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Saturday 31 December 2022

Starcrawler - She Said


We are ending the year on a louder note and probably nearer to what people think I Don't Hear A Single is about. It isn't but it does feel good to be on ground which we were once all about. So we show we are down da kidz by reviewing Starcrawler's third album.

The Los Angeles five piece seem to be getting a fair bit of stick in a Greta Van Fleet way. I am no way a GVF fan, I find their material tiresome, but others like it and I'd rather see a new generation fans get into Rock Music than be like the 60 - 70 year olds whining about copying. Its original material not someone going out as Lad Zeppeling. 

Starcrawler are different for a number of reasons. You can understand the sell out accusations about a band whose first two albums were shall we say far more punkish. But She Said is a splendid melodic rock album, there's so much to like. Do you want a band to be stuck where they started?

If you think it sounds like someone else, go back to your 90s collection and be content. Because I think the songs really stand up, they may not be that original, but is anything these days? Is there any music left to invent, most reviews compare relatively new bands to something older.

Being a female fronted band is always going to lead to certain comparisons and yet Arrow De Wilde does a fine job. She could be shouty, but prefers to be slightly understated whilst the riffs reverberate around her.

I've seen comparisons to Hole and Garbage. This is far more melodic and chorus led Indie Rock, not a bit like the sneering tuneless Courtney Love delivery and although I can hear Shirley Manson the odd time, but the material is much more commercial, has less attitude and certainly less distortion.

The first nine of these ten songs are all Guitar led rockathons, you want to shake your fist, but you want to sing along to them. The likes of Stranded and Broken Angels are allowed to build and then break out wonderfully. They are incredibly catchy affairs that allow you to sweat.

The closer, Better Place hints at even more future possibilities. The only ballad on show is restrained with a Country twang and reveals what a fine vocalist De Wilde is. Forget what people say about Starcrawler, they are a young band who can appeal to their age group, but can be equally satisfying for an older audience. I don't see what the fuss is about, She Said is a fantastic album.


You can listen to the album here and buy it everywhere. You can find out more about Starcrawler here.


Fuzzbubble - Cult Stars From Mars


Wow, the legendary Fuzzbubble return over two decades on. The first Rock band to be signed to Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Entertainment and legendary despite just the one album proper, the self titled 2000 album and what an album it is and recently released as a 20th Anniversary Edition.

Reunions after such a long time usually result in disappointment, but Cult Stars From Mars is an absolute joy. It will get labelled as Power Pop, but this is Pop Rock at its finest and most direct. Choruses, Riffs, Melody and good old singalongs will be released.

Everything you would want to know about the band is contained in nigh on five minutes of the title track. The ideal position of somewhere between Jellyfish and Cheap Trick is underlined in the constant change of direction of that opener.

Can't Wait To See You is so much the latter and Regretfully Yours so Jellyfish, but summing up the return evokes memories of Dream Police. That's not to say that Fuzzbubble are copyists in any shame or form. Despite Cheap Trick's recent return to form, I just wish they could sound this urgent.

Goodbye My Friend is great McCartney Pop and By My Side is splendid AOR. One Chord Progression is prime time Enuff Z'Nuff at times and I Like That Song is Stadium Rock at its finest. The Window even ventures into heavier parts with Jim Bacchi becoming Jimmy Page.

The trio of DiCarlo - Bacchi - Camiolo show that talent isn't temporary. Mark DiCarlo's pipes in particular are in superb form. Plus the guest list includes Mike Portnoy, Jeff Scott Soto, Darian Sajanaja and Chip Z'Nuff. Absolutely Wonderful!

You can listen to and buy the album here. The CD is available from Kool Kat here.


The Give - Hotelworthy


Massachusetts quartet The Give offer up a real Doolin' Dalton of an album. Hotelworthy is a really laidback Indie Country Rock affair. The Indie and the Rock feel like they are itching to get out, but these guys seem formidable at a twanging Country, that the need to digress is lessened.

When they do step out, the results are ace. Russian Blue is superb and very much in the territory of The Successful Failures. Tuesday Morning is more than a bit Tom Petty on the verse and even The Wilburys on the chorus and adds a wonderful Guitar break.

Gossip Girl is great Rhythm and Blues step out with a hint of Psych Pop and UK Beat that works perfectly. Nothing Is Me is wonderfully sad, aching, truly melancholic with another outstanding Guitar solo to complete a real tour de force.

Take You Home is jaunty, almost Rock and Roll at times with some great Barrel Piano. However, Ending Start is where the band seem most comfortable as a unit, great West Coast Country Rock. The Give have provided a great listen and I'm sure the future seems bright.

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


Friday 30 December 2022

Skeleton Staff - Malapropism


You are in for quite a ride Ladies and Gentleman! Sydney's Skeleton Staff are wonderfully bombastic in an early Queen sort of the way and have the over the top ability and wit to challenge The Darkness. Yet a song such as She Made Believe In Make Believe Again is pure Dance.

Oh and they are a cartoon band! But thankfully not as piss poor as Gorillaz, another cartoon band, that no one likes to admit are incredibly mediocre. One minute they could be in a Broadway Show, the next they could be major Stadium Rock stars.

