Saturday, 21 October 2017

Groovy Uncle - A Clip Round The Ear



The Medway collective led by Chatham's Glenn Prangnell return for Album Number Six and it's their best yet. This is Psych Pop at it's very best, more on the Pop side, say more the first incarnation of The Move than Pink Floyd. Having said that, Oil And Colour Man would fit comfortably on Relics.

Cardiff's Suzi Chunk is again present and this allows the album to be divided into two. When Suzi moves to the Mic Stand, it's more for Burt Bacharach type kitchen sink dramas and these work equally as well as the great Pop that surrounds it. An exception to this is Got Up And Gone which could be Jacqui Abbott in it's delivery and pace. It also has a great Pearl And Dean type ending.





The duet on Things I've Been Meaning To Say is wonderful, part Peter Paul And Mary, almost The Seekers. Above My Station is a charming little ditty with it's early Lennon like vocal. It's the Psych Pop that appeals most to me, but that's probably because it's been such a while since I've heard it done so well.

Mrs Saywell Says and Our Gary's No Fool are splendid affairs that you can imagine being in a technicolor film starring Michael Bates. The aforementioned Oil And Colour Man is a revelation of song.

The whole album takes you back to a more innocent age. Little Essays about a world before everyone knew everything. Not only is it charming, but it's also beautifully arranged. The vocals from Prangnell and Chunk are spot on. Both deserve a wider audience.






You can buy the album on vinyl from the band's website here. Ray at the excellent Kool-Kat has the release on CD here. A Clip Round The Ear is also available for download at the likes of Amazon here. The album and the band's back catalogue is also available on iTunes.



Friday, 20 October 2017

The Stanleys - The Stanleys



Power Pop is a broad church these days and away from the pointless arguments of what is and isn't, but this self titled debut is as good an example of what is as any around. I get a similar thrill listening to it as I did when I first heard the Somerdale album last year.

It's also nice personally to be back on familiar territory and first and foremost, Power Pop is what I do and I have in my hands, a possible album of the year for the genre. I know it isn't, but it seems ages since I've heard something so akin to the reason that I got into Power Pop.






Every one of these 11 songs get you singing along to the chorus, each hooks you and starts the feet tapping. I'd heard for a few months that this release was gonna be something special, a true Power Pop album. Well  it is!

This isn't Merseybeat, think New Wave 1978 - 1983 and the glory days of Not Lame. Not only that but there are plenty of Glam Rock influences. particularly on songs like Cigarette Glow. I'm constantly reminded of The Plimsouls And The Romantics, although What Are We Gonna Do? could have been written by Kimberley Rew.






At other times, I'm reminded of the likes of Michael Carpenter with the chimes and hooks on My World. Always is very Nick Piunti. Hefner is a glammed up version of The Knack. Everybody Dance is pure Chinn And Chapman Smokie.

The album doesn't let up for the first eight of the 11 songs. Then the Somerdale comparison kicks in with This Time Goodbye. Summer is Brit Pop Dodgy and the closing Kid's Gonna Rock is a real teen anthem. All this ignores Amy, the opening song and probably the best single that I've heard this year.







I try and make the I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show as varied as possible and so to devote over half of last week's show to the whole album is a testament to how good it is. The Stanleys may very well have grabbed the Power Pop Trophy back for Australia.







You can listen to and buy the album here.





Johnny Chastain - Plot Points To Nowhere (Free Download)



Lots of promise here from Chicago's Johnny Chastain. Plot Points To Nowhere is a very American album, not that is ever a problem. At it's best it is reminiscent of the likes of John Mellencamp, particularly when it rocks.

Now, Here And Nowhere and the title track are such examples. These two songs are very much on the road ditties and both roll along really nicely. Add to these, s great vocal on What I Might Have Said and variance of Upright Bass and Sax on Where Do We Go From Here and you have an album that is hard not to like.




The only problem is that there isn't enough of the up tempo, so the heavy reliance on the slow and acoustic, excellent though the playing is, makes the album that bit duller. Kid's Got Moxie even has an Aztec Camera feel and is another fine song.

I certainly don't want to appear too critical, there is surely a great future for Chastain, maybe the next album could rely more on the rockier songs. There's certainly lots of encouragement to make it worth listening to and as a free download , what have you got to lose?






You can listen to and download the album here



The Red Button - Now It's All This (2CD)



Seth Swirsky's last solo album, Circles And Squares was reviewed here. It remains one of the Top 10 visited posts here and that is a testament to how good the album is. During that review, his Red Button adventures weren't mentioned and I'm delighted to say that can now be remedied with this release.

The Red Button consists of Seth and Mike Ruekberg. 2007's debut album, She's About To Cross My Mind was refreshing departure from the Big Rock that was around at the time. It's a Power Pop Gem, all jangling and chiming.





Whilst that debut was very much in the McCartney Pop of the 60's, there was still plenty on it to update a more modern audience. I personally felt that it was very much in the territory of The dB's. Floating By is one of the great lost Psych Pop songs, XTC like in it's structure.

Can't Stop Thinking About You is a popped up Tom Petty jangle, Gonna Make You Mine is a Farfisa joy that you'd expect to hear as the opening theme in one of those mid to late 60's UK films for "the kids". There's so much great Pop here, particularly for Revolver fans. Loads of hooks.






The band followed up the debut album, with 2011's As Far As Yesterday Goes. Equally excellent, it wasn't just a sophomore release. It keeps hold of what made the first album great, but spreads it's wings a little more. Easier would grace any great Mid 70's Pop Rock of your choice.

Album Number 2 is if anything a slower more reflective affair that works beautifully. On A Summer Day could be 10cc. I Can't Forget is Classic Merseybeat. Running Away could be The Strawbs or Lindisfarne.





