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Thursday 31 August 2023

Soft Hearted Scientists - Waltz of the Weekend

 

I Don't Hear A Single has been on fire over the past week, listener and reader wise, it has been the busiest week of the year. Hard to believe that it is the generally Tumbleweed month of August! This is not down to magnetism, it is the quality of the releases. So it seems fitting to end the month with the return of the magnificent Soft Hearted Scientists.

The collective have always mixed pure Psychedelia with Psych Pop and Waltz Of The Winter continues that trend, but there does seem a difference this time round. The Pop element seems much more pronounced and the production seems even more focussed.

The Psych Pop is as incredible as ever, but the longer pieces are more Pastoral, gentle soundscapes that bring unexpected additions at random moments, for instance, the whistling Who Loves The Moon and the weeping Guitar intro to The Things We Make.

The title track is very Orgone Box at times, but it is also close to Folk. Lost Mariners is incredibly hypnotic, almost ambient and a wonderful closer. These longer songs never outstay their welcome, indeed they seem to fly by.

The shorter songs are just as delightful. Rode My Bike could be the Intelligent Indie of a Partridge or a Hitchcock. What Grows Inside The Garden is great catchy Pop Rock with a hint of Toytown and no one does Toytown better than Nathan Hall. The Fixer could be Spygenius and is almost UK New Wave.

Gadzooks is the best Psych Pop song that you will hear all year and drips with Toytown. If you think Psychedelic is not for you, listen to this album to have your mind changed. Whisper it if you dare, Waltz Of The Weekend is incredibly close to an inventive Pop Rock album. Highly Recommended!


You can listen and buy the album here.


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Wednesday 30 August 2023

This Day In History - Years Of Wear & Tear (Name Your Price)

 

This is a great album. This Day In History are a Boston quartet, but the sound is much more in line with UK Pop Rock. At times, songs sound like the new wave of Guitar Pop, at other times they are like the old UK New Wave of the late 70s.

Big choruses, catch all riffs, these songs are wonderfully performed and arranged. They can do down and dirty, yet are equally capable of anthemic Pop Rock. Sleeping On The Job, for instance, is great Garage Rock, but then listen to the riff that dominates the title track and the driving rhythm section.

Cpt Cooper has already been featured on IDHAS and it remains a magnificent song, a highlight in an album of highlights. Company Dime is delivered with more of a drawl. Both songs reveal an adeptness lyrically. Something not always present on such an album.

Down In The Dirt is built on a riff not a million miles from The Knack, but the sound is more New York. Never On Time is anthemic and one of the examples of the more current comparisons. A little early Killers maybe? The Call has another killer riff, very New Wave and contains one of the best choruses that you will hear this year.

There is a great deal of variety on show here, but it feels at its best when the riffs are gripping you and the choruses are demanding that you sing along. I would say that I was amazed that Years Of Wear & Tear isn't getting more attention. But then again, years of experience tells me that the cream rarely rises to the top, being submerged by mediocrity. Highly Recommended!


You can listen to and buy the album here


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The House Of Jed - The House Of Jed EP (Name Your Price)

 


Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Jarrod Gollihare, a major talent who falls fair and square into the under appreciated half of our remit. I discovered his music well away from here, but it is incredibly addictive Pop Rock. 

It is very unusual for IDHAS to post an EP that is ten years old, but there are mitigating circumstances. Firstly, he is still releasing new material, but all of it is singles. So this was the only collection to point you too. The hope is that this will lead you to the newer songs on Bandcamp. 

The EP is also Name Your Price, so you have nothing to lose by dipping your feet in the water. Gollihare is incredibly self effacing personally, hilariously so, but musically there is a mixture of real lyrical quality and catchy as catchy can be songs. 

This is underlined on the opener here. Coming Off Pretty is slightly venomous, but sung in such a sweet tone, just as we like it. Last Entry (Gotta Run Now) has an 80s feel, a bit funky, but great Pop. I Won't Survive You vocally is bang in Glenn Tilbrook territory. 

The most straight ahead Pop on show is the wonderfully closer, Everybody Lies. I really hope you head over to Bandcamp and listen to the newer stuff too. I reveal a fair bit of great new music here, but I can honestly say that The House Of Jed are one of the best things that I've discovered this year.