Take for instance, the opener Investiture. There is so much going on its two and a half minutes, you need a breather to get over it. You want Pop Rock, well here is Hand Up In The Sky which is classic 70s Album wonderment.

You Only Good In Pictures is savvy 80s New Wave, yet Is This Thing Gonna Work Out could be prime time Robbie Williams and a Hair Metal Guitar Solo takes over the show. Paranoia Stakes barrels along to a UK Glam Romp stomp.

Bugger All is great 70s Piano Pop, You're Gonna Fly Too is a real show stopper, almost Disney and The Heart of The Sun is a bigger than big Brit Pop anthem. A and R is a cross between funk and Power Pop, wonderfully bizarre with some Lounge Lizard thrown in and a biting wit of a lyric. 

Harlots is comic Opera, even a little Toytown with a cockernee barrow boy vibe and a Brian May like solo. Malapropism is just so damn melodic with exceptional twists and turns. Forget the cartoon band bit, this is chorus after chorus and an absolute adventure. Simply Wonderful!

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


Listening To This Week


A new addition to I Don't Hear A Single!

I Don't Hear A Single largely caters for Album Reviews. Individual Songs don't get much of a look in. There is the IDHAS 10 Song Mix that is really popular, but Mixcloud have recently restricted how many mixes are archived. So I was looking for a way to let you know about songs we like on a weekly basis.

I think many of you know that I don't use Spotify or Apple Music etc. You Tube isn't ideal for anything much and a self compilation raised copyright problems and piracy. So I thought this weekly feature may be the best thing to tell you about these songs. Some may be included on future IDHAS 10 Song Mixes, but so much fights for this space,

This feature is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves.  Please investigate the artists further. We will use band camp links wherever possible. We will continue with this until someone suggests a better way to handle these songs.  The debuts for the first issue of this are :

Mean Sea - Puke Mouth 

Wayne Faler - Milwood Street

Higher Sights - When We Were Young

Lunavela - Six-Out-Of-Ten-Friend

Amphibians - Wouldn't You Like That?

Swan Hill - Unlucky

Peter Johnston RVA - Carrying


Thursday 29 December 2022

Best Bets - On An Unhistoric Night


After a brief dalliance with the old, we are back on terra firma for the next couple of weeks or so, before we gather our Basildon Bond pads and Parker Pens to compile the Best Of Year thingamajig. Meritorio Records are on a real roll this year and this may just be the best thing on the label.

New Zealand's Best Bets consist of Olly Crawford Ellis, James Harding, Joe Sampson and Matthew Phimmavanh. The know it all's amongst you will realise that Harding and Crawford Ellis come via the excellent Transistors and Harding from Salad Boys, so you kinda get a hint of what to expect.

However, no one, including myself, could expect the debut album to be such a raucous melodic joy of a thing. Full of hooks and choruses, the production allows an almost ramshackle "lets do the show right here" combine with wonderful Pop Rock sensibilities.

The band don't need defining, but I'll try. There's a real self depreciation among the quartet and that and the style at times has a lot in common with Ash, although Best Bits have a lot more hooks. You can go for the obvious, rough and ready melodic punk, but that would be Transistors.

There is Power Pop, but more looseness than usually in that format. The Twin Guitar can head towards Classic Rock and at times even Hair Rock. But there are bits of Big Star, Garage Rock and a big dollop of Glam Rock included within.

Opener, The Point is very early Teenage Fanclub, but the following Crystal Mausoleum is very UK New Wave 1979. The former allows a real big boy guitar wig out, whilst the latter is built around a belting Power Pop Riff.

The Minor Leagues is another example of how a riff can make a song and has a wonderful all together now vibe with its loose Faces like vibe. Olympic Sprinter is great New York New Wave Punk and Looking Back With Mike has a real DIY urgency.

Always On The Losing Side is a longer affair which allows the song to build the Guitars and Heavy Metal out and European Cars is just out and out Garage Rock. Lyrically adept and essentially wanting the listener to sing along, this is an album to revel in.

For all the low budget and deliberately background noise production, On An Unhistoric Night triumphs because it is so damn catchy. It just makes you want to sing and shake. There are so many hooks, it is hard not to be snared. What an absolutely cracking album! I need a sit down after each listen.

You can listen to and buy the album here. it is also available via Meritorio Records here.


Wednesday 28 December 2022

Bill Nelson's Red Noise - Art Empire Industry (6 Discs)


Anyone who has followed Bill Nelson's solo career over the past 40 years would not be surprised by his changes in direction. But the Sound On Sound album divided a lot of fans on its 1979 release. In truth this had started earlier with the last Be Bop Deluxe album, Drastic Plastic. The Axe Hero had largely left his axe at home for that album, excellent though it is.

Sound On Sound lost a good deal of the Art Rockers who loved 13 minute versions of Blazing Apostles and after a DJ Survey in the States panned it, the album didn't get a US release. The following years changed attitudes amongst both fans and newcomers and the die hards all laughed smugly, content in the knowledge they had always got the intent.

In the accompanying booklet intro, Steven Wilson makes an interesting point stating that the sound and direction of the album wasn't that new. A lot of it does sound like XTC's Go 2 and at other times, Devo spring to mind. The album's influence though had a long reach, most notably with Cardiacs.

