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Saturday, 28 August 2021

The Catenary Wires - Birling Gap

 


I've been meaning to review this album for a few months and finally have. The third offering from The Catenary Wires is a little different to the two that have gone before. The band are now a five piece rather than a duo.

The addition of  Ian Button, Fay Hallam and Andy Lewis on Drums, Keyboards and Bass respectively hasn't changed the direction considerably, but despite the beauty of Amelia Fletcher's voice, this seems more an angry album.




Gone is the Pop of Amelia and Rob Pursey's previous outfits, Tallulah Gosh and Heavenly. The vocal entwining of the two is as wonderful as ever, but the sound has been expanded. This has allowed a greater depth to the album in what seems to be righteous fury at what Brexit has made us.

The songs are beautiful, but melancholic and what appears simple on first listen allows much discovery on future visits. The vocal harmony on Face On The Rail Line is something everyone should admire. Three Way Car has a Western feel on the verse linked to an almost Beautiful South chorus. 




Canterbury Lanes is Folk Pop at times, yet is almost Toytown Psych. Like The Rain is very 60's Film Noir soundtrack and The Overview Effect is a magnificent closer. Newcomers expecting C86 Pop will be slightly disappointed, but after five minutes engrossed. 

The subject matter is one of disappointment and the lyrics make that clear, but the 80's Disco of Mirrorball does all that and is still enchanting. A special mention must be made for Always On My Mind which is a cracking example of Jaunty Pop and a reminder of what the duo used to do. Birling Gap is never ordinary and Highly Recommended.





You can listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about The Catenary Wires here.



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The Arthurs - Glass

 

On to the Netherlands and The Arthurs. The band's second album is a splendid affair. It's unashamedly a Rock album, but this isn't an in your face blow out. Everything is beautifully understated, arrangements are spot on. 

There's masses to get you interested, but never enough to get you shaking your fist. There are some wonderful Guitar Solos, but they always fit the song and are never too long. Glass is a Guitar album and proud of it. However it is also beautifully laidback.



The stand out song is the jaw dropping title track. It is West Coast Rock of the highest order, but the variety elsewhere shows that this lot are no one trick ponies. There is a real gentle Psych feel to Void and Ghost Of Time is based around a killer haunting riff.

The noisiest the band get is on Window, riffs come from everywhere and the pace is really picked up. Yet Something With Oceans is somewhere between Goth and Jangle, but controlled beautifully by Robin den Drijver's fine mellow vocals. The Guitar arrangements on this are ace.



Hiraeth opens with a Desert Rock like riff but then wades into a mix of Psych Pop and Space Rock. Alice At The Wedding is a great closer. A little slower than what precedes it, slightly U2 in their better days and an absolute gem of a riff.

The tendency with this type of album is for the songs to be a minute too long, none of that here. It is very say what you want to say and move on. I don't listen to many Rock albums these days, Glass has convinced me that I should. Highly Recommended!



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


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Friday, 27 August 2021

Hurry - Fake Ideas

 

I feel I'm on a familiar territory, or at least my old stomping ground, with Hurry's fourth album and that is a good thing. The quartet have mastered an area somewhere between Power Pop and the Glasgow territory of the likes of Teenage Fanclub. Mastered being the key word.

Guitars Jangle on catchy verses and big choruses. Songs are built on a killer riffs awaiting the break out solo. Unusually for this genre, the lyrics are plentiful, none of this verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, first verse again, chorus here. The lyrical depth is admirable.



Philadelphia's Matt Scottoline leads the band with aplomb and although you know what to expect, four albums in, you would want no more. Fake Ideas just sounds so Upbeat that no one could be critical, you just want to sing along.

Few have also developed gradually without the quality varying. I can think of Caddy and few others. Any of these ten songs could appear on a Best Of Hurry and you cannot give them a higher compliment. The band feel very Brit whilst never losing sight of being American 



Slogging Through The Summer is very TFC and but for the lockdown could have been the Summer Breakout song with its hypnotic Twang. Oh Whitney is very Lightning Seeds with a gem of a riff. In My Very Old Age is a splendid meandering closer. 

