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Friday 30 June 2023

Something For The Weekend


June has been a bit stop and start, yet proved one of the busiest months on here. This weekend I may be away from IDHAS as we have upgraded to GA4. We use Google Analytics solely for the benefit of the artists covered. It has been really successful in getting Reviews and Playlists greater coverage by Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Not only does it allow people to find here easier, it can also direct readers to a review etc. The main reason we started it was to give older Reviews longer coverage and it has worked. Blogger is all well and good, but the main screen only shows the last 7 posts and the monthly list drops out of view when a new month begins.

There is no personal advantage to us using it, quite the reverse. It is time consuming and probably the most boring thing in the world to involve yourself in. We don't chase views or likes. We would much rather have 10 people visit who are engaged with the artist than 100 who listen or read once and never notice the artist again.

If these 10 people buy the album, it is worth the time spent. We are never gonna make anyone a millionaire, just open a door, maybe give them a chance. I expect this setup to be problematic over the weekend. If it isn't you will see Reviews. If it is, we will return no later than Monday with the new Listening To This Week.


Bird Streets - Lagoon Deluxe Edition

John Brodeur is one talented singer songwriter. Last year, he released his second album under the Bird Streets name. It featured in the Top 30 of I Don't Hear A Single's Best Albums Of 2022. It has been released as a Deluxe Edition today.

The new Edition adds 8 Bonus Tracks and is now even more of an essential listen. My original review is below and a link to where you can listen to the new version is below.

John Brodeur's first album under the Bird Streets name reinforced his reputation as one of the great modern Singer Songwriters. With the aid of Jason Falkner, Brodeur unleashed a beautifully arranged, lyrically adept self titled joy. It was No 2 in IDHAS's Best Albums Of 2018. You can read the review here.

If listeners felt that the first album was autobiographical, well Lagoon is even more sign. The lyrics reveal the effects of a divorce and general soul searching, but this is no misery memoir. The songs are much more buoyant instrumentally and arrangement wise, aided by a great selection of Producers.

The choice of musician guest appearances is wonderful. The likes of Aimee Mann, Jody Stephens, John Davis, Ed Harcourt and Buddy Judge can only improve an album and that they do. Aimee Mann's Bass playing on Unkind is exhilarating. matching a wonderful orchestral arrangement on what is am astounding McCartney Pop affair. 

Power Pop lovers will marvel at both Go Free and Machine with the Trio of Superdrag's John Davis, Big Star's Jody Stephens and Brodeur. Recorded at Ardent Studios, these two songs are the highlight of a splendid album, but they are more than supported by the other 10 tracks.

Disappearing Act is a magnificent affair, raiding the music cupboard with a big Brass arrangement and fine keyboard run. It sounds very Stax Soul at times. Leave No Trace is Psychedelic with Sitar on what is a big 70s Pop Rock ballad.

Let You Down has the potential to be an Easy Listening classic and The Document is so melancholic that it may bring tears, slightly Americana with a killer moody chorus. Burnout has a real 80s instrumental feel that makes you look for your leg warmers.

If the two Ardent Studio songs are my two favourites then Sleeper Agent runs them close. Essentially a Piano Pop affair with a big orchestral arrangement with a 70s Glam Guitar breakout. It seems a strange choice as an opener, but is absolutely stunning.

In these days of music seeming to largely be assumed to be worth little cash and reducing something close to a masterpiece to one song on a quickly discarded playlist, we may be able to change things. Because Lagoon is an album that deserves to be heard.

John Brodeur has a voice to die for and seems to have found his natural home in Bird Streets. A wondrous way with words, matched by a melodic know how is enhanced by unusual avenues taken musically. The album harks back to the days of queuing outside record shops for a release. Brodeur should be known as one of the great Singer Songwriters. It's not too late.

You can listen to and buy the album here. You can find out more about John Brodeur and Bird Streets here.

The new Deluxe Edition can be listened to by following one of the links here.


Thursday 29 June 2023

Missilkid - Missilkid


Missilkid is the solo work of Cape Girardeau's Jordan Thurman and is excellent Indie. Indie in the sense of being a vibe or feel that can take you anywhere as the genre seems to be a catch all bigger and bigger gathering these days.