Marty Scott's revival of Jem Records continues apace and just reissuing these two fine albums would be more than enough. However there's more. a second disc contains six new songs and four Unplugged versions of songs from As Far As Yesterday Goes.

The six new songs leave you hopeful of a third album from the duo. With the exception of Solitude Saturday, these songs are even more Lennon McCartney like and the former could be Al Stewart. I really can't recommend this double disc affair any higher than just to tell you to get your wallet out tout de suite.





You can buy the album from today everywhere.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 18



Back to normality after a week's break from IDHAS.

The I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is brought to you by the Number 18 tomorrow.

It's been a great week for new releases and such. So much so that only this week's opener is an archive track.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first seventeen shows here.

Reviews are back on here from tomorrow.

Here is this week's playlist :

01 Feeder - Buck Rogers
02 Third Of Never - Austerity
03 Shrug Life - First World Problems
04 Groovy Uncle - Our Gary's No Fool
05 UV Pop - Anyone For Me
06 Horizon Arcs - Fast Forward
07 Future Teens - In Love Or Whatever
08 Kris Rodgers - Rock N' Roll Radio
09 Avora Records - We Happy Few
10 Berwanger - The Astronaut
11 The Moms - Good Job
12 Robyn Gibson - 5D
13 Salto - Home Again
14 Takotsubo Men - Tony Szabo Destroyed Everything
15 Linda Perhacs - Crazy Love
16 Gentlemen Jackals - Waiting For The Day



Thursday, 12 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 17




The I Don't Hear A Single Radio show reaches the Number 17 tomorrow.

It's a Special Edition providing the opportunity to listen to one of the best Power Pop Albums of the year ahead of this weekend's review. The full self titled debut album from The Stanleys is exclusively played for your listening pleasure.

As if that wasn't enough, the front end of the show sees the return of Custard and Liverpool Express with possibly the reissue of the year.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first sixteen shows here.

Here is this week's playlist :


01 The On And Ons - Not The Only One
02 Ian Person - Whatever It Takes
03 Skytone - Second Hand Shops
04 Custard - In The Grand Scheme Of Things (None Of This Really Matters)
05 The Two Tens - Streetlight
06 New Politics - One Of Us
07 Liverpool Express - Every Man Must Have A Dream
08 The Stanleys - Amy
09 The Stanleys - Cigarette Glow
10 The Stanleys - What Are We Gonna Do
11 The Stanleys - My World
12 The Stanleys - Always
13 The Stanleys - Hefner
14 The Stanleys - Everybody Dance
15 The Stanleys - Say You Will
16 The Stanleys - This Time Goodbye
17 The Stanleys - Summer
18 The Stanleys - Kid's Gonna Rock



Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Liverpool Express - The Albums (3CD)



In the halcyon days of Anything Should Happen, Billy Kinsley was the ideal artist for what that Blog celebrated. He was involved in not one but two classic lost Pop Rock albums, added to his Mersey Beat standing. What more did you need? He is one of the mainstays of that genre, yet few of the general public laud him. Hopefully that's about to change.

Billy Kinsley was a founder member and vocalist (with Tony Crane) of The Merseybeats and left, excepting a brief departure in 1964, after their glory years were fading in 1966. He duly formed a vocal duo called The Merseys with Tony Crane, famous for the first cover of Sorrow which was a massive hit. Bowie would later also cover this McCoy's B Side.

His tie up with the equally excellent Jimmy Campbell in Rockin' Horse resulted in 1970's Yes It Is, an album that is still celebrated by the Power Pop Community. nearly five decades on. The band are held in the same esteem as say Badfinger, despite this being their only album. Indeed their only live outing was as Chuck Berry's Backing Band on his 1972 Tour.

After a period out of the limelight, but still touring, Kinsley re-emerged in Liverpool Express in 1975. Rapidly signed to Warner Brothers, their debut album, Tracks, has remained an album that fans have been waiting for on CD for a long long time. 






Containing the hit singles, You are My Love, Hold Tight and the superb, Every Man Must Have A Dream are essential listening. Tracks is an album that any lover of McCartney type pop should own. It warrants it's position in the Top 10 Pop Rock albums of the 70s. The album lit up 1976.

You've heard of Big In Japan, well Liverpool Express were big in South America, very big. Whenever we discussed Liverpool Express, the fans from Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc waded in with their thoughts. The album was heavily bootlegged over there. Here you have 3 Bonus B Sides to add to the enjoyment.

The two follow up albums Dreamin' and LEX are not quite as good, but are still highly sought after. Dreamin' appeared in 1978, it was a rushed recording in between touring. Like many debut albums, Tracks had a lot of material honed before the studio recording, Dreamin' didn't. It got lost in the Punk and New Wave adventures of the time. 





It's a really decent album and So Here I Go Again is a fine single, Dreamin' is a great song, but compared to Tracks, it obviously suffers. The addition of the single Don't Stop The Music as one of the three bonus tracks is a welcome one. That got a lot of play on local radio, but sadly did no more.

The third album, released in 1979 contains 3 covers amid it's nine songs. Games People Play is a really nice stab at Joe South's original and the Kinsley original I Want Nobody But You is great, but largely the times dictated that the band had served it's time. The two single B Sides are added to the original album here.

In 2002, Kinsley released a Greatest Hits which is now inessential, thanks to this set. A reformed Liverpool Express released a new album, Once Upon A Time in 2003, but the moment had gone.
Billy Kinsley still tours with The Merseybeats. 






I was really disappointed to discover that I'd missed out on an excellent Spencer Leigh, 4 part documentary on Billy on Radio Merseyside a few years ago. If anyone has a recording of this, please give me a shout.

I Don't Hear A Single largely concentrates on the new, but as a collector, I never lose touch with my past. I have to say of all the reissues this year, this one delights me most. All three albums and eight bonus tracks. Cherry Red have made an ageing man very very happy. 


