains 11 tracks of power-pop dynamite, filled with great melodies, choruses, and unforgettable hooks. The distinctive 12 string guitar is an exciting addition to the sound. There are wonderful changes, cool riffs and solos, and hand clapping. I am certain that I the unsweptalso heard some whistling on “Mellow Doubt“. The band has an insane feel for writing catchy pop songs with addictive melodies, and a gift for lyrics that are sung over some wonderfully simple arrangements. It has been told that the entire album was recorded on an analogue reel to reel, which only enhances the feel of the music. Favorite tracks: “Another Bubble“, which is reminiscent of early The Zombies; “Peace Of Mind“, with its Rockabilly vibe; “Get Away“; and “Surf Song (I Wish I Was A Beach Boy)“, a way cool tribute to The Beach Boys. A wonderful summer patio album. Play it loud. Play it often. Invite the whole neighborhood. A wonderful party. Check it out on their bandcamp page, and order your copy today.

 

 

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THE TURNBACK-Are We There Yet?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

New York City area band, The Turnback, released their new album Are We There Yet? with very little fanfare. There should have been a parade!!

turnback2The album opens with ‘Faketown‘,  a wonderfully aggressive track with a cool shuffle feel, and them shifts into a wonderous blend of 1960s pop and 1980s power pop. The sound is addictive! The vocals are dynamite. Just listen to ‘Revolution Girl‘  which has an exceptional  harmonized vocal track, and pay attention to the riff on ‘July‘ and ‘If I Were God‘. The hooks on ‘A Place For Me‘ and ‘First Song Of Summer‘ are outstanding.  It was incredibly difficult to pull a favorite track off of this album, however we have 2: ‘Five Days A Week‘ brings a wonderful melody, a sweet riff, great harmonies, and some cool changes together, and finishes with an incredible Beatlesque ending. And while we are on the subject of The Beatles, Turnback have placed a cover of The Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows‘ on the album. Turns out to be one of the best covers of a Beatle song I have ever heard! The harmonies are to die for, and they even work in the riff from ‘Taxman’ for good measure. Exceptionally well done!

 

 

turnback1Are We There Yet is way cool Power Pop. I seem to be involved in a love affair with this album, It makes me happy, and asks for nothing in return. It has me singing around the house. The songs are exceptional, with great melodies, wonderful harmonies, dynamite bridges & choruses, and unforgettable hooks. The Turnback have delivered an incredibly great album, that I am referring to as Power Pop of the new millennium! The production is wonderful. There is a sweet balance here, with nothing over the top. A contender for The I Can’t Believe My Earz Top Indie Album of 2015!! It is pure power pop perfection!! Check it out here for yourself, and get a dozen or so copies. Give them to your family and friends. Or keep them all for yourself. I would. And if they ever hold a parade for this release, I will be there, front and centre, with a truckload of ticker tape.

 

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THE QUIET THINGS-The Fall

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

thequietthings2Toronto pop-rocksters, The Quiet Things released ‘The Fall‘ in March 2015. An amazing album, filled with incredible power pop songs from one of my new favorite bands. The tracks contain wonderful melodies, great changes, and dynamite arrangements. The vocals and harmonies rock, and I was impressed with the acoustic/electric mix throughout. Highlights include ‘Charmer“, with great changes, way cool guitar effects, and sweet harmonies; the energy of ‘Kiss On The Mouth‘; ‘One‘, with its brilliant acoustic-electric blend; and my favorite track, ‘The Fall ll‘, offers wonderful tempo changes, dynamite vocals, and a guitar solo, that will make you get your lighters out! And don’t forget to check out the riff on the extended version of ‘Secrets‘.

the quiet things1I am liking this album. The vocals are wonderful, and the songs are exceptional. Incredibly original music, with the ability to create mood. The songs are wonderfully original, unique, and way cool. From beginning to end, it will have you tapping your feet, and trying to sing along. It gets inside you, and you just can’t get it out! Not a bad thing though, since The Fall is insanely good!  Definitely a must have album, and certainly in contention for the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album of The Year for 2015. Check out and like The Quiet Things on facebook,  and listen to and order 3 or 4 copies of The Fall.  http://thequietthingsmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-fall Give a few to your friends. They will appreciate it!!!