One of the real revelations here though is the Live In Leicester CD which shows the album did have real commerciality. The harder edge to the live Guitar sound combined with some splendid Drumming (Nelson played drums on the majority of the album) showed a more commercial angle to the material. The Live album is amazing and one of the reasons for getting the 6 Disc set.

There is also a disc of the Bill Nelson home demos which all fans will want. They are essential and very different to the eventual recording. I know fans, including me, are always wary of the spate of new mixes. You like an album as you originally heard it. So a new mix has to be essential, few are. Stephen W Tayler has done a great job with the new Stereo Mix. You hear plenty that you hadn't before.

The 2 DVDs add a 5.1 Mix and the video of the three songs live on The Old Grey Whistle Test and the Promo Video For Revolt Into Style. Also included in the set are the two B Sides from the Furniture Music EP, plus four further songs from the Sound On Sound Sessions including the previously unreleased, My Light.

There is also a four song BBC Radio 1 Session for The Friday Rock Show (TV On The Radio reminisces ahoy!) I really underline how great the De Montfort Hall Set is. New listeners may want to listen to that first which allows the studio album to have greater effect.

So Bill Nelson went New Wave. I've always loved this album, but I do and did always take on the new and different. The years since have seen Nelson play with many genres and there are still fans who ask is this a guitar album for every solo release. 

The set isn't cheap, but well worth the admission. There is a 2 disc set available, although all the goodies aren't on it. The likes of For Young Moderns, Stay Young and Don't Touch Me (I'm Electric) still sound as fresh and relevant now as they did then.

You can buy the 6 disc set everywhere, but more relevantly from Cherry Red here. You can buy the 2 disc set here.


Monday 26 December 2022

Cheap Trick - Live At The Whisky 1977 (4CD)


It seems a bit careless to limit this 4 CD Set to just 2,000 copies as it is already sold out most everywhere. That is the only negative thing that I can find to say about this unless Real Gone Music can reprint. Here's hoping they can, because this is something to own.

The shows have gained a legendary reputation and rightly so. Cheap Trick were in the process of recording In Color, their second album and about to go on a Summer Tour supporting Kiss and used the shows as a sort of warm up for both.

Fortunately, the Record Plant's Mobile Unit One was on hand to record four of the five sets. The Early and Late Shows from the 3rd and 4th of June are here in their entirety. The set lists vary and Cheap Trick are incendiary.

The following year's At The Budokan meant that these recordings weren't released, but this is a very different band, seemingly more hungry. Budokan may have made Cheap Trick's reputation, but it was a glossed up affair that presented the band's most commercial songs in 10 Pop Rock nugget form.

Here the band sound more Punk or Garage Rock with suitably noisy raucous performances. Less stage craft, but far more balls, these shows are a revelation. Robin Zander is on top form, a little more shouty and it matches the instrumental takes. Rick Nielsen is as unique as ever, but seems to revel in the heavier format and what a Rhythm Section Bun E.Carlos and Tom Petersson are.

These storming versions of songs that are still very much a part of their live set in many cases. It is also ace to hear them cover The Move's Down On The Bay revealing an ongoing Roy Wood fascination. I first saw the band live on the All Shook Up Tour in 1980 and they were LOUD, but nowhere near as urgent as this.

As a fan of the band since buying In Color as a 15 year old, I've stuck with them through thick and thin out of loyalty. Before their more recent return to form, there have been quite a few downs, but I'd never ever quit. I owe them the loyalty of those early albums and this set goes a large way to explaining why.

The album can be bought on the Real Gone Music site here. RGM will notify you when its available again.


The First Class - Beach Baby : The Complete Recordings (3CD)


Grapefruit, the Cherry Red imprint, have been releasing some fine collections recently and not only the excellent genre themed compilations. Forgotten bands are also celebrated and here we have The First Class. To some, a 3CD compilation from a band that are looked upon as a one hit wonder by many. As you might expect, that is not the case. There were two excellent albums, the first being one of the great lost Pop Rock albums, but there was a lot more including singles under pseudonyms, an unreleased musical and some real archive TV Advert Jingles that people of a certain age will well recall.

Pseudonym is the by word for both John Carter and Tony Burrows who were joined by Chas Mills as the voices behind The First Class. Carter wrote the songs with his lyricist wife, Gill Shakespeare, but Carter and Burrows's history started well before 1974. Both were members of The Ivy League and noted Session Musicians on many popular British songs, Carter was involved on Backing Vocals on I Can't Explain and It's Not Unusual as well as Lead Vocal on Winchester Cathedral as well as writing songs for the likes of Herman's Hermits. 

Burrows most notable lead vocal was on Edison Lighthouse's Love Grows, probably my favourite ever single, and Brotherhood Of Man's United We Stand. They were studio guys, so when The First Class toured it was a completely different line up, Burrows and Carter had no wish to be a live band. That first self titled album is wondrous, a sort of Bubblegum Beach Boys The harmonies om What Became Of Me are magnificent on a song that gets a little Toytown at times. Funny How Love Can Be is a bit I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, no surprise as Tony Burrows was the voice on the original Coke TV Advert. 

