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Tuesday 28 February 2023

Listening To This Week


A monster 16 songs this week that are in no order of preference and provide a cracking diverse listen. 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 issues. 

So I thought this weekly feature may be the best thing to tell you about these songs. This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. This is a fine and varied selection of songs. Please investigate the artists further. 

All links open in new windows to aid scrolling.

Creamer - House Of Dreams

RedrumSociety - Have Some

Eddie Brett - Pub People

Tyler Millard - The Ghosting

POLSKY - Song for the Silver Surfer

The Renunciate = Battle Graduate

Dead Lucid = Ordinary Freak

Aura Blaze - Dreamdrive

The Caliph - Getting Better

 Sad Boys Club = Delicious

Qwiet Type - My Dear

Charming Arson - Crazy Jane Gets God

Nicholas Walmer - On the Outside

Plethora of Bliss - Create a New Day

KESMAR - "Is It Me or Is It Love

Gaba Groove - Zoo Train


Sunday 26 February 2023

Vanilla - Vanilla 77


I love everything about Vanilla. A great Pop Rock collective with a wonderful sense of humour and joy in what they do is not the only reason for my admiration. I was a massive Liar's Club fan and Vanilla took on the mantle thereafter.

The idea of writing a set of songs in the style of a year is quite unique. This began with the Vanilla 66 album last time round and 77 continues in that vein. The songs cover a wide area but all are indelibly linked by the way Vanilla never lose sight of their Indie (Guitar) Pop excellence.

These songs are not covers, just done in the style of the different genres of the year and Vanilla have a masterful way of presenting them. As with Vanilla 66, the songs were released on Bandcamp, one per month for a dollar a time. Then when enough are ready for the album, they are collated into a formal release.

A large part of the sound of 1977 is covered, The Yacht Rock of Poop Deck, the Piano Pop of Pillbox. the big Rock of The Hullaballoo, the Disco of Ka-Bang! Ramblin' Man is all Neil Diamond, , Torture Me all The Eagles.

Where Are You Jimmy? edges into Punk, a little Sham 69 maybe? Shut Yer Gob is excellent Glam New Wave with a riff not a million miles away from Sweet's Little Willy. Goodbye is family Chart Pop and Go is happy clappy, a little sickly Pop..

The beauty of the album is that every song is enjoyable with fun for the elders eeking out the comparisons and stand alone toe tapping for the generations below. My only grumbles is where is my beloved Prog, but I do hope there is a Vanilla 88. Vanilla are as wonderful as ever, a band to be cherished.

You can listen to or buy the album here.


Doctor Mother Father - Feelin' Fine


There have been a couple of really interesting and refreshing articles about Power Pop. Mo Troper discussed at length, the problem of the genre and Steve W. Lauden discussed the effect of Pop Punk on the scene. I had left the noise behind a lot, the Is It Power Pop? brigade and rubbishing of new bands left me cold. 

I wasn't the only one as previously Power Pop writers either left the scene or rebranded what they do as Pop or Rock. I've always been a big supporter of Pop Punk, particularly in its closeness to Power Pop and the best of Powerful Pop now is seemingly coming from that direction. I don't mean the robotic talky vocals of the old brigade, but the new breed of the melodic voice.

Cory Bonnevie's Doctor Mother Father could never be described as Pop Punk, but the noisier riff laden offerings provided are possibly a big part of the future of Power Pop, something unimagined by the militant stalwarts on Facebook groups would never have dreamed of. It may be that Power Pop can survive as a mixture of the noise and the calm. 

Doctor Mother Father's second album is a wonderful noisy riff laden affair, incredibly melodic without losing its rawness. The debut album, Catholic, was a solo affair and a great listen, but this follow up shows the benefit of the live band recording Feelin' Fine. 

The album has lost none of the gritty edges, but provides a cohesive, almost Power Trio, effect to the recordings. If you were a first time listener, you may not have got that impression at first. The opening 25 second track gives the impression of Space Rock. The second song, Cut The Noise is almost Alt Country sleaze. But.................