There is a lot going on across these 8 songs, but all are centred by melody and great choruses. Sounds come from anywhere. Take for instance, Hypothetically, a song that is essentially built around the keyboard sound of an Activision late 70s TV Game System. But that plinkity plonk is addictive and surrounded by a great Guitar sound and a chorus to die for.

Highlife is part Psych, part Garage Pop and again incredibly catchy. Yet, Never Gonna Feel The Same has a Psych Pop feel, but anthemic with an addictive guitar riff and another of those great choruses. Words Of Life even goes all Power Pop.

Called Out could be Prog and More Like Me is slowed down Psych that wants to be a torch ballad and is beautifully arranged. At times, the song is somewhere between a gentler Muse and Radiohead. It is a surprisingly beautiful listen, really well put together.

It Remains To Be Seen is really Trippy Psychedelic joy, the five minutes fly by and it is a great closer. But the opener, David Stole My Ride, is not too shabby in a completely different way, being a great 70s riff driven Classic Rock affair.

This self titled album is full of invention offering up unusual sounds and arrangements, yet staying chorus led and incredibly melodic. It is a smorgasbord of ideas, very clever without ever trying to be too bright. I absolutely adore it. Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Cmon Cmon - The Crack And The Light


It is fair to say that we don't get a lot in from Belgium and what we do tends to drift towards a noisier type of Indie. So all credit to Renaissance Records for picking up this excellent Belgian trio. It does fit in well sound wise with that side of the pond.

At times, there is a real laidback West Coast feel to the album. At ease with a slight Americana Jangle, but with one foot in Melodic Guitar Pop. There will also be a lot of comparisons to latter day Teenage Fanclub and even more so, Dropkick.

Cmon Cmon can also pick up the pace, notably on the excellent Black Holes. Waiting even plants a big foot in Indie Pop. Can You Take It sounds somewhere between The Eagles and Crowded House whilst the song instrumentally seems desperate to be Americana.

I Don't Know is driven by a great Bass line and again edges towards Guitar Pop, even Summer Pop. Nothing On The Radio is part Eagles, part Glasgow Jangle Pop whilst Say What It Means takes the full Jangling option. The Crack And The Light is a gentle, but highly enjoyable listen.

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


Mason Lowe - Morning People


Seattle's Mason Lowe is the drummer for the splendid Bread & Butter, who are two albums in and part way through a third. Morning People is Lowe's debut solo album and it is ace melodic Pop Rock, drawing from a wide range of influences from the genre. 

The style is very much of the 60s and 70s, but it is expertly achieved. Songs are very much his own, they certainly remind you of Pop Rock song genres without pointing too much at bands. The album is like a tour of Pop Rock from 1966 to now.

Stoned and Cold is in Ray Davies territory, Whiplash is great UK Glam Rock with additional surprises, World Class is very 60s Top Of The Pops, think Edison Lighthouse and Christie. I Can Do Well is pre Punk Pop Rock of the highest quality and Hanging Round is fine Toytown Psych Pop.

Yet Scab On Your Arm is very Glasgow late 80s / early 90s when the city was a bit of outlier in the wave of Dance Rock that was trying to engulf all. Pre Brit Pop, when everything thing that was catchy got wrongly labelled as such. 

If You Ever Your Change Your Mind is a torch song bordering on Merseybeat, it is followed by You Took A Chance On Me which is pure Merseybeat to a tee. You Got The Touch is all happy clappy, real West Coast Summer Pop. Plattered is wonderful UK New Wave. albums promise much, but

Morning People's strength is the consistency of all 12 songs. Too often these sort of albums are front loaded and run out of steam before the half way mark. Not this one! Songs that get you tapping your feet and soon picking up the sing along chorus. Absolutely superb!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Monday 26 June 2023

Listening To This Week Playlist


Here is the new Listening To This Week playlist. a little later than usual on a Monday, but it does have a note from its mum. 23 songs that will hopefully engage you. Play them all at once or dig in and out  There's something for everyone.

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 Dumbanimals - Lollygagger

The Fractals - Christopher Walken

Really Red - No One Else

Vladimir Chicken - Moon Rock Fungus Juice

Blanket Faze - Nasty Boys

Marella - Rock And Roll Phase

Bealby Point - Coded Personalities

The Spiral Electric - Shadow in the Dark

Grimson - Leave It Like You Found It

Earthlung - Salvation

Amateur Hockey Club - Boxed Wine

Fast Romantics - Fuck Yourself

Big Bliss - Tell Me When You're Ready

Hause Plants - Marcy Ave

Cold Weather Captains - Venom

Thirsty Curses - I Never Learn

The Infinity Chamber - The Black Moon Architect

Unca John - How the Hell?

