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Sunday 31 July 2022

The Million Sessions


Without trying to bewilder you with messages, there's something else to tell you about regarding I Don't Hear A Single. This is partly as a response to why we've been a bit quiet lately, partly to celebrate a milestone and to provide info on the long planned live concert series.

Let's start with the milestone. When I Don't Hear A Single started it was never intended to be what it has become. IDHAS was a reaction to people continually saying all new music was crap. We wanted to show that that wasn't true and set up a place to celebrate the new stuff that we liked. 

The place may have evolved over that time but it still remains as a celebration of albums by the new and under appreciated. Bearing in mind that remit, we never expected it to be a popular and at times mainstream thing. 

But sometime this year, most likely October, we will witness our millionth hit of the Blog. Pretty amazing in just six years. We wanted to celebrate that and so have started to plan a week of Live Sessions for October, Seven daily shows in fact.

We did something similar noting the 100th Episode of The IDHAS Audio Extravaganza which was incredibly popular. This time it is looking like it will be a much bigger affair and we've started early to plan it, hence why July has been a bit haphazard. 

You will still hear artists that you would expect to hear, we won't forget what we are about. But this time round we have some high profile names wanting to provide a session. Artists that have a much bigger following and are neither new or underappreciated. Bands we love that are fans of IDHAS and want to be involved. 

So we have started to send the invites out and each show will have three or four sessions, so technically there are 28 up for grab although we may extend the period by a couple of days or add some specials or make the shows longer. There you have the outline of The Million Sessions.

You may also remember that we had planned a year of Live Shows throughout the UK until the lockdown started. We agreed here never to go on about the Lockdown, so we are now starting to finally get the initial planning of those to kick off in 2023.

I Don't Hear A Single will continue as always. Don went back into real life work earlier this year after being in semi retirement. So there won't be masses of reviews Monday to Friday, one a day at best, but the weekend content will ramp up and there will still be regular IDHAS 10 Song Mixes which is taking on a life of its own in popularity lately.

Finally, although I have updated the post, an apology in the delay of review of the Ness Album. The series is a goer, but just as we were about to publish the review, we have managed to get the band involved who want to add some background stuff to the piece, It will be more all encompassing, but sadly a little delayed.


The Maple Mars Album Launch


Last night was the launch of the new Maple Mars album, Someone's Got To Listen at SIR Studios In Hollywood.  You can read the IDHAS review of the album here. The venue was packed out, the band were at the top of their game. The Merch Stall was hammered.

A great band on a great label with a great album. Big Stir are a label built on community that promote their artists and treat them as friends. Maple Mars have kept us waiting for 12 years and last night was worth the wait. 

To show what community is about, Rick's son did the catering, Rex's kids manned the Merchandise Stall, Christina's husband was the photographer and Rex ran the live stream. Sponsors also got involved. 

Many artists return and promise much and all too often, disappointment is the result. For Maple Mars to return in such style with such a live performance promoting what may be their best album ever is just heart warming and splendid.

Build it, Promote it and be proud of it and the people will come. Who says people don't attend shows any more?

You can see the full show here. The band come on about ten minutes in.


Richard Turgeon - Rough Around The Edges


Richard Turgeon is extremely prolific and in the wrong hands this could affect quality control. However, thankfully, Turgeon always seems to hit the spot and in the past five years or so has created his own space, a space that relies on consistency and excellence.

I've compared him in the past to a one man Art College. From Screenwriting to Photography, the man seems to have it all and so the ability to continually write and perform top notch songs with all this going on deserves large applause.

He has carved a place in what is essentially California Guitar Pop without ever being afraid to move into other areas such as Power Pop, Classic Rock and Pop Rock. The Template though largely resides somewhere between a jangling Tom Petty and a riffaholic Matthew Sweet.

Rough Around The Edges is classed as an EP, however buyers on Bandcamp and purchasers of the Kool Kat CD get an additional four songs which takes the release into album territory. The six standalone songs offer great variety. 