You can buy the set here and everywhere.



Thursday, 5 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 16


Episode 16 of the I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is tomorrow.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first fifteen shows here.

Here is this week's playlist :

01 The Icicle Works - Understanding Jane
02 The Succesful Failures - All Wrapped Up
03 The Wild Young Hearts - My Oldest Friend
04 Mister Heavenly - Blue Lines
05 Belinda - Adi Shakti
06 The Young Hearts - Bloom
07 J Roddy Walston And The Business - Numbers
08 The Two Tens - Stuck In My Head
09 Michael Penn - A Bad Sign (Live At KCRW)
10 Tom Baker And The Snakes - Say Goodbye
11 Richard Turgeon - Look Away
12 My Little Hum - Geography Lesson
13 Hey! Hello! - All Around The World
14 Kevin Ayers Lady June And Ollie Halsall - Speeding Heart
15 The Granite Shore - Buyer Beware
16 Per Gessle - Ge Allt Du Kan



My Little Hum - Remembering Houses



My Little Hum are husband and wife duo Yuri and Dan Jewett. The San Franciscan duo's debut album is out on Allen Clapp's formidable Mystery Lawn Music label. Yuri's voice is sugar sweet. imagine Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell ditching the electrics.

There's plenty of interest away from the norm here, the guitar on Geography Lesson lends itself to a real psych pop strum, but the steel guitar takes it to another level. Take Care Of You is very Throwing Muses in a good way.






Take Care Of You is like Susanna Hoffs fronting The Church in a slower mode. Rise Over Run is all angular riffs, think Pretenders, with hints of Jangle. Very C86. Steep Ravine is very reminiscent of Susanna Hoffs solo album vibe.

There's also some real depth in the darker two part Alberta, a much moodier affair. There's some really interesting guitar work from Dan Jewett, very different to the songs that it aids. In fact, that's the great thing about Remembering Houses.







The vocals would normally grace a Girl Pop album with big choruses, yet are not used like that in any way. You'd expect to hear moody aching guitar and it's far more inventive, Johnny Marr like at times.

The solo at the end of Alberta II is refreshingly original gripping. There's also a cover of Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen In Love, a favourite song of mine forever. This style may wear a little thin in the UK with the number of TV Adverts doing this with similar songs, but elsewhere, this very different take will please many.






You can listen to and buy the album here.



The Forty Nineteens - Good Fortune



I've been doing a fair bit of catching up lately and this has involved listening a lot of old and new and some very different stuff. So it's nice to review something very much on my home territory. It's also nice to acknowledge the Kool Kat label's continued output and prosperity. I love talking to Ray, his enthusiasm is infectious, but I don't make enough time to do it. Too busy being busy, IDHAS taking off in all directions, all of them crap excuses.

Temecula's The Forty Nineteens inhabit a world somewhere in between Garage Rock and Power Pop, I suppose you'd call it Beat Pop. They are equally at home on songs like My Camaro and Purple Microdot in UK 60's Beat. Alternatively, the killer single, And Such And Such is in prime Plimsouls territory.






What they do know is how to grab a riff and ram it home. The Longer I Wait could be great 70's Pop Rock with a real jangle and a Classic Rock chime. Let Love In is classic Merseybeat. It's however the more recent nods that grip me most.

Two Pillows reminds me of The Searchers Sire Recordings and therefore leads me to The Records. Crocodile Tears and Another Day are so The Romantics or Paul Collins' Beat. The latter another potential riff out single. Overall, the band are like a popped up Fleshtones and as such Good Fortune works brilliantly.





You can listen to and buy the download here. More relevantly you can buy the CD at Kool Kat here.



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Young Hearts - Honestly I'm Just Thinking EP


The Young Hearts kill two birds with one stone here at IDHAS. I'm always bemoaning how few UK Power Pop bands are breaking through. I'm also dismayed at how many people lump new bands with Alt Rock, EMO or Pop Punk.

Kent's The Young Hearts fashion up their second EP and it's full of Power Pop goodness. If Bloom was released by Butch Walker, Power Pop fans would be wetting themselves. Smoke compares with anything the likes of a grown up Busted or McFly would muster.





This EP compares favourably with anything coming out of the States at present. If there's a comparison, they remind me a lot of vintage Downtown Fiction or Everybody Else. This is great chorus driven guitar pop and should be appealing to a much older market.

The closer, October is brooding and hints at what more can be achieved in the future, it's like a popped up Muse. Honestly I'm Just Thinking is a great listen and I'm delighted to discover this lot. I look forward to what's coming up in the future.

The 4 Track EP can be bought as a download at all the usual places. The Physical version has a limited run here. It's well worth the effort, I expect to hear far more of this lot.




Fernando Perdomo - The Golden Hour


I first came across Fernando Perdomo in the early days of Anything Should Happen. ASH celebrated the forgotten past and I was even then getting a little restless at the ignorance of the now. In a conversation with my ASH cohort, Mick Dillingham, Dreaming In Stereo's newly released debut album was mentioned and I became hooked on that and the follow up. I still am.

The eight years since have seemed much longer because Perdomo has been active, I'm not sure that he ever sleeps. There's been a lot of comparisons with Todd Rundgren and I see that, but his solo career has far more Pop and Rock influence and less of the Philly Soul. He is though an outstanding multi instrumentalist and a guitar player equal to Rundgren.







The Todd comparisons stand up even more due to his work with other artists. Producer, cohort, helper, he excels in all. His work on recent albums by Gretchen's Wheel and the incredible Cait Brennan album is exemplary. I also connect in a similar way of being as fanatic about Prog as I am about Power Pop.

There's no Prog here, but there are plenty of other diversions. I Feel is wonderful Psych Pop with a killer riff. However there's a real refreshing brevity in the songs that border on great 60s and 70s Pop Rock without the irritating need to solo like crazy. There is a real laid back feel to the whole album that allows the songs to breathe.







