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Wednesday 31 May 2023

Withered Hand - How To Love


I do like to moan about the UK music scene, born out of frustration with how regional it has become, yet all the majors still think it is about London. So it seems fitting to end May with a triumph from these Brexit battered lands. 

It has been 9 years since the superb New Gods. During that gap, Dan Willson has been battling and eventually going a large way to conquering mental health issues. So How To Love becomes an almost celebratory affair at a life worth living.

This is a real singer songwriter's album, possibly the best you'll hear in a long time. The lyrics and subjects reveal the struggles, but all are surrounded by uplifting joyful arrangements. For the unnitiated on here, Willson's singing voice is soothing, imagine Nick Piunti on his slower songs.

The mix of Pop Rock, Classic Rock and Americana just delights you. Songs are beautifully arranged and performed. Yet on listening to the opener, Feelings, you would be led to believe that you are in for a Power Pop treat. Only the horns give the game away and from there on you are just captivated.

Waking Up is all Van Morrison with its big Rolling Revue arrangement and joyous organ. Misery & Company is also Big Music, but tender acoustic moments also thrill, Crippled Love is aching Americana and Comedown closes the album with lyrics that provoke accompanied by a jangling riff.

Serenity Prayer is all 70s weeping Country / West Coast Rock. Still Quiet Voice is built around a jaunty arrangement, yet still sounds a little Out Of Time R.E.M. Give Myself is Guitar dominated whilst having a foot in happy clappy and what about that twanging riff? How To Love is an absolute Tour De Force.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Tuesday 30 May 2023

Star Collector - Attack, Sustain, Decay... Repeat


The introduction of the Listening To This Week weekly playlist was a marked departure for us and its popularity completely surprised us. It has developed an additional new audience, younger Indie audience and in some surprising areas. most notably how much of a Pop Punk following we have. Submissions for LTTW are dominated by that particular genre.

It also seemed to take us away temporarily from the Facebook groups, but we had become a little bored. It seemed to be the same people reviewing and playing the same bands. However, the direction that the likes of S.W. Lauden have shown that there is still hope and that added to a realisation that the best of what we covered are still alive and kicking and producing great albums as proved recently by The Anderson Council.

Our journey from the beginnings of Star Collector to Game Day is covered beautifully by Mick's interview with Vic Wayne here. Game Day deservedly hit the IDHAS Best Of 2021 and was an album that contained much history and happenings in the making. So I did wonder if that intensity could continue into the follow up.

The answer is yes, but there is also added versatility. There is no doubt that there is a lot of influence of The Who here. However where many who try make an album of The Who obvious, here it is more of a vibe, a style, you hear it, but it is an adaption of it, wonderfully so.

Normally in reviews, I tend to leave the best till last, here I'm gonna lead with it. You would expect me to be drawn to the Psych Pop, it is a trademark, but If We Can't Take A Joke is magnificent, a nigh on 7 minute wonder of everything that makes Psych Pop more commercial than you would believe.

It isn't just here that that genre peeps out, The Back Of Your Head goes in a similar direction, again in a melodic, more commercial way. Yet this is much more than an album of one genre. Black And Baby Blue is moody, dying to break out without ever managing it apart from a top notch Guitar solo.

Running Through The Rain as a killer riff somewhere between Alex Lifeson and Billy Duffy, Crashin' could be Free doing UK Glam Rock and Broken Butterflies benefits greatly from the joint vocal with a 70s Classic Pop Rock vibe. There is so much in the latter, it is like three songs in one.

Broken Butterflies and Halfway Home slow the tempo beautifully, particularly the Jangle on the latter, but it is the Rock we are here for to be honest. Beat it To Death is all attitude, great Pop Rock that straddles the decades with a killer solo.

Don't Have To Fold closes the album with a mastery of Power Pop, revealing how catchy the genre can be, yet still have balls. Attack, Sustain, Decay... Repeat is a rockier Star Collector affair, you deserve at least that. Star Collector are a band that keep on giving without ever compromising their integrity. Highly Reccomended!

You can listen to and buy the album here


Heatwaves - Heatwaves #4 EP


The Spanish five piece return with another EP of all together now Indie Pop. Very 60s Girl Group Pop through Mari Wilson, but with the ability to surprise. Don't Say No and Take Back are jaunty pop that allow you to revive your mastery of Hand Jive.