...................just over a minute in, the song just takes off and bursts out into riff laden joy and sets the scene for a real fist shaking sing along. Wish You Didn't Know is classic Power Pop and even the noisier, shouty, Wealth Offers is graced by a diff all the way from UK New Wave 1979.

Not Much Sense even treads into gun slinging Country or Bonnevie's version of it which even gets a little grunge. However, Act I Like You could be Canvey Island Rhythm And Blues. Blame Time is Garage Rock Psych that wouldn't be out of place on the Rum Bar label.

For all the wall to wall riffing, there is still time for the magnificent closer, Trying To Mend A Repeating Theme is largely a restrained melancholic brooding joy and shows that there is far more to the band than out and out pace. 

With the usual embedded selection of three songs, I have attempted to show the range of Doctor Mother Father. A full listen to the album reveals the hooks and melody. I urge you to do that. This is yet another tick many ticked boxes of the Canadian Music Revival of recent years. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 25 February 2023

The Facebook Algorithm


This isn't one of those moany comments about the Facebook Algorithm. You can't change it, so if something is out of your control, you have to look for things that are. It is more of a warning to musicians and listeners who use the Social Media giant to advertise or get their music fix.

Six months in, I looked at how readers were referred to I Don't Hear A Single and 80% were from Facebook. We are now six years on and obviously the volume of visitors are much higher and so you would expect that percentage to decrease.

At this time last year, Facebook accounted for 35% of the traffic, not insignificant and I made a note to check at the same time this year. During the 12 months, I Don't Hear A Single has grown, but not significantly enough to expect that the Facebook figure would be similar.

It was actually 14%, so the Facebook algorithm has certainly changed.

IDHAS's priorities have always been towards the Indie musician, getting more listeners to listen and hopefully buy music from the artist. A door opener if you like, because we are never going to get them a massive amount of converts, but enough to make a difference. Hopefully more will pick up on them and more interest is created.

The good news is that the change in Facebook referrals hasn't affected IDHAS, so the potential audience grows. But it is certainly a note of concern for artists, labels and venues at how little impact Facebook has now and certainly a warning of how they spend their hard earned dollars on promotion. If you are not paying Facebook for promotion (and that seems to be completely unworthwhile too), you are reaching less and less potential interest.

Remember, the 14% comes from my page, two IDHAS pages and other Facebook groups, so that shows the impact is severe, I don't want to teach people to suck eggs and finding new music could be covered in a different unrelated post.

Targeted Google searches still have the biggest impact, even using a search engine different to Google as an additional source. When you find a Blog or site you like, stick with it and look at the other places they recommend you to follow. Bandcamp has if you like this, you may like that and artist recommendations on their pages. 


Friday 24 February 2023

Real Terms - Vantage


The Liverpool Trio are being compared to many different bands and all of them could be true. One EP in and now we have the album and it is a wondrous affair. At times, they could be XTC, even The Mommyheads where the vibe is most similar.

Kite is pure Andy Partridge on the verse, yet Veil In Thinner's vocal is closer to Jon Anderson and the whole thing is closer to Prog. Absentee is another example of great Prog and you sense that fans of this genre will lap Vantage up most. 

Frantically Wrong could be The Police, yet Half Alive hints at Jazz Rock whilst retaining an addictive chorus that isn't a million miles away from Pop and offering up hints of Talking Heads. Impose even gets all Adrian Belew.

Yes there are flashing strokes of Guitar Pop, particularly on some of the choruses and Cacophony could be compared to Colin Moulding's adventures in The Prog Collective. Yet for all these comparisons, Real Terms are largely in a field of their own, inventive without ever being self indulgent.

When you think of a rock trio, most often, a Power Trio will spring to mind. Real Terms are not really like that. There is an almost symbiotic bond between the three components. Dominant Bass lines matched to unusual riffs with dynamic drum patterns.

Nothing is ever over complicated, arrangements change direction and the results are astounding. Over the past couple of years, there is a great wave of fresh bands breaking through in Liverpool. They aren't the expected scouse big chorus merchants, they are marching to their own tune. Real Terms have provided a splendid debut album. Highly Recommended!