I Was Always A Joker mines the territory that John Miles was to explore and is a splendid Big Ballad. All 11 songs are of the time, but the arrangements still sound wonderful now. Amongst the 11 Bonus Tracks, the songs for the intended musical, Bobby Dazzler are included. Bobby Dazzler is surprisingly good and doesn't sound a million miles away from what Roy Wood was to do on Eddy And The Falcons. Indeed, there are also hints of Mustard at times. The follow up album, SST was to follow two years later. 

I Was A Star is top notch Bubblegum and Autumn Love features a wonderful arrangement on a song that would have been ideal for a stage show. In all, SST, which never had a release in America, was a tad New Seekers Easy Listening and there were hints of Disco that may not hit the spot.However, the start of those TV Jingles begins with the 14 Bonus Tracks and they are all really snappy 30 second ditties and the nostalgia will be unleashed with adverts for Birds Dream Topping and in particular, the ace Rowntrees Tots Jingle.

Disc 3 contains a whopping 35 songs, mainly due to plenty more TV Jingles including Birds Eye, Typhoo Tea and Ever Ready Batteries. Also included are five songs as alter ego Magic and three by South Bank Wheels. Discs 2 and 3 also include singles released up to 1983 when the curtain was finally raised. The price is worth the admission alone for that self titled debut album, but the inclusion of the hard to find second album, the unreleased musical and the TV Adverts make this a wonderful collection.

The album is released on the 27 January and can be pre-ordered here now. 


Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas Everyone


I thought I'd dig out the photo of Bailey and I that is doing the Facebook round to wish all readers and listeners a very Merry Christmas. Its been the busiest year yet on I Don't Hear A Single and my age dictates that the accompanying image be a bit Val Doonican without his rocking chair.

We'll be back on Boxing Day with something a little different for a day or two. IDHAS is obviously about the new, but I thought it would be nice to have a couple of days reviewing Reissues. They normally go elsewhere, but it gives you a break, reading about something you have more chance of knowing.

Then its back to completing the new reviews before the Best Of Year compiling begins in Mid January. I hope Santa brings you everything that you hope for. Toodle Pip until then!


The Little Kicks - People Need Love


Aberdeen quartet The Little Kicks have a real air of sophistication about them. The songs are deep and well though out, but they are never short of a chorus. These songs come from unusual angles and are righteously Indie.

A mixture of mood, Guitar, synth and vocal harmony are combined to provide a fairly unique sound. They can sound like Franz Ferdinand or Field Music at times, but more often are like neither. Some of the synth runs and repetitive second vocals can be a little reminiscent of Sparks, particularly on Another Night, Another End.

Right To Be Here could be The Zutons, whilst Wake Up Entertainment could be The Killers. The title track is close on 6 minutes and reveals a magnificently melancholic soundtrack whilst still sounding a little anthemic and even channelling Pop Rock.

Ruminations is an outstanding opener. It broods to a backline that hooks you and a chorus that makes you want to sing along. People Need Love is the sound of Intelligent Indie and may finally convince people that all Scottish music is not Jangling Dream Pop.

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


Stephen Schijns - Where Do We Go


My good friend Dennis Pilon at Poprock Record pointed me in the direction of Cannuck Stephen Schijns and there is an awful to like about his debut album. Although very much in Pop Rock Territory, there are many visits to different places in the area. 

What Do I Know About Love is more than a little Nick Lowe and Round And Round We Go is pure Rock And Roll. What Why is great Power Pop whilst Hard Edged World is 70s Singer Songwriter stuff, almost a little Cowboy Country Rock.

Trans-Pacific Beach Burn is fine Surf Rock, yet Fooling Yourself sounds a little Dire Straits. I Know A Man is UK Beat, but I Met Her Yesterday is 60s West Coast Pop. The stand out song is probably Map which fairly rattles along and is aided by a killer chorus.

So you will have learned that there is a great deal of variety here, but that may present a problem for new listeners. Maybe Where Do We Go is trying to try to hard to show what Schijns can do. 18 songs is also a lot for a debut album. However, this is a really good listen and will appeal to many.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Kevin Stevenson - Reality Alley

I haven't been as involved with Rumbar Records reviews wise recently. It all got as bit too noisy for me. That's no reflection on the marvellous work that Lou does, I just largely cover the melodic side of life and the Garage Rock and Punk just got a bit too loud and a little samey. 

That has changed recently with a couple of top notch albums released on the label, none more relevant than this. Kevin Stevenson has always been a rough gem. The Shods albums were always excellent, a little Punk, but very varied.

The Reality Alley songs have been on the go since 2016 or so and eventually came to fruition during a year that Stevenson spent in Athens, Greece, He hooked up with veteran Producer George Priniotakis and a bunch of Session Musicians and here is the outcome.

The results are revelatory. Firstly the production is big, something that Stevenson hasn't necessarily encountered before. Then the Studio Musicians are amazing, rounded off by a wonderful Revue style three piece Brass section.

Stevenson has always been a fine songwriter, which hasn't always been noticed die both his Punk reputation and previous production. Here the quality of the songs shines through with a mixture of the feel good and the street wise.