Waliens - Everybody (Looks A Bit Like You)

CENTRIFUGE - Someone Who Loves Me


Omby Amby - Let Me Show You (My Love)

Saint Shoplift - You Won't Stop Me


Sunday 25 June 2023

The Dirty Nil - Free Rein To Passions


Ontario's The Dirty Nil offer up a raucous fourth album. Wonderful Pop Rock edging more towards Rock with a melodic swagger, the band are a perfect example of my preachy theme this year. The bands that are moving up the stairs most are Pop Punk bands that have matured.

Whereas, most progress is a move into a noisier Power Pop, The Dirty Nil have gone one step further, more akin towards potential Stadium Rock. Cheap Trick like in their appeal, if not exactly in their material, these four are a much rockier and noisier affair.

They haven't totally lost touch with their roots, Land Of Clover is wayward enough to remind you of past glories, but overall Free Rein To Passions is anthemic, riff laden joy, led by the top notch vocals of Luke Bentham. He has a voice that embraces the hooks, yet is equally at home with the loud.

Stupid Jobs gets all early Queen in shape and form and the title track even treads boldly into the Hair Rock of the 80s, all shouty attitude with an absolutely killer riff. Celebration also starts with some serious shredding, a little Extreme Pornograffiti in mood and more than a little Classic Rock.

Nicer Guy is a real "are you with us" anthem, pied piper like big Rock. Undefeated is well into Cheap Trick territory, splendid Pop Rock and the only time the band come up for air is on the closer, The Light, The Void And Everything when the Lighters come out for an Aerospace-ish corker of a song.

The Dirty Nil are a little noisier, a little rockier than you may be used to on here. But the album is a triumph and deserves a wider audience, hopefully appealing to people with a dozen cds to switch off Spotify. Beautifully produced, Free Rein is an absolute storm.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday 24 June 2023

The Pierce Kingans - May I Pierce Upon You (Name Your Price)


I've been meaning to cover this for a good while. My great friend, Darrin Lee released this as a 2 disc compilation last year on his Subjangle label That is long sold out, but the download is still available at Name Your Price and so you can enjoy the 30 songs drawn from 15 EPs at your leisure. 

Vancouver's Pierce Kingan  may be a little prolific, but he specialises in melodic Indie Pop. Songs take unusual, but always interesting and catchy, directions. As you'd expect from Subjangle, there is plenty of Jangle, particularly on the likes of the wonderful, Wasn't Promising.


Kingan isn't afraid to take different paths. Erroneous is bass driven ambience, almost film soundtrack like with a real lounge feel. 5 Minute Blackout is all lo-fi moodiness with a moody slurred vocal, almost psych and Siddhartha's Blues is like Bolan going Post Punk with Power Pop dying to get out.

Only By The Best could be a Sparks demo, yet Come Along is Piano Pop with a country vocal twang. What You Now Find Disgusting is great Pop and Proximity Pity is great New York Indie. I Willed Love is almost Toytown, certainly great Psych Pop.

There are so many ideas here. My preference is the Psych Pop directions that are taken. But there is really something for everyone from an incredibly talented boy. I understand that 30 songs is a lot to listen to from an artist that is possibly new to you.

But the Name Your Price element allows you to approach the songs at a gentle pace in your own time. The changes of direction may confuse you, but I would suggest gathering your faves in one place. There is tons to like here from an artist with both an inquiring and pop led mind/


You can listen to and download the compilation here.


Deer Tick - Emotional Contracts


The last time that we visited Deer Tick was in 2017, the year of their last releases. The plural being because they released Volume 1 and Volume 2 on the same day. The two albums were very different and you read all about them in our review here

Six years on and Emotional Damage has been pared down from many many more and the schizophrenic nature of the band continues, largely due to the quartet sharing songwriting and vocals. The split between Indie Rock and Americana works beautifully. 

That Americana is also split between Roots, Acoustic and Rock outs. The opening song, If I Try To Leave, is almost like The Black Crowes drifting into Country Rock. The sort of territory that The Successful Failures excel in.