You can listen to and buy over at Bandcamp here.


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Tuesday 29 August 2023

Trademark Issues - 601 Deluxe

 

The long distance relationship between North Carolina and Minnesota continues for the duo that are Trademark Issues. There's still a good deal of anonymity as they reach their fifth album. The variety is just as great and although the songs are a little rough around the edges, they hit the spot wonderfully.

This is higher than lo-fi Pop Rock, although not massively higher. The duo run the full gamut from Noise Rock to Power Pop and everything in between and that range keeps you very interested and provides lots of surprises along the way.

I Already Know is great Power Pop, yet (I Guess It's) Time To Rock is great UK Fuzz Rock with a vocal that is US Slacker. Awake In Tokyo is great C86, but Metropolitan Building is great melodic West Coast Pop Rock.

Seems is the sound of the Glasgow Indie Guitar Pop of the 80s and The Sea Watches With Indifference is great Jangle Pop. Snowstorm is Easy Listening 70s. There is also some great Brass on Frivolous Diversion. It is the sheer variety that completely hooks you.

Lyrically, the songs are both adept and dripping with wit. The riffs catch you completely by surprise and the dual vocal works wonderfully well. This album will catch you surprise and urges you to listen to it complete. Ace Indie and Highly Reccomended.


You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Monday 28 August 2023

Oracle Sisters - Hydranism

 

Based in Paris with a debut recorded on the Island Of Hydra in Greece, the trio are not sisters with Julie Johansen, a Finn, being the only female, you are not sure quite what to expect from their debut album. The influences on show here are many and provide a wonderful conclusion.

Essentially this is is most like a Pop album. Melodic and Pastoral at times, the soundscape is awesome and Hydranism is so laid back that it is almost comatose. The feel is very 70s, but this is a very relaxed 70s and that doesn't mean that it is one paced and it is never boring.

Hail Mary is a superb song, a little Killers initially, but it develops into something much more with a big 70s Pop Rock chorus and a great Guitar solo. Paris III is great Pop Rock, but also has a big hint of Sparks. Modern Love is all Lloyd Cole.

Sailor Song is beautifully sung revealing fully the trio's Pop sensibilities. Piano Pop, yet also a little folky with a haunting guitar solo. Yet Hot Summer adds Brass to its croon and RBH is lounge. Ruby On The Run is 80s Sade Pop with hints of Jazz and a splendid Baroque Pop interference.

There are no crashing chords and uplifting choruses here. The keyword is gentle, but with all three sharing vocals, there is plenty of variety. Hydranism is an album that you should sit back to and let it wash over you. Not everything in life has to be 100mph.


You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Listening To This Week Playlist

 

Another crackerjack of a LTTW for your listening devices. Running as usual from Monday to Sunday. 26 songs for your  aural pleasure.  There is no song preference in order, just what we think flows. So I do hope that you can listen to all the songs across this week. 

This weekly playlist 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. This will help you to discover more about the artists who appear here.


Owen Tressider - Are You For Real?



The Gatlings - Dublin and the Sea




The Campbell Apartment = Sand and Glue




Skittish - Mannequin



Henry IX - Karma



The House Of Jed - The Better Cathedrals



Ocean Child - Camouflage



Babe Rainbow - Juice Of The Sun




Mason Summit - Circling the Drain



Twilight Lounge - Mindstream




no drinks on the dancefloor - Devil Eyes



milkshed. - Apex Predator



Lighten Up, Francis - Jamboree




Mosaic - R U OK?




Little Fang - Resolving Sound




Breezy The Band = Bubby, You Love Me?



Fat Mezz - How Would You Know




Personal Style - False Memories



Square Dance Caller - London Underground




No Signal - entropele




Aaron Leigh - Bahia Sunshine





Paul Maged - Martyr War




Luminatrix - Among Us




Population II - C.T.Q.S.




NRY - Someday




THINKTANK - Believer




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Sunday 27 August 2023

Onesie - Liminal Hiss

 

It has been four long years since the last Onesie album, you can read the review of that album, Umpteenth, here. That album featured heavily in the I Don't Hear A Single Best Albums of 2019. Their third album doesn't really move the goalposts, it doesn't need to, but it does develop their career further.

