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Sunday 26 June 2022

The Len Price 3 - Ip Dip Do


You sort of know what an album from The Len Price 3 is going to be like and they do what they do wonderfully well. A trio whose live reputation really is as deserved as people say. They are a big part of The Medway Scene, but not as fixated on the second half of the 60s as many of that gang are.

They are at their best when they reside in a world somewhere between Canvey Island R&B and The UK New Wave 70s. But they are equally adept at both Psych Pop and Power Pop. The songs on Ip Dip Do are chorus led and seem a bit more Psych Pop on occasions than on previous albums.

Billy The Quid is a cracking slice of early Jam and Ready To Cry is very Buzzcocks with an incendiary Guitar break. Songs like Charlie and Raven At My Window are template songs for the band, choruses that demand a response and played at a breakneck speed. 

I Can't Hear A Thing is top notch Power Pop, Bad Vibe Machine is pure Wilko era Dr. Feelgood and Strange Times is fine Mod Pop. The opener, Chav Squad, is a great example of the power that the trio are so good at emitting. 

The Psych Pop that The Len Price 3 journey into is always under appreciated. Mr Spong's Miraculous Leap is very Sgt. Pepper, She Came From Out Of The Sun is splendid 1967 UK Beat Psych Pop and Spoil The Gloom would be lauded highly if performed by more noted exponents of the genre. The close of the latter is as Psych as you could ever want.

There are some wonderful witty observations in the lyrics and these are songs that offer big choruses that insist that you sing along to. This band are taken for granted too often. Buy the album and you MUST see them live. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Ball Park Music - Weirder & Weirder


Brisbane's Ball Park Music have a much bigger following than the bands that generally get covered on here, but Weirder & Weirder is such a fantastic album that I want those that haven't yet discovered them to be converted. 

2020's self titled album was an outstanding listen and approaching the listening to this, I did wonder if that album would be the masterpiece that could never be bettered. However, the five piece's seventh album just sets the bar even higher. 

Ball Park Music are very much the sum of their parts, they have every base covered and the performances confirm that here. The twists and turns are continually unexpected, but never at the expense of the song. There are so many ideas that flow in and out, you just find it difficult to appreciate just how good they are.

Sam Cromack's songwriting has an incredible depth, sometimes a song will seem more like a stream of consciousness. The title track being a great example with comparisons to a casserole and being a "Bun Baby". Having said that, the variety in each song seems built primarily on being a simple song that the band then get hold of and just take it into unexpected places. 

Cromack's vocal is also adept. It can be incredibly gentle, particularly on the acoustic parts, almost Bolan-esque in its fragility and yet he can also belt out a song such as Manny. It can be a little Brit Pop, even Thom Yorke when he isn't in shouty mode. Yet I'm also reminded of Jeff Lynne across ELO's first four albums before mellow became the norm. 

Another take, I got from the album is that is a proper album. Songs just seem to segue and flow across the piece. The 12 songs should really be listened to in one sitting as each compliments what went before and what comes after.

Some of the arrangements just make you want to step back and applaud. The Baroque arrangement on Beautiful Blueberries is simply beautiful on what should really be a singer and acoustic guitar song. Yet Right Now has a Glam Rock verse and a Screamadelica sing in a field chorus.

Pleb Rock is great Intelligent Indie Pop with a killer chorus and Stars In My Eyes is in Robyn Hitchcock territory. Sunscream is poptastic, a song that just builds and builds with a "Hey Now" feel part way through.

Weirder & Weirder was recorded in six months with the band in the same room and it shows. This has let all the ideas merge into fully formed songs that contain so much in all. Beautifully sung, played and produced, this is a band that knows what they are doing and wants to show everyone this.

As I introduce Ball Park Music to people, the main comment is that they don't sound Australian. I see the point a little as Oz was known over here for "Barnesy" Rock and Power Pop. Those days are long gone, there isn't an Australian cliched sound now. Ball Park Music have offered up a real potential Album Of The Year. Highly Recommended!