In truth though, it is really hard and unfair to pull out individual songs as every one is great as the other. Power Pop give the impression that its easy. It is much harder to get it right and few do it better than Hurry. Fake Ideas is a joy to listen to. A real feel good album!



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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The Peacers - Blexxed Rec

 

The Peacers' third album, their second as a quartet is a fine thing to behold. Wonderfully inventive with Pop overtones regularly creeping out of the Psych and Garage mix. I talk a lot about the poppier end of Psych Pop, but this is far more from the Psych end.

It is such a splendidly noisy affair and yet the band switch easily into the melancholic, largely acoustic on a song like Irish Suit. At times, there's a bit of a Radiohead does Psych feel, but then again it might be The Kinks doing Psych.



This is all deliciously lo-fi without you ever doubting that this lot can play. I have often wondered what the current Brian Bordello offerings would sound like in group form and decided that it would probably be this. The Peacers can be as way out as you wish, but equally there are Pop Gems such as Dandelion. 

Don't be mistaken about how chaotic or messy it can seem because there are depths revealed on every listen. The beauty is that they are not trying to be anyone else and that freedom makes them leaders rather than followers. 



The Thunder is An Electric Love God is almost Glam Rock and Bic Star is in mid 60's Revolver territory. 2017's Introducing The Crimsmen hinted at what was to come. That second album revelled in the group format whilst still not wanting to lose the Garage Street feel. 

Blexxed Rec is a far more song related affair, the Pop springs out wonderfully without ever losing what the band are about. Plus, if there is a better song this year than Make Ir Right, I haven't heard it. Psych Pop is undergoing a real revival and these four remind you that Psych is in the title. 



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 5




Because we don't write about singles and individual songs, We wanted to utilise something simple to mention songs that we like. Hence the Ten Songs Mix thing which will appear weekly. Ten new songs in 37 minutes this week.

Apologies for the delay due to work commitments. However we do have an absolute cracker for you this week. The first three week's have hit high positions in the Mixcloud Global Indie Rock Chart. Week 4 reached No 19 in the Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Chart.

This week's Mixcloud link is below and at the foot of the page is the Mixcloud Player which takes you directly to the music. Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week.

01 The Well Wishers - Wonderful Life

02 Daniel In The Dark - No Help

03 The Sun Sawed In Half - Cat's Away

04 Jake Skuller - Only Getting Older

05 Salim Nourallah - Donut Shop

06 Sloper - Mind Melter

07 The Lunar Laugh - I Wanna Know

08 Oscar Lang - 21st Century Hobby

09 Jude Cole - I'll Miss You

10 Tunnel Traffic - Wishing Well


IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 5



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Daniel In The Dark - Care To Share

 

Los Angeles's Daniel In The Dark has released a splendid album. The only frustrating thing is that there is little around to embed in this review to convince you how great Care To Share is and I'm hoping this might be remedied. All I can offer are the Spotify and Apple Music links at the foot of the review to allow you to listen to it.

I've been listening to this constantly for the past week and it is corking. More in the Rock area than is the default here, but riff driven and those riffs are big and hypnotic. The choruses are big and there's plenty of bases covered.

Touches of Glam, Desert Rock and even Stadium Rock. Lyrically, it is surprisingly deep. No Help, which you can hear on the upcoming IDHAS Ten Song Mix is in in Muse Territory without the hysteria and messed about with vocals.

One Millionth Time is very Queens Of The Stone Age, yet Social Status is more 80's Rock. Like And Share could even be Prog, but Today Is The Day is Anthemic. Daniel has quite a following on Instagram here, I'm just more than a little surprised that the general internet doesn't reveal more because Care To Share really is a fine album.


You can listen to the album here.


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Oscar Lang - Chew The Scenery

 



There's been constant excitement in the Pop Rock world awaiting the debut album from Oscar Lang. The EP and song releases have promised much and the Londoner has hinted at such variety in these releases. This can be really dangerous with expectations too high, we've been fooled by hype many times before.

Thankfully, Chew The Scenery is everything that was expected. 12 songs (plus an Intermission) of great variation, although one foot is always in the Pop Rock, almost Brit Pop camp, there is so much here to tune your ears into, not everything works, but the vast majority does. 




