Monday, 25 March 2019

The Spirit Of Radio




This is the first of a series of articles under a general heading of "Where Are We Now". These will cover the Music scene over topics such as Promoters, Labels, Promotion, Retail etc and I start with Radio. My opinion is no more valid than others. Agree or disagree, I have just had a real frustration with these topics and if it's only to get this off my chest, then so be it.

The internet is to be congratulated and blamed for everything. For every sigh at the demise of Record Shops, CD, DVD and much more, there is a hurrah for the ability to access most music, converse with people and fellow fans and discover new music. There has also to be recognition that Youth generally drives most things and that they are never going to be as motivated about albums as generations before. They have instant access to whatever they want to listen to via Spotify and You Tube.

There are contradictions of course. The excitement of Vinyl and Cassette are surprising and probably this year's hot pants, just as it's bizarre to see people bemoaning the range in HMV and yet continually arguing that they shouldn't participate in record Store Day. But the point of Youth driving tastes and society changes is very relevant concerning Radio. Gone are the days of MW, FM or even DAB dictating anything. The Radio was a staple at work, now it's just as likely to be someone's Spotify Playlist.

So as Radio has become something that just may be listened to in the Car, so different ways of hearing music that we wouldn't normally listen to are available and the rise of Internet Radio and Related Podcasts is as good as it is bad. Getting played on "Radio" still means a lot to bands, but Internet Radio isn't the same thing, it doesn't have the same impact. An artist or band should equate the airplay to how it is affecting Sales.

Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic Labour Of Love stations that truly believe in what they listen to and I'd like to think that IDHAS is one of those. There are some fantastic Internet Radio Shows. Take Psych for instance, a genre that may leave people cold, there is a Peel like quality to many of the shows on the net, you hear something that is a cacophany followed by something that is so melodic that it could be Radio 2. The important thing is that you hear something you like and that encourages you to buy or look further into the artist.

However, there is unfortunately a great deal of deception and a buyer beware sign across others. If I look at IDHAS, I listen to a lot of stuff, some sent to me, others recommended by other Bloggers and Journalists. My policy is that if I like it, I review it or play it, if I don't I ignore it. I get a lot of emails from both PR companies and Pluggers. Most I don't like, but I do listen to it all and I realise that the people who sent the email or song are working for an artist who has paid them to do that and that's absolutely fine. They are doing what the artist wants and sending their songs to people who might genuinely be interested.

There are also plenty of great PR people, the best of which know what you cover and know that there is a chance that you'll like it. Those people are a god send to artists, because they know their audience. I'm thinking of people like Shauna McLarnon, Billy James and Robert Vickers. There is also stuff that arrives from cut and paste pluggers that is just laughable. When have you heard Hip Hop or House on an IDHAS Show?

It's this plugging that is ruining what should be a joyous Internet Radio experience. The ability to listen to a show that might make you discover ten artists is something to treasure, but too many stations are not that. I have often thought that the best way to direct people to music that they may like is to form a Radio collaboration or collective. Listeners could go to that station at any time of day and know that they'd find something to listen to that they'd like. The reputation of the collective may grow and allow one or two of the presenters to break out into something more mainstream.

The problem with this idea it's that it is being ruined by Alliances that are doing this under false pretences. Part of that problem is the term "Indie". It covers too much, mainly everything that probably has a guitar on it and isn't on a major label, therefore virtually everything. These Alliances produce Charts that have no similarity to anything else on the internet, so how are they decided? My concern is that these are dictated by Pluggers and I know in some cases that the Pluggers own the stations.

An artist pays them to promote their single and they go back to the artist and say you've had 600 plays this week. You can bet that this is probably 30 plays on 20 stations all in with the same plugger. The artist gets no value for the money, they are led into a misconception that they are on the radio and getting popularity, yet this is relating to no sales. You might as well spend the money down the Pub. This is yet another example of the only people making money from the Independent scene are not musicians.

Then there are these ridiculous charts. You can spot them a mile off. They have a weekly Top 40 of artists that appear on similar related charts. Most of the artists are artists that I have never heard of or have and they haven't impressed. That's not saying that I am the arbiter of taste. I listen and review lots of different styles of music, but I'm known for Power Pop and Pop Rock. I know at least a dozen writers and DJ's from a similar field and know that they have never heard of these artists either. I know one band that few rate that appear on every one of these type of charts.

I know that when I produce an IDHAS show or write about an album that listeners may not have heard of the band, it's what I do. But I also know that the majority of these dozen people will have heard from them and we feed off one another. This isn't a bitch at anyone in particular, it's a frustration. However I would advise any artist to ask serious questions about any person or company who tells them they will get a lot of Radio Play. Ask how many copies of the single will it sell me and base your decision on that.

There is definitely a place for like minded Internet Stations, indeed I am about to join one at Woody Radio. But there are also a lot of charlatans. Video may have killed the Radio Star, but Plugging and Self Interest is killing Internet Radio and ensuring that Spotify get all the money. It's like Payola never went away.

This series about will continue next time with an article about Gigs. Another example where the musician doesn't get the money, but the Promoter does.


.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Volume 64




Volume 64 is prepared and ready for your lugholes. Another splendid selection of audio joy.