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


The Housing Crisis - Astral Apartments


I got a bit of stick during lockdown from a couple of writers about my thoughts on the Acoustic Guitar. The inference was that I was being really unfair to musicians at a time when they had to do everything from home. I was misrepresented and since then the opinion has been that I don't like acoustic music.

Nothing could be further from the truth. My point was a reaction to going on Social Media to promote reviews and being inundated with Facebook Live pop ups of artists strumming an acoustic guitar, usually singing a cover, most often being a Beatles cover. I was just stating that other instruments were available as were other artist's songs.

So having said that, I can get on to the subject in hand which is this wonderful album from Gainesville's The Housing Crisis. They describe themselves as Cosmic Folk and I totally see that, particularly on the splendid Cartoon Frog, but that label may give the wrong impression on new listeners, because there is far more to this lot than that.

There is a big acoustic feel to the first half of the album, but the arrangements are top notch, always interesting and when they branch out, they get even better. Take for instance Wonder Of A Station Wagon. A magnificent slab of Pop, akin to the likes of The Summer Holiday with a twist of cosmic keyboards. 

Then there is Astral Apartment, a song that is dominated by that electronic sound, but remaining incredibly original with killer melodic lines and a chorus to die for. That's when you realise that is an album of two halves.

There is an even a short interlude, Liminal Days, which divides the analogue and the electrical, for want of a better description. Having said that the album closes with the more melancholic, traditional Wednesday & The Milky Way with its haunting riff and some crying harmonica. It works beautifully.

In fact the whole premise of two different sides to The Housing Crisis may confuse the simplistic listeners, but both work equally well. In fact the second half of the album is unexpectedly better than the first half, although both are equally fulfilling.

Changes In The Shape Of The Earth has a wonderful Baroque accompaniment on what is a jaunty pop affair that edges towards American at times. There's a lot contained in less than three minutes. It will be interesting to see how the band develop in the future with these two directions. Astral Apartments, however, is as good, if not better, than most things that I've heard in past 6 months.

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


Tuesday 21 February 2023

The Alright Maybes - Blue Sky Thinking EP


While you would naturally pick out a voice as heavenly as Angela Reinhart's, The Alright Maybes are very much a collective and the material stretches the decades. Brian Ray's Guitar playing adapts to the song directions wonderfully with riffs and jangles.

Then there is the rhythm section of Aidan Epstein and Julian Daniell who are locked in union with some unusual patterns. The Chicago quartet might be compared to The Beths, although they aren't as riff led. Maybe also a similarity to Corner Laughers with the restrained vocal, but there's a lot more going on here.

This sum of the parts is underlined most by Always Almost. A subdued vocal is matched by a driving Bass and at times, marching band drum part. Then there is the Jangling Riff and a killer rawk solo just short enough to enhance but not ruin the mood.

The title track is maybe what you would expect them to be best at. Eerily melancholic and haunting, it moves into a splendid harmonic chorus and a Country Riff becomes prevalent, accompanied by a fine piano sneaking in.

Honey is the song that breaks out. Reinhart is never gonna get too shouty, but the band certainly get a little noisier. Add in a catch all chorus with an ace jangle that blasts into a Psych Pop Guitar Jamboree whilst the Bass Run remains steady as a rock. It is a magnificent song.

The Man Who Played is probably nearer The Beths, but yet again there is far more than you would inspect instrumentally with a closing New Wave Riff. The Rhythm section on Kurt deserve a big round of applause and what a solo. There really is so much here to like. I only wish there was more songs. Maybe best to leave us wanting more. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the EP here.


Listening To This Week


12 songs that are in no order of preference and provide a cracking diverse listen. 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 issues. 

So I thought this weekly feature may be the best thing to tell you about these songs. This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. This is a fine and varied selection of songs. Please investigate the artists further. 