The album is at its best when the chipper Summery Pop is at the forefront, but the Psych Pop is also beautifully done. Less successful is the Dance Pop of  Yeah and Are You Happy. It does showcase the talent, but ends up sounding a bit too Robbie Williams. 

His Piano Pop is great, Write Me A Letter is wonderful, but there does seem to be far more depth when the Guitar is plugged in and at the forefront. Away from this, Final Call is very Verve like, although the piano is splendidly creative and there is a wonderful string break out. 




But is the chirpier stuff that stands out most. 21st Century Hobby is a great feel good affair, probably the best thing on the album. Thank You is really uplifting and Stuck fairly races along with its killer chorus. There's also a real Psych break out that adds even more. 

I Could Swear has a slight 60's and is a top notch Pop singalong chorus. Headphones is close to Scouse Pop Rock, a real anthem. There really is so much to like here. It is also a real change to hear something slightly celebratory and positive.




You can buy the album here and listen to it everywhere.


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Sunday, 22 August 2021

They Seek Him Him There

 


Fear not kids! I Don't Hear A Single Hasn't Been Mothballed and Don hasn't gone off to join the Paul Weller Fan Club. I'm currently in the middle of a real work contract and it is long long days. It has now switched to four days on and four days off and the current four days on continue up to and including Tuesday. It is all work and sleep during the work days. 

However, those with sharp mental arithmetic skills will have worked out that Wednesday to Saturday are free days, so a lot is planned IDHAS wise including the delayed IDHAS 10 Song Mix 5. Number 4 hit the Top 20 of the Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Chart. Plenty of Reviews to come too. So in the meantime why not browse some older Reviews if you don't fancy cake baking or underwater knitting.

See you then!


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Thursday, 19 August 2021

Steve Robinson - Swallowing The Sun

 


Steve Robinson is an Englishman who isn't in New York, but is in North Carolina after previously being in Florida. The Headlights were a band noted for Folk Rock and at times sounded more American. This solo album sounds far more English, far more in common with his Scunthorpe roots.

With The Headlights connection, it will probably be labelled Folk Pop, but Swallowing The Sun is more Pastoral Pop. It is a beautifully arranged album, gentle, magnificently moody, whilst still being melodic. Plenty of hooks, but far more it is about a vibe.



The only real Folk standout is probably Skinful which has a real Celtic tinge. Milk And A Dash edges that way, but there is a Toytown Psych Pop theme trying to break out. This is a Pop album with an Acoustic platform that is expanded splendidly in the instrument additions and arrangements. 

Many of you know how tired I get of XTC comparisons, but the whole affair feels very Nonsuch, not in the songs, but certainly in the style. So it is no surprise that Dave Gregory guests on two songs. The two are Quiet One which is very George Harrison and Needle In The Red.



Needle In The Red is a fantastic song, the album stand out and Gregory's Guitar work throughout is jaw dropping from the Slide to the soloing. The song approaches 6 minutes and that seems too short. Make You Mine reminds me a lot of Dear Madam Barnum. 

Dizzy Love Song is great McCartney Pop and Mr Empty Head is another gem of a song, very 70s Pop Rock. All 11 songs here, although very different, merge into a splendid soundtrack. It is is an uncomplicated album, yet you admire the thought that has gone into the writing and arrangements. Highly Recommended!



You can listen to and buy the album here


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The Easy Button - Lost On Purpose

 


I adore Tampa's The Easy Button. The band is masterful in the way they weave their jaunty Power Pop with a real lyrical intelligence. Power Pop is often denigrated for the nonsense from fans who want to label it as one thing and the banality of the I Love You, Yes I Do, You Know Its True lyrics.

So when you hear an album like Lost On Purpose, you realise that the genre doesn't have to be like that. It can be varied and still charming. Power Pop should be fun and this is. 9 songs that all sound the same and a ballad is a template that too many use.



The Easy Button's base is very second half of the Nineties. A Fountains Of Wayne or Weezer vibe springs to mind, but there is far more variation to what they do than simple Guitar Pop. For instance, Ansty (Heavy Weather) edges right into Country with its hypnotic twang.

There is real thought and construction put into the songs, but if you want something riff driven, this lot can do that. Most people spent lockdown either moaning or strumming on an acoustic guitar. The Easy Button spent it perfecting these songs to offer up one hell of an album.