You can buy the album everywhere and here. It is on all the streaming sites and You Tube here. You can find out more about Ball Park Music here.


Saturday 25 June 2022

Young Guv - Guv III & IV


The last few years has seen the emergence of two of the finest Power Pop artists. Michael Collins's The Summer Holiday and Ben Cook's Young Guv. Both have been fairly prolific, yet the quality has never dropped and they have a masterful way with a chorus.

Young Guv are currently in the UK, so do catch them if you can, dates are on the bandcamp site linked below. There are also exhaustive notes on the making of the albums on Bandcamp too, so I'm gonna concentrate on the music.

Written in the wilderness of New Mexico and recorded in Los Angeles, Guv IV has just been released and Guv III came out in March. The two have been combined as a double coloured vinyl release and are available together as a download at a bargain price. A Bonus Track is also included.

Guv III has some of the strongest Guitar Pop that you are likely to hear. Couldn't Leave You If I Tried is wonderful Jangle Pop and She Don't Cry For Anyone is a splendid 1966 jangle. Scam Likely is fantastic Psych Pop with the emphasis on Pop. Lo Lo Lonely may be the best Teenage Fanclub song that they didn't write.

Then there is It's Only Dancin' and Only Wanna See U Tonight which enter 1970s Disco Pop. Guv IV is a different beast altogether. There is a real 80s feel to the album and the Guitar is much less prominent with keyboards more to the fore and some wonderful Slide Guitar.

Wind In My Blood is so close to David Gates and Bread, Helium is all Miami Vice and Maybe I Should Luv Someone Else instrumentally is very Hank Williams. Cry To Sleep is Soft Rock Bossa Nova and Overcome goes all Screamadelica.

Yet Sign From God is all Psychedelia. Too Far Gone is top notch Psych Pop, very Orgone Box like. Guv IV doesn't jangle, but it reveals another side to Cook that is just as interesting. You can buy the double package or each album separately. Both are essential listens.

You can listen to and buy the albums on the Young Guv Bandcamp site here. The Young Guv Website can be found here.


Oceanator - Nothing's Ever Fine

Elise Okusami's Oceanator release a second album and it is a crackerjack Pop Rock affair. Although you would be forgiven at times for mistaking it for something much different. Okusami can certainly play guitar and at times this ability takes the album in harder directions without ever losing sight of the melody. 

At times, Nothing's Ever Fine sounds incredibly close to Power Pop with a pace and hook remarkably close to the genre, particularly on The Last Summer and Beach Days (Alive Again). Yet elsewhere a song like Summer Rain has Celtic overtones.

Stuck is very 90s moody Alt Rock, even a little grungey and certainly much heavier than songs that surround it. Solar Flares inhabits a territory somewhere between The Breeders and Porcupine Tree. Post Meridian is a short sub two minute instrumental half way through the album and that sounds a little Rush in Moving Pictures mode.

Bad Brain Daze is a splendid dose of Indie Guitar Pop, yet the closer, Evening is a hypnotic melancholic beast with a stunning Guitar break out two thirds through. Nightmare Machine is close to Modern Prog, yet there is a chorus that is catchy as catchy can be.

The real joy though is the Pop Rock. The Last Summer is all jangle at a frantic pace and Beach Days is out and out 80s Guitar Pop of the highest order with a Power Pop solo to applaud. There is a lot packed in here and not all may appeal, but you will be surprised at how cohesive the album is. A great listen!

 You can listen to and buy the album here.


Wednesday 22 June 2022

Cheap Star - Wish I Could See


I should have covered this much earlier as the album was released in February. Hopefully my delay will give Wish I Could See another boost. Cheap Star is effectively Geneva's Remi Vaissiere, but the guest list across all the albums is always Top Notch.

Here the core trio is Vaissiere, Jon Auer and Brian Young and so you largely to expect Fountains Of Posies. Indeed Cheap Star have been compared to The Posies from their beginnings and the band have been involved often. The vocals are even similar at times to Auer, but the material is a little lighter.