Both set themselves ready for the Summer with great jaunty singalong pop, but there is more to the quintet than meets the eye. It is when they depart from the Bop shoo wop that greater depths are revealed and Nothing New Under The Sun trumps all.

The song's Psych Pop riff underlines a magnificent three minutes. Reminiscent of Suzi Chunk's work with Groovy Uncle, this is pop of the highest quality, beautifully arranged, wonderfully sung and played ,absolutely addictive with a chorus to die for.

Then there is C'est Le Bonheur which nails French Pop's ability to provide an atmosphere like no other country. There is also a splendid keyboard run that befits the pace of the song. There may only be four songs when you yearn for far more, but Heatwaves know what they are doing and do it so well.

You can listen to and buy the 7 Inch EP or download here.


Monday 29 May 2023

Listening To This Week


Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. A monster 24 songs this week and possibly the best one of these we've done so far. New music is thriving and this helps prove why.

This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. All embeds open in new windows to aid scrolling. Links to the artists will also appear on I Don't Hear A Single Social Media sites over the next 24 hours.

The Misty - Atlas & The Pyramids

Tré Nixon - SUV (Sweet Ultra-Violet Love Machine)

District Title - You Say You'd Like To, You Never Will

The Radio Field - The Version (feat. Robert Stadlober)

Mattias - Paper Checks

Sub Cultures - Red Weather

Borderlines - How Many Hours

Cloud Vincent - Flower Boy

Odds - Fall Guy

The Bullseyes - No Love

Maximilian Thanksalot - So, So Long

Mauger - A Mindless Move (Live at Boma)

Track Five - Crashed My Car

Fragile Creatures - Grandaddy

The Blindfolds - Top of the Heap

Silent Forum - Cat Pose

The Dirty Nil - Blowing Up Things in the Woods

Hangar - You Know

We Are Not Robots - The Darkest Nights Still Glow

MeMe Detroit - Roaring At The Preachers

Gemm - Dizzy

Landing Lights - Over the Bow

Mira Nova - I Don't Need Another Friend. I Already Have Two

Star Matriarch - You're Free (With Me)


Sunday 28 May 2023

Sunfruits - One Degree


Having looked at the album cover, listening to the opening track would have you believe this is Soft Rock of the girl boy variety. You would be much mistaken as this debut album is nothing at all like that. It does question why the band chose Believe it All as the opener.

But that is the only question I would have as this is magnificent Psych Pop of the highest order and it does by taking Pop Rock one step further. Australian music is on fire at the moment. Every time you hear some great new band they seem to come from Oz and Sunfruits may very well be the best of them.

The most obvious Psych Pop here is the hippy trippy Better Off Dead which is so 1967, it should be on Fruits De Mer. But the title track is a wonderfully pastoral version of the genre that underlines the fact that Psych Pop is not all about Backward Guitars. 

Reeling then heads into Baggy UK late 80s / early 90s Psychotronic. So you've already had three versions of the genre and there is loads more to come. Feeling Fine is a cross between Swinging Sixties Groovy Baby and B52S. with a dollop of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Jasmine is wonderfully Bass Guitar driven, bordering Glam with lots and lots of Flowers. Spiders goes all West Coast 1967 smooth and Hello Future Me is the sort of thing Tame Impala used to be good at before raiding the keyboard cupboard.

End Of The Road is so damn chipper, Tyrannosaurus Rex meets Pink Floyd's Relics with wonderful female harmony vocals. Spiders is a lets do the song right here in a field of buttercups thing. Then there is the awesome acoustic Folk of the closer Warning Signs with the wonderful harmonic vocal arrangement. I could write much more, but just go and buy this beauty. 

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 27 May 2023

Real Tears - Whipped Dreams


I am behind both my peers from Faster And Louder and Add To Want List in recommending Real Tears' third album. The Swedish quartet specialise in an area somewhere between Punk Pop and Power Pop and deliver their missives with their heads down and at pace.

12 songs in 22 and a half minutes is Ramones like and this is real say what you want and get off. This almost melodic Garage Rock would possibly be best listened to Live, when you could watch a full 20 song set and be home for Supper.