20 songs to help you to put the Brexit Blues on the Back Burner. A massive thanks to Jim Moody for his superb technical skills, without whom this would not be possible.

The playlist details are on here and by clicking the Mixcloud tab. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Aural adventures on Mixcloud here.


You can listen by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

01 Stealers Wheel - Benediction
02 The Delaneys - Crown
03 David Mead - She Walks Like A Grown Woman
04 The Ragamuffins - Be Clever
05 David Paton - Some Other Time
06 The Embryos - Wasting All Your Time
07 David Brookings And The Average Lookings - I Grow Up Fast
08 Sports Team - Get Along
09 Martha - Heart Is Healing
10 Christopher Elam - The Idler
11 The Glimmer Stars - Feel It
12 Spiral Stairs - The Fool
13 Beauty Stab - Need You Around
14 Yorick van Norden and Anne Soldaat - The Door Into Summer
15 Dear Boy - Limelight
16 David Tolar - Halcyon Bridge
17 I Was A King - No Way Out
18 Quasar Wut-Wut - Withering Time
19 District 8 - All Is Forgiven
20 The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South Of Reality



IDHAS Volume 64 Mixcloud Link


.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Sports Team - Keep Walking! EP



There's been a lot of talk about Harlesden's Sports Team over the past 12 months. The release of their second EP, Keep Walking, following on from last year's Winter Nets, shows that the six piece are no flash in the pan. It's as though the band are grabbing the UK's Indie scene by the throat and giving it "This Is How It's Done" shake.

These five songs gather tons of ideas and craft songs about the banal and minutiae into a poptastic affair. Creatively strong, they possess a great front man in the dapper, Alex Rice. There's also a difference to previous pretenders in the band's ability to cut it Live. Indeed they may be at their best on stage.





The lead song here is a magnificent peaen to the M5 Motorway, a song much praised by Steve Lamacq and something for me to agree with him for once. Get Along is the stand out here, to these ears, a real strum along, the vocal is a bit Brandon Flowers before he spent too long in the Synth Shop.

There's also a killer Bass riff on the hilarious, Ski Lifts, it's almost Cypress Hill. Casper is another gem, Rice comes across all Noo Yawk with it's lounge lizard vibe, almost Bowie like. There's plenty of comparisons present here, from Pulp to The Divine Comedy, but the overall feeling is one of pure joy. Perhaps Indie Pop will witness a revival and Sports Team may very well carry the lead banner.






You can listen to and buy the EP everywhere. The 12 Inch is particularly lovely.


.


Beauty Stab - O Eden EP



On IDHAS. there can be a given impression that the youth of today are just regurgitating hipsters, a theory largely exaggerated by me and there is a reason for this. All around my local scene, I see large beards promoting bands that no one has heard of and when you actually listen to them, it's all mediocre wannabe Bunnymen.

People encourage my Adventures With Hipsters Themes, but the truth is this Brussel Sprout munching rubbish is ruining two vibrant cities, why put your X Box Controller down when music offers up this rubbish. So I always make a point of highlighting exceptions to this frustrating theme. One such example is Beauty Stab.






I've always admired Vukovar from a distance as a sort of Post Punk originality that you could dance to. Out of the ashes of that band come Beauty Stab, a sort of intelligent, non plinkity plonk Soft Cell for the Smartphone generation.

The title track has Dan Shea channelling Edwyn Collins, accompanied by a Duck Rock beat. It's wonderfully hypnotic. Shea croons like a torch singer and it's just ace. My good friend, Peter Fitzpatrick, who is the keeper of all things Synth Pop will absolutely love this.






Clothes is far more industrial, a sort of Depeche Mode go Goth. It has a splendid clunk click accompaniment. The gem here though, to these Can loving ears, is Need You Around, it's wonderfully atmospheric, almost Krautpop. It'll be interesting to hear it mixed with all the Power Pop and Psych on an upcoming I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show.

This is not the normal sort of music that you'd read about on IDHAS and that's what makes it so special. O Eden is an EP bustling with ideas that have been thought through. There are so many influences to be heard and yet it's so original. Well done Metal Postcard for bring this to the world.






You can listen to and buy this here.


.

I Was A King - Slow Century



Norway's I Was A King return triumphantly and Norman Blake returns to the Producer's chair. The band's last collaboration with him on 2012's You Love It Here was a fine thing indeed. That album also benefited from Robyn Hitchcock's involvement. Slow Century has lots of similarities, although this is far more straight ahead Pop.

The Jangle count is still high, but the arrangements are much broader. It's definite in TFC laid back mode, but there are more similarities with Gretchen's Wheel. Tiny Dots has a lovely little twee keyboard riff, the title track is magnificently moody and No Way Out burst out unexpectedly.






The competing vocals of Anne Lise Frokedal and Frode Stromstad work beautifully and the quartet show that there is far more to them than twee jangle. The stripped down Folksong is inspired. Run is very Glasgow 1986 and all the better for it.

I prefer it when I Was A King lose the restraint and that's when you hear the real Teenage Famclub Sound on songs like all to short, Run and No Way Out which stands up with any current Jangle Rock that you'd care to name.