The Brooklyn quartet are masters of intelligent left field pop. They are very much The Sugarplastic for the next generation. Few have ever matched our beloved Sugarplastic, but Onesie do. The vibe and arrangements are certainly there as are the intelligent lyric led songs.

They even have a way of making songs seem simplistic when repeated listens reveal their depth and allow you to marvel at the unusual and unexpected riffs. There will be XTC comparisons and the foursome do sound like a much more electric version of Field Music. 

There are departures too. Morning Warren is all Funk with added Brass and Cash For Trash has an unusually 80s vibe. Rat Island even goes all UK New Wave and is built on a great riff. Another Day In The Experiment even gets all Slacker Rock. 

Cross The Night is not a million miles away from Dream Pop. Live Yuppie Scum is a great name for a song and the slowed down closer is as Rock as this lot get, The 5 and a minute length allows a lot to be packed in, very Mommyheads and just as great, It is epic. 

It is however the minimalism of the likes of Perma Spring, What You Kill and Robocall that appeal most to me. Probably because I am such a Sugarplastic fan, that I am just delighted to hear another band who can do what they did. Album Of The Year Material!


You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Saturday 26 August 2023

Hurry - Don't Look Back

 


Philadelphia's Hurry are no strangers to these parts. Their last two albums have seriously bothered the I Don't Hear A Single Best Albums Of The Year and I have little doubt that Don't Look Back will do the same. I've previously described their territory as somewhere between classic Power Pop and the Glasgow TFC scene.

Again that comparison is largely true. There is a sense that you know what you are gonna get. That isn't being critical because that is exactly what you want and Matt Scottoline certainly knows what buttons to press. Chipper Upbeat songs are the intention and they are performed incredibly well performed.

The addition of Brass here in the shape of Trumpet and Trombone and this really enhances songs. An extra dimension is added to the songs and this change compliments the songs beautifully without ever getting in the way.

Beggin' For You ventures further back into Badfinger land and even has hints of West Coast Pop. The vocal on Little Brain is wonderfully melodic and fragile, again sounding very 60s West Coast. Punchline is great 90s Indie Guitar Pop with some killer Guitar.

No Patience may be the best song on show with its UK New Wave vibe, but any of these 10 songs could be part of a Hurry's Greatest Hits. This album feels a bit more Glasgow than full on Power Pop. The diversions are more than welcome, but the template doesn't change massively and that is exactly what makes Hurry so special.


You can listen to and buy the album here.


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https://hurrymusic.com/album/dont-look-back


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Gaadge - Somewhere Down Below

 

This is a wonderful album! Most times that I've seen it mentioned, it has been noted as Shoegaze and Somewhere Down Below is much more than that. There is some Shoegaze, but that is in the minority, this more an album that covers the full scope of Indie Rock and much more.

The Pittsburgh quartet journey through everything from Pop Rock to Noise Rock. They are equally at home with angular New Wave as straight ahead Indie Rock. Yet there are big hints of Psych and lesser dashes of Prog as well as sprinklings of both Grunge and Slacker Rock. 

The majority of the album consists of sub two minute songs. This could indicate that these are unfinished affairs and that would be wrong. This is very much say what you want to say and then get off and this really works.

It allows you to appreciate the longer songs which again contain no filler. It also allows you to hear the full range of the band without extended Guitar solos or riffs. It would have been easy to extend these songs, but why would you?

Amongst the hypnotic riffs and unexpected directions, there is also more commercial directions as well as some wonderful Guitar explosions. Normally, I would embed three songs to give you a flavour of an album, but that would tell you nothing about the variety on show here.

Indeed, I am experimenting with reviews this weekend. There will be no embeds in the hope that you yourself will visit the album and draw your own conclusions. If this is not to followers' liking or they prefer the three song embeds, I will return to that from Monday.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Thursday 24 August 2023

Mighty Dan Gerous - Everybody Needs A Hero

 

You don't know what you don't know has been brought home to me over the past 18 months or so as IDHAS accidentally added a new younger following to the mix. This has opened my eyes to delights by bands I have never heard before allowing our musical coverage to widen.

So I am used to surprises, but not so much from our established world. In that sphere, if I've not heard a band. I am aware of them. Then you get a complete surprise from that area. Welcome to the New York quartet that is Mighty Dan Gerous.