However, Forgiving Ties is all Pop Rock, particularly the chorus, which is as chipper as the band have ever been. If She Could Only See Me Now fairly rattles along with a twang and the Guitar solo and riffs nail the song.

Disgrace is graced with a great Organ accompaniment and another great chorus, another feel good vibe. The slower songs work just as well. A Light Can Go Out In The Heart is wonderfully moody and My Ship is great West Coast Country Rock.

Grey Matter is great good ole boy rocked up Americana, but the star of the show here is the closing The Real Thing. It is a magnificent, broody melancholic 9 minutes. A real heartfelt that compares favourably to a song of theirs that I have played constantly for 6 years, Sea Of Cloud.

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


Friday 23 June 2023

Playing Dead - Back To The Show EP (Name Your Price)


New York's Playing Dead major on great melodic Power Pop. But this is the classic American version and it is refreshing to hear a US band not trying to be British. The songs are beautifully played, providing harmonious hotspots and continuing the revival of the genre.

This lot are not new to the scene, In Your Head is now 13 years old, but they are well placed to take advantage of the resurgence. They also have the benefit of being able to get closer to the maturing Pop Punk bands who are falling into the PP scene and providing an audience a generation of fans below the semi rooted 60 plus audience.

How Are You? is a great example of what they do. The songs straddles Pop Rock and has a slower start than the other 4 songs on show. It has a bigger sound which hints at AOR, whilst keeping the riff and the solo close to Power Pop.

Don't Look Up even steps into Cheap Trick territory with a pace to be admired. Back To The Show (23) adds a keyboard run that adds more variation to a catchy as catchy can be affair with a big chorus. Passion Fuels is closest to Pop Punk and shows how great the genre can be when it isn't robotic and shouty.

The stand out song though is By A Thread with one of the best choruses that you will hear this year. The verse vocal is a bit more raw which works well and the Guitar Solo is a killer. The band's back catalogue is also Name Your Price. So fill your boots, but please try and drop some cash in the band's direction.

You can listen to and buy the EP here and also find them here.


Wednesday 21 June 2023

The Soap Opera - Back On Tracks


It has been over six years since Ready To Hatch, so it is a more than welcome return for the Rennes quartet, The Soap Opera. Back On Tracks is wonderfully restrained melodic excellence. Songs are built on unexpected arrangements, always containing far more than you expect.

Take for instance, Golden Springs S.A.S which is essentially gentle Jangle Pop, but adds in a splendid Baroque Pop arrangement and at times threatens to become 60s Easy Listening. The Clouds Are Laughing vocally is almost Barber Shop quartet, yet instrumentally it is dream like,

Yet, Spacin' Out is a slightly bigger affair, very 80s Glasgow in feel with an Ian McCulloch like vocal and a haunting soundtrack that tries to lead the song into Pastoral Psych Pop. Sword Fight At The Beach is a complete outlier with its Divine Comedy vocal and synth led backing. A little Bossa Nova with a Glammy guitar riff.

Magic Number almost becomes a show song, until the ace Psych Pop solo bursts in. A Sign In A Muddy Road is built around a gobsmackingly find String arrangement. Who Ate The Last Phoney Oreo is surprisingly chipper, all Glam Rock with a Ray Davies sort of vocal.

The problem with gentle understated albums such as this is that an album can be three or four songs too many making you earn for something a bit pacier. There is none of that mainly because of the quality of the arrangements and constant switching part way through a song. The string arrangements are absolutely awesome and worth the admission alone.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


The Supernaturals - Burn The Witch EP


My love of the poppier end of Brit Pop is well known and The Supernaturals were possibly my favourite band rom that brigade. Their brand of chirpy chappy melodic Pop Rock was for all four seasons, not just the summer.

Now, more than a generation on, there is a real maturity to what they do and Burn The Witch underlines that in Spades. Still as melodic as ever, their is a deeper, slightly darker feel at times to what they do. They are still ace, but they've sort of grown up gracefully. 

The title track is slightly moody initially, there's almost a Prog vibe, certainly Classic Pop Rock feel, but they still can't help breaking out, but even that is a little restrained. Adding a great Guitar solo, psych-iah Guitar sound and solo and you have a winner and they do.

We Were On Fire has a bigger sound and is great 70s Pop Rock that came along towards the end of Glam Rock. There's a great instrumental track, led by keyboards and even a Toytown trumpet fanfare. James McColl is in great voice and this slower material, suits his vocals perfectly.