Additional guests such as Brendan Benson, Gary Louris, Roger Joseph Manning and Mitch Easter add quality. However, don't be fooled that this is a Power Pop stardust wig out. These songs stand up on their own, great melodic Pop Rock jumps out and the hooks are aplenty.

In Your Head sounds very Auer dominated and is certainly the nearest song to The Posies, but Wish I Could See has had a lot of attention from reviewers and it has a fine jaunt plus Benson's harmony vocals add a lot.  Under The Synapse even borders on 12 Bar Rolling Stones and diverts to a Psych Pop groove that is delightful.

Slow Down is absolutely wonderful with a melodic Alex Chilton like vocal and countrified by Jon Auer's Banjo. It is also worth the admission alone for Mitch Easter's jaw-dropping Guitar solo that closes the song.

What's It Like is a moody melancholic closer, splendidly so. But for all these excellent diversions, my favourite song is the opener Lifetime. It is an unusual opening song, very restrained, but it contains a wonderful synth baroque arrangement from Auer and harmony vocals from Gary Louris that fir the song beautifully. 

People will obviously miss The Posies and until we get a Jon Auer solo album, Cheap Star are probably the nearest that we will get to that. That's great, because Wish I Could See is a superb listen, restrained at times, but beautifully played  and it is nice to have something so melodic without your ears ringing. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Tuesday 21 June 2022

Pulse Park - Phonac Music


A trio of reasons led to me to this trio. I'm an admirer of Brighton's Shoredive Records label who are a great supporter of new music, particularly Shoegaze. Nathalie kindly sent me this album. Then a late night social media message from the band was cheeky enough to get me more interested.

Finally, I have a lot to review at present, but most of it was melodic Pop Rock or albums that have a while to release date. Pulse Park are an obvious diversion from both and I love the album. This is a debut that sounds so assured and the band know what they do best. 

Phonac Music seems caught between late 80s UK Indie College Rock, the likes of Dinosaur Junior and 90s Shoegaze and it works a trio. The material doesn't naturally relate to a Power Trio, but when the band let go they become one.

Generally though they hit a much gentler vibe. They hit a riff and stick to it in a way Teenage Fanclub do, but Pulse Park haven't got The Byrds and Big Star fixation. There's a lot of the Glasgow Indie Rock of the past.

Shoegaze isn't necessarily noted for choruses, but there are plenty here, particularly on the magnificent Apollonian Heart which has a chorus to die for as well and even rocks out. It is a killer song and sets the seal on a fine album.

Elsewhere Antibody kicks in with a Post Punk punch and Strange Matter is like a rocked up Dropkick with a riff that is dying to break out into a solo, but never quite manages it. Sine Wave even heads into the UK New Wave Beat of the late 70s.

Beautifully produced and expertly played, seldom is a debut album so accomplished. This type of album was really prevalent four or five years ago. The fact that it isn't now makes Phonac Music sound like a refreshing change and I certainly appreciate listening to something different from the norm. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Horse Jumper Of Love - Natural Part


I've been listening to Natural Part a lot over the past few days and I love it. However I sense that it will not appeal to plenty of regular IDHAS followers. This isn't me being too kool for skool or condescending, it just doesn't really fit the template here.

But it is wonderful and I'd love others to give it a go. It isn't easily accessible and may take repeated listening, but I think you will be surprised at how the album hooks you, it is hypnotic. It is Indie in the true sense, not because it isn't on a major label.

Horse Jumper Of Love are a Boston Trio who specialise in Slowcore and the album is definitely downbeat and a bit bleak. Possibly in a way which Radiohead were after they dumped the choruses, but there is also hints of King Crimson's early 80s and it is a little bit Codeine at times. 

It even reminds me of The Bordellos with a budget at times. But it really has got me good style. It is an album to be listened to all the way through. It won't make you happier, but it certainly made me think how interesting it is. 