John Macom has been a long time supporter and follower of I Don't Hear A Single, ultra supportive and generous in his praise. I had no idea that John was the Guitarist in this band, indeed I know little of the band itself. So when he passed the album to me, I was always going to listen to it properly. 



You know the reservations that you can have when someone you like passes you his album. What do I say if I don't like it etc and we are quite strict with what we cover? People know of my Big Stir connection, but that doesn't ensure a review and if I'm strict with them, I'm gonna be strict with everyone. 

Well this is great Melodic Guitar led Pop Rock. Not only does Macom play Guitar and Keyboards, but he also co-writes and Produces the album with vocalist Joseph Titone and Titone has a fine set of pipes, ideal for this type of material.

The two opening songs are ringers for Cheap Trick, indeed the whole album has a feel of late 80s Cheap Trick. But there are also comparisons with the likes of Maple Mars and Vegas With Randolph, Yet the band are equally at home with AOR and Wide Awake is classic UK Pop Rock. That particular song screams out for a wider audience.



Where Is My Girl? is close to Del Amitri, Movie Star has a vibe of Extreme before they wanted to show show everyone how they were really a Metal band. It is a song that would fit comfortably on III Sides To Every Story, one of the great underappreciated Pop Rock albums.

Then there is the String arrangement on Perfect Day In Hell, a melodic joy of a song. Too many string arrangements do not fit the rock band's song, this one does. There is so much variety on display that I feel guilty to say I like Mighty Dan Gerous best when they are on Da Trick radar, particularly Mood Swings.



There are some great vocal harmonies throughout and you can tell how much work has gone into the production and arrangements. This is no thrown together thing. To say that it is splendid at what it does would be a real understatement.

I have one quibble. I would have ended the album at Track 12 due to how Christmas songs get under my skin. All that forced jollity is too much to bear. Maybe that could have been released as a single at Christmas, it seems out of place here. However, Everybody Needs A Hero is a fantastic album and underlines how feel good Pop Rock is when it is done with love and care. Highly Recommended!



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


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Sunday 20 August 2023

Listening To This Week Playlist

 

An absolute belter of a LTTW for your listening devices. Running as usual from Monday to Sunday. 25 songs for your  aural pleasure.  There is no song preference in order, just what we think flows. So I do hope that you can listen to all the songs across this week. 

This weekly playlist 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. This will help you to discover more about the artists who appear here.


The Breaks Inc. - Good Morning, Mr. Man



Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam - Thieving 



David Peril - Smile



The Dumbanimals - Hook In Our Jaw




Loading... Please Wait - The Human Cannonball




King Liar - Escapism



Hoagie - I Was Sent Here



Alex Hopkins - Life Keeps Going




The Snorts - Loggerheads



The Shop Window - It's A High



TV Face - Working In The Institution  



And The Broken - Putting Out Fires (Hurt)




Ellis-D - I Am Here



The Symptones - Cynical Carousel



Ayna Errboe - Just A Woman



MAL - For Brevity



The Honesty - Tell All Your Friends (feat. Nick Thompson)



Vicky Von Vicky - Not The Man




Hoko - Ephemera




Jaws The Shark - Waiting For Something




Soft Punch - My Head



RON - Inside Out




Guri Yeller - Study In Pink




Spacesoul - Greener Pastures



Tough - Control




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Thursday 17 August 2023

Tamar Berk - tiny injuries

 



Have you got a minute to talk about Tamar Berk? She came out of the Indie Alt Rock scene, a million miles from what she specialises in solo wise. Her previous two albums have both mithered the top echelons of the I Don't Hear A Single Best Albums Of The Year.

You can read those reviews here and here. I noted in the review of the second album, Start At The End, how hard it would be following that magnificent debut album, yet Berk cleared that high obstacle with ease, so then the pressure of the next album is largely from the strength of the first two.

Berk has a mastery of genres and styles and that is revealed here in spades. If anyone had any doubts about a difficult third album, they were put on the back burner when the second single, If U Know, You Know is here in all its glory and could very well be listening to the best song that you will hear this year. 




It's jaunty chorus is a delight, but the verse is particularly special, written and performed in a similar style to Bird Streets with its use of words that allow you to know what the artist is trying to convey straight away. It also sets a marker for the rest of the album.