Goodbye Home is a little latter day Stipe, Fire Drill sounds very Chris Church like and Better With You is one of the best Power Pop songs that you will hear and has a slight Country Twang in the vocal. I Never Loved You is classic AOR and the pace is only reduced with 7 Stories which edges towards Yacht Rock.

Turgeon does get compared to Matthew Sweet a lot and I'm gonna do it again. The best song here is Please Take Me Back and it is possibly the best Sweet song that he hasn't written. If only the real thing produced something as great these days. I will leave the 4 Bonus Tracks as a surprise, but assure you that they are just as excellent.

You can listen to the album on Bandcamp here. When you purchase the album you are automatically supplied with all 10 songs. The Kool Kat CD also contains all 10 Tracks.


Saturday 30 July 2022

Toni Tubna And The Stockholm Tuba Sect - When the Magic Went Wrong


I have The John Sally Ride's John Dunbar to thank for recommending this. John correctly describes it as the sort of album that Martin Newell should make and I feel a little guilty, as I've long been a fan of Folkstone's Ian Button through his many adventures, but I had no idea he was up to this.

Ex Death In Vegas and Thrashing Doves and currently Papernut Cambridge. Co- Founder of the superb Gare Du Nord Records label and Producer of Lawrence's Go-Kart Mozart, the man never stops. It was during a tour as drummer for The Catenary Wives that the story of Toni Tubna began.

I won't go into the whole story as you can read that on the Bandcamp site. Briefly, Button wrote emails to his bandmates during the tour about an ill fated magician called Toni Tubna, an anagram of his name. Those stories became a book and eventually a team up with art historian and lyricist, Scott Thomas Buckle. This album is the result.

What an album it is! Essentially a concept album, When The Magic Went Wrong is a wonderful slice of Toy Town Psych Pop mixed with Baroque Pop and Music Hall. Gentle but intriguing, at times it is Inspired Pop Music.

Clash Of Minds even treads into 60s Kinks territory. The Mayor Of Bridlington stands alone as a special song that would be lauded from the rooftops if written by Andy Partridge or Robyn Hitchcock. When The Magic Went Wrong, the opener, has an arrangement more in line with Alan Price or Peter Skellern.

This isn't a joke album, it is a quaint beautifully written and arranged affair. Having been through email, book and album, it would probably stand being a musical. A complete surprise to me, this album is getting played and played. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here. A reprint of the original book can also be bought here.


Das Phaedrus - Dark Winning (Name Your Price)


I love surprises and Dark Winning certainly caught me by surprise. It also reminds me that assume makes an ass out of u and me. Seeing the name Das Phaedrus made me think of something that was dark Post Punk. Noting the band came from New Zealand, you expect high quality pop that is a tad twee.

This quartet are none of those things, but plenty of much more. When they do threaten something Crowded House like on This Land Wasn't Made For You And Me, there is added crunch, lots of crunch, that ensures it is nothing like this. 


The directions and influences here are so varied, aided by having Andrew Spittle and Jeremy Taylor alternating on vocals. This lead swapping compares apples and oranges, one has a voice in Pop Rock territory, the other adds a much darker adventurous avenue.

There's a real Glasgow 1989 Jangle to Stop At Nothing, not the only time that the band hit that comparison. Yet Turkish And Domestic could be The Church at their most psychedelic. All My Mother has a wonderful Indie Drawl, a sort of Oz 1983 drawl that was hip with a hypnotic riff. The song breaks out splendidly.

Passing Through is great 70s Pop Rock with a killer riff and a big chorus. Dry Land goes all mid 80s UK Indie Pop in a wonderfully chaotic riff. Are We Good sounds like Lou Reed fronting The Smiths. Every song provides unexpected twists and turns allowing repeated listens.