The co-write with Jordan Zevon, Look At The Moon, is Harrison-esque with it's mellotron and haunting riff, When You're Next To Me could be John Miles in his pomp, a crackerjack of a song. I Feel (Therefore I Am) envelops a corking Power Pop Riff in a haunting melody.

Both Spotlight Smile and Sleep are very reminiscent of a more arranged Big Star, or maybe more Chris Bell. The former is more uptempo, but both work as well as each other. I'm not exactly sure why, but The Light makes me think of Colin Blunstone.







There are Rundgren moments, but these are less than others would have you believe, most notably Here With Me and maybe the title track. But essentially this very much a Fernando Perdomo album. With others, the Guitar is much prominent, but on The Golden Hour that would overshadow the songs. Here you can tell he can play, but it's all understated.

If this were 1975, The Golden Hour would sell a million. You can at least get it part the way there by listening and buying here.




Monday, 2 October 2017

The Successful Failures - Ichor Of Nettle



After a quiet couple of months, this year is really hotting up. New Jersey's The Successful Failures release album number six and it's an absolute stormer. The FDR label provided one of my two albums of the year last year with Somerdale, here is this year's contender.

In any review I'll try and describe what to expect, but the favourites are those that are so varied that they are hard to pin down. Ichor Of Nettle is just that. The band is probably at it's best when it's noisy and it does that incredibly well. But they can be quiet and all in between. There's Americana, Replacements like noise, Power Pop, New Wave, 70's Pop Rock and even Pop Punk.

Mick Chorba's writing covers themes as diverse as tragedy and redemption and all are wrapped up in hooks and choruses. There's a lot of literary references. Low Resting Heartbeat could be on a 1975 UK Pop Rock album with it's magnetic hook, yet No Good Way could be The Plimsouls with a twang.






When Did Everybody Grow Up is classic UK late 70's New Wave, it has all the chops, Tennessee Boy is acoustic Americana, all yee haw with mandolin. The Devil Took A Liking To Me could be Jackson Browne, Sam Houston has a real Faces / Stones riff.

I like the album most when it is noisy and wow does it get noisy. The title track and Into The Battle rock like classic Replacements. There's also a big hurrah for the Power Pop. Misguiding Light and All Wrapped Up could appear on any great Power Pop album of the last four decades on not be out of place.

Ishor Of Nettle is so varied that it could be a compilation, let's call it Now That's What I Call Great Songs Volume 1. What a splendid album this is, you can and should buy it here.


Belinda Carlisle - Wilder Shores



As someone who is surrounded by the new and under appreciated music wise, it may be strange to see Belinda Carlisle reviewed here. It's true that my main concentration and listening these days are on the type of artists that you read about on here. However I am a massive collector and still listen to what's gone before.

I am a massive fan of The Go-Go's and that continued, if a little less so, with her solo career. In that solo career, there is an excess of AOR, but all the hooks are there and there cannot be many better pop songs around than California.

I also admire that she takes chances. her last album was 10 years ago. Voila was a collection of French Chansons that could have been disastrous but was so faithfully done that it worked surprisingly well.





Fast Forward a decade and we now have an album based on Kundalini Yoga Chants. Of the eight new songs, only two are in English and what should build itself up for a pretentious fall, succeeds admirably. It succeeds because despite the subject, this is still a pop album.

The orchestration and arrangements are spot on and what could appear to be a self grandising project is actually a breath of fresh air. What's more her voice is in wonderful form, she sings as well as she has done in a long time.





I'm not sure of the need to add a new version of Heaven Is A Place On Earth. It is slowed down and orchestrated and explained as having the same lyrical sympathies as Kundalini Chants. However, it seems to be an unnecessary addition and maybe the album could stand alone as the eight songs that precede it.

You can buy the album everywhere.



The Wild Young Hearts - Hoodlums



It's been a while getting round to reviewing this, but I've been listening to it for around six months or more and it still sounds great. Los Angeles's The Wild Young Hearts offer up their third album and it's an absolute cracker.

The band have previously been lumped in with the Pop Punk brigade and I won't go on to repeat my thoughts on the genre and no matter how great that scene is, the label puts people off. Over the past couple of years, I've thought of bands that my break away from that label and get a much wider audience. The Wild Young Hearts were definitely amongst that group.







Well with Hoodlums, The Wild Young Hearts have smashed into the mainstream. Now down to a trio, they could have easily just morphed into Power Pop, but Robb Laffoon is much smarter than that. He knows his music history and seems as at home with The Beatles and The Beach Boys as Blink 182 or Green Day.

The album proves this. True there is still the odd hint of Pop Punk on the likes of Already Dead, but there is much much more than that. San Diego Calling could be late 70's Early 80's New Wave, Wasted Holiday could be Weezer, She's High is classic Glam Rock.






Overall though there's a real maturity and wit to the writing. The songs are not about da kidz now, The Wild Young Hearts are more in the territory of the Brit Pop Bands who made the bigger stage. My Older Friend is in Gallagher territory, Sad Songs ditto.

Hoodlums is a real joy of an album. Beautifully written, beautifully played. I'm not sure that you'll hear a better album this year and if you do it's gonna be some offering. Six months on and this still sounds just as good, if not better.







You can listen to and buy the album here.




The Heartache State - Last Of The Buffalo



I listen to a fair few Australian bands, most of them Indie Guitar or more relevantly, Power Pop. Melbourne's The Heartache State are nothing like those bands, you'd be hard pressed to get the Oz link, this is prime time classic riff rock.

Very much in Exile On Main Street territory, but without the whininess say of a Primal Scream. Hints of Tom Petty, Southern Rock and most relevantly Black Crowes. Last Of The Buffalo gives that recorded in the studio feel, but not in a bad way. The riffs sound like mini jams, but hook you and there are some real gems present.