There are 22 songs here and I realise that is a lot of listening, All I can convince you of is that the quality rarely drops and variety is the keyword. You want Slacker Pop Rock, you have Forever Is OK With Me. You want intelligent jaunty Pop, you have When I'm Blue. You want something slower and moody, you have ReRun.

I can't tell you about all 22 songs, but there are some that deserve special mentions. Photograff is a belter of a song about a fictitious band, very Bleu, even more The Major Labels. It is so great that I'm gonna make Bleu aware of it. 



Learning To Drive is a slower affair, yet despite its melancholic vibe, it is incredibly melodic with a big harmonic chorus. The opening instrumental, BliSStered, is an unusual thing to start an album, but it is a joyous couple of minutes.

Finally, for all this variation, the song that hooked me most is She Doesn't Live There Anymore. It is more straight ahead and riff driven than most of the rest here, but it has everything in it that a pop song should including a great guitar solo.

A couple of the songs don't really work, but 20 / 22 is a top notch grade. I also consider Brian Jones to be one of the great unrecognised Pop Songwriters. Lost On Purpose is outstanding at what it does. Highly Recommended and definitely a contender for Album Of The Year.



You can listen to and buy the album here. Note the special package of 12 song LP, full CD, Bonus CD and download for just 25 dollars. You can also listen at the places in this link


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Friday, 13 August 2021

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 4




Because we don't write about singles and individual songs, We wanted to utilise something simple to mention songs that we like. Hence the Ten Songs Mix thing which will appear weekly. Ten new songs in 32 minutes this week.

The first three week's have hit high positions in the Mixcloud Global Indie Rock Chart. Mix 3 made the Top 30 again. Mix 4 is packed with new releases including the return of Ex Norwegian and The World Record and something from the stunning new album from The Harmony Motel.

This week's Mixcloud link is below and at the foot of the page is the Mixcloud Player which takes you directly to the music. Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week.

01 New Sincerity Works - Sketches Of You

02 Steve Robinson - Mr Empty Head

03 The World Record with Annie Hayden - Headaches

04 The Harmony Motel - Played By the Game

05 Ex Norwegian - Thot Patrol

06 Hushtones - Sinking

07 Beach Riot - Wrong Impression

08 The Dowling Poole - Be There

09 Hooverphonic - Thinking About You

10 Vacation - Ripe


IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 4




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Marc Ribler - The Whole World Awaits You (Mick Dillingham)


Mick doesn't only interview, he was a writer for many publications, the most notable being Bucketfull Of Brains. He makes his writing debut for I Don't Hear A Single with a review of Marc Ribler's splendid new album...............................

You want some smart, beautifully crafted and utterly beguiling guitar pop to bring much needed sunshine to your heart and a unstoppable smile to your mind? Then look no further than Marc Ribler’s new album, the glory to behold that is The Whole World Awaits You.  

From the very start you know you’re in for a musical treat of the highest order and over the dozen tunes delivered with such attractive aplomb, Ribler never once drops the ball or fails to deliver anything less than wonderful. 



What a talent the man is in every department. His sweet honey and personable voice is exactly right, a beloved friend to your ears from the opening song that makes you want to listen to the words dancing over and around all this marvellous music. 

Fortunately he is no slouch when it comes to engaging lyrical invention and the songs are lovely, engaging and intelligent, full of clever ideas. Sweet entertaining satire and intelligent heartfelt imagination to nourish the soul.  Ribler seems like a very fine person, warm and engaging, some one you’d be happy to call a friend

Musically the album is masterfully uncluttered, yet full of perfectly placed rich detail to curl the toes of every true music connoisseur out there.  The man is a classic old school guitarist in that he has an individual trademark sound that makes him unmistakably Ribler and no one else. 



That sound is soaring bright and blazing, the guitar breaks are gorgeous and impressively majestic and your heart starts to lift when you know they are coming to take your breath away.  Finding this gem of an album takes me back twenty years or so to those glory days. Days when perfect albums like Brad Jones's Gilt Flake, Brian Stevens's Prettier That You or The Maggies' Homesick would drop into your lap from nowhere 

Albums that captivated you for weeks at a time to the exclusion of everything else. I just cant stop playing this delightful record, over and over and over. I just love it and so will you I am sure. Highly Recommended!



