Now this is the territory that I always feel at home in. New Jersey's Somerdale are a three piece power pop group that would easily be at home in 1975 UK fighting it out for a Top 5 spot with some Chinn and Chapman prodigy.
The album really is high class Pop Rock. In ASH's nine years, this is the sort of thing we usually celebrate. However, it's normally some lost album that we fawn about, Jigsaw, Pilot, Ace, you name 'em.
We've often mused about why there are no new bands doing this now. Well now we have Somerdale.
This sort of 70's Medium Wave Territory is something I spend a lot of time listening to and trust me, I know my stuff. I also get to listen to a lot more badly done stuff than good. "Shake It Maggie" has been the biggest surprise for me for a long time. It's fantastic.
Don't get the impression that the album is derivative, because it's not any way. It doesn't wear it's influences on it's arm. the songs just gently remind you of that time.
"Take It From The Top" could be Liverpool Express and should probably be the lead single. "Waiting For You" could be Jigsaw. On other songs, you hear 10CC, The Arrows, Andrew Gold, the list goes on.
"Puddles Of Me" could be prime time Badfinger. "She's Leaving California" hints at a rocking John Miles. The biggest surprise is that Somerdale are American, they sound so English. Finally for the Power Pop Kids, well there's "The Coolest Kid In The Room", pure Fountains Of Wayne.
I remind readers often that this place is not for the gushing, I receive a lot of music and it's always appreciated. However I have a policy of only reviewing things that I like. I've done hatchet jobs on things that I don't in the past, I'd rather not these days, it's unfair and I just choose not to review them.
So when I tell you that this is the best thing I've heard in ages, you can trust that remark. Shake It Maggie is, it's a superb listen and right up my street. I read that they've released two albums before this, I'm just sorry I missed them, because this album is fantastic.
You can listen to the album and then buy it here. An absolute bargain at 7 dollars. The CD can be bought at the likes of Ray's Kool Kat Musik.
Somerdale you have a fan and I suspect many more when the ASH crowd get a hold of this.