I've deliberately not embedded any songs in the hope that you will head off to the Bandcamp site here where you can listen to and maybe buy the album.


Monday 20 June 2022

Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Chart

I consider myself to be an album reviewer of the new and under appreciated. One of the reasons for our name was because we don't really deal in single songs. Our only nod towards them is the Mixcloud uploads. So it has been a real surprise that the past week or two has found IDHAS dominated by the attention of the Mixcloud Mixes.

Even more surprising is that we used to do a longer professional mix with the Audio Extravaganza, whereas the 10 Song Mix is more rough and ready and compiled very quickly containing the ten favourite songs of the week.

I've also wondered why we always get in the Indie Rock chart, when if anything the mixes are more Pop Rock and tend to favour Pop more than Rock. So this week, I am delighted that Volume 30 has hit the Top 20 of the Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Chart. 

That Indie Rock effect is still around, the mix is currently No 32 in that chart as well as being at No 50 in the Indie Chart. Thank you to all you listeners and I really hope that it makes you go to find out more about the artists included.

Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week :

01 Starter Jackets - Just Want Out

02 Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS - Night at Zuska's

03 Emperor Penguin - Sputnik Sweetheart

04 Dave Scarbrough - As Far As I Know

05 Spygenius - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

06 Cardboard Boxer - Going Nowhere

07 Holy Coves - Grey

08 Rogers & Butler - Brighter Day

09 Ball Park Music - Right Now

10 The Sylvia Platters - Blue Juniper

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 30


Sunday 19 June 2022

Spygenius - Jobbernowl


To my ears, Spygenius are the best Psych Pop band in the UK and possibly, the world. Incredibly inventive and never afraid to experiment, they also possess in Peter Watts one of the great songwriters of recent times. Jobbernowl progresses their catalogue even further. Man On The Sea was a wonderful album, but its length gave the impression of melancholy and a slight moodiness. Blow Your Covers is one of the great Covers albums ever and I'm one who normally cringes when I hear the word "Covers". However an album of other people's material doesn't stay in the memory for too long. 

Knowing the loss that the band felt over the past year or two and the dreaded Covid Effect, I expected a deep album that reflected on that loss, but that loss is dealt with lyrically with if anything, a jauntiness. The Psych Pop is still here, but this feels far more Pop than previous offerings.Matt Byrne's keyboards are as splendidly 60s as ever, but it is the rhythm section of Ruth Rogers and Alan Cannings that shines most. This is quite an album for Rogers, her Bass Guitar not only drives the album, but there seems more involvement vocally and that is what makes the album more Guitar Pop.

There also appears to be less pace at times and the slower songs show what talent is present. The excellent ballad, Son Of The Morning was played on the IDHAS 10 Song Mix this week and has had the biggest reaction to any of the songs included. Of Narcissus is simply magnificent, Lennon late Beatles Pop maybe and contains a lot of words as indeed the whole album does. Mandy Rice-Davies Applies is intelligent gentle melodic pop, again out of kilter with what Spygenius normally offer up.

Yet listening to the album, the opener is typical of what the band are great at. I Dig Your New Robes, Pierre and you'd be forgiven for thinking this is exactly what you thought you'd get. Sky-Pie, Century 21 is a particular favourite, I love the second line responses, although I have no idea what the song is about.2020 Revision edges towards Folk Pop. Screwy, written and sung by Ruth Rogers adds even more variety and contains a wonderful Austin Powers Organ solo. Then there is the bizarre Music Hall closer, Foucault Swings Like A Pendulum Do. The song is a mindboggling mix of Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, New Vaudeville Band and Monty Python Sings.

There are many great quartets around, many who do Psych Pop, many who offer up Intelligent Indie-ish Pop, but no one does it quite as well as Spygenius. Jobbernowl feels a little more commercial than previous albums and is exactly what is needed as we edge back to normality. This album is essential and most definitely the reason that I love Psych Pop so much. More than any other genre, it requires an openness to your influences, an ability to write and play melodic songs with a twist and lyrical intelligence. Jobbernowl has all these things in spades.