You can see the band live as support on the upcoming Teenage Fanclub European Tour. You  can listen to and buy the album here.


.

Friday, 15 March 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Volume 63




Volume 63 is all cued up and ready to rock. (Insert Another Cliche here)

20 fine tunes for your listening delight. A massive thanks to Jim Moody for his superb technical skills, without whom this would not be possible.

The playlist details are on here and by clicking the Mixcloud tab. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Aural adventures on Mixcloud here.


You can listen by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

01 The Late Great - Sundown Surrender
02 The High Strung - Riots Of The Mind
03 Masked Intruder - Mine All Mine
04 Rainbow Danger Club - Homemade Rocket
05 Jeff Kelly - Moon Over Granada
06 Cats In Space - Narnia
07 Pictures - Can't Stop Loving
08 Pete Wain - Inner Voice
09 The Peggies - Kiminosei
10 Any Version Of Me - Thinking Of The Days
11 The Bobbleheads - I Really See You
12 The Covasettes - Like You
13 Paulusma - Crying Shame
14 Nezrok - Middle Ground
15 Victor Krummenacher - No One Left To Remember And No One Left To Tell
16 Lost Ships - Here's What You Could Have Won
17 Holiday Ghosts - Slipstream
18 Dave Paulson - Don't Let It Get You Down
19 Charms Against The Evil Eye - Oscar
20 Two Sheds Jackson - Weekend



IDHAS Volume 63 Mixcloud Link


.,

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Smile From Tokyo - It Haunts



Brooklyn Quartet, Smile From Tokyo offer up a cracking new album with It Haunts. The album jingles and jangles just the right amount and there is some stunning Guitar solos that mark it out from the ordinary.

There's a hint of R.E.M at times, a far more melodic version and at the time the stream of consciousness lyrics fit splendidly with the chiming around it. Then there's This Ghost which is more Southern Country Rock.







There's a definite Husker Du feel here, particularly on Where Did You Go with it's high Fuzz quota. There's largely two halves to the album. The second half is more Acoustic driven which works well, particularly on the jangling California.

 However the band are best when it gets a bit more frenetic. Particularly on Hard To Say with it's Cult like intro and Stay The Course which is ace Power Pop. I am highly impressed with what It Haunts provides and it continues the great start to the year.






You can but and preview the album from CD Baby here.


.

The Late Great - Temporary Love Songs




The Late Great's second album is wrapped in a big big production. This is great Piano Rock, it reminds me in feel to the last Fast Romantics album. Main Man, Tor Thomassen's vocals are very Ricky Ross, if Ross was being backed by The E Street Band or Bruce Hornsby's Range.

There's a definite Deacon Blue feel, maybe even Cherry Ghost. Temporary Love Songs is a huge singalong affair. The album's pace rarely lets up, it's big in scope and yet again proves what a hot bed of Pop Rock, Norway is.







I must confess to a love of great Piano led Rock, but there's far more than just that here. Epics like Sundown Surrender and Another Trap don't let up and Born To Be Young is at thigh slapping pace. If Not Forever Girl has a great Organ background, again the Deacon Blue feel is high.

The handclaps on All You Got border towards Power Pop or even The Replacements. You really would expect this album to be out of the States. It's Norway and all the better for it. It's really loud for these Lo-Fi ears, but wonderfully so.









You can buy the album everywhere and really should. You can listen to samples on the likes of Amazon here. Plus it's on Spotify.


.

The High Strung - Quiet Riots



I like to think that I have my ear to the ground, but I was gobsmacked to only just discover The High Strung. So much so, that I had to ask my great friend Keith Klingensmith of Futureman Records, who filled me in with the details.

To discover that this is the ninth album from the Detroit five piece, leaves me plenty to catch up on and I intend to do that sharpish. Quiet Riots is one of the best Psych Pop albums that I've heard in a long time and it's not stuck in that genre.






If You Wanna Roll is Grade A Power Pop, Summer Of Night is Campfire Jangle and Eavesdropped On Again is Merseybeat through and through. But it's the Psych Pop, with the emphasis on Pop, that appeals most. This really is wonderful stuff.

For those who haven't heard it on the Radio Show, Riots Of The Mind is an absolute gem of Sgt Pepper-esque Psych. Then there are joys like When I Lay My Egg with it's Relics like feel and Legion is like something from Head.






You'd expect a song like Goffin & King to be some sing along ballad, not a bit of it, it's li8ke something straight from Toytown, very Keith West, with a great instrumental break out. The whole thing sounds so Carnaby Street.

Quiet Riots is beautifully played, full of unexpected hooks and chord and tempo changes. It's only March, but this is one of the best things thus far this year. If ever you look at the label Psych Pop and think it's gonna be some weird shit, you should play this album, it's full of melodic greatness.






You can listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about the band here.


.

Pictures - Hysteria



I get into a lot of trouble when I talk about Oasis. It's not just the great debut and half a fine second album comments, it's the Oasis changed my life brigade that wade in. They sincerely believe that music was invented in 1994 in a way that Football began with The Premier League.

There are far worst bands of course, but it's the fawning on the Gallagher's recent albums that should cease. Noel is offering up Phoned In albums, whilst Liam is reinventing bland aided by Toytown lyrics.