The Brass arrangements swing between Stax, Ska and Big Band. The likes of We Know Everyone sound very Dexys Geno Period. Lowell Night has a Pogues vibe and Brand New Day is pure Graham Parker. Children Of The Oaks is wonderful 60s Revue joy.

It isn't just about the Brass though. Wrong This Time has a splendid Country Twang, a rare big Ballad. It Was You is great Pop and Torr Skoog is ace New Wave. 13 is even Cinematic in a Commitments style. I Guess You Had Enough is fab Rhythm And Blues.

The stand out is probably Saturday Morning Coming Down, when the Brass combines with a pacey verse and a Southside Johnny chorus. Reality Alley is the real surprise album of 2022 for me. It really is a fantastic listen. It will feature high in the IDHAS Best of Year and is an essential for your collection.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Friday 23 December 2022

Model Shop - Love Interest


Two thirds of this Seattle Trio are from Math And Physics Club and there is the odd time that comparison leaks out. Kevin Emerson and Ethan Jones are joined by Jen Fox for the Model Shop debut album, released on the excellent Meritorio Records label.

Love Interest is lovingly crafted Melodic Pop that sounds little like America, having far more in common with both the UK and New Zealand scene. At times there is a real sophistication to the songs with their tight arrangements and vocal splendour.

But when they do let go, they sound more and more Indie especially on the ace Guitar Pop of I Was Told This Would Be Easy which is a far more urgent affair. The Quieter Life even has a point where it gets a little shouty towards the end, although that is probably more like a Loud Whisper.

The slower songs are more Dream Pop, all excellently worked to perfection. A Simple Emotion even gets pretty close to Aztec Camera and Compilation Tape is the sound of young Glasgow. Lucky is such a great Pop Song, jaunty, feel good, an absolute joy.

I hate to use the word lovely, but this is indeed exactly that. The sound and production puts a smile on your face and the switch of vocals works really well. Proof that you don't have to riff or batter your audience into submission/ Particularly when your choruses are as great as this.

You can listen to the album here. You can find out more about the band here. You can discover Meritorio Records here.


Graham Parker - The Middlesex Demos 1973-1975


I don't venture too much into the past, but during the Christmas break, there a few archive albums that are gonna appear here, just whilst people have hidden their wallets away from the new. Included will be the long awaited Ness feature which is a big 'un and another Sparks reissue.

Before that, I was pleasantly surprised to find this, released this year. It is very much a part of Parker's formative years, with the previously released That's When You Know Acoustic Demos. Graham Parker writes about these demos here, much better than I could.

As the noted "Angry Young Man", there is much less of that here, although you can hear the early stirrings of that on the likes of I've Got My Soul and Time Bomb Blues. I also remember Parker saying he was surprised that The Rumour were from a Pub Rock background. I'm sure that they might be surprised at hearing something like this album.

Largely well recorded, in a singer songwriter with his Guitar setting, the songs are really rather good. There's a very early 70s vibe to the material, at times a little bit Folk, at other times a nod to the American examples of the genre that were very much in vogue over here.

The Howling Wind debut was obviously very different, certainly Rumoured Up, but there is plenty here to like and the song writing is really good if very different to what was to come. Parker is an obvious talent in the making.

As a side issue, I'm always intrigued at how Graham Parker divides opinion. The Vertigo Years in particular reveal a top notch artist with a wonderful live reputation. Elvis Costello fans in particular seem to have him down as a copy when Parker's material leant far more on Soul.

You can listen to and buy the album here


The Orion Experience - Fever Dream

Both Bill Kopp and Dennis Pilon have beaten me to New York's The Orion Experience. Their fourth album very much in the Pop section, but it has some really big moments. They have the ability to sound like latter day 80s ELO, yet also venture into modern pop.

That modern pop's likeability can be something you love or hate. The robotic autotuned of I Can Read Your Mind and Cosmiccandy Girl can be really irritating, a sort of music for 7 years old and the latter all gets a bit Aqua despite its clever twists and turns. 

However Honeysuckle Kiss is a belting slice of Girl New Wave Pop, think 80s, it is even a little Toni Basil with the handclaps. Roll Me is a great Disco Anthem and Fever Dream bounces along edging onto the likes of Jean Michel Jarre and even a little Prog. 

All Dolled Pop is a mighty fine Pop Song, verging on Power Pop and the stand out, Digital Attraction really has that ELO feel, it is particularly reminiscent of Pugwash. Fever Dream may unnerve the snootier Pop Rock lovers, but there is a lot here to like.

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


Wednesday 21 December 2022

Fox Paloma - Retrospectacular EP


Danish Trio, Fox Paloma, have released a wonderful 60s period EP, enhanced by being recorded at The Courettes' studio on the studio's period recording equipment. The four songs cover the second half of 60s Pop in splendid fashion.

The trio consist of brothers Linus and Rasmus Holst and Jake Hubert Gardiner and the sound is gentle, but beautifully arranged instrumentally. Gardiner's vocals in particular are a revelation, fitting perfectly with the EP's direction.