Someone Who Doesn't Exist is a bit Windmills In Your Mind. Certainly more Acoustic, bordering on something from the Canterbury genre. It is particularly Midsomar sleepy mood setting and rounds off three very different songs. A splendid EP, but would you expect anything less?

You can listen to and buy the EP here.


Vanity Mirror - Puff


June, thus far, has been a month of thunderstorm problems, server collapses and internet outage, so at last being back to some sort of normality, there is a backlog of reviews to be completed and where better to start than with some Psych Pop. There is no genre that lifts my mood more. 

This is especially so, when the album is as wonderful as this. Vanity Mirror hit the spot beautifully, transporting you back to the 60s with a delightful mix of Toytown, Pop and splendid gentle, at times Baroque, joyfulness.

The duo of Brent Randall and Johnny Toomey use every trick in the book to transport you back to the period, as you would expect from two Electric Looking Glass members. Toy piano, rapid drum fills, psych guitar fills, flute, harpsichord, cello etc are all used to great effect. 

Puff is an atmospheric ramble through Toytown and  related or associated sounds, all mood and melody. The album is very reminiscent of the likes of Timebox, Idle Race, Emitt Rhodes, The Lemon Pipers and Sparks first two albums.

Talkin Walkie-Talkie Rice Crispies Blues goes all hippy trippy in a Tyrannosaurus Rex sort of way, whilst (I First Saw You There On) Tinpot Lane is so Idle Race with a UK Beat Riff. Tuesday's News puts one foot in 70s with its Pop Rock feel.

How I Learned Something is achingly beautiful, with the Pop bursting to get out. These pop sensibilities are most relevant. Instrumentally, the album excels, but it is the vocals that directs the album. Many aim at this sort of album, few get it spot on. Vanity Mirror have.

You can listen to and buy the album here.  Oh and yes you CAN also buy it on vinyl.


Monday 19 June 2023

Listening To This Week Playlist


Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. 22 songs this week that show new music is thriving. A splendid selection awaits your ears. Play them all at once or dig in and out because they are up for a week.

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.

Jack The Radio - Roads Paved In Gold

Vicky Von Vicky - Jealousy

Every Flavor Weather Machine - Same Drugs

Chads - Shut Up

Buddy Wynkoop - Relatable

circle round a sphere - moon

DIN NYC - Let The Right One In

The Sonic Redemption - Cities Of The Black Sun

Fluhx - Big Shot

Baby Jesus - These Days

Needles - Fucking Day

Aubrey Straw - Heads (Like These Are Hard To Come By)

Sonny & the Sunsets - Waiting

Mental Map - Just A Pop Song

LLO LLO - Lush

The Origin - I Pour Myself Out

Audio Drones - Grab The Beers And Run

The Churchhill Garden - Keep The Faith

Oaks & Fahia - Interdimensional Voyage

Eastcliff - Say Goodbye

Pale Blue Dot - Green Fairy Tale

El Paso - Shape of a Gun


Friday 16 June 2023

Kicking Bird - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


There is a big apology to the excellent Fort Lowell Records label as I've had this for a while and been waiting for its release. But that coincided with a manic period here, but I note that some of our peers have thankfully covered it. 

Kicking Bird are a five piece from Wilmington North Carolina have fashioned up one a hell of a debut album. I suppose you would call this Indie Rock as a starting point, but the Pop content is high and the album is wonderfully Guitar driven.

With three vocalists, the scope to take the music into multi directions and the band do just that. Talking To Girls (On The Internet) is fabulous Garage Fuzz, all attitude, but Just To Be Here With You is splendid first half of the 60s Girl Pop enhanced by being rocked up part way through.

Yet, Names Are Changing is like a new generations' Cheap Trick and Stuck is great urgent Power Pop and 238 is CBGBs Guitar Pop at its very best. Impermanent Assistant is 80s New Wave Indie Guitar joy with a killer riff.

The riffs across the album are very Power Pop, even if the songs necessarily aren't. Talking To Ghosts edges towards Stadium Rock, big sounding and built around a weeping Guitar riff. Hickory River could be a torch song, if the awesome Guitar and keyboards would allow it. 