Whereas, the default song would be an up and at 'em affair, Whipped Dreams is no throw away disposable thing. Ballantine could easily be The Speedways and Grillin' With Granpa is somehere between The Undertones and The Damned.

There are some great Riffs too. Just listen to the one om Fat Thighs And High Sighs. Get Out is great Canvey Island stuff and Satisfy You is ace UK New Wave. Sloppy Sleeper is a wonderful venture into US Garage Rock.

The title track is at least equal to the new wave of US Indie Guitar Pop bands that everyone is raving about. It edges towards Power Pop, but is a bit meatier just like they are. But the stand out song is possibly Beauty And The Yeast which evokes memories of great 60s Beat Pop with a twang dying to get out.

It would be easy to consign Real Tears to another down and dirty melodic guitar band, but there is much more versatility than that. A real wits matches some splendid playing and beautifully constructed short songs. Whipped Dreams is a crackerjack of an album and an absolute joy to listen to.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Modern Rituals - Razed EP


It is something a bit different in introducing a band on here whose first review is their final release. London quartet, Modern Rituals will now go on hiatus and this would appear to be their last set of recordings. It is all very sad as this lot were a great addition to those who lile Indie Rock with a right good twist.

The EP contains three new songs and 2 remixes. The remixed songs are dramatically reworked and the three new songs are up there with the best of what they achieved. I suppose this EP is best at being a signpost to lead you to the band's three albums, the last, Cracking Of The Bulk, appearing in September last year.

Raised is a big dollop of Glam Rock with Glitter Band drums et all, although with a vocal in the style of The Strokes. Call Or Follow is splendid Indie Pop Rock, part Brit Pop, part the new wave of Guitar Pop. It is delivered at pace with a corking riff.

Famiglia starts like something from 80s Post Punk, dropping into 90s Indie melody and then closing with some awesome Noise Rock. Passageway's remix is a big slice of Electronica, bordering on Psych. Whilst the Thick Wall Remix heads in an Synth Ambient direction, hypnotica if you like. The way forward is definitely to approach the band's past, but Modern Rituals leave you with some understanding oh how versatile they could be.

You can listen to and buy the EP here. You can investigate the band's past here.


Thursday 25 May 2023

Pacific Avenue - Flowers


Pacific Avenue are owning Australia with this debut album and rightly so. Number 1 Australian album and an upcoming sell out Oz Tour. They even jetted over to the UK for four gigs just over a week ago. It is really refreshing to see a Pop Rock band threaten domination.

The group themselves acknowledge that the album is nothing that hasn't been heard before, but there is incredible variety and versatility on this feel good affair. It is incredibly melodic and sounds both modern and nostalgic at the same time.

There is a hint of Buckingham led Fleetwood Mac at times, particularly on the likes of Leaving For London and the magnificent Spin Me Like Your Records. Strawberry Daydream is pure L.A. West Coast Rock that explodes into an ace Guitar Wig out. Yet Easy Love could be a popped up Primal Scream with another killer solo.

City Lights is full on melodic Indie Rock, but Modern Lovers is UK Glam Rock. Get You Off is a "let's do the song right here", all happy clappy 70s Pop Rock. Devotion is wonderful fuzzy Classic Rock. The odd time the verses get a little Brandon Flowers on songs such as Someone's Asking (a lovely ballad) and Wake Me Up.

Then there is Lay Me Down which ventures into a cross between 60s Hippy Rock and 70s Southern Rock and has an incredible bassline. Give It Up Yourself is another Bass driven affair, this time much  more funky. So I'm sure that my comparisons have more than underlined the versatility.

There have been a couple of reviews that have gone over the top as though Flowers has reinvented music or taken Indie Rock in a new direction. The album though is magnificent and bearing in mind that it is a debut album, it is to be applauded massively. Thank goodness, happy Guitar Rock is back and if Pop Rock is to take over the world again, I'll be buying the badges. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Wednesday 24 May 2023

Orca Station - Pangs


Orca Station are a two piece from Salem Ohio. Now, I'm not noted for any particular interest in this sort of 90s Alt Rock. I generally look at it as been and gone and I've never expected it to return in any big way. It was generally nice when it was new, but became so samey. 