Honey Slide is a corker of a song, all loose and hooks, Swallow All Your Pride is almost like a riffed up Replacements. Calm Me Down could be Jeff Tweedy leading an early version of The Eagles. The band are best when they rock and the slower songs don't always work, but this is a really accomplished album. Great at what it does and well worth investigating.

You can buy the album or listen to it at the links shown here.



Thursday, 28 September 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 15



Catching up on loads of reviews and there are far more to come. In the meantime, it's Lap 15 of the I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is tomorrow. There's some great new stuff around, so just one archive track this week.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Narrowing this week down to just one hour was particularly tricky, so this may be the best show ever. Where as the weekly image on here is usually changed, it's still Lego this week, because I like it.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first fourteen shows here.

Here's what you are going to hear this week.

01 DM3 - Can't Get What You Want
02 Pugwash - What Are You Like
03 Chris Price - Algebra In The Sky
04 The Posies - Unlikely Places
05 The Stanleys - Amy
06 The Forty Nineteens - And Such And Such
07 Hey Hello - Glass Of Champagne
08 Deer Tick - Sea Of Clouds
09 The Dahlmanns - Connie Converse
10 American High - Bunny
11 Friday Giants - What You're Made Of
12 Per Gessle - Fyrklöver
13 Tommy Henriksen - Punk City
14 The Red Button - Solitude Saturday
15 Blitzen Trapper - Wild And Reckless
16 The Dopamines - Kaltes Ende
17 Tom Slatter - Happy People




Sunday, 24 September 2017

Chris Price - Stop Talking



I've been really remiss in not reviewing the new Chris Price solo album. Better late than never though. It's been five years since the magnificent debut, Homesick and in that time Price has been involved in the return of Linda Perhacs and most notably Emitt Rhodes.

Rainbow Ends, the Rhodes album, was joyous. An artist that we never thought we would hear again, encouraged by Chris Price and a stellar cast for the Jellyfish brigade, it was wonderful. Now it's back to the solo career.






Although I've seen comparisons to Billy Joel backed by The Beatles, I compare Price to two different artists that are more beloved to the Power Pop masses. I'd like to think that these are the sort of songs that Pete Ham would be writing if he were still with us.

There's also more than a touch of Todd Rundgren in comparisons. That Philly Soul meets Classic Rock vibe is certainly the in the likes of  Stop Talking. Algebra In The Sky is classic mid 70s Pop Rock, an age that I wished I still lived in. Think Jigsaw, 10CC etc.





Sigh is Jeff Lynne-ish with again overtones of Rundgren. One Of Them is jaunty Piano Rock. In between all this great singalong Pop, there are some great acoustic songs such as Anhedonia and Hi Lo.

Man Down wouldn't be amiss on a John Howard band album and anyone who can write a song as beautiful as You And Me (And Everyone Else) is worth following forever. There has been a lack of great Singer Songwriter albums over the past few years. Stop Talking is up there with anything that has gone before.





This is a great example of great songwriting. It's sensational. You can buy it everywhere. You can also listen to it here and buy one of the few remaining copies on vinyl here.



Arts & Leisure - Rescued Objects



It's been a fairly quiet Summer, release wise, but that's about to change with some fine releases due in the next couple of months. Few will match the new Arts & Leisure album, this is great Pop, putting the pop in poptastic.

The Sacramento band's breeziness and outright chirpiness is just what's needed in these times. The jangle mixes all that is great with California Sunshine Pop but with a more English sound. It works beautifully.

There are plenty of Girl Pop references, all of them good. Here I Go could be 60's Psych Pop, but Rescued Objects nods to the most harmonic examples of the genre. Part Time You is all 80's Postcard Pop with a real Orange Juice jangle.






The opener California Goth Pop is a stormer of a song, the vocal reminds me of Shelley Poole and her better Alisha's Attic adventures, Cure For Today is so Go-Go's. Call Down The Night could be Sarah Cracknell.

Violet Black could be Lush and the closer, the brooding Last Call is a splendid way to show that this is a band that are going places. Arts & Leisure are certainly not some retro tribute. There's so many musical directions, 60's Pop, 70's New Wave, 80's Indie and 90's Sub Pop. All blend into a crackerjack of an album.






Vocals wise, Gerri White reminds you of so many great pop vocalists away from those mentioned. Think Susanna Hoffs, Debbie Harry, Louise Wener, but this is very much a band album. There is some real guitar depth coming from Cory Vick. This is one of the best things that I've heard all year.

Special mention should also go to Allen Clapp's Mystery Lawn Music. I have long been a fan of The Orange Peels, but since MLM was set up, there are some fantastic albums coming through. Each one different. indeed another album from the stable will be reviewed later in the week.






You can listen to and buy the album here. You should!



Friday, 22 September 2017

The Mock Turtles - Turtle Soup Expanded Edition



The Manchester scene from 1988, coined Madchester a year later, has names that roll off the tongue. Amongst James, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets, were The Mock Turtles. That scene, not unlike Brit Pop, had some real gems away from the obvious.

The Mock Turtles' 1990 album, Turtle Soup, was one such stand out. I'm really surprised that it's taken until now to reissue. The difference with this band was that although they had the Madchester template, trippy guitars, vocals a tad like Morrissey at times, there was far more depth.

Turtle Soup nods to a much wider area, there's late Sixties Beat, Psych and even mid 80's Goth Riffs. There is essentially a real pop heart to the album and riffs and jangles to hold on to. There are also early nods to Shoegazing. The sad thing is that most people will remember them for one song and those with a deeper knowledge for two of the band members.