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Friday, 6 August 2021

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 3




Because we don't write about singles and individual songs, We wanted to utilise something simple to mention songs that we like. Hence the Ten Songs Mix thing which will appear weekly. Ten new songs in just over 35 minutes this week.

The first two week's have hit high positions in the Mixcloud Global Indie Rock Chart. Mix 3 has ten crackers, all new including the return of Andy Bopp, Chris Church in The Scott Cornette Trio and much much more.

This week's Mixcloud link is below and at the foot of the page is the Mixcloud Player which takes you directly to the music. Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week.

01 Andy Bopp - Camera

02 Keats - Time

03 Dutch Tulips - Tell Me Your Codes

04 Scott Cornette Trio - Something To Say

05 The Berries - A Hymn That Only I Know

06 Rob Fetters - Turn This Ship Around

07 Reno Bo - Count Your Karma

08 Robby Miller - Little Words

09 Tripper And The Wild Things - Boomerang Kids

10 Caper Clowns - Under Your Command


IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 3




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Thursday, 5 August 2021

The Berries - Throne of Ivory (Singles and B-Sides)

 


The Berries is actually Matt Berry, no not that one, this one is from Los Angeles. The first two albums were very different affairs and this collection may confuse listeners even more. It is wonderfully varied and a truly splendid listen, but it is increasingly hard to pin down what Matt is best at.

The description is also a bit misleading. Throne Of Ivory is more of a stand alone album in its own right. Essentially a stop gap to his third album, only the first half of these 12 songs were actually singles and all were recorded in the Summer Of 2000. The other six songs are reworked songs that were originally written for his second hand album, Berryland, or for that upcoming third album.



The second half of the album is largely in Screamadelica territory heading towards Brit Pop. When it isn't, the feel is more West Coast 70s on Jewel On The West. The stand out here is the gobsmacking Burning Sun/Eve, an absolute Psych Masterpiece.

On the first side (the album is also available on Cassette), Saturday Music is all Glasgow Jangle whilst Ancient Steel is great gentle Psych Pop. High Noon On The Gold Coast is very Blue Oyster Cult, yet Mantra Of Strength is very 60's hippy trippy far out man.



The two gems are Sci-Fi Racer with its Pop Rock riffs and guitar solo, a bit Glammy, a bit Space Rock, in fact a bit of everything, all of it dripping with melody. Then there is A Hymn That Only I Know which is a bit Jarvis Cocker does Toytown. A crackerjack of a song.

I told you this is a varied album. There are so many ideas, maybe too many, that it makes it hard to describe. This doesn't sound like a collection, it sounds more like an album of the year. It is stunning in its scope and all I can say is listen to it and buy the thing. Highly Recommended!



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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The Poppermost - Hits To Spare

 



As well as being the leader of possibly the best band in recent years, Ex Norwegian, Roger Houdaille has become a record label empresario. Think Like A Key have already released some fine Archive stuff from the likes of Kaleidoscope, Ollie Halsall and Patto, but I Don't Hear A Single concentrates on the new.

With releases planned for Novelty Island and Bordello And Clark, the future is bright, but the first new release is from Joe Kane's The Poppermost. Glasgow's one man band, a key part of the UK Pop Rock scene and Hits To Spare should spread that worldwide.



I created some waves by dissing a recent Merseybeat type album, but this is different. The album is fun. Wit and knowledge is added to the new songs. They are performed with style amd much love rather than trying to reinvent the wheel as though Kane is the new sensation.

There is an attention to detail with even added control room banter. These songs sound as though they were recorded in 1963-4, they aren't trying to do it by numbers. For that reason, Hits To Spare has an affectionate air about it.



Comparisons will be made to The Rutles, but they were performing pastiches of known Beatles songs. These songs are more of a tribute to the era, recorded on vintage equipment. Hits To Spare, Laziest Fella In The Realm and Goodnight Georgia Peach are probably the stand out songs. Egg and Chips is also a really endearing opener.