Why do I mention this? Well take a listen to Hysteria and you'll realise what a Gallagher album should be like. Although the album cover may confuse you, Pictures are a four piece German band and this album is as good as anything Brit Pop produced.






Hysteria isn't blindingly original, but what is there is done beautifully. Songs are anthems with big choruses, at times a bit like Embrace with a decent vocalist. There is no doubt at all that Pictures deserve recognition. The album is so damn catchy.

What's also noticeable is that the album isn't front loaded like so many of the new breed and that could be the quality of the songs on offer. The Middle section of Roll Up, Can't Stop Loving and Because stands up with any Guitar Rock that you;s like name, hooks galore.







There's even a Lighter song to close the album with Don't Take Your Love Away. It's ace to see what used to be the norm, a big stage Rock album that actually has songs that you want to listen to than experimental rubbish. The main surprise is that Partners are German, this sounds like such an English album and I defy anyone to be able to stop singing Can't Stop Loving.

You can listen to and buy this everywhere and you won't be disappointed if you do.


.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Vanilla - Mystik Knights of Tacoma



The return of Liar's Club in 2013 was one of the welcome surprises of that year and that album, Come And Go remains heavily played here. It is one of the most underrated Pop Rock albums of the past decade. There's been no Liar's Club since, but the band members have not gone away.

Scott McPherson has reappeared in Pop4 and the superb McPherson Grant, whilst Jayson Jarmon, Sean Gaffney and Dana Simms are part of Vanilla. That trio plus Gavin Guss and Mark Simmons offer up the band's third album aided by a who's who of Tacoma musicians. McPherson guests too.






Mystik Knights Of Tacoma is as excellent and varied as you'd expect from those involved. Great pop is bathed in a mixture of styles from Vaudeville to Pop Metal and all in between. Be Not Coy is the Everly Brothers, Bankside is a spooky Simon and Garfunkel, Monkey Punch could be The Tubes. You catch my drift about the variation?

Man Of The Moment is Bacharach, female vocal and all, Let's Call It A Day is early 60's Teen idol and March March Of The Mystik Knights is some type of Russian Surf. However it's the poppy psych of Sweetshop that stands out here, a storming 3 minutes of bubblegum joy.






It's hard to pick two songs that give a flavour of the album here, but I've tried. It would be best to go and listen to the whole album here and then buy it.


.

The Dates - Ask Again Later



Garrett Goddard, as part of King Tuff and Personal And The Pizzas, is generally known for something far more noisy than this melodic gem. His solo outing on the magnificent Burger Records label lies, surprisingly, somewhere between Teenage Fanclub and Big Star.

There are also two covers amongst the ten songs, both of which are favourite songs of mine. The fleshed out sound on Stealers Wheel's Star and the fuzzy version of Buddy Holly's Love's Made A Fool Of You work beautifully, particularly the guitar on the latter.






Many bands are compared to Big Star and TFC, well The Dates virtually are them. Friday Night @ Vineland has an intro that is pure On The Street and Any Other Nite is Teenage Fanclub at their jangly best. The Dates are not just a wannabe tribute band though.

Tru Wolfpack is mopes beautifully, splendidly moody. Pennies 4 You could be the Bay City Rollers and the rocking Nervous could be the best thing on the album. However, Summer Girl again gets you thinking of Ardent Studios. Goddard's fragile melodic vocal suits the lo-fi nature of the album to a tee. The album is a great standalone listen.






You can listen to and buy the album here.


.

Cats In Space - Day Trip To Narnia



Cats In Space are gloriously over the top and their third album shows no sign of this abating. Certainly. the magnificent opener, Narnia, has everything you'd want from a Pop Rock song across it's five minutes. A killer chorus and air guitar solo to delight all.

The band have been lumped in with the Melodic Rock brigade and that's unfair, this is far more than that, they are like every great FM band that you've ever known. Hints of ELO, Supertramp, Pilot, Queen etc. Sweet's Andy Scott guests on the AOR anthem, Hologram Man, which gives you some indication of what the band excel at.






The overall sound reminds me a lot of the underrated 70's outfit Trickster, but the arrangements are better, the sound is bigger and there is far more lyrical wit. There's the Vocal Harmony of Queen and the pomp of Kiss and there's a power ballad in Chasing Shadows which has a hint of Styx in it's composition.

Tragic Alter Ego and Silver And Gold are great singalongs and then there's The Story Of Johnny Rock, which is incredibly brave. The latter is a 27 minute, 7 part, concept based on the accompanying comic strip, a side long on the vinyl.






The album is a fun packed listen. The only hint of criticism I'd make is that the lead singles should maybe have been Narnia or Hologram Man, both seem more acessible to the masses, but that's just personal opinion.

Day Trip To Narnia is available everywhere and you should definitely dig it out. It takes that Melodic Rock label to a whole new level.


.





Monday, 4 March 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Volume 62




The third of our trilogy recorded last week. I know I say this often, but listening back earlier I concluded that, this is one of the best volumes ever. It encompasses what these things try toachieve, a great mix of songs, plenty of variation and considerable thought going into the song sequence.