Rip Off is an epic closer, beautifully sung and phrased. Very 60s and another gobsmacking solo, this time all twang with a surprise addition at the end. The talent on show here is amazing. I remember a big argument with a label head a few years ago who said the Guitar was dead. Well chummy, it isn't and Kicking Bird are here to demonstrate why. What a magnificent album!

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Charming Arson - Cabare Apocalypse


The introduction of The Listening To This Week has divided opinion. Some love it. others think it takes the focus away from the Album Reviews (primarily what we still do), but I wanted us to evolve and find an easy way to cover single songs without taking up lots of time that should be devoted to Album Reviews. There is no doubt that it has taken IDHAS into a bigger area and engaged many new followers.

I mention this because without LTTW, I would never have discovered Charming Arson and part of its remit was to discover new artists that were not in our usual channels. The Boston quartet could be classed as Indie Rock, but that would be a bit lazy, because the band are all over the place in a wonderful way.

Dave Cameron and Dave Gould were part of the Alt Prog Rock Trio Zoot in the late 90s and there are big glimpses of that here, although it is rocked and guitar popped up. Alice Has A Metonome threatens Prog but transforms into a complete rock out with a blistering Guitar solo.

But compare that to Queen Of The Fading Star which is incredibly delicate, part Radiohead, part Syd Barrett and totally splendid. Hayley, You're My Comet is great Psych Pop, yet also very Brit Pop and these mixtures are really what makes the band.

Crazy Jane Gets God is very Toytown with big nods to Pop Rock and 60s Psych. It reminds me a lot of my 90s faves, Octopus. No One Gets Nowhere is where Charming Arson lays into Pop Rock with a Noo Yawk chit chat inserted with a Jazz groove. 

How To Fight It is a really strange choice as an opener and the loosest that the band get, it is almost a Jam, almost Alt Metal for a while. Across there the six songs, there is a lot to take in due to the rapid changes, but it is definitely worth it. I've had this for a while and been dying to tell you about it. Something a bit different, but something very fulfilling. 

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


Glitter Wizard - Kiss The Boot


We're back, but not as the man in the mask, more as in the New York Groove and so it seems apt to start with San Francisco's Glitter Wizard. As you'd expect there are plenty of nods to the 1973 - 1974 UK Glam Rock scene and it is done really well.

This isn't a new idea to plenty of I Don't Hear A Single followers with both The Darkness and Ulysses. Glitter Wizard however add something with different, Whereas The Darkness are more theatrical with a multi range lead vocalist, Ulysses mastered Pomp Rock, here there is far more instrument wise.

This allows the band to follow heavier directions and the synth takes them in more Space Rock areas. The base is the drum sound of The Glitter Band and everything else spreads its tentacles far and wide. Sugar Beat is pure Glitter Band throughout.

She's A Star starts all Glam, but heads more into 70s Rock with added synth, drum and guitar solos. Glitterati leads with a BBC Sci Fi Series theme like affair, but the vocal and Guitar are heavier. A little like Black Sabbath Never Say Die times and the Guitar solo is very Tony Iommi.

Sequins And Leather has that Glam Rock chug, but also Boogie Rock's a bit more. Pogo Tonight even has a synth run, very close to Sweet's Fox On The Run. There is also cover of Bowie's Suffragette City which does Glam Pop it up a bit, but seems a bit pointless. There are some songs that should be left alone, this being one.

Yes Kiss The Boot is very derivative, but that's the point. The genre was never gonna change the musical world, but it was pure fun and bringing it to a new audience is just the job as well as allowing fans my age to remember the Flares and the Butterfly Collars is a great Nostalgia vibe. 2023 really does need more fun and Glitter Wizard aim to please.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Wednesday 14 June 2023

Back Tomorrow (Updated)


Update :  As with all these things, the update has taken longer than expected. So, we will be returning tomorrow now as there is another couple of hours to completion. 

The oldest server is being retired. There is a good deal of sadness with this beast having started with us at the beginning of I Don’t Hear A Single. So there is a party planned for it with butterfly cakes and Trifle and everything to celebrate its excellent seven year as of hard work………………

We haven't gone anywhere. There have been Server Problems at IDHAS Country Park for the past couple of days, mainly due to the oldest server getting a digital case of dementia, meaning we have been checking back ups are ok furiously.