It became a parody, College Rock became dominated by it and I just wanted something chirpier after a while. But this is great and there are a number of reasons. It is a reminder of the first blooms of Grunge, when it was fresh. Also being a duo really helps Pangs.

Devon plays drums and Rich does the rest and all power to Rich, but it is those drums that grabbed me first. They are extraordinarily great and drive the whole thing. The songs here a rhythm, almost a jam and it is hypnotic, but the drums not only supply the rhythm, but they provide the variation.

The album is at its best when it is heads down on a song like Sylows, but Bluer adds interesting diversions to the Alt Rock template, almost Metal at times and hints of Psych. The vocals are always going to keep you in check throughout, but that is really what they are meant to do.

Just wait for the closing Hitchhiker, it is slower, moodier and absolutely gripping. It desperately wants to be a ballad, but doesn't quite get there. But it is incredibly melancholic and groove driven. This album came as quite a surprise to me. I really enjoyed it.

You can listen to and buy the album here.



Bordellos - Starcrossed Radio


I had a conversation with someone from the Anything Should Happen days (you'll note that the IDHAS e mail isn't something that was magically plucked out of the air). For the many of you who would never have come across ASH, it ran in various guises for 8 years before I Don't Hear A Single started and it was a private community.

Whereas IDHAS is about the new, ASH was more about the underappreciated and out of print albums. Anyway, the chap said to me that he liked I Don't Hear A Single when it was a Power Pop site. Now I've never thought of here as such. True, there was a good bit of Power Pop around in earlier years, which was more about the circles that I moved in. 

It has always introduced much more than PP, it probably has a base of Pop Rock, but there are departures into Prog, Psych and much more. Lately it seems to have become more Indie and introduced the playlist thing which many seem to like and others think we've gone all Top Of The Pops.

However, I digress. My main statement about this Power Pop accusation was to say to him. "Would The Bordellos ever be covered on a Power Pop site?" So, as if Ali Baba was here, Abracadabra, it is time for The Bordellos. So say hello to largely Brian, Dan and Ant!

Brian Bordello is one of my favourite human beings. We both have the same industrial town connection. A One Horse Town where the horse has just been shot. We laugh at the same things and believe it or not, he is almost as funny as me. He is incredibly self effacing and above all, a lyrical genius.

It is to be noted that it is hard being recognised as such when you and your band largely major on such lo-fi recordings. But his writing of the songs, those song titles, his mastery of couplets and the sheer wit deserve an award by themselves.

Starcrossed Radio is a selection of songs from throughout the year. It isn't a Best Of as there would be fights over what to include with the back catalogue being so vast. There are also no inclusions from those reach for the skies days of the magnificent Songs For Swinging Stalkers and Meet The Bordellos.

This selection is of course Lo-Fi, but not as Lo as you would imagine. I don't need to tell you about the songs because Dave Thompson as done that wonderfully (the is on the Bandcamp page) and I don't need to tell you about the recording of the songs because Brian tells you here.

So what I have done is select my favourite songs from Starcrossed Radio. The Urban Folk of Never Learn, the sheer battiness of Disco Pants and Dan's masterpiece, Life Love & Billy Fury which underlines what a voice the lad has.

You can listen to and buy the album here. You can also read Dave's Review by following that link.


Monday 22 May 2023

Listening To This Week


Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. Another cracking 20 songs that underline how interesting and enjoyable the Indie scene is. Listening To This Week has now become more popular than the longstanding IDHAS 10 Song Mix on Mixcloud. New music is thriving.

This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. All embeds open in new windows to aid scrolling. Links to the artists will also appear on I Don't Hear A Single Social Media sites over the next 24 hours.

Back Alley Gospel - Hello Heartbreak

WIREHOUND - Vandal Van Gogh

Davoli - Sunny Day

Violet Night - Losing My Mind


The Parlor - Remember How

Pull My Finger - British People are Weirdos

Piles - Ice Age

Tom Costello and the Turnaround - Fighting In Philly

Sam Hoffman - Glencrest Lane

Meltt - Soak My Head

The Wild Kindness - Pay That Price

Jane's Party - Ships On An Ocean

Hot For Crime - The King

The Dirty Skies - Where Do You Go?