19 corking tunes are present to take your mind off the Brexit and Trump catastrophes. A massive thanks to Jim Moody for his superb technical skills, without whom this would not be possible.

The playlist details are on here and by clicking the Mixcloud tab. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Aural adventures on Mixcloud here.


You can listen by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

01 Zombies Of The Stratosphere - Easy, Gene
02 The Voluptuals - You'd Be The First (To Die in the Zombie Apocalypse)
03 The Davenports - Don't Be Mad At Me
04 Asylums - When We Wake Up
05 Badfinger - Know One Knows
06 Duncan Lloyd - Dear O
07 Barely March - Nervous As I'll Ever Be
08 Nine Violets - Same Old Story
09 Bertling Noise Laboratories - Whisper Softly
10 The Golden Rail - The Sky is Always Blue
11 Braddock Station Garrison - Blockbuster
12 Hospital Job - Mount Rushmore
13 Sam Hoffman - Glencrest Lane
14 Pictures - Little Girl
15 Kai Danzberg - Where Can I Sleep
16 Jetboy - Born To Fly
17 The Morning Line - Given Up
18 Drew Beskin - Pharmacy Girl
19 The Metal Babies - Forty Minutes



IDHAS Volume 62 Mixcloud Link


.

The Voluptuals - Terminal Patience



Chicago's The Voluptuals describe themselves as skirting along in the 4th dimension and that's a fairly good appreciation of what they do. Listening to Terminal Patience and I'm reminded of how I felt when I first heard The Sugarplastic.

It's not that they are directly like that band, although the magnificent You'd Be The First (To Die In The Zombie Apocalypse) is as close as you are ever gonna get. It's just that this is so far Left Field that it's off the scales.






A 1001 ideas are bursting to get out and once you've acknowledged one, you realise they've already moved through three others. There are plenty of hints of Bowie and early Roxy Music glam, yet there are glances at Devo and B-52's. I'm even more drawn to comparisons with Deaf School. Overall thought, this album is so damn inventive.

Track to track, you have no idea what's gonna hit you on first listen. Everybody Loves You is pure Oingo Boingo. Cosmic Gutter Boogie is a cross between The New York Dolls and The Cars. Violence At Hyperion is a UK New Wave Joy and Ne Plus Ultra is Mink De Ville with John Shuttleworth's Bontempi.






Across the album's half hour, you have nine wonderfully inventive epistles. As you reach the closing number, with your head still spinning at the wonder of it all, you hit Pseudogamy In Athens, the album's finale. You'd expect it to be different to everything else, because the other 8 songs have and you are hit by a meandering anthem, almost Classic Rock.

I can't express enough how impressed I am with Terminal Patience. It's an absolute crackerjack of an album. The best thing I've heard this year thus far. I look forward to hearing far more from this quartet. Well done all!





You can listen to and buy the album here.


.


Saturday, 2 March 2019

Rainbow Danger Club - Treehouse Empire



Rainbow Danger Club have been lobbed into the Prog Crowd and listening to the excellent new album. Treehouse Empire, you'd wonder why the hell why. The only semblance of Prog is the excellent The Day The Earth Stood Still which is the only noisy thing on the album and veers towards Psych Pop anyway.

The rest of this joyous album, is laid back Pop Rock and it's really really good, in fact much better than that. This is beautifully arranged Pop Rock with unexpected twists and turns. Formed in Shangai and relocated to Austin Texas, the band offer up a cracking listen.






From the hypnotic keyboard riff of the opener, Homemade Rocket, to the meandering So-Cal of the closer, Livin' The Dream, with it's Alan Parsons Project feel, this is one hell of an album. A song like Moon Song reminds me of Mr Big, the UK Mr Big, not the hair metal ones with it's haunting guitar.

There's a Christopher Cross feel to The Art Of Forgetting with it's haunting violin accompaniment and Sleeping Dogs is Wilco-esque. Friend Of A Foe is a sort of gunfighter ballad, very different to what's gone before and there's some great Tijuana Brass on it.






Enduring Love is almost a Torch song, it reminds me a lot of Cherry Ghost, as does Summer's End. The title track is the stand out for me, it's a slow build up that increases tempo and could be on any Mid 70's great Pop Rock album of choice.

Treehouse Empire is well worth your pennies and it's available at Name Your Price, so what have you got to lose? Don't expect the usual riff-o-rama that you hear here. This is mellow sit back stuff and all the better for it.






You can listen to and buy the album here.


.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Volume 61




Hot on the heels of Volume 60 comes errrrrrrrrrrrr Volume 61. No artist intros. I've thought of adding them, but people say they like the hour long no break model. I will sound out people if that needs to change.

17 toe tapping ditties to get you ready for the weekend. A massive thanks to Jim Moody for his superb technical skills, without whom this would not be possible.

The playlist details are on here and by clicking the Mixcloud tab. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Aural adventures on Mixcloud here.