K. Campbell - Smoke

Mister Data - Life Ordinary

Babaganouj - Stay Up For Me

HØME - Shivering And Cold

Warm Coat - I Hear The Music

Conflict at Serenity Pools - Golden View

Texas King - Whatever You Break

Green Knuckle Material - Julia


Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir - The Ending Of The End

The Alright Maybes - Always Almost

Low Tide Levee - Dang Diggy

Obi Denim = Grime Glob


Monday 20 February 2023

Marc Valentine - Future Obscure


I'm used to writing about American artists who sound so Brit, so its nice to write about a Brit who sounds American. I'm also told I don't write about Power Pop any more, which of course I do, less so maybe, but the genre has been so argued about what is and what isn't that many of the noted celebrators have either left or branded themselves as something else.

Key writers now describe themselves as Indie, Guitar Pop or Pop Rock that it is hard to draw the line where it begins or ends and why worry about such? Surely it is about the music? Why does it have to be labelled? But to my ears Marc Valentine is straight ahead Power Pop and has a vocal that is ideally suited to it.

Future Obscure is an album that illustrates the absolute fun that the genre offers up. Big Riffs, killer middle eight's, catch all choruses and an ability to put a smile on your face. Add in that the album is superbly produced, knows what its about and adds a few surprising twists and unusual sounds. Then there is the artist and Marc Valentine is great at what he does. 

A long time stalwart of the wonderful Last Great Dreamers, this is Valentine's debut solo and it is an absolute blast. A song like Arcades has an ace twanging almost country riff that jumps in regularly. A song about seaside arcades that is very Dave Edmunds sounding. The American influence is confirmed by singing about a parking lot rather than a car park.

Ghosts Of Amsterdam has a riff to die for, Death Is Overrated has a verse that is reminiscent of a 60s death ballad until the chorus. Swiss Launderette adds a Cars like keyboard run and Fade Out In Blue shows Valentine is equally at home when he slows it down. But is the pacy Power Pop that shines most, particularly the splendid Last Train Tonight and Mornington Avenue.

With lyrics that aren't your staple lost a girl love songs, there is far more depth here. Future Obscure is top notch Guitar Pop, beautifully written, beautifully performed with wall to wall hooks and riffs. The CD adds two bonus tracks, one of which may the best song on display, Zodiac Hotel. With Guest appearances from Matt Dangerfield and Wreckless Eric, this is an album to put a smile on your face. 

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


Sunday 19 February 2023

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 48

Volume 48 is here to seriously make more big dints in all 5 Mixcloud Global Charts it qualifies for.

10 Songs in just under 36 minutes. The quality is really kicking in now for 2023. Just played this through again and it sounds great. Get ready to tap your toes and delight your ears.

Arranging the track order was particularly difficult, so please listen to the full mix if you have the time. A reminder that these songs are not arranged in order of preference, but in what I think suits the variation in the mix. 10 Songs in over 39 minutes.

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 Vistas - My Head Feels Strange

02 The Successful Failures - Millions Of People

03 Local Drags - Feelin' In Stereo

04 Paul McCann - World Keeps Turning Round

05 Stephen Lawrenson - Blue Room

06 Mothboxer - Operator

07 Pasha Black - Evening Sun

08 The Bug Club - Little Coy Space Boy

09 Beach Bugs - Be Loved

10 Ghostbear - Shoegaze Man

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 48


Paul McCann - Alter Ego


Ireland's Paul McCann releases his second album and I'm amazed that one of the big labels hasn't picked up on this. It certainly ticks all the boxes and really deserves the promotion push that one of those labels could give it.

Guest appearances from IDHAS favourites, Jason Falkner, Roger Joseph Manning and Charlotte Hatherley only adds to the appeal here. Alter Ego is a Pop Rock album that you sit back and admire. The material gets the arrangements and production that it fully deserved.

We were bowled over by the lead single, Divide And Conquer and still are. A magnificent song with a killer riff that surprisingly turns into a Barry Gibb like section before rocking to a close. It is an album Tour De Force.

But that song didn't hint at the variety across these 12 songs. The gentler riff and wonderful Brass of World Keeps Turning with its mix of 70s Pop Rock and Modern Prog. The jauntiness pf The Voice Of Reason and the moody ethereal Out Of The Blue.

