Here’s another run-down on three EPs that are worthy of your hard-earned cash.
The New Trocaderos, Kick Your Ass: The New Trocaderos are a mini-Supergroup consisting of Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer of The Connection and Kurt Baker, perennial favorites of this site. My review of the band’s double-sided single released in late-2013 can be found here. They’ve returned with three new songs co-written by pal Michael Chaney. True to its title, this one gives you a swift and powerful kick to the backside, or rather several swift and powerful kicks to the backside.
Baker gets the festivities started with “Real Gone Kitty,” and takes you back to the days when Jerry Lee Lewis was boppin’ at the high school hop and Joey Dee was doin’ the Peppermint Twist. The guitars scream like banshees on this one, and the piano keys fly by at a mile a minute thanks some nifty vintage playing by Kris “Fingers” Rodgers. You won’t be able to sit still while this one is on. In fact, you quite likely will need to take a breather and get some water after working your way through this two-minute-and-change romp:
Palmer takes over lead vox on “Dream Girl,” which you will swear was a big hit back in the summer of ’65 with its pretty jangling guitars and equally gorgeous harmonizing. Personal experience says it will be ringing around in your head the moment you wake up in the morning:
Marino grabs lead vocals on “Brain Gone Dead,” the most “modern” of the three songs with its Ramones-like vibe straight out of 1976. This one is quite a bopper. It runs a whole minute-and-a-half, and sports lyrics like “Take ten reds/Quart of gin/Notify/Next of kin.” It’s Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” stripped to its essence:
Get Kick Your Ass.
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Jennie Vee, Die Alone: Vee puts a contemporary sheen onto late-80s/early-90s indie pop from her apartment in New York. She describes her sound on her Bandcamp page as including “pop punk,” “post-punk revival” and “shogaze.”
All of that is quite apparent from the ringing opening guitar riffs of the title track of her five-song EP. It will transport you to an underground dance club sometime in the 1980s. The next track, “Wicked,” cuts the gloom with a nice, almost sing-a-long chorus:
“Say Goodbye” is updated noise pop. The closer, “Gone Away,” is a kiss off to the definitive jerk that will have you unconsciously tapping your feet to its syncopated vibe.
Die Alone is a promising debut. Hopefully, Vee has more in the pipeline. You can get Die Alone right here.
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Soft Peaks, Altocumular: Soft Peaks is a Baltimore-based band that skillfully dishes out traditional, no-frills guitar-based Power Pop on its second five-track EP of 2014.
Bright and shiny guitar riffs open “All The Way,” and set the tone for what follows. “Everybody Wants Her” is an unassuming bit of guitar pop with the best hooks on the collection:
The band also can also rock harder, as displayed on “Winemakr” (spelled correctly) and the noisy and stomping closing track, “New Mean::
The two Soft Peaks EPs released in 2014 make for quite a nice longplayer of basic, enjoyable Powerpop. Sometimes that’s the best tonic after a tough day in the jungle. You can get Altocumular right here.