Dark Winning is on Bandcamp as a Name Your Price. So is its equally excellent predecessor, Ghosts Of The Dunedin Music Scene. So what have you got to lose? There's plenty here that IDHAS followers will enjoy and more than enough to take you in unexpected directions.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Wednesday 27 July 2022

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 32

It's time for a new 10 Song Mix. Volume 31 again hit the Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Top 20 Chart. Thank you to all you listeners and I do hope you visited the artist pages to listen to more.

Our 10 favourite songs this week come in at almost 38 minutes. A fine mix of everything from Psych Pop to Pop Rock. 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 Maple Mars - Someone Take The Wheel

02 The Valery Trails - Jaisalmer

03 Elf Power - Undigested Parts

04 Phil Yates & The Affiliates - Trash Carrots

05 Andrew Weiss And Friends - A Beginner's Guide To Being Famous

06 Gentlemen Rogues - Your Armageddon

07 The Sevs - What's Mine Is Ours

08 Lawn - Down

09 Automatics - Wild Ride Through Wonderland

10 Day Wave - See You When The End's Near

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 32


Monday 25 July 2022

Maple Mars - Someone's Got To Listen


The return of Maple Mars was flagged up a while ago and I've been growing more and more impatient. The band's back catalogue is second to none and 12 years after Galaxyland, the fifth album is finally released and it couldn't come at a better time.

The year got off to a great start, but the past six months has seen the mood change. Pop Rock has been crying out for a stellar release. It is a scene that just seems a bit unmotivated lately. Writers are writing less, moaning seems to be the default mode and the days of Radio have shattered in to a thousand Internet Stations that are the good, the bad and the ugly.

It is easy to blame streaming and radio, but to take that on, you have to have the quality and Pop Rock and Power Pop just seems to want to talk about the old (again). This is that quality, an album that should be played on CD and Vinyl. 

Downloads are fine for your ipod and streaming is convenient but at times does no justice to an album's production, dragging sound down to a lowest common denominator. Not only do you want to hear the quality of this album, you want to revel in it.

My biggest concern was that Someone's Got To Listen wouldn't live up to my expectations. There seems a little less Psych Pop than days gone by and far more steps towards Classic Rock, but the variety is outstanding.

A song like Anchors Away is big Rock, not a million miles away from Rush at their poppiest and Silvercraft stands even more of a comparison, it could easily appear on Hold Your Fire. It is an absolute monster of a song.

Crooked Smile channels 70s Yacht Rock and Teenage Dream heads towards big American AOR with matching Guitar Solos. Someone Take The Wheel is instrumentally chaotic, it isn't any one thing in particular, but splendid at everything it is and even a tad Psych Pop.

Sleepwalking is great classic 70s Pop Rock, part Pilot, part Cheap Trick, part Blue Oyster Cult. Redemption is a fine example of Prog Pop that morphs into a Toytown close. Useless Information is the song that I yearn Cheap Trick to write.

I mentioned in the previous album review that I was disappointed with the lack of choruses, well here you can't move for them. But for all the pace on show here, the stand out is a slower affair that is truly West Coast. Goodbye California has a hook and harmonies that will floor you.

Beautifully played, beautifully produced, I Don't Hear A Single may have already found its Album Of The Year. The only bemusing thing is that I don't see hundreds of reviews around. The IDHAS coverage doesn't end here. The popular Mick Dillingham Interviews Series features a planned lengthy career defining interview with Rick Hromadka in August.

You can listen to and buy the album here. It is available on Vinyl, CD and as a download. You can find out more about Maple Mars here.


The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club - Please Stand By


It's been three years since End Over End, an album that made the IDHAS Top 20 in the Year End Review. The Chicago quartet offer up great Pop Rock somewhere between UK Glam Rock and Power Pop and they do it so well.

Songs change direction at rapid speed and are beautifully played. The talent is obvious and when that Glam kicks in, it is a wonderful thing, particularly on a song like Tremor Control II which reminds me a little of Book Early era City Boy.