Madame Bay is melodramatic with big hints of Psych Pop, Bubble is in Tremeloes territory and Retrospectacular is more than a little Christie and Love Affair in feel with a real UK Beat Pop feel. Tuesday Eyes is a stand out ballad that is both big and incredibly addictive and undeniably wrought 60s Pop that edges towards Toytown with its wonderful keyboard run.

The instrument cupboard has been well and truly raided to a massively benefit effect. The arrangements are top notch and you are left wanting much more. I personally can't wait for the album. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the EP here.


Mastodon and Like Minded Friends Section


The thought of another Social Media avenue is not one I relish, but I Don't Hear A Single has joined Mastodon. You can find us here :

This is simply a back up with all the nonsense going on at Twitter. As we progress, either Twitter will settle down or the switch to Mastodon will become more prevalent. Longer term, the two will not continue, it will be one or the other for IDHAS.

There will also be some slight adjustments to the "Like Minded Friends" section at some stage this week. Virtually all of my time is spent writing about new music and so it makes sense to make that section consist of sites that specialise in the same. So the odd one or two will be removed and replaced with additional sites that are more relevant to readers here.


Tuesday 20 December 2022

Secret Molecules - Secret Molecules


A few years ago, Pop Rock albums such as this were a regular thing. There were many comparisons to the likes of Crowded House and Squeeze as new bands served up melodic enjoyable albums that demanded that you sing along to the chorus.

Secret Molecules are a Dutch trio and their debut is as good, if not better than any of those past albums. Not only they do they remind you at times of the two aforementioned bands, but they add both an American 90s, almost Power Pop sound and 70s UK Pop Rock that were about albums not singles.

For instance, I Don't Wanna Go Back is classic West Coast twanging Rock, think early Eagles and Don't You Know Me Truly is classic UK late 70s New Wave. This Is Our Lost Summer is ace Power Pop and Foreign Places is a sped up joy that could be an American TV Sit Com theme.

Your Sunshine verges on Country Rock, but has a mesmerising Jangle, yet Accidentally Meet is jaunty 90s Glasgow Guitar Pop. Tiger Blue goes even further back towards 60s UK Beat, even Merseybeat and Can You See Me Running is a fine Pub Rock ballad.

There are some real stand outs too. On The TV Screen adds a wonderful Hammond Organ and a killer Guitar Riff, Love Is Where I Stand really rocks things up with a splendid cross between New Wave and R and B, very 1979. Letting Go Again reminds me a lot of the much missed Will Owsley with a wordy, unexpected lyrical rhythm.

This is a fine debut, chock full of songs about Love with big memorable choruses. 15 songs may be a tad too many for a debut, but every single one hits the spot. Beautifully produced, lovingly sung and played, there is so much to like. A top notch start to what is hopefully a long career.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Pogo Pops - Daylight


Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is Pop  35 years together, 25 of them active, the Norwegian Trio delight us these days with an album every five years or so. Daylight is their eighth album and is packed with Indie Poptasticness, whilst adding a few twists and turns.

Newcomers may be fooled into thinking that Daylight ls 80s Jangle Pop when first hearing the opening title track, but the vibe has more in common with Dream Pop with its hypnotic keyboard riff and the vocal is an intriguing cross between Lloyd Cole and Neil Hannon.

Dancing To The Beat Of My Heart is a real easy listening joy that borders on jaunty Piano Pop, yet A Certain Sound is like Talking Heads backing a lounge lizard with the Funk desperate to get out. Things That We Did is BBC Radio Light Entertainment smooze.

However, The Echoes Of The Day is a wonderful slice of Psych Pop and Stay Awake is splendid 70s Pop Rock edging towards both Glam Rock and Power Pop. My Mind Is Like A Radio is the centrepiece, running ay over six minutes.

The song is built on a jangled riff and at times the piece is reminiscent of Japan, but the real joy is the last two minutes which offers up a mesmerising instrumental vibe that hooks you completely. Great Melodic Pop is not easy to find and Daylight is certainly that.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Monday 19 December 2022

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 44

It seems to have been a while, but here is  Volume 44 of the 10 Song Mix. 33 and a half minutes of audio delight to brighten your day and underline the strength of new music.

The Mixcloud link is below and at the foot of the page is the Mixcloud Player which takes you directly to the music. Thank you for your continued listening. The Mix is certainly more popular than we ever expected. 

Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week :

01 The Green Pajamas - Six Minutes In Heaven

02 Sarchasm - Crazy

03 The Bye Bye Blackbirds - Fold Up Your Maps

04 Steve Robinson & Ed Woltil - The Way You Love Him

05 Wired Ways - Ticket Tally Man

06 Strange Neighbors - Whoa! Is Me

07 The Chrysanthemums - Nobody's Getting My Hair

08 The Young Hasselhoffs - Life Got In The Way

09 Sharp Class - Contradiction

10 The Mellons - Salad Made Of Butterflies

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 44


Sunday 18 December 2022

The Green Pajamas - Forever For A Little While


A new album from The Green Pajamas is always something to look forward to. Last Year's Sunlight May Weigh Even More was in the Top 30 of IDHAS's Best Albums of 2021 and Forever For A Little While is very much a continuation of that album.

No band contrasts Psych Pop with what could be loosely described as Americana as this band, that is if any do at all and at times the two are combined. The Psych Pop can also get into more Psychedelic territory, likewise the slower songs can be more straight ahead Pop.

