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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.