However any of these 14 songs will get toes tapping. Yes it all sounds very familiar, that is the point. A reflection of an age that so many Power Poppers adore, but with a new set of songs to enjoy. I'd normally avoid this sort of thing like the plague, but this is so beautifully done that I can only applaud.



You can listen to and buy the album on CD, Vinyl or Download here. You can find out more about Think Like A Key here.


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Keats - The Saturday Night Shocker

 

Nashville may have a reputation for Country, but more and more Pop Rock has been breaking out recently. Tony Keats's band are one such beast and this third album may be the album that hits the spots that the previous two should have.

The Saturday Night Shocker edges more towards Rock, at times Classic Rock, but the Pop still glistens. There are plenty of singalong choruses, but the lead guitar here heads into a much wider territory. For instance, Hiding Away ventures well into Little Feat territory.



Ten And Two isn't sure if it is Americana or Bad Company and there is still that Little Feat hint, particularly in the chorus. Daisy Cakes is for all intents and purposes a short Blues Rock instrumental. But these aren't the onlyr thrill present here.

Undone is a cracking slab of Pop Rock, Summer is a slowed down melancholic affair which breaks out to a cracking solo, a rock tour de force. Look At Us starts all Mott The Hoople's version of Sweet Jane, a real boogie of a song that builds and builds into something more AOR.



The stand out here though is the superb, Time, a splendid melodic offering and the title track is a close second with its 80s feel aided by the synth addition. There's also a second version of Hiding Away, acoustic and far more country, maybe even Americana.

The album isn't normally the type we would feature here. But this is such a great listen that you must give it a go. Beautifully and expertly played, an album that breaks out when it needs to without ever going over the top. A splendid listen and well worth your attention.



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Sorry I Fell Asleep!

 



Reviews were planned for this evening over a four hour period. Then......................I fell asleep. Heartfelt apologies. Double helping tomorrow including the latest 10 Song Mix. 


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Sunday, 1 August 2021

Thank You Everyone!

 

Thank you to all you readers (and listeners) for an amazing July. July was a record month with 38,369 hits on I Don't Hear A Single. Not bad for a site that concentrates on new and under appreciated Pop Rock. A real answer to those who say that there is no audience for new music 

The surprising thing is that we have been less active publicly in July than planned due to be. This is largely due to being busy resurrecting post lockdown plans for I Don't Hear A Single. We wanted far more reviews up, because we are way behind and will remedy that in August. 

There's also a couple of new things planned for August which you'll see here in subsequent weeks, including a Singles Club. IDHAS has consistently grown over the past five years, but these past few months it seems to have gone ballistic. 

We are thrilled, but put that success down to the musicians. The site is only as good as the music that it recommends, so has always everything is down to the musicians. Something that too many forget.


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The Morning Line - Yard Sale EP (Name Your Price)

 

The Morning Line's North album was in IDHAS's Best Albums of 2019, Yard Sale is something a little different to that, being a a six song collection of demos and outtakes. That shouldn't put you off though as this shows different sides of Stephen Smith's lot.

Being at Name Your Price on Bandcamp means everyone can delve into Yard Sale and I'd recommend that you do. The songs range from 2004 - 2020, all mixed or remixed. Even such a short selection reveals the strength of the band.



North was an album that felt very Matthew Sweet and I Can't Say is really the only thing that sounds similar. No surprise then that this was an outtake from the album that appeared on 2019's International Pop Overthrow compilation. 

The original version of Los Angeles appeared on the 2008 album, Smoke, but this is a much better mix, bringing out the REM similarity out more. It is a cracking slice of College Indie Guitar Rock. In Love With Your Blog is from 2007 and supposedly a throwaway comedy song, trust me it is far more than that.



There's an unusual tongue in cheek, slightly venemous feel to the lyric which suits the music and pace beautifully. I think many know that I generally don't see the point of the forced jollity on Christmas songs, but Santa's Song has a bitterness replacing the usual sleigh bell jingling. There is a splendid jangle feel to the song with a fine solo.

Straight Lines is much looser. very Glasgow at the turn of the Indie Guitar 80's. It reminds me a lot of the more recent Vapour Trails than something from 2004. Those who like this should really track back through The Morning Line's back catalogue. This EP though is a fine introduction to a wonderful band.



You can listen to and grab the album here.


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