You can listen to and buy the album here and here. It is released on Friday 24 June and I will embed three or four tracks on release. 


Wednesday 15 June 2022

Dave Scarbrough - Happy Ever After


On first listen to Happy Ever After, the first thing that springs to mind is this is very Elvis Costello and  that has been the response from people that I have recommended the album too. It probably explains why you have seen the reviews around mentioning this. Unsurprising because too many reviewers give albums one listen at times not even that, listening to just a few tracks and not even all the way through.

Yes Scarbrough's voice is quite close to Costello at times and the arrangements do sound a little Attractions on the odd occasion, but there isn't the franticness of earlier Elvis. On repeated listens, I'm reminded a lot of Del Amitri, although the lyrics are much much stronger here.

This is a beautifully written album, the production is a little basic, Stiff era even, but you sense it is meant to be and the songs are written with that in mind. The album isn't meat and potatoes though, there are breakouts and solos that catch you by surprise and add much more to the release.

For all the jauntiness, one of the standout songs is the moody melancholia of The Coming Good. It is out of kilter with most of the material here, but it is gripping. Oblivious is more proof that the album isn't all about pace.

Sorry has a cute little jangle about it, but you sense that the album is at its best when the songs get quicker. As Far As I Know is probably the stand out song, but Wachet Auf runs it close, it is a song that ends way too soon and contains a splendid Guitar solo. Catherine also adds another fine Guitar ending.

The lyrics aren't I love you, yes I do, you know it's true throw away fodder, there's real thought gone into them and the choruses are as catchy as catchy can be. This is the solo album that Justin Currie should have written and I can't give it a greater compliment. Happy Ever After is a cracking listen. Just where has Mr Scarbrough been hiding?

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Tuesday 14 June 2022

Walker Brigade - If Only


Los Angeles quartet Walker Brigade have a dual male and female lead vocal in common with Big Stir label mates, The Armoires. That is where the similarity ends as the band are the most raucous outfit on the label, wonderfully so.

The vibe is very late 70s / early 80s Garage Rock with hints of both Punk and early New Wave. Very American, maybe CBGB's. I'm reminded of The Breeders at times, but the difference to comparable bands of this ilk is both the humour and inventiveness. They can also play.

Guitarist, Tracy Walker takes on the majority of the vocals and comes across a little Patti Smith or Siouxsie at times, but is a much stronger vocalist. Jeff Charreaux adds a pop sensibility at times. If Only is urgent and chaotic in a fist shaking way, but songs never lose sight of what they are about.

The pure adrenaline of No. the 60's UFO club vibe of Don't Sell Out (For Free) and What Is Wrong With Me is The Armoires on speed. One of my favourite songs over the past couple of years is Tower, which sounds as though it is recorded by a different band. It is a wonderful Psych Pop adventure with the emphasis on Pop.

The opener Fallout is an immense four minute opener which underlines the skill set of the band and gives a glimpse of what is to come. Then there is the humour an inspired version of I'm Tired from Blazing Saddles. Not done in Madeline Kahn's Marlena Dietrich style, although pretty faithful until a rocked up chorus.

There are six bonus tracks that included inspired versions of The Soft Boys' I Wanna Destroy You and The Only Ones' Lovers Of Today. There is also a hidden track, Rock n Roll Toilet which starts with an I Don't Hear A Single Station ID from the band which was unexpected and humbling inclusion. Walker Brigade are not a band that you would normally associate with Big Stir, but that is the wonder of the label and the band.

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


Starter Jackets - Dead Malls


When I reviewed Starter Jackets' splendid Fucked It Up For Everyone in 2020, I mentioned the difference in Lanny Durbin and Luke McNeill's songwriting. The former was in Power Pop, the latter more melodic Garage Punk. 