Then there is the Folk balladeering of Red River Run with another splendid arrangement and Something Is Changed all 60s Pastoral Psych Pop which races along. Weight Of The Bow closes the album bordering on Americana but with a vocal and general arrangement that takes the song to a different level.

McCann is at ease with the slow and the fast, the gentle and the blasting. He is a multi instrumentalist, but some of the Guitar work is absolutely top notch. Alter Ego isn't really meant to get you out of the seat, it is an album to admire and let it wash over you. But then there's Divide And Conquer!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 18 February 2023

Stephen Lawrenson - Chants Of A Lifetime


Back in the more familiar territory of Pop Rock with Susquehanna's Stephen Lawrenson, a place that sounds like something from Space 1999 to this UK Pleb, not Pennsylvania. It has been almost a decade since Lawrenson's third album, Obscuriosity. 

I've seen a couple of reviews of the album and I really don't agree with either. Both writers seem to reference directions that I don't hear at all. Those reviews were positive, as mine is though. Chants Of A Lifetime is great at what it does and fewer and fewer seem to aim for this type of album that used to be a staple.

When you hear splendid Guitar driven Pop, you generally immediately fall for the riff driven rockier stuff, but the obligatory slower material can be mediocre seeming obligatory. Not a bit of that here, Lawrenson seems to be more than proficient with either, thus offering up an album that is to be listened to from start to finish. No skipping tracks here.

There are some wonderful arrangements too. The strings on Streets. The whole arrangement of the ace closer, Last Song (Save Me). Long time fans will love the Power Pop of Really Good and Once Upon A Time or the Jangle of King Of Sympathy.

The real enjoyment, however, are the surprise instrumental diversions. The keyboard solo on Really Good, the Mellotron on My Muse. The Psych Pop solo on In Circles. There are two fabulous solos On the splendid Blue Room and The Horizon.

I would normally compare other artists, but I would rather that you listen to the whole album. I've embedded the three songs that I like the most TODAY, nut they are intended to tempt you towards the album. Any of the 10 songs could have been embedded. Yes! The album is that good.

You can listen to and buy the album here


The Bug Club - Green Dream in F#


I mentioned what a great time it is to be in the Welsh scene when Bandicoot's album got the I Don't Hear A Single Album Of The Year. The Bug Club are from Wales and every bit equal to Bandicoot, but in very different ways.

Green Dream In F# was released last October and the Vinyl sold out quickly and so now there is a second run. The 2023 news is that the reprint is on Toronto's wonderful We Are Busy Bodies label. The trio's brand of quirky Indie Pop is something that goes down well in North America.

The Bug Club are about quirky DIY Indie Pop. catchy as catchy can be and although the songs may appear to be stream of rhyming consciousness, this is a ruse because the subject matter is focussed but drenched in wit. 

They also great at letting you believe that these are simple songs are instrumentally basic, but then will let go of an enormous riff or a big Guitar Solo. At times, I'm reminded of The Sugarplastic at times and certainly of the much missed Colin's Godson, but there are many similarities with The Happy Somethings when the twee level rises. Maybe even a Guitar Pop version of The Bordellos.

Only In Love is a great poptastic opener and I can't help thinking of Dave Edmunds every time I listen to it. Little Coy Space Boy is a ringer for early Sugarplastic, even pre Black Sea XTC. Love Is A Painting could be Chris Difford. It's Art does Lou Reed monotone with hilarious cynical lyrics and a real buzz guitar burst out.

On The Rings Of Saturn has a 70s Sitcom Theme about it, yet My Guy is prime time Ray Davies. The title track is all 70s Town Centre strum, Christmas Lullaby is splendid US Slacker Pop, early Weezer even and it could very well be the best song on display. The keyword here is Fun, but don't make you think that The Bug Club lack depth. This is great Pop. Highly Recommended!

You can buy and listen to the album here. It is available as a download, CD or LP.


Thursday 16 February 2023

Mothboxer - Breathe


We are more Door Openers of the new to us here, but there are some Teacher's Pets who never ever let us down. I'm thinking of the likes of The Mommyheads, Ex Norwegian, The Orange Peels, Chris Church, Spygenius, Mothboxer and quite a few more.