Martin Coogan is the band leader and the older brother of Steve and actor, Martyn Glyn Murray was the guitarist. Also thanks to Vodafone and Sky Premier Football coverage, Can You Dig It has become anthemic and a reminder of those early 90's days. More recently, And Then She Smiles was the theme tune to the Sky TC Series Stella, again alerting the masses to what a great little band these were.

It's enough that Cherry Red have reissued the album itself, it deserves that, but unlike a lot of reissues, there are tons of extra stuff and it's not throwaway. Turtle Soup's 11 original songs have been expanded to a massive double disc affair of 41 tracks.

Amongst these extras are the early EP's, singles and b sides and seven demos. Those early EPs are again essential listening. The whole package is a credit to the label. Turtle Soup has been out of print for so long, that just throwing it out would have garnered much interest. The fact that this has been so properly curated makes it well worth your pocket money.


You can buy the album here and everywhere.



Thursday, 21 September 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 14



Catching up on loads of reviews and there are far more to come. In the meantime, it's the 14th I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is tomorrow.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

15 new tracks including a splendid Ricky Ross solo version of Raintown and two archive tracks that bookend the excitement.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first thirteen shows here.

Here's what you are going to hear this week.

01 Northern Uproar - Any Way You Look
02 Deer Tick - Don't Hurt
03 Arts And Leisure - California Goth Pop
04 Together Panagea - Kenmore Ave
05 Ricky Ross - Raintown
06 Joey Sykes - That's American Life
07 Francobollo - Wonderful
08 The Movielife - Ghosts In the Photographs
09 The Heartache State - Honey Slide
10 El Goodo - I Sit And Wonder
11 Psychotic Youth - The Voice Of Summer
12 Watchfires - We Will Always Forget
13 Bubblegum Orchestra - The Other Side Of Midnight
14 Paul Bertolino - Typical Girl
15 The Toms - No Visual Signs Of Love
16 Declan McKenna - The Kids Don't Wanna Come Home
17 The Colourfield - Castles In The Air (Extended Version)



Francobollo - Long Live Life



Francobollo's debut album has been a long time coming, but it's definitely been worth the wait. Although based in London, the band are predominantly Swedish and you know our thoughts about the Swedish Scene and it being so much more inventive than the UK for a number of years.

With most of the Scandanavian artists that are covered here, the emphasis is usually on Pop Hooks. Well Francobollo are very different. There are hints of everything and all of it is left field. There's a real Psych feel at times and on Kinky Lola, they are almost Beefheart.






There's also a real rustic feel, yet a song like Future Lover sounds like something off Drums And Wires. There are also times when early nineties indie springs to mind, but then they can get as noisy as The Jesus And Mary Chain.

It's the space that the band leave that appeals so much. You could compare them to a noisy Daryll-Ann.Radio sounds again like early XTC or more relevantly, Talking Heads.There's so much here to admire, but be warned Long Live Life needs repeated listening to fully appreciate what it does.






There's so much here for the listener, the album will appeal to left field Glam fans, early UK and US New Wave admirers, C86 and IRS lovers. The band also have a superb live reputation and are on tour in the UK next month, so it's a real chance to see them before they get massive.

I listen to a lot of stuff, probably too much, but my ears always prick up when I hear something that is great and more importantly, different. Long Live Life is that, you should buy it now. You can get the album on vinyl or CD here or buy it to download everywhere.



The Movielife - Cities In Search Of A Heart



It's great to have The Movielife back in our lives after their split in 2003. Vinnie Caruana has since led I Am The Avalanche, whilst Brandon Reilly has been in Nightmare Of You. Although there's more than enough variation present here, it's the more melodic tones of the latter band that shine through.

I've always considered The Movielife as good as if not better than Taking Back Sunday, yet all the plaudits went to TBS. The great news is that the Long Island outfit are in as good a form as ever and have added a real maturity to their sound.






While Laugh Ourselves To Death and Blood Moon point to their past, Ghosts In The Photographs is bordering on Power Pop and there's even a ballad with Pour Two Glasses. The closer, Hearts is a dark moody strum.

Cities In Search Of A Heart is at it's best when it tones down the noise and lets the melody get out, most prevalent on Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel, which could almost be Green Day. There's been quite a few reformations lately, good, bad and ugly. The Movielife are in the good camp.






You can buy the album here and everywhere.



Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Deer Tick - Deer Tick Vol.1 and Deer Tick Vol.2




Deer Tick offer up two albums released on the same day, but fear not, this is no Use Your Illusion providing one good album from the two. Volume 1 and 2 are distinctively different, perhaps underlining the schizophrenic nature of the band previously.

The difference can be compared a little to Neil Young when he plugs his guitar in or not, but that's a bit simplistic. The first album is a really interesting take on their Roots and Americana influences. The second rocks out in Replacements mode, the band you sense Deer Tick always wanted to be. You sense John McCauley always wanted to be Paul Westerberg.




The fact that the albums got made at all is testament to McCauley's recovery from the chaos in his private life. Father, Wife To Be, drugs, you name it and it's got in the way. So when the news came of potential recordings and a mellowness and settling down in all things personal was both a relief and also a concern.

Would this calmness dilute the band's strength, the erratic was at times the charm? It's true that things seem less intense musically, there seems far more sharing of duties, Dennis Ryan and Ian O'Neill get a turn at vocals and it works over this amount of material. It's still McCauley's drawl that works best.

Vol. 1 works beautifully and is almost a jam at times, interesting melodies, great strum alongs. Card House and the magnificent Sea Of Clouds work best. This is the sort of stuff that I generally listen to less, but the album captivated me in a way that surprised me.




I knew I'd love the second volume and oh how I do. It is more on my home territory. Plugging those guitars in completely changes Deer Tick, it's all riffs and organ, wonderfully ramshackle, yet incredibly focused.