Josh Rana - When It Rains

House Of Wolves - Give Me A Moment

Golden Vultures - Cry Wolf

Nervous City - She Said

Little Lies - Carolina


Sunday 21 May 2023

The Anderson Council - The Devil The Tower The Star Moon


A more than welcome return of The Anderson Council after almost four years is indeed a reason to celebrate, Their brand of Psych Pop with more than a nod to Power Pop certainly tingles my musical senses and this album is like a shot of medication.

Following on from 2019's World Collide (IDHAS Review here), this is a band who know what they are doing and do it so well. You can read the IDHAS Review of 2016's Assorted Colours here. My love of Psych Pop is well known, probably my favourite sub genre and The Anderson Council are the kings.

The likes of Cotton Mather and Spygenius venture into similar areas often, but few live there permanently. You hear what you've missed from the opening chords. Tarot Tornado rips in with its Guitar Riff and even includes a diversion into Toytown just over half way through.

Alone With You is great Power Pop and Million Miles A Day is great 60s UK Beat, think Christie, and with these first three songs you realise that you are in for hell of a melodic ride and there are still nine songs to come. We really don't deserve this aural joy.

Picture This has a real Merseybeat feel, Untrained Eyes has a real Country Twang and Buying A House could be on The Move's first album. Times On Thames is top notch 70s Pop Rock, Give It Time is splendid Jangle Pop and Sunday Afternoon is Jaunty Village Green.

The band reveal that they are no one trick pony. Indeed, this feels like their most Pop orientated album. Lyrically adept, riff laden and incredibly melodic, I hear few bands that are able to offer up such consistent melodic Guitar Pop. 

Messes Up My Mind is the song that probably demonstrates best what the band are about. Jem Records must be delighted to have The Anderson Council on their roster. To me, these are the gems of the label. Album Of The Year Material? You Betcha! Higher than Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 20 May 2023

Dead Billionaires - Disaster Preparedness Coloring Book


I've been bursting to tell you about this for a while and although it is only released on the 2nd June, I just can't hold on any longer for fear of self exploding. This is something that fits what I Don't Hear A Single does perfectly.

Songs change direction at will and essentially Pop Rock, but head in all directions from Beat Pop to Indie Guitar Pop and everything in between. There is a real urgency in what they do, sometimes it is a bit ramshackle, but most often not and overall, it is a real "all together now" vibe.

The Richmond, Virginia trio are rock solid tight playing wise and if you want something rougher, they can provide it. 15 Words is pure Garage Rock and purposely so, it is almost a jam with the rhythm section on fire. The same 15 words are repeated and you get the message of which I approve. It really is a gritty listen.

However Straight Shooter is somewhere between Power Pop and a Revue Band song. It is possibly the best thing on show here. However Checks runs it really close with its social message. It is very near to what The Successful Failures do in sound, but they major on history, whereas Dead Billionaires are much more about life now.

Stones is 70s R & B, but also has a foot in the New York sleaze of the period whilst Curb is just relentless catchiness with a chorus changes direction completely and a solo that is pure Rock and Roll. At no point do the trio come up for air. This is relentless shake your fist stuff that just grips you.

There is a rawness at times which is both endearing and engaging. The lyrics underline the struggle in the downtrodden communities admirably and wonderfully. The album is also riff laden and these riffs grab you and don't let it go. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to the two tracks that I've embedded in the review and pre order the album on vinyl or as a download here.


Friday 19 May 2023

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 55

Volume 55 arrives a day late, but it has brought a note from its mum. An extended 12 song version this week. Normally I choose from 20 songs and narrow it down to 10, allowing for variance in the mix etc. I just couldn't narrow it down from 12 to 10.

So here a dozen musical gems in just under 40 minutes that reveal how buoyant the Indie scene is. Of course, you will note the return of The Supernaturals. The songs are not placed in the order of preference, just in a way that flows.

 Here is the playlist of the twelve songs this week :

01 The Supernaturals - Roy Wouldn't

02 Kind Beast - Highway Madness

03 Lane Steinberg - Headspace

04 The Reverberations - Dr Please

05 Yarmouth - Joyland

06 SheLoom - Cracked Glass

07 The Decrees - Matter Of Time

08 Lumari - Starlit

09 Joe Dilillo - Boulevard

10 The Telephone Numbers - Weird Sisters

11 Paul McCann - Tears From The Sky

12 Sunfruits - Better Off Dead

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 55


Doug Tuttle - Keeping Alive


I am a big admirer of what Doug Tuttle does. He writes and performs wonderfully atmospheric albums. His lazy vocal suits the material, laidback with the ability to stretch out if needed. He offers up great Pop Rock that would have been at home in both the 60s and the 70s. 