These bands don't get special treatment. If they released a mediocre album, it wouldn't be covered. But they never do. In many cases, they don't release the same album twice. We also know what they are about, so can spot anything that isn't spot on. But we never do.

Dave Ody's Mothboxer are splendid. Albums are beautifully arranged and genre bending at times without ever losing sight of the melody and wherever possible offer up a chorus to kill for. Breathe feels a little different. To my ears, it sounds the poppiest they've ever been.

Riffs and melody lines are everywhere, the vocals are much more upfront and some of the solos are magnificently jaw dropping, Mick Ronson-esque at times. The depth of the harmony led songs catches you by surprise. So let me tell you about some of the songs.

I have a theory that when the word California is in the title of a song, it will be a winner. It certainly is here. It is great 70s Pop Rock, nearest to 10CC probably. It is great piano pop that, unlike some slower songs on great albums, never stays in one place.

Led By Clowns mirrors John Miles with a great Glam Rock Riff. No Ones Joking goes Electronic with a twee keyboard hook, but Ody cannot resist adding a massive Psych Pop like chorus to it. There is much more Piano on the album than usual, but only to enhance the Pop.

When I Had All The Time is a magnificent big ballad. adorned by an adorable Baroque Pop accompaniment. An arrangement that is a little Peter Skellern without the Brass. All The Things has a real "all together now" with a vocal interlude that could be on Roy Wood's Mustard and a killer guitar solo. Free Ride opens the album with a splendid urgency.

As with all Mothboxer albums, the excellence usually surrounds one particular gobsmacking song. It could have been California here, but even that is out trumped here by the sheer wonder of Operator. If you are a Pop Rock admirer, then this song is the finest example.

I get excited by any new Mothboxer album and you rarely get much advance notice that they are about to appear. But everything here is bigger, the sound, the riffs, the harmonies and the melody. Ody has never sung better and seems to have a bigger gloss on the Guitar solos, never that long, but particularly gripping. Breathe is an absolute masterclass.

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


Wednesday 15 February 2023

The Academic - Sitting Pretty


The Irish quartet are quite a bit bigger than bands that we would normally cover, but Sitting Pretty is such a great Pop Rock album and wouldn't normally be aimed at our generation. There is a real sense at the moment that the Guitar is back and da Indie kidz are leading it.

As with any scene, it is not the most deserving that get the notice and where people will rave about my local neighbours, The Reytons, as though they invented music, you should cast around where you will find the melodic stuff that has the lasting power than bands with faux streetwise lyrics and no tunes.

I mentioned Vistas last night and The Academic are not only their equal, but probably even better, the songs are certainly written to get your feet tapping and voice going.  This a set of well crafted, essentially catchy chorus affairs and there is a good deal of variety.

Do What You Want could almost be The Bay City Rollers yet Let Go Of My Heart starts with a Cult like riff and My Very Best is very 80s with hints Of The Cars. Right Where You Left Me has a real Jangle to it and a massive chorus. Rain is a much darker affair, a little mid period Depeche Mode in sound.

The closer, Buying Smokes is a great listen, 70s Pop Rock in feel, which the band masters to a tee and there is a wonderful last minute and a half when Psych takes over. When The Academic Rock, they don't half give it some without ever losing sight of the melody.

Pushing Up Daisies is a fantastic song, chopping and changing at will and Craig Fitzgerald almost sounds like Mounties' Heavy Meta. That is the beauty of Fitzgerald's voice, it adapts to the Pop or the Rock and all in between, at times it is a little Bolan-esque. What a great album, incredibly and surprisingly sounding more mature that  you dare expect. The Kids Are Alright, very Alright.

You can listen to and buy the album here, other links can be found here. The band's website is here.


Vistas - The Beautiful Nothing EP


Edinburgh's Vistas had kind of passed me by a little. Not because of any intent. I liked what I had heard across their two albums and I liked what I read about them. They just seemed a bit too Killers, nothing wrong that at all, but there's been so much Indie Rock of that ilk over the past approaching two decades. You just get blasé.