McCauley's lazy vocal delivery works well with the riffs and choruses that integrate it and in Mr Nothing Gets Worse, you have a real Westerberg / The Replacements vibe. Both these albums are worth the admission. Don't be tempted to just buy the noise or the roots, both played side by side show the versatility of Deer Tick. The band's return is more than welcome.

You can buy the albums at the band's Bandcamp site here or they are available at all good record stores etc etc.




Thursday, 14 September 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 13



The Radio show has just been put to bed and is brought to you by the number 13 this week.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

12 new and three archive tracks for your delight

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first twelve shows here.

Here's what you are going to hear this week.

01 The Supernaturals - The Day Before Yesterday's Man
02 Sparks - Missionary Position
03 David Myhr - Spellbound
04 Copper Dalton - Brand New Moon
05 Shout Out Louds - Jumbo Jet
06 The Sherlocks - Will You Be There
07 Ted Leo - The Future (Is Learning To...)
08 Nick Garrie - The Moon and The Village
09 Rooney - Two Steps Ahead
10 The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco - Swings And Roundabouts
11 Fake Laugh - You Do Know
12 Kyle Vincent - Wake Me Up (Original Version)
13 Sewage Farm - Top Of The World
14 The Cheap Cassettes - Worse 'N' Better
15 John Miles - Overture



Monday, 11 September 2017

Ted Leo - The Hanged Man



Ted Leo has always given the impression of a man straining at the leash, even Aimee Man didn't seem to calm him too much. His angry new waved up Power Pop made you think he'd be Neil Finn if only he'd tone it down.

But why should he? 2004's Shake The Sheets was a perfect template for Political Indie Rock, all clever venom about the right to question things. Since then he suffered from two record label collapses and the economics of being an independent musician in these times. Hence there are no Pharmacists here, although Chris Wilson drums.

As excellent as The Both are and how Aimee Mann and Leo complement each other, there was a yearning here for a new solo album and it seemed that none would be forthcoming. The Hanged Man proves that wrong and is exactly why the man has been missed. The album sounds less urgent and direct than Leo's previous offerings and all the better for it. Anyone who can write a song as urgent as The Future (Is Learning To....) deserves a full listen and although that is the stand out song, there's much more to enjoy.





The Nazarene is very Neil Finn, compare that to the sheer noise of the opener, Moon Out Of Phase, a glammed up, fuzzed up joy. Run To The City is in classic mid 70's Pop Rock Territory, Can't Go Back is all jaunty Ben Folds piano pop.

The Little Smug Supper Club is so early Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello, an absolute cracker, Anthems Of None stays in that late 70's UK New Wave Territory. The closer, Let's Stay On The Moon is a brooding sprawling 6 minutes plus to calm every thing down, a really personal song that Ted Leo seems to want to get out of his system and you glad to hear the result.

It's been seven years since The Brutalist Bricks. The Hanged Man has made every hour of the wait worthwhile. All 14 songs add something more to the Leo Rucksack. This is an absolute gem of an album. You can buy the album everywhere and you should.



Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sparks - Hippopotamus




First up I am a Sparks fan, when the Queen Of Burtonwood grumbles about the amount of music here, I blame Ron and Russell Mael. 43 years ago the first album that I bought was Propaganda, so for four fifths of my life, Sparks have been close by. I'm also a little different to a lot of similar aged Sparks fans who think everything has always been fantastic and hunky dory. The 80's were not very kind to Sparks, there are some real clunkers away from Whomp That Sucker and Angst In My Pants.

Ron Mael should be celebrated as one of music's great lyricists, rather than the weird guy on the keyboards, no one writes lyrical couplets like Ron and that's why most of the 80's output irritates me because an album like In Outer Space sounds so twee and is lyrically banal. It's as though the songs were phoned in.Sparks have always moved in whichever direction they pleased and they've took a lot of the fans with them, but what they've also managed to do is bring the young along with them, appealing to a student audience whatever the year is.





There's also an irritation here concerning some reviews from people who are putting up Sparks as National Treasures who have always been beloved, they treat Jeff Lynne and ELO the same way, there were times when both couldn't get a decent hearing. The thing I love about the band is that they treat every album as though it was a debut and the people who buy it are assumed to be hearing Sparks for the first time.

This has been a fine approach and meant that the history isn't what brings a lot to the party, the listeners hooked at listening to Dick Around would listen to an album like Indiscreet, one of my Top 10 albums ever in bemusement if they heard it before Hello Young Lovers. This is their first song based studio album in nine years and the three before have been incredibly inventive, so how would Hippopotamus compare to their recent form and general back catalogue.






Well, the album is wonderful, truly so, no two songs are the same, it even closes with a duet with Operatic Soprano Rebecca Sjowall. The collaboration with Franz Ferdinand, FFS, revealed that Sparks were writing three minute pop songs again and there's plenty of that here with the likes of What The Hell Is It This Time?, A Little Bit Of Fun and the magnificent, Missionary Position with it's piano riff. The latter could be one of their best songs ever, praise indeed, it sits happily here and could sit just as well on Kimono My House.





Ron Mael's lyrics are at the top of their game, as are the song subjects which are as left field as you could ever want. The wonder of Ikea, people and their petty prayers and the title track asks how so many things got in the pool such as a Hippopotamus, a woman with an abacus and a Volkswagen Campervan. I can only think of one person with such lyrical depth about banal subjects and that's Randy Newman.





There's plenty here for those who, like me, like their Sparks weird and enough for those who like the dance and a host of great great Pop. Whatever stage you joined Sparks at, it is catered for and the album as a whole stands up alone beautifully, so you feel free to get hooked. The upcoming live tour promises much, particularly with the marvellous Mini Mansions in tow. Live you can expect lots of Hippopotamus in the set, 8 of the 15 songs I believe and all the favourites, plus a couple of surprise inclusions.