You can listen by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

01 Acid - What's Going On
02 Hux & The Hitmen - Stay With Me
03 Holy White Hounds - Perpetrator
04 Tullycraft - Passing Observations
05 Van Duren - Grow Yourself Up
06 The Late Great - Sundown Surrender
07 Said The Whale - Record Shop
08 Brett Newski - The Afternoons
09 Karen Haglof - Tobiano Twirl
10 Trapper Schoepp - Drive-Thru Divorce
11 The High Strung - Riots Of The Mind
12 Plasticsoul - The Ghost Inbetween Us
13 Andy Burrows And Matt Haig - A Different Game
14 Smile From Tokyo - Hard To Say
15 Minor Majority - Where I Make No Mistakes
16 Scrivener - Levitate
17 Noctorum - A Resurrected Man



IDHAS Volume 61 Mixcloud Link



IDHAS Exclusive Premiere : Gretchen's Wheel - Amateur

.


We get a fair bit of stuff at IDHAS, well ahead of release and it's frustrating at times, holding back the excitement of telling you about it. We are currently sitting on releases as far away as May and June, so we hit on the idea of premiering exclusive tracks from albums with the help from the artists and labels involved.

It's particularly relevant that we kick of this series with Gretchen's Wheel. We are long term fans of Gretchen's Wheel and were gobsmacked to have another album offering, so soon after the magnificent Black Box Theory which was one of IDHaS's Best Albums of 2018.

We've described Gretchen's Wheel as Sloan fronted by Chrissie Hynde, but Black Box Theory concentrated on the a darker more mellow side of Nashville's Lindsay Murray and the exclusive track here reveals more of that.

Murray's tender, almost fragile, vocal is again very much to the fore here suits the Nada Surf songs beautifully, although Clear Eye Clouded Mind rocks like a good un'. That voice of an angel strikes through gracefully.

I know some will think, oh a Tribute Album, but it's the take on these songs that makes the album so worthwhile. It's like hearing the songs afresh from one of the best female vocalists around. This is most relevant on the Acoustic Version of Rushing.

You can pre-order the album here now. The digital release is a bargain Five Dollars and there is also a 12 Inch Format for you Vinyl freaks, as well as a CD Version. There will be a full album review here before the 22 March release.

In the meantime, if you need more convincing here is that exclusive IDHAS Preview Track. To get you in the mood further, the complete Gretchen's Wheel back catalogue is available at Name Your Price here.





You can read more about that back catalogue here.


.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Volume 60




It's been a while, but here is a new Volume of Audio Delight. Volume 60 will be swiftly followed in coming days by 61 and 62.. No artist intros. I've thought of adding them, but people say they like the hour long no break model. I will sound out people if that needs to change.

20 splendid songs to make your day brighter. A massive thanks to Jim Moody for his superb technical skills, without whom this would not be possible.

The playlist details are on here and by clicking the Mixcloud tab. You can listen to the previous IDHAS Aural adventures on Mixcloud here.


You can listen by clicking on the link at the end of this post.

01 The Dictators - Who Will Save Rock and Roll
02 Dot Dash - Unfair Weather
03 Will Wander - Small Adventurer
04 Yorick Van Norden - More Than Words
05 Babyscream - Roundabouts
06 Cassettes - The One
07 Bel Heir - Hush
08 Kimberley Rew And Lee Cave-Berry - All The Colours
09 The Trend - Tune Me In
10 Anton Barbeau - I Been To Bromley
11 Guided By Voices - Step Of The Wave
12 David Woodard - I Used To Be Cool
13 The Vapour Trails - The Inner Truth
14 R Stevie Moore - Pop Music
15 Jay Bird And Haley Bee - All Along
16 Dee Rangers - I’m Your Fool
17 The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness - Nervous Man
18 Attic Lights - Never By Myself
19 The Lucky Setback - Cut Me To The Quick
20 The Maureens - 4 AM



IDHAS Volume 60 Mixcloud Link



Saturday, 23 February 2019

Cassettes - Wild Heart



For their debut album, Philadelphia Five Piece, Cassettes, have described Wild Heart as a love letter to the FM era and you know what, that description is absolutely spot on. This is great Pop Rock and I'm in far more familiar territory here. If Cassettes want to bring FM Power Pop back to the masses, I'm happy to carry a banner.

Wild Heart is beautifully produced and although I'm reminded of more current affairs like Somerdale and Vegas With Randolph, most will think more of Kenny Loggins and Rick Springfield. However this isn't straight AOR, it leans more towards Power Pop and the great Pop Rock albums of the Mid 70's. The likes of John Miles, Pilot and Jigsaw spring more to mind.






The One is 100% Power Pop and wonderfully so and it's the Power Pop here that is most engaging. Songs like She Get's What She Wants, I Wanna Know and Mother Teresa stand up with anything in the genre, past or present.

One Million Guitars sounds like something off the Footloose soundtrack, Born In The 90's is great American Teen and American Movie reminds me of a popped up Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. There's even a fantastic semi instrumental closer, Huey Lewis And The Blues which rocks out like a good 'un, a sort of Now 70's.






There's so much to like here and it's refreshing to hear Power Pop done so well by a band under the age of 50. The beauty is that this isn't pastiche, the songs are stand alone great. I can't recommend Wild Heart highly enough. It's poptastic.







You can listen to and buy the album here.


.