Pony Up is a fantastic opener and the riffs generally abound splendidly, but something is missing across the 12 songs and it is the lack of choruses, The band are compared to Cheap Trick a lot and you can easily see why, but what Cheap Trick do offer up, even on the patchiest album, is great choruses,

Please Stand By is the opposite. There is no doubt how good The Bishop's Daredevil Stunt Club are and the playing here is absolutely top notch. But the majority of songs sound a bit fragmented and therefore lack the cohesion of End Over End.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Sunday 17 July 2022

The Albums That You Should Know About Series (Updated)


Update : Apologies for the delay with this. The review is done, but we have an opportunity to get key players involved to add their insight, so it is more than worth holding on. If it isn't ready within the next week, we'll work on a quick replacement with this following soon after.

We are finally beginning The Albums You Should Know About series this month. We will feature an album that we believe deserves far more attention and review it as though it was new. If we can get the artist involved we will and there will be advance notice of which album we are covering so you can listen ahead of the review,

This month we will be covering Ness's 2004 album "Up Late With People". If you want to get ahead of the game, the album is available on download and streaming sites. You can also pick the CD up on the likes of Discogs for under a fiver. The review will be next weekend.


Dave Cope - Killer Mods From Inner Space


I am a great admirer of Dave Cope, so much so that I am a Patreon member and this is how the album came to be released. Killer Mods From Inner Space was initially a Patreon recording and I've managed to persuade Dave to make it available on Bandcamp.

The album really does deserve a wider audience, as great as anything that has gone before in his career and nobody should be sitting his baby in a corner. It underlines that with or without The Sass, the man is a major talent.

Opening up with A Good Idea At The Time, a fine example of American 70s Pop Rock, the album ventures into multiple territories without ever losing sight of what Cope is best at. There is a real UK Glam Rock feel at times, particularly on She Don't Care About That and More.

In Circles is a mix of The Who and the better Psych Pop of the late 60s. Butterfly Heart goes Country and Fly Away Home is magnificently moody. Start is Piano Pop excellence evoking memories of 70s Lounge, very different to everything else on show.

Peeping Tom is a great slice Of Power Pop and Surprise Me channels Merseybeat or certainly UK Beat Pop. The closer Season Of Love calms the whole proceedings down with a calm gentle 70s Ballad. Killer Mods From Inner Space is Melodic Pop Rock at its very best.

You can listen to and buy the album here. I know we can't support every artist that deserves our attention, but the Dave Cope Patreon site is 3 dollars a month and offers up some great unreleased downloads. The link to that is here.


Elf Power - Artificial Countrysides


There are few bands that sound like Elf Power. Incredibly modern, yet able to remind you of days gone by. A mixture of the traditional and digital. Wonderfully inventive, yet never losing sight of the hook. They inhabit a world of their own, a world invented by themselves that has sounds coming from everywhere.

Completely unexpected musical interludes and a feeling that they have raided the music instrument cupboard. Riffs are plentiful, but completely out of the ordinary. Andrew Reiger's lyrics give the impression of incredible depth, yet could easily be stream of consciousness.

They come under the banner of Psychedelic Folk,  but there is way way more to them than that. Pop Rock springs out as does 80s Synth Pop. The arrangements are awesome, but they have had time to get everything right. This is the 15th album from the Athens, Georgia quartet and their first for Yep Roc. 

They are an unexpected signing from the label, very different to the usual fayre, but hopefully this will give the band the boost that they fully deserve. You can also tell that Elf Power are part of the Elephant 6 Collective, they fit beautifully there.


The lyrical and instrument cleverness never detracts from the variety. Clean Clothes could be The Buggles,  The solo on Floods reveals a much a rockier influence. Dark Rays is splendidly melancholic and Constantly Touching could be Tyrannosaurus Rex. Just wait for the short solo on Metal House.

Undigested Parts is an awesome opener. a little Glam Rock, a little Psych and at times a bit Bates Motel meets Sparks. Artificial Countrysides is not your usual listen, but it is equally captivating and awe inspiring. A real triumph!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Friday 15 July 2022

Phil Yates & the Affiliates - A Thin Thread


I was looking through which albums that I'd like to review for the rest of the week and was a bit bemused. There are plenty that deserve to be reviewed, but a lot are, let's say, laidback and I fancied something with a little oomph. To be honest, lots were just too nice.