How many bands have survived 45 years and have a new album out that sounds as fresh as the first? Sparks don't rest on their greatest hits, they are interested in the now but are grateful that you like their past. Without doubt, this band changed my life and showed what music can mean to you. I wouldn't want to be the 11 year old me again, but thank goodness I've still got the Mael Brothers.






You can buy the album here and everywhere.



Hello Bear - Do You Want Ants... Because That's How You Get Ants!



Norwich quartet Hello Bear's mini album is a splendid 7 track affair. Although still leaning towards Pop Punk, there's tons of influences to make it far from ordinary. Although many will hear Weezer here, it's not quite that.

Do You Want Ants? is a far more English take on the genre and so the emphasis is more on Pop. Strength Is Not Your Strength gets Glam Rock like at time, almost call call and response. Manuka Honey has a clever dual vocal.





There's also a cleverness in the lyrics that isn't always noted when listening to the riffs and you also feel that the Power Pop is fighting to get out. The album is at it's best on Afternoons Delight which is a bit like The Feeling on Speed. More of this jauntiness promises much for the future.






You can listen to and buy the album here.



Thursday, 7 September 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 12



After a bad dose of Norton Internet Security Upgrades taking me back to 1998, the server is back in action and the reviews can recommence because I can get at the music. The service returns to normal with the start of a big catch up over the weekend.

The Radio show has just been put to bed and reaches the round dozen this week.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

14 from the department marked new and three archive tracks for your listening pleasure.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first eleven shows here.

Here's a sneak preview of tomorrow night's excitement.


01 Tsar - I Don't Wanna Break-Up
02 DM3 - Monsters
03 Daisy House - Looking at Me (Stop!)
04 Pezband - Drop Me A Line
05 Neil Finn - The Law Is Always on Your Side
06 Owsley - Coming Up Roses
07 Bill Nelson - I'm Dancing
08 The Young Hearts - Medicine
09 Luke Seymoup - Jailbird Sing
10 The Hangabouts - Twelve Songs
11 City Boy - Walk On The Water
12 Bubble Gum Orchestra - The Beatles Made Me
13 Shake Some Action - Starting Again
14 Fernando Perdomo - Spotlight Smile
15 Oh Wonder - High On Humans
16 Gentlemen Jackals - Waiting for the Day
17 Mordecai Smyth - Heading Back West



Thursday, 31 August 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 11



After a welcome break, the reviews return tomorrow and there's a lot to come over the next few days.
Today was the prep of the I Don't Hear A Single's Radio Show which reaches number 11 this week.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Again, it's light on the Archive stuff, but the closer is a 12 minute blistering live performance from Be Bop Deluxe.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first ten shows here.

Feet can be tapped to the following :

01 Fast Romantics - American Love
02 Hello Bear - Afternoons Delight
03 Muscle Souls - Beautiful Fool
04 Sparks - Hippopotamus
05 Ted Lukas - Speak Less, Say More
06 Luke Haines - Marc Bolan Blues
07 Huxley Rittman & The Rusty Hitmen - If The Shoe Fits
08 Game Theory - Between The Bottles
09 A J Davila - Beautiful
10 James King And The Lonewolves - Fly Away
11 Daniel & The Real Feels - City Girlfriends
12 The Difficult Stranger - Fall In Love With You
13 Dan Wilson - Closing Time
14 The Weeklings - Paperback Writer
15 Be Bop Deluxe - Blazing Apostles (Live)



Thursday, 24 August 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 10




I Don't Hear A Single's Radio Show reaches double figures this week. Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

It's a cracker, I could've filled two hours, so I've had to cut the usual two or three archive tracks for this week only.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first nine shows here.

Here's what you can groove along to.

01 One Like Son - New American Gothic
02 The Pot Beach - Bloody School
03 Title Tracks - Protect Yourself
04 Bryan Estepa - Rattled and Rolled
05 Magpie - Daisy Paints Her Fingers
06 The Singles - Phone Call
07 The Rationales - Under the Gun
08 Any Version Of Me - Some Saturday Morning
09 Mothboxer - Get It Right
10 Dot Dash - Searchlights
11 David Kurtz - Good Things In Life
12 Coke Belda - Run To Me
13 Edward Rodgers - The Player
14 Stanley June - Holding On
15 The Bishop's Daredevil Stunt Club - The Woman Who Got Old
16 Plasticsoul - Biff Bang Pow
17 Star Chamber - Sleeper



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Magpie - Picasso On A Log



I'm absolutely loving the Magpie EP. Somerset isn't generally at the centre of all things poptastic, but this foursome from Frome certainly have all the melodic chops and hooks. Delving further, you discover that the band are made up of members of two excellent bands.

Andy Morton and Mike Poulson are in Bronco Bullfrog, Paul Tozer and Chris Woodland are from The Bad Detectives. Neither of these bands give you an advance warning of what to expect from Magpie. The Bad Detectives are very much in shake rattle and roll territory and Bromco Bullfrog are one of the better examples of more recent UK Psych Pop.






What you get is some classic Summer harmonic pop, very much in the mould of a band like The Legal Matters, but with far more in common with the Sixties. The EP is like a cross between mid 60's UK Beat and late 60's California Pop and it is a fine listen.

She Knows Where I Live is Brit Pop at it's best (two and a half decades before the Gallaghers), it has a lot in common with The Move's debut album. Don't Turn Your Back On The Sun is all Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying. Wrote Me A Letter is all west coast jangle.






Daisy Paints Her Fingers is when it gets a bit more Psychy, it reminds me of something that would be on The Orgone Box's Debut. A very English social commentary, like Judy Over The Rainbow. Ulysses are very much on my mix tape (er playlist) at the moment and so I'm delighted to note that Luke Smith has recorded and mixed the EP.


You can listen to and buy the album here for a bargain 3 dabs. You should, it's a cracking little listen.