Take for instance, Constance Gray, a song where Eric Lichter takes the vocals for a real atmospheric countryish feel. but still the urge to add an unexpected Psych Guitar run cannot be resisted. Laura Weller takes the vocals on the splendid Toytown of Give Me A Penny. These diversions only add to the variety, as well as giving Jeff Kelly a break.

I've Got Love is a splendid tread into pure pop, a gem of a song. The Hidden Fortress has an eastern feel to its top notch Psych and The Devastating Night is simply magnificent in its scope, revealing that Psych can be way out whilst still incredibly melodic. 

Few could write a song as straight ahead as Touched Her That Way with a sort of Stones like Rhythm and yet add all sorts of instrumental diversions, again it wants to be Psych Pop. Then there is Six Minutes In Heaven, a song that is probably the base template Jeff Kelly song.

"Six Minutes" is everything that I would ever want to hear in a Psych Pop offering and the reason why I love the genre so much. To me Kelly stands in a field of his own. No one writes and performs such interesting and listenable material in his field. The King Of Psych Pop? Very Possibly!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Ian McNabb - Nabby Road


I was gonna open this review by saying that this feels like a very different Ian McNabb album. But then every McNabb album is different and that is part of the joy of the first listen. So after repeated play throughs, I can tell you that there is a difference.

Nabby Road is a much more restrained, almost laid back affair. There is less of the lyrical and riff dominance, although those riffs are still present, they are more restrained. The trademark wit is held back in favour of a vibe, an atmosphere, a quality that reveals the arrangements and the mood.

This is no criticism, it adds yet another tick to a wonderful back catalogue. The album feels more American, both instrumentally and lyrically, certainly more mellow and atmospheric and it all works beautifully. The songs are more crafted, time has obviously been spent perfecting them and this results in an album that should be listened to throughout.

To open the album with the piano led instrumental of Sausalito is brave, but keeps in with the general feel of the album and especially the arrangements. This is never more apparent than on the violin led beauty of The Sun Came Out At Night. it is very reminiscent of the acoustic led album that was An Emotional Party. 

There's a wonderful West Coast riff that dominates Amazing and Love Bombing is Bacharach like in its easy listening relaxation. Gentlemen Dress For Dinner is particularly Funky and Start Again is built around a great Glam Riff, great 70s Pop Rock. Plus for those who like a shouter, there's Steal Away.


McNabb though cannot resist that sly wit with Guest List. A jibe at the Guest List wannabes done with local references and set to a camp fire, part rockabilly, part country, a song that gets the message across firmly, albeit slightly tongue in cheek.

Ian McNabb may have an opinion on everything, you don't have to agree, you may want to ignore. However, what isn't in doubt is that the man has been a constant for 40 years and is still trying to offer different directions in a splendid career. He should be more popular, but that has never held him back. Long may it continue.

You can listen to and buy the album here. The CD and Vinyl can be bought here.


Rob Munk - Phased Out


Rob Munk returns to the music scene after a 20 year absence due to acting and it is really inspiring that such a heart warming album is the result. The involvement of both Kevin March and Roy Ketchem will lead to Guided By Voices comparisons, although there is far more to this splendid album.

The New Jersey artist is primarily part of a trio including Daniel London and Joe Ventura and they conjure up great intelligent melodic Guitar Pop. hooks with a serious message. Phased Out isn't as lo-fi as you might expect and is a refeshingly laid back affair.

Amazon, in particular, underlines the lyrical seriousness, but cushions the weight with a jauntiness, riff led joy that evokes memories of the milder side of the IRS roster. Slumber is another fine example of this approach, wonderfully melodic, with a great hook and an ace solo.

Outbound Track is very atmospheric with its hypnotic steel guitar and Americana vibe, The title track is similarly moody, this time in a more Folky direction. Run though evokes thoughts of the Glasgow Indie scene of the eighties with its Dream Pop sensibilies.

Eyes Of God slightly hides its light under a bushel with its start stop tweeness, but The Ghosts Of San Francisco is much more straight ahead, a welcome jangling joyous song with a clever staccato verse leading into a sing along chorus.

The beauty of Phased Out is the mix of the fast and the slow, the combination of moodiness and joy that enhances the lyrical sentiments of the album. Heavy Shoes is a song that deserves to be heard everywhere and hopefully this will review will aid that.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 17 December 2022

The Mellons - Introducing… The Mellons!


I'm really surprised that this hasn't been covered around the Power Pop places, although I suspect it will further divide the old and the new supporters. It is more than a little Pet Sounds at times and even more so in tone and feel, but what is wrong with that?

Those set in their ways will remark about not needing another Pet Sounds, what's wrong with the one we've got? The lovers of the new will say how refreshing it is to hear a debut album that trends the harmonic Psych Pop of the mid 60s when albums started to become more important to the serious music fan than singles. 

I think you know where I stand and the Salt Lake City quartet nail both the sound and the times as well as having the ability to offer up great songs when the world is not exactly winning the fight against  autotune and releases written by 15 people.