Thankfully, the July 15th release schedule has offered three albums that fit the current mood and I'll tell you about them over coming days as well as choosing some of the ones I looked over midweek. The first is something that I've wanted to tell you about for a while.

It has been four years since Party Music and for his fourth album, Phil Yates gathers a new Chicago line up of The Affiliates and it really shows. Party Music was all great UK New Wave, but A Thin Thread is far far more, dare I say a grown up album.

That isn't to denigrate what has gone before, because all of it is ace, just very different to this. This album is like a collection of influences that just revels in its variety. As melodic and beautifully produced as ever, but there seems an edge, an itch to show there is more to live than Joe Jackson and Graham Parker.

Yates can do Power Pop in his sleep, but here when he ventures into the genre there is much more than three chords and a big chorus. On Secret Decoder Ring, it is a bit like Tom Petty fronting Extra Arms, catchy as hell, but down and dirty too. 

I Can't Wait is near to what has gone before with its Guitar Jangle Pop, but the riff is more prominent and the vocal more direct. It is a great opener, but not an indicator of what's to come. Gun=Gun has a real country twang and The New York is New York sleeze with a Glam Rock interlude.

Ode To A Cafe Waitress has an undercurrent of Film Noire, a little 70s, certainly darker than the songs that accompany it. Yet, The Door is great Lennon Pop. Caraway Master has a wonderful hypnotic theme with a vocal drawl and then bursts into a Brass arrangement.

But the song that grabs me most is Trash Carrots, it edges on Psych with its distorted vocal and carries a threat that you can't quite explain. Phil Yates is one of the nicest guys that you could meet. A wicked sense of humour, hilarious, but not quite as funny as me of course.

This line up of The Affiliates is a bit like comparing apples to pears, but more than anything A Thin Thread feels and sounds like a band album. Inventive with great variety, but edgier, People will say about many new releases that it is the subject's best album. This truly is. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to the album here and buy it as a download, on CD or as a Vinyl LP.


Thursday 14 July 2022

Andrew Weiss And Friends - Sunglass & Ash

Andrew Weiss doesn't half get a lot of labels. Americana, Laurel Canyon, Power Pop, to name just three. The answer is probably that he is all of these things and similarly none. Perhaps people should just forget about genres and sit back and enjoy the excellence on show.

Sunglass & Ash is only really Americana when Weiss picks up the acoustic guitar and some of those songs are more Singer Songwriter Pop. Laurel Canyon wise, maybe the odd time there is an Eagles before the coke feel, but again the Pop is more pronounced. When he does Power Pop, it is all encompassing, could be Badfinger, could be Jangle Pop or could be something entirely different.

So let's settle on Pop Rock, but not any old Pop Rock. There is really feeling, sentiment and meaning in the lyrics revealing quite an observer, certainly not someone who wants to sing about how great the sun is. All this variety is his strength. 

I take three songs as examples of the variety. Tommy's Teardrops is great Jangle Guitar Power Pop, Carolina is wonderful Piano Pop with big harmonies and A Beginners Guide To Being Famous is great modern pop, think Williams / Chambers that really should be grabbed by the people behind some upcoming young "popstar".

Ballad Of The TV Housewife (1950+) is mesmerising a country twang, a petty drawl and much more. Shot In The Dark is great 70s Piano Pop, something that Weiss excels at and Never There is a twangy, let's do the show right here, shuffle. If you want Laurel Canyon, here's You Had To Be There.

Then there is Stone Washed which races along, a little Nick Piunti in feel and sound, it is built around a cracking riff. The big closer is Backstage Bella / Italian Ice, a real story of a song, a little bit solo Henley, but way better than that.