Hux And The Hitmen - Soggy Oxygen



One of the weaknesses of IDHAS is it's coverage of EP's. Albums are well covered here and Singles by the Radio Extravaganza, but EP's less so. You'll see that remedied here later today, but I digress. Soggy Oxygen was going to be covered in this upcoming EP Section, but the debate over how many songs is an EP and the strength of the offering means that this mini album should be held back no longer.

I first came across Hux And The Hitmen at IPO Liverpool in 2017. I'd really gone to meet up with the Big Stir crowd. Having mithered them to visit these shores and considering myself a honourary member of the collective, I was excited to see The Armoires, Spygenius and particularly, Plasticsoul.






Hux And The Hitmen were part of the Big Stir UK Tour, but to be honest, before IPO, I hadn't paid them much attention despite how great Rex Broome kept telling me they were. I arrived at The Cavern Pub just before the band were going on and I was just gobsmacked at what a live act they were. Despite all the delights that were at that year's IPO, this quartet were the best thing that I heard.

Now relocated to Nashville, this 25 minute six song offering showcases what the  foursome are all about. Although Soggy Oxygen is a little bit more restrained than they were live, it's a cracking listen. In fact far more than that, it's a corker.






Stay With Me is present here and this still remains their best song according to my ears. it should be celebrated alone, but what surrounds it is just as intriguing. The opener and lead song, Go Figure is a meandering masterpiece. It revs up into a noisy exploding guitar solo. Spooks is a Psych Pop wonder, showcasing Hux Rittman's vocal.

The other three songs are much quieter, Sherry has a haunting keyboard riff, almost space age. Goodnight a moody affair and live favourite Can't Talk To Anyone is like one of those Brit Pop album closers.







Soggy Oxygen is a truly admirable debut. I look forward to the next chapter. You can listen to and buy the album here. You can also find out more about Hux And The Hitmen at their website here.


.

Tullycraft - The Railway Prince Hotel



I used to think of Indie Pop as some delightful adventure. A genre that included great melodic left field songs from artists such as The Housemartins, Alisha's Attic, Pet Shop Boys and even my beloved XTC and Sparks.

Nowadays the genre denotes autotuned wailing songs with not a guitar in sight and fifteen songwriters credited to each exploding bassline affair. So I will not label the magnificent Tullycraft with that Indie Pop nonsense, they'd certainly go in my definition of Indie Pop, but let's settle on Twee Pop.






Let's get this clear from the start, The Railway Prince Hotel is a wonderfully inventive affair, one of the best things that you'll hear this year and you won't hear anything else much like it. Song titles out of the A-Z Half Man Half Biscuit Song Title Book. But there is melody and great strong structure in these quirky titles, something HMHB haven't mastered.

Tullycraft have been around for a long while now, they are well into their third decade and the line up changes and production have developed the band into the great pop affair that is offered here. The album is a revelation and the dual vocals of Sean Toleffson and Jenny Mears work beautifully.







There are hints of The Housemartins here musically and B52's in the band's format, but I think more of the likes of The Sugarplastic when I hear this joyous affair. Any one of these 12 songs will get your feet tapping in accompaniment, but there are some stand outs.

The ska like Midi Midinette and the wonderful joint vocals on Passing Observations are a joy to listen too. There's even a Paradise By The Dashboard Light ending to Ginger And The Gingerbreads. Factor in song titles like We Couldn't Dance To Billy Joel  and you know that you are in for a treat.






You can listen to and buy the album here. You really should you know.



.

Dee Rangers - All You Need Tonight



All You Need Tonight is Stockholm's excellent quartet Dee Rangers's seventh album. Whilst residing largely somewhere in the 60's, there's a fine canvas here that shows how versatile the band are. The band are really good at what they do.

Per Nystrom's vocals sit along side Lee Mavers and Dave McCabe, indeed there is a real Scouse late 80's / early 90's vibe. Having said that though, there is far more grit here, down and dirty if you like. You can imagine the band being a real live drawer and a revelation in some tight club gig.






There's less Garage Rock here than on previous albums. hints of Power Pop, oodles of Mod Pop and a sort of Groovy Austin Powers 1967 vibe, particularly on the storming instrumental, Powerslam VI, which you'll hear on an upcoming Radio Show.

There's some great riffs and choruses on Pop numbers such as I'm Your Fool and the Jangle of I Want A Girl Like You.Kisses Sweeter Than Wine is pure UK New Wave and Older Guys is a very McCartney Beatles Rocker. Patchouli is great noisy Psych Pop.






All You Need Tonight is a beautifully produced stomper and deserves a place on your Album Shelve. You can listen to the album and buy it here. You can also buy the limited Vinyl format there and this album is particularly suited to the 12 Inch offering.



Thursday, 31 January 2019

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2018 : 1-10




2018 has been a fantastic year for the type of music that we like. It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a Top 10 person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the first time last year, I did a Top 50, normally I just say what my favourite album of the year is. I've simply done it again, because those five posts of last year were so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

As I said the standard this year is incredibly high, so much so that I've extended the choice to 100 albums. There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the IDHAS Review if applicable.


No 1 : Ex Norwegian - No Sleep     IDHAS Review here.







No 2 : Bird Streets - Bird Streets     IDHAS Review here.







No 3 : Caper Clowns - A Salty Taste To The Lake     IDHAS Review here.