Well this EP throws that baby out of the bath water. Because that bombast has been tempered and slowed down a tad and edged more towards Indie Pop and it really works. The choruses are still big, but the melody and harmony seems to have come to fore.

The trio link well together and Jamie Law's Bass drives the majority of songs in a wondrous way, It may be the keys that mellow this album more, but the real joy is Prentice Robertson's vocal, it isn't a million miles away from the sadly missed Greedy Smith of Mental As Anything and suits the material perfectly.

Having five potentially killer singles on the EP promises much airplay which is rightly justified. The two stand outs, My Head Feels Strange and the title track, The Beautiful Nothing (both embedded here) are Pop Rock Gold. If you compare Vistas to the new wave of Indie Guitar bands, they are streets ahead. I can't wait for the next album.

You can buy the EP everywhere and listeners who avoid the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, as we do, can listen to all 5 tracks here.


Tuesday 14 February 2023

Listening To This Week


11 songs that are in no order of preference. There will be another added on Thursday when its embargo is over. 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 issues. 

So I thought this weekly feature may be the best thing to tell you about these songs. This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. This is a fine and varied selection of songs. Please investigate the artists further. 

Mars, The God Of War - Daisy

Sicklebird - Walk

TJ Stafford - Clarity

Flashlight Faces - Wreckage Room

Tam - Telefon

FNTN - Setting Sun

Chris Cubeta - Architect


Novelistme - Make Nothing

Tangelo - Inactivity Problems

Mads Kymre - A Place Where We Are Heroes

Matthew Elton Smith - Cool Man

Brujoy Bruja - Reality Blues


Monday 13 February 2023

Beach Bugs - Beach Bugs


Beach Bugs are a Trio from Limoges in France. Not that you can tell that as this is very much the DIY UK of 1977 - 1978 with ventures into the New Wave of the following year. It is done really well and could have been easily recorded in that period as the other influences are all of that time.

Both Thinking Of You and Hit Again have that melodic period nailed, basic, but high energy with big choruses  that more than hint of Glam Rock as a lot of the Poppier Punk of that time did. At times, you think of early Clash and others of The Glitter Band.

Need To Know could be The Ramones covering Chinn and Chapman and the Call and Response of Be Loved is just great. Then there is the closer, Today which is a real shot out of the blue to what has gone before. A moody strummer that is nearer The Modern Lovers and has a slight Country Twang.

Sugar Ocean even heads towards a Rock And Roll 60s feel and adds an unexpected magnificent noisy diversion. 11 songs in 24 minutes is just about right. There's such a lot to like, probably because I've not heard this sort of album for quite a while.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Friday 10 February 2023

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 47

Volume 47 is here to seriously bother all 5 Mixcloud Global Charts it qualifies for after another Number No 3 in the Power Pop Chart and No 14 in the Global Pop Rock Chart.

This week is a return to what I suspect we are primarily known for with a Guitar Pop led dominance. It really is a cracker and includes the new single from Chris Church which was released today and a rare guest appearance from Colin Moulding, yes that Colin Moulding! 

Arranging the track order was particularly difficult, so please listen to the full mix if you have the time. A reminder that these songs are not arranged in order of preference, but in what I think suits the variation in the mix. 10 Songs in over 39 minutes.

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  Cherry Fez - Her Metro Card

02  Canadian Invasion - Songs Your Girlfriend Likes

03  Orange Skyline - Sunny Days

04  Chris Church - Going 'til We Go

05  The Bug Club - Only In Love

06  Stephen Lawrenson - Last Song (Save Me)

07  Laughing Stock (Featuring Colin Moulding) - For The Boys

08  Dropkick - Telephone

09  Phantom Note - I Should Know By Now

10  Jonny Swift - Summer Solstice

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 47


Jonny Swift - Kalimera


Jonny Swift's third album in just over three years is convincing proof of the superiority of the album format versus the playlist. They shouldn't clash, after all the playlist is essentially just an extension of the mix tape and was for a long time through the digital advancement.

The mix tape was for listening to music on the move, mainly in the car and the cdr continued that. It was also a way to impress your friends.  But since the likes of Spotify became the arbiter of all listening with its soulless devaluation of paying for art, the playlist has taken on a whole new life.