The difference you notice across tiny injuries is how New Wave Guitar Pop certain songs sound. Sunday Driving is another crackerjack of a song, sounding like Sheryl Crow fronting a crack Power Pop band. Walking Hurricane even goes a little Chrissie Hynde and has some wonderful organ riffs and develops into The Bangles as it progresses.

Berk is never going to raise her voice, she doesn't need to, yet her voice can take on any direction. There is also a delicateness in that voice that does aching magnificently. Till U Get Home is an Americana example of this, just as What's Become Of Me, My Friend? is singer songwriter melancholy. 




I Was Saved By The Beauty In The World is Tori Amos like Piano Pop, another incredibly moving song. Gonna Call It is a rare example of attitude, again expertly done, with a big angry chorus. That chorus is not too far away from Alanis Morrissette.

Wonderfully arranged and written songs with a lyrical adeptness match that wonderful voice that she has. tiny injuries is an absolutely storming album. No doubt about the Best Of Year again, but it is going to have to be some album to stop it actually being The Album Of The Year.



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


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Lemonade Shoelace - Do Whatever Makes You Happy EP

 

Lemonade Shoelace is Belfast's Ruairi Richman is getting lots of attention lately and rightly so. Too many people think that my beloved Psych Pop is all about tie Die T Shirts and bands wearing Sgt pepper gear. This is not that and nor is a lot of great music from the genre.

Lemonade Shoelace could very well be were Tame Impala could be, if Kevin Parker hadn't have gone into big audiences who want to dance. This is synth driven Pastel soundscapes that hook you. Never losing sight of the fact that electro themed music can make you want to dance, there needs to be more.



Repetition is all well and good, but songs need to be more than just repeated lines and the same riff throughout. Here, the melody is key and  the EP does edge towards Pop with intelligent runs that hook you and have you humming along.

There is a dream like feel to the music and the Psych Pop may lead you to unexpected places, but the strength is that melody. It allows many other genres to open and Richman's gentle vocal suits the material well. In the wrong hands, this could be ambient overload, but this is exactly in the right hands.



You can listen to and buy the EP here. It is also available in lots of various physical packages, that should also make it very collectible.


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Monday 14 August 2023

Swandive - The Lonestar

 

If ever a band were to be formed simply to satisfy my own musical tastes, it could very well be Swandive. Many of you know that my listening habits are not confined to the melodic Pop Rock that makes up the majority of reviews here. 

Away from all the riffs and choruses, I tend to go for noisier much heavier delights. Particularly, Prog and Noise Rock, the more diverse the better. Swandive are a Los Angeles five piece who can do it all and seem to have influences that are way beyond their young years.



The Lonestar is the band's second album and it takes them either further on than their debut. They do sound very UK at times and they could easily be another of the wave of new Guitar Bands who aspire to Stadium Rock. The fact that they provide much more variety is to their eternal credit.

Yes, they can be Pop Rock, Two Things Before You Go is the best example, with its killer riff and sing along chorus. But then listen to the title track where Riley Schmedeman sounds like Joe Strummer. Then there is the 90s College, slightly funky, Say Less with its latter day Alex Lifeson like riff.



Infectious is an incredibly noisy shouty affair, yet Son To Sun is end of the 90s Desert Rock but also incredibly Prog. Estuary has a real Jeff Rodenstock vocal feel, but instrumentally it is more Space Rock. Opposite Day has a real Rush 90s feel instrumentally with another killer riff. 

The joy of the album is how connected the quintet are. Aldo the fact that songs start as one thing and end as another. You can be rocking away, then a melodic 80s keyboard run will confuse and delight you. Have no doubt that this is a Rock album, but that only tells you part of the story. Highly Recommended!



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Listening To This Week Playlist

 

Here is the new Listening To This Week playlist. 23 songs this time.  There is no song preference in order, just what we think flows. So I do hope that you can listen to all the songs across this week. I really do believe that you will discover some new songs and artists that will float your boat.

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. This will help you to discover more about the artists who appear here.


Multi Ultra - Up All Night



The Radio Field - She Needs Therapy



Apartment 99 - Shelter In You



Licking Rainbows - Track 1



Davey Harris - Roles Roy




Gemm - World On Fire




Hammered Satin - Rock 'N' Roller



Caroline & The Treats - Become Undone




Pkew Pkew Pkew - The Dumbest Thing I Ever Done




Agenda 109 - The Constant Traveler




Living In Frames - Stored Away




Josh Gitman - Washer




Shall We Stand For - Again..