No 4 : Ian McNabb - Our Future In Space    IDHAS Review here.







No 5 : Nick Frater - Goodbye Kayfabe    IDHAS Review here.







No 6 : The Foreign Films - The Record Collector    IDHAS Review here.







No 7 : Wilkerson - Wilkerson    IDHAS Review here.






No 8 : Caddy - Ten Times Four    IDHAS Review here.







No 9 : Mick Terry - Days Go By    IDHAS Review here.







No 10 : The John Sally Ride - Nothing Doing 





.
.

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2018 : 11-20



2018 has been a fantastic year for the type of music that we like. It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a Top 10 person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the first time last year, I did a Top 50, normally I just say what my favourite album of the year is. I've simply done it again, because those five posts of last year were so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

As I said the standard this year is incredibly high, so much so that I've extended the choice to 100 albums. There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the IDHAS Review if applicable.


No 11 : The Ragamuffins - Cause Of Causes     IDHAS Review here.







No 12 : Andy Bopp - Wherewithal      IDHAS Review here.







No 13 : Vegas With Randolph - Legs And Luggage






No 14 : Mothboxer - Open Sky






No 15 : The Gold Needles - Pearls       IDHAS Review here.





No 16 : Greg Pope - A Few Seconds Of Fame    IDHAS Review here.





No 17 : Nick Piunti -Temporary High     IDHAS Interview here.






No 18 : Fernando Perdomo - Zebra Crossing 





No 19 : McPherson Grant - Song





No 20 : SUPER 8 - Hi Lo 



 


.

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2018 : 21-30



2018 has been a fantastic year for the type of music that we like. It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a Top 10 person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the first time last year, I did a Top 50, normally I just say what my favourite album of the year is. I've simply done it again, because those five posts of last year were so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

As I said the standard this year is incredibly high, so much so that I've extended the choice to 100 albums. There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the IDHAS Review if applicable.


No 21 : Jeff Whalen - Ten More Rock Super Hits 






No 22 : The Speedways - Just Another Regular Summer     IDHAS Review here.







No 23 : Checkpoint Charley - Pomp, Twaddle And Bombast : Songs 13 - 24   IDHAS Review here.





No 24 : Summer Magic - Sharks And Other Dangers    IDHAS Review here.







No 25 : Yorick Van Norden - The Jester







No 26 : Salim Nourallah - Somewhere South Of Sane






No 27 : Bill Lloyd - Working The Long Game 






No 28 : Rob Bonfiglio - Trouble Again    IDHAS Review here.







No 29 : Groovy Uncle - Meanwhile Back In Medieval 






No 30 : 8X8 - New Data New Day 







.

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2018 : 31-40




2018 has been a fantastic year for the type of music that we like. It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a Top 10 person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the first time last year, I did a Top 50, normally I just say what my favourite album of the year is. I've simply done it again, because those five posts of last year were so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

As I said the standard this year is incredibly high, so much so that I've extended the choice to 100 albums. There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the IDHAS Review if applicable.


No 31 : Mike Viola - The American Egypt   







No 32 : The Orange Peels - Trespassing







No 33 : Gretchen's Wheel - Black Box Theory    IDHAS Review here.







No 34 : Ward White - Diminish      IDHAS Review here.






No 35 : Will Wander - Moon Station Volume 1      IDHAS Review here.






No 36 : TGL - The Grand Leve    IDHAS Review here.






No 37 : Ruler - Winning Star Champion






No 38 : Linus Of Hollywood - Cabin Life






No 39 : Custard Flux - Helium    IDHAS Interview here.






No 40 : Chris Richards And The Subtractions - Peaks And Valleys    IDHAS Review here.





.
.

I Don't Hear A Single Albums Of The Year 2018 : 41-50




2018 has been a fantastic year for the type of music that we like. It's been difficult to get these choices down to 100. I'm also not a believer in saying one album is better than another. Most of the time you are comparing Apples To Oranges. I'm not a Top 10 person, I just think what's the point.

However, for the first time last year, I did a Top 50, normally I just say what my favourite album of the year is. I've simply done it again, because those five posts of last year were so popular and the aim of this Blog is to get exposure (and Sales) for the artists.

As I said the standard this year is incredibly high, so much so that I've extended the choice to 100 albums. There is no meaning or judgement on an album that is Number 1, Number 100 or not on the list. Anything that I review on here, mention on Social Media or play on the Radio Show is as highly recommended.

For each album, I've posted a song from it and a link to the IDHAS Review if applicable.


No 41 : Cinderpop - Bricolage       IDHAS Review here.







No 42 : The Stan Laurels - Maybe      IDHAS Review here.






No 43 : The Supahip - The Two Sided Face      IDHAS Review here.






No 44 : Hurry- Every Little Thought 






No 45 : P. Hux - This Is The One      IDHAS Review here.







No 46 : Phil Yates And The Affiliates - Party Music!      IDHAS Review here.






No 47 : Dot Dash - Proto Retro      IDHAS Review here.






No 48 : William Duke - Quatro      IDHAS Review here.






No 49 : The Yancys - The End       IDHAS Review here.






No 50 : The Cleaners From Venus - Life In A Time Machine






.