I did expect great things from the Dayton Ohio quartet and Dead Malls doesn't disappoint. The album feels far more Power Pop, but their Punk Pop roots haven't been forgotten particularly on songs like No Good Deed and In Smithereens, but largely the format is a much better produced alternative to UK peers, The Speedways.

That production is the icing on the cake that makes this a real contender for Power Pop album of the year. A great batch of 10 songs packed full of riffs, big choruses and hooks and bursting out with melody, this is what the genre should be like. For all my love of Lo Fi, there is no greater listen than this loud melodic Guitar Pop.

From the opening Outer Reaches to the closing Just Want Out there is no let up in quality. There is no room for ballads or a wish to slow down, everything is done at pace. The album can be fairly compared with the great 90's Wave of Power Pop and Pop Rock.

The title track is straight from the New Wave of the late 70s with anthemic Guitar solos and On My Feet is riff-orama at its very best. There is no front loading here, the album gets better and better as it progresses. The best song may be Track 7 with Crush Me Up.

Deep Cuts has an Only Ones like riff and Just Want Out jangles out 1979 UK New Wave at ease. Dead Malls is a wonderful joyful listen that will remind you of why Power Pop can be the most uplifting, feel good genre around. A wish to both serenade and rock you is stamped across this fine fine album.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 30

What a week Volume 29 had. It reached No 27 in the Mixcloud Global Indie Rock Chart, 38 in the Global Indie Chart and No 95 in the Global Pop Chart. Thank you to all you listeners and I do hope you visited the artist pages to listen to more.

Thirty five and a half minutes await you this week as we select our 10 favourite songs this week. They are in no particular order, just positioned in what we think provides the most engaging track list. The 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 Starter Jackets - Just Want Out

02 Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS - Night at Zuska's

03 Emperor Penguin - Sputnik Sweetheart

04 Dave Scarbrough - As Far As I Know

05 Spygenius - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

06 Cardboard Boxer - Going Nowhere

07 Holy Coves - Grey

08 Rogers & Butler - Brighter Day

09 Ball Park Music - Right Now

10 The Sylvia Platters - Blue Juniper

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 30


Monday 13 June 2022

Various - Miles Out To Sea: The Roots Of British Power Pop 1969-1975


I freely admit that the days of compilation listening are largely in the past for me. A combination of available time, the playlist era and complete boredom with them turned me off. So a 3 disc compilation could be a real challenge. Does anyone usually get around to Disc 3? But here the subject appealed. 1969 - 1975 isn't a Pop Rock period that gets talked a lot about and I approached it knowing that the ridiculous "Is It Power Pop" arguments were long ago and I wasn't ever gonna revisit them. I never once listened to the songs thinking of whether or not they were Power Pop, it just doesn't matter.

The other problem that can happen with a compilation of this nature is that all the usual suspects and songs can normally appear. For instance I can probably name every song that appears on a Now Glam Rock type thing and those that don't are probably due to rights issues or you get a live version from 30 years on with one original member still in the band, usually the bass player. With all those reservations, I am more than happy to report that Miles Out To Sea is none of these things, even the title is an unexpected Slade inclusion. The main take I took from listening to this was that Pop Rock or Power Pop was not just about Badfinger, the likes of Pagliaro prove that.

The song choices are not too obvious either. Take for instance Pilot, a beloved band that will always bring out thoughts of Magic and January, so people forget what a magnificent song Just A Smile is and the original single version of that is here.Stealers Wheel would usually get Stuck In The Middle With You, here you get one of favourite songs by them ever, Go As You Please and how great is Octopus's Rainchild, a song that I am kicking myself for not having played again and again earlier.

There will be bands that you have never heard of. Shakanea anyone? The Fabulous Ratbites From Hell? Bands that should have had far more attention such as Help Yourself and you appreciate how great Iain Matthews is. Then there are bands I love with tenuous links such as Budgie and Stray. Artists that I've never been fond of such as Rupert Holmes and surprises such as the sadly recent departed Rick Price. There are also real memory joggers.