Eric Jafet - Anxiety




Pluto Saffron - Clouds




Mount Nemo - Huguenots




Marry Cherry - Won't Die Slow




the unwanted overtures - being there




Amphipolis - (It's) Better When I See You




Sharper Side - Hurts Like Hell




El Sancho - Island Fever



Wasabi Kick - Bicycle




Hookjaw - Petrichor




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Saturday 12 August 2023

Rick Kingo - The Truths, The Lies, The Lot



Caper Clowns  have always been incredibly close to I Don't Hear A Single's heart. Their debut album was close date wise to IDHAS's beginning and the bond is similar to the one I have with Big Stir as both were there for us in our very early days.

Three albums in, the band regularly bother the higher echelons of our Best Of Years, not because of my loyalty, but because they are great at what they do. Pop Rock of the highest quality and their constant touring at a time when bands don't tour that much anymore.

Rick Kingo is the vocalist of the band, so I was always going to be interested in it. His vocals have him as a sort of Neil Finn for a younger generation and although this EP allows him to stretch out a bit, that vocal is as addictive as ever. 




He's aided here by band mate Christian Hojgaard on Bass and Brazillian Drummer, Lucas Garbellini and the trio work well together. The sound is a little slimmed down and the stripped down effect allows the songs, particularly the vocals, to stand out more.

The wonderful Zephyr's Reign is a venture into Rockier territory, very Classic Rock with a blistering Guitar solo. The Sound Of A Neon Light is Brit Pop tinged with a killer chorus and hypnotic riff. The Perfect Taunt is mid 70s Piano led Pop Rock that catches the charm of that period perfectly.




Confident In Time starts as a moody gentle Acoustic affair with that Neil Finn comparison most prevalent, before bursting out into a rockathon with a killer riff. It really is a crackerjack of song and worthy of much wider attention.

There lies my frustration as I would love all things Caper Clowns to be massive. The touring reaction to the band is incredibly positive. I would love them to be on Bandcamp as I think that would attract a much wider audience and their songs fit that site well. But that would be me interfering and I'm a writer, not a musician.




You can listen and buy the album at one of these links.


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Friday 11 August 2023

Råttanson - Trebled Region EP

 

I love Rattanson. I listen to so much melodic Pop Rock, that is always a treat to hear something more earthy. Henrik Aspeborg specialises in a sort of Garage Power Pop. His last album, I'd Much Rather Be With The Noise was in the IDHAS Best Of 2019, deservedly so. You can read that review here

That album was a solo affair, but the 2023 Rattanson is a 4 piece group and whereas the sound felt very 60s, the quartet have largely moved on a decade and the sound is more rounded without ever losing the charm. The group element are tight and connected and it makes for a splendid listen.



He Had It In Him is wonderful UK Glam Rock, all double denim and rocker dance. How Many Days is great UK late 1970s New Wave Power Pop with hints of the early 80s US version of it. Fighting The Good Fight is ace 70s Pop Rock with both a West Coast bent, but also reminiscent of the great UK Pop Rock bands of the mid 70s.

My Head Is A Troubled Mind is all Stooges Garage Rock, whilst Go Where You Feel The Most Alive is a cracking slab of R & B mixed with UK Beat. My only wish is that there was more to hear, because I could listen to this all day. Top Notch and Highly Recommended!



You can listen to and buy the EP here.


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The Wans - Magical Touch


 

Nashville's The Wans have been in a sort of hibernation for 7 years and their return is at just the right time as a new wave of Guitar bands have emerged to chastise those who gleefully told all that the instrument was dead. It was never so, it was just resting.

There has been great Guitar Rock over the past decade, but there has also been a lot of mediocrity. This is been largely from the subgenre Gallagher Rock. Bands who think Oasis invented music and worship a group that offered up one and a half ace albums and possibly the worse third album ever.



Someone new to the band might expect a Brit Pop extravaganza and there is a little bit of that, but the album ventures into classic 70s Pop Rock (Enough Of Your Love) and Classic Rock (Fire). Magical Touch is great UK Glam Rock.