When the harmonies flow, this does sound very Brian Wilson, particularly on the likes of So Much To Say and Strawberry Girl. But there is plenty more here other than just that. Salad Made Of Butterflies is a wonderful slice of |Psych and What A Time To Be Alive is Blue Mink jaunty.

Its Just A Phase is a classic example of lets do the show right here and Devil's Advocaat feels so Bacharach with big hints of Toytown,  Hello Sun is like an oompah version of the Nimble Advert and the closer Surprise is something that would easily fit on ELO's Eldorado.

Introducing is a really inventive piece of work. Delightful at times, a little mind blowing on the odd occasion. It may remind you of other things that were done over 50 years ago, but it is also of the now. It is a fantastic piece of work and very very listenable. Highly Recommended!


You can buy the album here. You can find out more about The Mellons here.


Vinyl Arch Rodeo - Herodotus


During my recent illness, I was persuaded to join Submit Hub and was a little reluctant, but one of the results is this. The place is mainly aimed at single songs and there is a lot of submissions that are a million miles away from what IDHAS does, but there is probably enough for a weekly playlist or something like Subjangle's Beat The Delete. We'll see,

The songs sent are only as good or mediocre as I receive in the daily email explosion, but what I hoped for was to find a few new bands that I hadn't heard of before and there's been a couple already. The first is Vinyl Arch Rodeo, a solo project from Israeli musician, Guy Sear.

Herodotus is very reminiscent of Brit Pop and nails it pretty well. A song like Everyone, in particular, has all the chops that make you want to singalong. To The Top is another fine affair with a bigger arrangement and a big Guitar solo. 

However when Sear moves away from the big anthems, the album gets even more interesting. His vocal is more than a little Al Stewart at times, particularly on And Nothing Else and this could open up Folk Rock. This is a really interesting album, but promises much more in the future.

You can listen to the album here.You can find out more about Vinyl Arch Rodeo here.


Friday 16 December 2022

Ward White - Ice Cream Chords


With I Don't Hear A Single being noted for reviewing albums that normally rely on melodic riffs or big choruses, no matter what the genre, you may be surprised to learn that Ward White is one of the most popular read artists, 

I say surprised, because he's not what you would imagine to be the stand out artist amongst the chiming guitars, but he is. Last Year's The Tender Age Review had over 9,000 views, no mean feat for a Blog that covers just a small corner of the musical world. It was rightly in the Top 10 IDHAS Albums Of The Year.

He keeps getting discovered by new listeners, yet he is no overnight sensation, I make this 14 albums in. He's also not your typical Guitar Pop star, his plummy voice might be expected to be more suited to the white lines of the road and there is an almost Ferry-esque lounge lizard feel to his tones.

But this is intelligent Pop Rock at its finest. Unexpected arrangements, vocal twists and a lyrical adeptness mark him out as an unusual, but saving grace. Every album is as good, if not better than the last and Ice Cream Chords builds on his outstanding reputation, 

If anything, this feels even poppier than usual, Lyrically, it as deep as ever, but the instrumentation sounds even more accessible than usual. The new listener generally finds that a Ward White album creeps up on them and then grips them like a vice.

From the moody melancholic Signore to the jaunty Pop Rock of 50,000 Watts ago, this is an album that keeps on giving. Slouch is a wonderful Torch Song, yet Rumors is the nearest White will get to a Pop Song. I've deliberately held back on too many song descriptions, urging you to listen to the album in its entirety. You will be more than glad that you did.

You can listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about Ward White here,


Tuesday 13 December 2022

Steve Robinson & Ed Woltil - Shadow Play


Steve Robinson's last album, Swallowing The Sun, was one of the most popular albums on I Don't Hear A Single last year (You can read the IDHAS Review here) and to follow the rave reviews, Robinson teams up with Ed Woltil for their second album together, & years after the debut.

Although Pastoral Pop generally covers the description, there is a wonderful knot that ties the differences between the two. The Folk Pop of Robinson with the Indie Guitar Pop of Woltil, the pensive mixed with the jaunty, the acoustic meeting the electric,

It works beautifully, particularly the combination of vocals and although I think many IDHAS followers will be particularly drawn to the Guitar Pop, everything blends together without fault. As with Swallowing The Sun, Dave Gregory adds his Guitar mastery to two songs which makes Shadow Play even more essential.

Gregory adds Guitar to Life On A Trampoline and Ultramarine, two very different songs. The former is poptastic, bordering at times on Toytown, yet the latter is an epic moodier piece, a little Prog in places with a killer chorus. The arrangement is outstanding and Gregory's playing is as great as anything he has ever added to.

The stand out here though is the wonderful piano pop of The Way You Love Him, a little Nick Heyward, a little Aztec Camera maybe. It really is a joy. Elsewhere, Kickstart is very Gerry Rafferty,  On The Way To My Appointment With Death is an ace slice of Folk Pop.

The title track is a splendid example of 70s American Pop Rock and Vulgar Tongue may be Acoustic, but is venomous with some top notch vocal harmony. and Make Amends is a fine closer, Simon and Garfunkel-ish. Shadow Play is proof that Pop doesn't have to be in your face to grip you. A wonderful duo, a wonderful match, a wonderful album!

You can listen to and buy the album here.