I suppose you might call his material Classic Rock, but that would be too simplistic. It is much more than that. Songs take you gently into a poppier direction, but it wasn't always such. When I first got into Tuttle, he was much more of a DIY Lo-Fi Psych Pop artist. 

But 2017's Peace Potato (IDHAS Review here) changed all that. The production went bigger and although the Psych Pop was still around, but there was more Jangle with more of a concentration om melody and harmony. 

2019's Dream Road headed even further into Guitar Pop and is a crackerjack of an album. So much so that it hit the I Don't Hear A Single Best Of Year. You can read that review here. So it was interesting to discover the developments four years on with this follow up.

There seems less of the Jangle Pop here, but it when it does appear, it is very welcoming. Something In The Sky is a great song and underlines the fact that Jangling doesn't necessarily need pace. Ratchet even sounds like something on a Ward White album.

There are also songs that you could imagine being recorded in a big 60s Studio setting. Parting Gifts is one such song, which is also a song that you can imagine Bernard Butler soloing on. Mutineers is another big 60s sounding affair, this time a little more ballad like and a cracking hypnotic keyboard riff.

For Tomorrow even heads into West Coast, almost Country, Rock. Enough Enough even puts one foot in the 80s and includes a great solo. The real stand out though is Planting Weeds which has a Traveling Wilburys' production feel, similar to a Petty solo, although the vocal is nearer Harrison. It all contains a great Psych Pop-ish Guitar solo that reminds you of past Tuttle Glories.

You can listen to and buy the album here. You can by the Vinyl Version here.


Monday 15 May 2023

Listening To This Week


20 songs this week, purely due to the volume of great songs in. Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. Another wide variety that underlines how interesting and enjoyable the Indie scene is. Listening To This Week has now become more popular than the longstanding IDHAS 10 Song Mix on Mixcloud. New music is thriving.

This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. All embeds open in new windows to aid scrolling. Links to the artists will also appear on I Don't Hear A Single Social Media sites over the next 24 hours.

Doug Tuttle - Planting Weeds

Buddha Trixie - Semi-Pro

JULIETTE - Hear Me Out

The Itch - Next Best Girlfriend

Bealby Point - America

Multi Ultra - It's Not Summer Without You

Dagwood - I Am A Loser

Komparrison - He Doesn't Get It

Alpine Architecture - Salute

Ojay - I Don't Care

 DENZEITY - History

Denison & Friends - Itch Like That

Night Spins - Cereal


Dead Rituals - Sober

North Ghost - Good Luck Trying

Simple Stone - First Time

Trout Club - Stage Door

Honor Mountain - White House

Det Metra - Crazy Daisy

Starfire - Nothing Left To Lose


Saturday 13 May 2023

Phantom Note - Out Of The Shadows (Name Your Price)

Portland Oregon's Phantom Note offer up an album that ticks every box of I Don't Hear A Single's checklist. Pop Rock is our starting point, we may wander as the mood takes us, but when we hear something as great as this, we are sort of reminded of home.

Songwriter Ben Sprague has a vocal that matches the material perfectly. Out Of The Shadows is catchy as catchy can be, performed and produced perfectly and a template for what great Pop Rock should sound and be like. The album is incredibly melodic. 

There is also great variety. I Should Know By Now just bursts out of the blocks in a Teenage Fanclub or Dropkick sort of way, yet it is the only song that could be really compared to both. It is a splendid opener, just the thing to get you interested, but everything around is comparably great.

Honestly I is pure Noise Rock, bordering on Psych Pop at times. Storybook edges well towards Americana, whilst Change is a riff driven West Coast Rock affair. Sorta Believed is driven by a cracking riff that just grabs you.

Lonely As Hell is all Crowded House with an ace arrangement, but Sleepwalker is driven by a top notch Bassline and an aching chorus. It is instrumentally when the band is most connected. There is a darkness in the song that Sprague's vocals hides.