24 songs is a lot of songs (it is a double album), but the quality rarely drops and the album never ever outstays its welcome. In fact the 102 minutes fly by. Many used to do this sort of album, few do now and those that do come nowhere near the quality of this excellent release.

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

Tuesday 12 July 2022

The Great Speckled Fritillary - Her Majesty's Secret Circus, Vol. 2


I have become absolutely fascinated by both volumes of The Great Speckled Fritillary albums. The Vancouver five piece have been brave releasing two albums on the same day. Even more so, because there is so much going on on one album that multiplying it by two is like a week's worth of dreams.

The IDHAS Review of Volume 1 is here. I have spent much of my week off from here listening to both, the albums demand that because they are so interesting and inventive, but equally baffling. There are so many twists and turns. For instance a song like Ride On starts all UK Glam Rock and ventures into Budgie territory. 

Her Majesty's Secret Circus is a wonderful listen and has a Bowie 72 - 73 ish vocal. Babylonia is a surprisingly and rare straight forward affair, a restrained joint vocal ballad. The male female combination works beautifully, but even that song has to have a dramatic rocked up close.

Many Splendour'd Thing is very Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies era in feel. Magic has an Alex Harvey like vocal and Linger On is frantic, part Psych, part Broadway show. Cormorant Arcade is the big closer, another showstopper, part Geldof, part Bowie.

Linger On is more 80s in sound, feel and instrumentation, but just as effective. I'm sure that the band don't wish me to pick my favourite twin, but I have come to the conclusion that this volume is my favourite, but it was close,

My reasoning is that the shorter songs are just as interesting and inventive on both, particularly the magnificent Death Is My Girlfriend here, but the longer songs are slightly more gripping. However, both albums are a tour de force. They will take repeated listens, which will be no chore, but everytime you listen to the songs you notice something new. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy Volume 2 here.


The Light Music Company - Housewives' Favourites


Something a bit different here involving someone we know very well. You could say it is an attempt to bring culture into our world of poptastic choruses. Alternatively you could equally say it is because we love Martin Newell.

Newell has teamed up with ex Dolly Mixture, Rachel Love to write and perform six instrumental pieces on Piano and Cello and what a pleasant surprise it is. The compositions are augmented with electric keyboard and field recordings and what a soothing listen they are.

What is also appealing is that all six instrumentals provide different thoughts. The Midwife Cycles Home is like a soundtrack to a European film, probably French. Ms B Goes Shopping For Shoes is a mix of Toytown Pastoral Psych Pop and the instrumental backing for a silent film.

Ghost Waltz is Parlour Room Baroque that ends with some distant vocal harmonies and Borchester Echoes is real click your fingers easy listening. Frinton-On-Sea is smoochy bossa nova with some splendid recordings of the sea thrown in. Not our usual listen, but nevertheless a triumph.

You can listen to and buy Housewives' Favourites here.


Monday 11 July 2022

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 31

Volume 30 was one of the most successful Mixcloud mixes ever and hit No 14 in the Mixcloud Global Indie Pop Charts as well as high places in the other two Indie Charts. So the new mix has a lot to live up to and thankfully it is just as great. Thank you to all you listeners and I do hope you visited the artist pages to listen to more.

Our 10 favourite songs this week come in at just over 36 minutes. A heady mix of everything from Psych Pop to Pure Pop. 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 Ball Park Music - Pleb Rock

02 Daystar - Get Your Gun

03 The Fernweh - Happy As Larry

04 Northern Portrait - Once Upon A Bombshell

05 Fastball - Electric Cool Aide

06 The Len Price 3 - She Came From Out Of The Sun

07 Momma - Rockstar

08 Mark Lofgren - We Don't Leave The Yard

09 The Lunar Towers - Happy As Larry

10 Special Pillow - So Inclined

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 31


Sunday 10 July 2022

Momma - Household Name


The likes of NME have got hold of Momma and usually when I see NME raving about a band, my suspicions are raised expecting a big accompanying album advert or a general too kool for skool collective that means that the writers are not hip if they don't mention them.