We are now having to move away from our largely wireless world to going back to USB temporarily. Meaning that I've had to order some USB cables that will arrive tomorrow. They will be set up tomorrow evening after work and then we can trip over wires and bruise our knees and encourage PM Me Babe messages on Facebook.

Reviews will be back at some stage tomorrow night, the only downside will be the delay of the new IDHAS 10 Song Mix as a review catch up is the most pressing. In the meantime, perhaps look at some older reviews or give the new Listening To This Week a good ole listen, Be There or Be Square tomorrow night blah blah etc etc.


Monday 12 June 2023

Listening To This Week Playlist


Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. 24 songs this week that show new music is thriving and this helps prove why. A splendid selection awaits your ears. Play them all at once or dig in and out because they are up for a week. We are amazed at how popular this feature has become.

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. Please try and support the artists!

circle round a sphere - code

Royal Castles - Sweet

Spidercat - Look At The Moon

Borderlines - F.B.T.

Department S (Featuring Baz Warne) - So Far Away

morph - nothing's real

The Pigeon Detectives - Summer Girl

Black Suit Youth - Outsiders

Tough Ship - Annie

Sea Glass With Sky Adler - Weekend

Harvey Drive - Dead Sleepyhead

The Survival Code - Built To Break

Leogluck - No Conventions

Leo Paterniti - Nerv

The Transcontinentals - This Ride

The Vone - We Are Alive

The Forest And The Tree - Bleeding 

The Sugar Hold - City Summer Nights

hotplug - Mass Transit

Stone Fabel - The Sword (amber mix)

The Living Memories - Eulogy

Dorene - Wait for Me 

NALGO BAY - Strangers

Gregor McEwan - Summer Breeze


Sunday 11 June 2023

The High Strung - Address Unknown


I was a late convert to Detroit's The High Strung as my 2019 review of Quiet Riots explains and I then embarked on a mission to grab everything. It is fair to say that few bands have touched me in that manner. You can read that review here

You only have to listen to the opening title track to understand why I became so obsessed. It is a thing of great beauty that just sends you into a a magnificent dream world, washing over you and then allows you to realise the delight that there are 11 songs to follow.

The band deliver beautifully played and arranged arrangements in their advanced Indie Pop that are pastoral at times, but cross into Piano Pop, Pop Rock, Psych Pop and even Americana. Yet they remain lyrically adept with arrangements that are very different in a musical world where so much is musically the same and trend led.

Although there isn't an XTC comparison here, the vibe is similar to the one you feel when listen to Skylarking. The absolute magnificence of a song like Telescope mixes Village Green type lyrics and verges on Toytown whilst remaining great Piano Pop.

Then there is the feel of 70s Classic Pop Rock on So Lonely, Basement Lear's Housemartins' nod and Yr Brother's 70s Country Rock feel. Lazy Days is almost 60s UK Beat, but could easily be West Coast Summer Pop. Run It Back is Ben Folds like Piano Pop with a killer chorus. 

Overcoat And Skies is beautifully put together Pop, yet Northern Pygmy Owl is splendid Americana. Just as Address Unknown opens the album wonderfully, there is similar strength in the closing Baroque Pop of The Pop which may be the best song on here, certainly atmospherically.

I've embedded three songs, but to be honest, I could have easily embedded all 12. This is an album that lots promise, but few deliver. It is everything that is great about I Don't Hear A Single. An album that all should listen to. Complex, yet simple to listen to. Intricate, yet full of hooks. Pop doesn't get any better. Truly Superb!

You can listen to the album on all the streaming sites. You can buy the album here and on the likes of Amazon. You listen to the full album song by song here. You can find out more about the band here. I am hoping that the band open up the listening part of Bandcamp and have more places to buy the album including the band's website shop. 


King Lemon - Matinee


Michigan quartet Lemon King offer up an excellent five song debut. Great Pop Rock that threatens Big Rock without ever thankfully quite reaching it. The melody and catchiness dominates, but the background synth also gives big hints of 80s Pop Rock.

It is an album that is beautifully put together. King Lemon, however, are no one trick pony, they have an ability to appeal to fans of The Killers earlier anthemic joy, whilst grabbing Melodic Pop Rock fans and in particular fans of the better end of 80s Melodic Rock, a sort of US New Wave Guitar Pop.