My brief comparisons reveal that variety in the material. I don't hear as many albums of this type these days, they used to be ten a penny. The fact that it is Name Your Price on Bandcamp allows people to listen and then own it. Rewarding the band for their art at a price they can afford. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here. The album is also available to buy on Vinyl.


Berries - How We Function


London Trio Berries offer up Indie Guitar Joy without abandon. The threesome are incredibly instrumentally linked and mine an area that relies on wonderful angular riffs, partially between early XTC and Franz Ferdinand.

Holly Carter has such a sweet vocal that is unusual for such a trio that has been labelled as Garage Rock and Grunge. They are neither and both, but this vocal takes them into less charted areas. They don't go for Power, they hook you hypnotically with the Guitar, Drums and Bass format.

I will admit that I love this sort of Riff driven material, always have, and some of them wouldn't disgrace King Crimson. You are hooked from the opening note and the twelve three minute songs all seem to be over too quickly.

But there is a second grab and that is the incredibly catchy sing along choruses. When you have this ability with a chorus and that guitar hook, why waste time with solos. But if you want a solo, just listen to the outstanding one on Copy.

At times, the album is like Susanna Hoffs fronting Talking Heads. Whilst indelibly Indie, the trio offer far more from the normal requirements. Songs are produced to a high standard, performed beautifully and lyrically adept. The band also has an awesome Live reputation.

There are times that Berries could be compared to Elastica or Sleeper, but this is a far more consistent set of songs. It is also heart warming to watch the return of Guitar bands in the UK. It really has been tumbleweed for too long. Berries offer great hope and How We Function is a splendid listen.

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


Friday 12 May 2023

The Chase - Bonzo Bonanza EP

Get yourself ready for something special. Nottingham quartet, The Chase are extra-ordinarily versatile as these 5 songs reveal. A sort of Council Estate Pop Rock, they mix Indie, Ska, Pop and Rock into urgent mayhem. It is a wonderful journey and I can only urge to listen.

They opened last night's IDHAS 10 Song Mix with the title track and it is amazing mix of Music Hall and Ska, equally at home in Indie Pop and Toytown. Yet Lara is all Scally Pop, very The Coral, very All Together Now.

You're The Encore No One Asked For has the beat of say Kaiser Chiefs, but the vocal is very Phil Lynott and the chorus is pure Brit Pop. There's also a Jerry Lee Lewis keyboard run. There is something for everyone contained within.

 Trumpet is splendid Ska, have a good time all the time, a lot like a happier version of The Specials. Ballon D'Or may be the best thing here with a chorus to die for and a great Guitar wig out to boot Bonzo Bonanza is a real tonic, a preparation for a bouncing Summer. Well done The Chase. This is great!

You can listen to the EP at the places here. You can buy the CD and other merch here. You can find out more about The Chase here.


Mansfield - Come Rain Or Shine EP


Mansfield are from Denmark and so they will naturally be compared to Caper Clowns. They are musical friends and have shared the stage together, but there are slight differences in what they do. Both are Melodic Pop led and vocally they are not a million miles away from each other vocally.

But, as this EP demonstrates, Mansfield have a more 60s Pop slant, heading much more into Psych Pop. Where as Caper Clowns are more than a little in Crowded House territory, Mansfield have more in common with the great 60s UK Beat Bop and 70s Pop Rock giants.

The arrangements are superb, big sounding studio numbers that add some wonderful Brass accompaniment. Chasing After You is real UK Jangle Beat of the highest order. You can just imagine them on Ready Steady Go. It is a splendid nostalgic affair.

The Sky's In Love With You is like one of those big Tony Hatch numbers, it is really funky on the verse, with a massive chorus hook that is enhanced by the Brass. The Nature Of A Troubled Mind is a slightly darker affair. instrumentally it is part Psych Pop, part early Fleetwood Mac, yet vocally, it is engagingly moody.

London Riots is a strange thing for a Danish band to be singing about, but it may very well be the best thing here. The chorus is all happy clappy Indie Pop and the verse has that Bacharach Brass again. It mixes 60s Carnaby Street with something nearer 90s Pop Rock. 

You can listen to and buy the EP here. You can also listen to the whole thing here as well as a lot of the band's back catalogue. You can find out more about the band here