These mags make plenty of references to any fuzz guitar female fronted that appeared on MTV after 1992. You can sense why NME want to seem as relevant as they were in 1993 and are desperately looking for the 2022 version of Elastica or Sleeper.

Don't get me wrong, there are references here to that period on Household Name. At times Allegra Weingarten and Etta Friedmann do sound a little, lets say Smashing Pumpkins, but without any of the unnecessary bombast. 

The difference here is that Momma offer up really melodic pop songs with big choruses and riffs that are simple, but absolutely hook you. The vocals are also really sweet sounding rather than shouty and this benefits the 12 songs enormously.

Speeding 72 has a killer riff and could be Classic Rock from a much earlier era. Rip Off could be Alisha's Attic. When they let go, they really let go, particularly on Rock Star, but again the verse is very Alisha's Attic until the chorus kicks in.

There's nothing particularly elaborate in what Momma do, but the songs are sung splendidly with a gentle emotion which is very different to bands that tread similar boards. Household Name is a great listen and deserves much wider attention. NME may be right for one.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


The Fernweh - Torschlusspanik!


The Fernweh, despite giving the impression of being a European band are in fact from my beloved Liverpool and their second album is absolutely superb. It is Pop Rock at its very best and in several ways different from their debut album.

That self titled introduction leant a bit more on Folk, here this is straight ahead Pop Rock. Psych Pop is the base and the band do that incredibly well, but is the departures from that template that thrill most. The Pike is pure 70s Glam Rock, but not simplistic, there is so much included in that one song. 

Sad Face is a little bit Cockney Rebel and imagine Harly being accompanied by the Wizzard Sax Section. Everybody Says They Love You is like a Peter Skellern cover, a bit Liverpool Express. What's Jesus For is top notch 60s Big Ballad, you can envisage the singer on a high stool. The arrangement is wonderful.

Then there is the exceptional Happy As Larry which opens like a Scaffold song, but settles into the inventiveness of say, Sparks on Indiscreet. There's also a Deaf School feel to the thing. The Wounds is something else entirely.


A twisting and turning big sounding beast, a bit Brit Pop with a marching beat that reminds me of The Killers' Sam's Town album. It is magnificent and even includes a big Guitar Solo or two. It is the most different thing on show here, but with so much choice, it is hard to say its the best.

Torschlusspanik! is an amazing listen. Psych Pop lovers will adore those songs, but as you can tell from the review, it is the alternate directions that make the album as great as it is. I didn't expect what I heard, but I'm really glad I did. Without a doubt, this is an IDHAS Album Of The Year contender.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Mark Alan Lofgren - Black Moon Book II


Mark Lofgren has a splendid history. Founder of The Luck Of Eden Hall and member of The Thin Cherries. both excellent affairs. The latter specialised in Psych Pop with a heavy hint of Prog, the latter are far more 80s in feel, particularly with the added keyboards.

So you'd think that a Lofgren solo album might fall somewhere between the two and at times it does. Red Giant vs Red Dwarf is very keyboard led and close to The Thin Cherries, but Black Moon Book II is much more in the Pop Rock territory that IDHAS followers know and love.

Lofgren's mellow vocals are ideally suited to this type of material. He sounds like a cross between Ian Broudie and Rick Corcoran and this is ideal for jangly We Don't Leave The Yard. Proceed Home is very early 90s Dance Rock and yet New Ice Age Better is a wonderful fragile ballad. 

Plastic Candles is like a dream sequence with a Power Pop riff and the melody just oozes out of the album. More restrained than you'd expect from someone with Lofgren's history, but splendidly so. I am reminded of Orgone Box a lot without the big choruses. A great listen!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Sunday 3 July 2022

Be Back Soon


All is fine. I have just been tied up with non IDHAS stuff. I expect to be back at some stage midweek. Please have a look at recent reviews and hopefully you will want to listen to the albums. I will see you all soon!