The Move's Message From The Country period isn't one that I look upon as a major tour de force by a band I adore and bought the first album under my own steam from. But Chinatown is a fantastic single as was Tonight. Liverpool Express are thankfully here as is the heroic Jimmy Campbell, but the Kinsley - Campbell axis of Rockin' Horse is a major worthy inclusion. If only they stuck together for a bit longer and a memory that they backed Chuck Berry on his 1972 UK adventures.

Not everything here is a winner, you wouldn't expect it to be on a 74 song compilation, but the 4 hours fly by and the collection is a splendid and surprising listen. It is mainly songs that you won't have heard about before or maybe haven't heard for a long time. Miles Out To Sea is a cracking listen, joyful too. It is a reminder that Pop Rock from the period could be such a captivating listen. It wasn't gonna blind you with lyrical excellence and depth, but it would provide you with catch melodic tunes that got your foot tapping and make your life seem just that little bit more sunny.

You can pre-order the 3 disc set from Cherry Red here. You will be surprised at what an uplift this collection will give you.

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? - Maine Coon


After all the recent genre hopping, it is nice to be back in the land of Pop, even if it is just for a short while. Here though, it isn't the Guitar led joy that IDHAS is primarily known for, this is great keyboard led stuff and when I say Pop, I mean POP.

So it is over to Finland for the splendid Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?, a band name that you will find easily to search online. Their third full length album is wonderful. This sort of Indie Pop falls generally into two categories, too kool for skool lo-fi or repetitiveness replacing the lack of lyrics and probably song.

There is none of that here, yes it is Indie Pop, but it is beautifully produced. The hooks are all in the choruses and what hooks they are. The songs are keyboard driven, so you would normally expect the album to veer towards the 80s.

Although there is the odd thought of the 80s, the keyboards channel other areas such as Farfisa 60s or even something produced by Joe Meek and the 90s Clint Boon era. The sound is never twee and each of the nine songs are potential earworms.

The band can do big Ballad (Zerlako), which is more than a little OMD in feel and New Wave Beat Pop with the splendid Night At Zuska's with its massive chorus. Storyboard is even a little Psych Pop and Troglodyte almost mirrors The Cardigans or even Saint Etienne.

In Tangerine, the opener, may get the most attention with its awesome take on Blondie Pop, but any of these nine songs are worth the admission. Maine Coone is an outstanding uplifting album that you just can't stop yourself singing along too. The Finnish Trio have come up with an absolute Tour De Force.

You can buy or listen to the album at one of these links. You can also listen to the album hereI have no connection to them whatsoever, but Norman Records have the Vinyl LP at a great price here.


Sunday 12 June 2022

The Special Pillow - Mind Wipe


I rarely mention releases on IDHAS that are yet to be released. I'm a reviewer, not a PR person and with having albums to review up to 3 months before release, you can go too early and potential buyers have forgotten about them when the big day arrives.

Mind Wipe will be reviewed nearer to its 12 August release date, but I have been so taken with the six track mini album since Mike from the excellent Crash Through Publicity sent it to me. Now that the title track has been released, you have something to listen to and I can give you a heads up.

The New Jersey quartet specialise in the type of Indie Jangle Pop that is beloved on I Don't Hear A Single, but they add in wonderful diversions from the kooky to the way out weird. Mind Wipe is a splendid journey through inventive pop. When they venture into Psych Pop, it is magnificent.

Mind Wipe here is a little like B52's fronting a Jangle Pop band. I'll leave most of what I want to say to the review, but I will state that you will be blown away when you get to hear the nigh on 7 minutes of So Inclined, it is simply jaw dropping. 


Cardboard Boxer - Current Youth


It is good to be back after a short break recovering from the May overload of reviews. I hope you've managed to get through them all because there will be a written test. I'm certain that you'll find June as eclectic as May. 

We begin with one of my favourite soapbox issues. Without going over too much old ground, the word Punk sends too many people to the hills. The comparisons between UK and US punk are certainly different, but the US version is way too loose. Pop Punk suffers the most, but when you go deeper into the whole genre label, the tag seems like a red herring when listening to the band.