She has a wonderful Twang to it and I'd Do Anything is big-ish 80s Rock. Like The Way You Used To is built a cracking riff that completely hooks you and has a real great bass driven drive.. This is an album of fine Indie Rock with a side order of Pop Rock and it works.



Magical Touch is beautifully produced without ever going kitchen sink. Wonderfully performed and arranged in a way that allows songs to breathe, You just admire the quality which is tastefully withdrawn. It doesn't need to hit you over the head, the spaces make the album.



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


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Wednesday 9 August 2023

Snake Eyes - Health EP

 

Health is the fourth EP from Brighton Trio and their first for the excellent Alcopop label. It is more than a little different to the label's staple Indie Pop, but you do suspect that the union will be great for both and this 5 Track affair is certainly top notch.

It is chaotic, yet incredibly melodic and certainly difficult. There are hints of earlier Blur without the cockernee nonsense, but Snake Eyes can be harder sound wise, but also angular Indie. Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish might have benefitted from some of this chaos. 



Crybaby is wonderful. It starts off all street with an added Coxon like riff, but the chorus just escalates into Pop Rock, Grungy Brit Pop at its best. 40 Winks goes all New York Garage Rock and Medicine continually wants to be Power Pop, but only if done by Pavement.

No One Is Truly Cool is a cross between UK Glam and 80s Noise Rock, again surprisingly harmonic and not too far away from New Wave. There is a real swagger about the band that never strays into over confidence. Snake Eyes continually build on their great promise. This is ace!



You can listen to and buy the EP here.


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Monday 7 August 2023

Ethan K Bender - The Ground Floor (Name Your Price)

 


"More Joy From Canada" could be this years catchphrase on here. This is a little different from our usual blend of Guitar led Pop and Rock. Ethan K. Bender is from Saskatchewan and those Prairielands do provide a starting point for the album.

But this is far far more than Americana or Country Rock, it revels in adventures into Classic Rock and Modern Melodic Psych. Even a song as Country as The Birdwatcher's Waltz is enhanced by Guitar riffs and solos that are Psych tinted Classic Rock.



At times, he can go close to a band like The Successful Failures, but the Rock is more restrained Classic and the Psych much more pronounced. King, instrumentally, even contains a fair bit of UK Glam Rock Guitar and that is Bender's strength.

Songs develop into unexpected directions due largely to the strength of his Guitar playing. For instance Snakeskin, Baby! is thoroughly gentle until the Guitar explodes in and boy does it explode. The nearest comparison that I can think of is Bull Mallonee in his Vigilantes Of Love days. 



Elevator is probably the stand out song with its Doors like verse. The song has a late 60s feel and has some wonderful Psych wig outs. Caravan runs it close though, a much Rockier affair, part Classic Rock, part Blues Rock with a great vocal. 

The Ground Floor isn't something that you'd naturally see on here. My Classic Rock days are consigned to growing up and anything I hear these days seems to be of a similar mediocre template. This album, however, is a cracking listen with plenty of diversions and more than deserves your ears.



You can listen to and buy the album here.


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Listening To This Week Playlist

 

Here is the new Listening To This Week playlist. 24 songs this time. You would expect me to say that this selection is great, but this is a really fine assortment. There is no song preference in order, just what we think flows. So I do hope that you can listen to all the songs across this 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. This will help you to discover more about the artists who appear here.


The Ever Flower Company - Celtic Candy



Lucifers Beard - Frog Class



Trademark Issues - Absurd



Happy Pill - Forever Tiger



Gregg Garvey- Flora Laine (Single Edit)



Velvet Fist - Sci-Fi Samurai



Oya Paya - Slow Slug



MANJA - Last Night's Kiss



Zilched - Earthly Delights



Mom Rock - Close Your Eyes




Pump5 - Make Me




Odds - Staring at a Blank Page



Helen Kelter Skelter - Best Friends



The Strange Ones - Down in a Hole



Hooveriii - The Tall Grass



Newgate Crowd - Scissors (EP Release)



Small Paul - Don't Wanna Die



Jerks! - Nowhere



INEGO - Somewhere in the Stars



Stranded - Aftermath



Start Together - Founder in Oddity



Decrepit Youths - Kill The Lights





Moose On The Roof - Watching The River Flow



Shaven Primates - Fade Away



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