Nothing To Look Forever is a cracking opener with a cracking chorus that forces you to sing along to. Rock music that you can dance to with a big Guitar solo and a Cars like synth that adds to the melody. Space Hands follows a similar path, but is pacier, but the other three songs follow different paths. 

Uncanny Valleys is built around a Riff that grips you and comes across like a solo Phil Lynott fronting a New Wave band. There is also a breakout synth riff that ventures into Space Rock and even Prog, whilst remaining dominated by that killer riff.

Note To Self slows things down with a UK Glam Rock riff accompanying a Lighters in the air vibe. Spearmint is very Bates Motel, particularly when they accompanied Sparks, but the chorus is massive. Matinee is a great debut and the hope is that we get more and more as time progresses.

You can listen to and buy the EP here.


Thursday 8 June 2023

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 57 - Back To The Future Special

Something a bit different this week. I've gotten all nostalgic today, thinking about Power Pop, the Anything Should Happen days and before, So with it being IDHAS 10 Song Mix day, I came up with the Wizzo idea of doing a special this week. So here are 10 songs that I have adored from primarily the second half of the 90s. 

It is Power Pop dominated and bar the first two songs, British. A cracking 37 minute listen and a reminder for me, that life isn't all about the new, although this is a rare departure. The songs are not placed in the order of preference, just in a way that flows.

 Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week :

01 Tsar - I Don't Wanna Break-Up

02 Cotton Mather - 40 Watt Solution

03 Silver Sun - I'll See You Around

04 Ian McNabb - (I Wish I Was In) California

05 The Supernaturals - The Day Before Yesterday's Man

06 Terrorvision - Perseverance

07 Dodgy - Making The Most Of

08 Ash - Envy

09 Northern Uproar - Anyway You Look

10 Octopus - Your Smile

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 57


It's Karma It's Cool - Thrift Store Troubadours


I seem to have a realisation of what I used to do today, a bit of nostalgia trip. Firstly, I was reminded how great Power Pop can be with the excellent album for The Rallies. Now I'm reminded of the ASH days with It's Karma It's Cool's Jim Styring and later tonight, there is a special Back To The Future 10 Songs Mix.

I don't need to go into my past relationship with Jim as it is mentioned in the two album reviews on here. Woke Up In Hollywood is here and Homesick For Our Future Destinations is here. Both albums were in the respective Best Of Year Lists.

It does warrant mentioning how far Styring has come from the Popdogs CDR EP. It is also vital to mention that this is a quartet and the contribution of Martyn Berwick (Guitar), Mikey Barraclough (Bass) and Danny Krash on Drums. Berwick is also the producer and that production is the stand out here.

Homesick For Our Future Destinations is a great album, but it is a little dark at times, maybe due to the times in which it was recorded. Thrift Store Troubadours is more in line with the swagger and chipperness of the albums that came before 2021. 

The band's sound is hard to denote. I suppose you might choose Classic Rock, but that wouldn't count for the Pop Rock and Psych Pop. Indeed Ghosts Wear Jeans even sounds like great American Rock, not bad for a band from Lincoln and there is a pure UK Glam Rock solo that warmed my heart. That solo could easily fit on The Hoople album.

IKIC have always been known for big opening tracks and How Be You Be Blue doesn't disappoint. It starts all Psych, but morphs into a middle section that is part 70s Pop Rock, part Prog whilst remaining incredibly melodic. Berwick's solo is again jaw dropping.

Old Bones might still be favourite song, nine months on from its single release, it is Melodic Rock at its very best with a killer chorus. Jenni, We're All Fighting Wars borders on Folk, with a great double tracked verse vocal and a great additional female vocal from Gabby Porter.

Broken Heart Foundations is ace Power Pop, The Terms Of Letting Go is beautifully laid back and Vacations In A Taxi Cab is wonderful 60s UK Beat Pop. Roll The Credits reminds me again of the Mental As Anything comparison, but also swings.

The best may be saved until last. City Kids reminds me of how great the band are with an Epic. It is an incredibly jaunty, a little Indy Pop at times, but suddenly bursts into a big slab of Pop Rock. The song is ambitious, but the time absolutely flies by, you are gripped. It is splendidly arranged. 

Peter Holsapple is also on three songs which adds to the excitement. But this is a band at the very top of its game. I'm not even sure that Pop Rock even deserves an album of this quality. Well done You Four! Higher than Highly Recommended!

You can listen to and buy the album here.