The superb San Diego quartet, Cardboard Box are noted wherever you look as Punk, but Current Youth is actually wonderful Guitar led Indie Rock. An angrier better version of the early years of The Killers, overtones of a noisier take on The Strokes with far more lyrics, possibly.

What isn't in doubt is that this is a wonderful fist shaking album that rarely comes up for air. Hints of College Rock from the 90s, Stadium Rock of the 00's and edging at times towards Classic Rock and Grunge whilst never ever losing sight of the melody.

The choruses are big, the riffs are hypnotic and some of the breakout guitar solos match anyone around, young or old. At times the band are anthemic with riffs that can't decide if they are New Wave Pop Rock or 80s big Rock. Examples such as Pseudo Confidence and the splendid Cutting Ties And Burning Bridges underline this. 

All Outta Time edges toward down and dirty Garage Rock, yet Growing Older is a heavier version of great Pop Rock with a riff that could be prime time Skids. Opener, Going Nowhere may be even better, it is gripping with slight 80's no synth Rock.

Reasons brings back memories of The Cult when they were at their hottest. With me being a teenager in the 70s, I may be looking at this from a slightly different angle than younger reviewers. But I have heard a lot, probably too much, music, but I don't hear a better Indie Rock around at the moment. Label it with whatever floats your boat, but Current Youth makes a compelling argument for the Guitar.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Wednesday 8 June 2022



I've been asked many times why I Don't Hear A Single doesn't cover new reissues. In a previous life as Anything Should Happen, the concentration was mainly on the old and IDHAS was born as a reaction to people continually telling me and everyone who would listen that all new music was shite.

So this place came to be as a reaction to that and the intention was for it to be about the new and the old. I never expected this place to take off as it did and that growth was all interest in the new and under appreciated. So that became the dominant and eventually the sole function of the Blog.

I listen to a lot of stuff to get to the albums that eventually get reviewed and so there is little time to listen to anything that isn't current. The connections made all know what this place is about, so the vast majority of music that comes in is a new or upcoming release. 

I do however write elsewhere about reissues and see the point that an archive release can be as interesting as something new. Also, I like how IDHAS evolves as it nears its sixth birthday. There is particular joy in seeing a Psych album review being the most popular post of the last 30 days.

So there will be a couple of reissues covered each month from now on. These won't be the likes of The Beatles or Big Star etc, they will be worthy albums that maybe didn't get as much attention as they deserved. For instance, I plan to cover the upcoming Red Noise Box Set.

I have also been asked to write a monthly column about Music Nostalgia. I plan to put an edited version of these longer articles on here. These articles are not a name dropping exercise or Did I tell you about the time I did this nonsense.

They look at genres and past music times from a fan or outsider's point of view. They are meant to stimulate debate and will be about things that I like and don't like from a personal view. I hope you will enjoy the chance to read something different. The first is about the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.

Okey dokes! I'd better get on with getting albums reviewed. I always find it hard to get going again after a review a day months and there have been two so far this month. Onwards and errrrrrrrr upwards!


Thursday 2 June 2022

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 29

After blitzing the Mixcloud Global Indie Rock Chart again last week, another 10 Songs Mix is ready for your listening pleasure. It is an absolute cracker and marks the welcome return of Tom Dahl's Caddy. 

No matter how these songs are chosen, the mix usually comes in at around 34 minutes. Today is no exception. Spooky! The 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 Caddy - Everblue

02 Half Man Half Biscuit - I'm Getting Buried In The Morning

03 Dungeon Of Skeletons - Doom & Gloom

04 Superchunk - City Of The Dead

05 Walker Brigade - Tower

06 Whelligan - Rabid Hole

07 Boo Hewerdine - Men Without A War

08 Anyway Gang - Reckless Reckless

09 Kevin Robertson - Moments Of Reflection

10 West Coast Music Club - Hotel California

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 29