These playlists don't stick to 20 songs until the next one is compiled, they go on for days and days, hundreds and hundreds of all sorts extend them with one click. The beauty of music and the joy of getting lost and marvelling at a body of work is lost in a "this one's a banger, this ones a smoocher" madness.

So what has this got to do with Jonny Swift? Well Swift has fashioned a proper album that should be listened as a complete thing. It has been compiled with a track order that shows off both his range and talent. It isn't something to have one track put on a playlist and then the rest of the album consigned to the forgotten.

I suppose you might label this as Indie, although that would be way too strict a definition. Someone who can write something as lo-fi Broudie pop as Hollywood, yet also produce a soundscape that sprawls as wonderfully as Summer Solstice over its 7 plus minutes can't be pigeon holed that easy.

Summer Solstice isn't reflective of the rest of the album, but it is the centrepiece. It is a wonderful pastoral Psych Pop masterpiece, it just envelops itself around you. If there were a similar song here, it wouldn't have the same effect, it is gripping in its easy manner.

The pop count is high. Little Pictures is great Jangle Pop and Patricia masters Dream Pop down to the annoying mechanical drum beat that is present on too many songs of that genre. There is a great Bass sound on it though.

Come Down is very Glasgow second half of the 80s and My Friends has a 60s twang that desperately wants to get out and bring Adam Faith out. Dragonas John is a real brave oddity that shouldn't work, but absolutely does.

It consists of Swift narrating a quite ordinary tale of a potential boat trip in a Christopher Ecclestone way. Yet this is accompanied by a hypnotic Psych soundtrack that builds and builds. Kalimera is a splendid affair, to be listened to from start to finish. You can then add another Harry Styles song to your playlist when you've finished.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Thursday 9 February 2023

Listening To This Week


This week's selection are perhaps a little different to norm at times. That was the intention this week, just to mark a little difference to the IDHAS 10 Song Mix that will appear tomorrow. 12 songs that are in no order of preference.

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. 

This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves.  Please investigate the artists further. 

Er:ia - Good But Trouble

Sigmund Faust - Beach Day Dreamscape

Winona Forever - Pen Pal

Marc Valentine - Zodiac Hotel

Starfish64 - Travel Light 

Joe Nacco - Waterfalls & Wonderwall (1995)

Shalom - Soccer Mommy

The Pierce Kingans - Opportunity Opus

The Alright Maybes - Gone


Thin Line Men - Trouble Sucker

Jake Knox - Jake Is Dead (Head Underwater)

Wild Dove - Helicopter Leaves And Childhood Memories


The Bad Ends - The Power And The Glory


Originally planned as a solo album by Five Eight's Mike Mantione, The Power And The Glory became a band with the return of ex R.E.M. Drummer, Bill Berry. This is no Indie IRS affair though, it is at times a real Guitar Rock blast.

Berry, as you would expect, is getting a lot of attention, but he is just part of a five way collaboration that contributes to getting the songs bang on and those songs fall in to two categories. These simplified can be labelled as the fast and the slow.

The fast are an absolute blast, reminiscent at times of The Successful Failures. They rock your socks off. Their is a hint of Southern Rock, even Stadium Rock, with the big riffs and massive sound. Mile Marker 29 and All Of Your Friends Are Dying are real good ole boy fist pumping excellence.

The Ballad Of Satan's Bride goes even further, a real noise fest that allows the Guitar to head into Psych territory and even a little Nick Cave on the vocal. Thanksgiving 1915 is more big Rock, this time with a hint of Country and a corking Guitar solo.

The slower half of the album heads more into Americana territory. The songs are great, particularly the atmospheric Little Black Cloud and the big closing melancholic ballad, New York Murder Suicide, a song of real sadness. There is also a beautifully arranged instrumental present, Ode To Jose.

The album's theme is about the reaction to death and the big sound comes across as the Saturday night celebration and the slower songs could be the Sunday morning comedown hangover. The Bad Ends have offered up a fine debut album.

You can listen to and buy the album here