 

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THE COOL WHIPS-Goodies

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

I don’t know how I missed this until now. The Pacific Northwest has produced its fair share of incredible Indie Music, but I seem to have missed Portland, Oregon’s The Cool Whips. The release of their 12 track album ‘Goodies‘ in November 2014, may have come to me late, but this wonderful blend of 1960’s Brit pop and American power pop will not soon be forgotten.

the cool whips2The album kicks off with ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster‘, with a dynamite 60s beach/surf melody, great harmonies, and lyric like “come on babe don’t filibuster, don’t be such a little tease, tickle me with a feather duster, please”, and a few “yeah, yeah, yeah”s for good measure. ‘Move Over Aphrodite‘ delivers a great bridge, some way cool reverb, and  wonderful farfisa. With a great hook, and wonderfully pop hand clapping, ‘On The Seesaw‘ has a way cool Frankie & Annette, Beach Blanket thing going on. ‘She Did A Number On Me‘, offers a great melody, nice harmonies, a cool riff, and wonderful keys. ‘A Complicated Man‘ gives a terrific bridge, with some really sweet guitar, which is highlighted again in ‘Lost In The Summertime‘. The keys in ‘Where Can That Girl Be?‘ are the cool whips3reminiscent of Manfred Mann, as it highlights the way cool changes, and killer bridge. ‘A Vague Sense Of Dissatisfaction‘ delivers some wonderful harmonies, while ‘Turpentine‘ offers a great guitar solo, and more tongue in cheek lyric with “she tells me what to do. I think I like it too”.  The guitar rocks in ‘The Man I Never Was‘, and once again, the keys are incredible. ‘Pink Lemonade‘, offers wonderful harmonies, an exceptional melody, and a great hook. The riff is way cool, and I dig the Beatleseque vocals. The final track, ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang‘, throws in some dynamite hand clapping to an unforgettable chorus, and hook. The keys are great, the guitar sweet. A perfect song to close out the album. Favorite tracks: ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster’, ‘Pink Lemonade’, and ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang’.

 

 

the cool whips1‘Goodies’ is a wonderfully fun time. 12 amazing songs with unforgettable melodies, sweet harmonies, and addictive hooks. Add to all that great changes, and farfisa, and you get a  perfectly pop album! Amazingly cool!  I like this band. I like the sound. I like the album. Despite being released at the end of 2014, we just have to bend the rules and include it in the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2015. It is just that good! Check it out for yourself: https://thecoolwhips.bandcamp.com/ and then buy 1 or 2. Definitely a must have album.

 

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ETERNAL SUMMERS-Gold & Stone

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

es1Growing up in Canada, I have spent many, many years wishing, and hoping for eternal summers. Roanoke, Virginia is fortunate to be home to Eternal Summers, who recently released their latest album, Gold & Stone. 10 tracks of uniquely original ethereal pop, that is both hypnotic and addictive.

Unassigned‘ sets the mood with its sweet melody, and cool effects. The changes and dynamite riff of ‘Together Or Alone‘, help deliver wonderful pop sensibilities. ‘Gold & Stone‘ offers a beautiful melody, and way cool vocals. The subtle acoustic guitar es3that flows through ‘The Roses‘, is a perfect counter balance to the great solo, and the dynamite vocals of this wonderfully melodic song. The vocals stand out again on ‘Black Diamond‘, while ‘Come Alive‘ with its effects,  great beat, and cool changes is a wonderfully sweet track. ‘Play Dead‘ , displays some great drumming, while ‘Stars You Named‘ is one of the best dream pop songs I have heard in a long time.   ‘Bloom‘ delivers cool effects, a laid back vibe, and a sweet guitar solo. My favorite track, ‘Ebb Tide‘ is insanely cool. Wonderfully melodic, it delivers great changes, wonderful harmonies, a great beat, and some sweet, sweet guitar.

 

 

es2I am liking Eternal Summers, and I am liking ‘Gold & Stone. Uniquely original, with solid instrumentation highlighted with interesting melodies, and wonderfully dreamy vocals. The sound is infectious, with a way cool 1980s Brit Pop/Wave vibe throughout. Sort of Modern English meets Kate Bush. The songs are well written, but the beauty is in the simplicity. The subtlety. Nothing hits you in the face here, but rather envelopes you like a warm blanket in the cold of winter. Definitely one to consider for the I Can’t Believe My Earz‘s 2015 Indie Album Of The Year. Check it out for yourself. You can listen and purchase all of Eternal Summers music at: http://eternalsummers.bandcamp.com/ and follow them at:  http://facebook.com/eternalsummers

 

 

 

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