Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

Archive for the tag “garage rock”

Power Popsicle Brain Freeze, Take 2

File Aug 17, 4 24 13 PMToday, your humble servant supplies a second helping of some of the finest bits of rockin’ pop spinning on the Ice Cream Man’s ginormous compilation — Power Popsicle Brain Freeze — available for zero dollars and zero cents from the fine folks at Futureman Records. You can get the 139 track collection right here.

The rules are the same as on the prior post: the order of the tracks means absolutely nothing, and the focus is on artists and bands not previously discussed in these pages.

So, without further adieu . . .

Rob Clarke and The Wooltones, “End Of The End”: This delectable slice of updated mid-60s jangle pop by this Liverpool-based band features subtle psychedelic undertones along with Clarke’s smooth lead vocals and understated background harmonies. Cue it up and bask in the late-summer breeze:

The Floor Models, “Letter From Liverpool”: The Floor Models are a “re-born” 80’s combo. “Letter From Liverpool” is bittersweet jangle about faded memories and the enduring power of familiar sounds as the years march by. It is, quite obviously, a great companion to “End Of The End,” and could even cause your eyes to moisten as it winds to its close:

The Shinks, “Golden Leafs”: All I know about this band is that they hail from Stockholm, Sweden. Whoever they are, they have released one heck of a song from deep, deep, deep in left field. The opening, simple piano medley in this swaying, mid-tempo track will grab you immediately and not let go for nearly four-minutes:

That Driving Beat, “Wishing And Hoping.” The Driving Beat is an eleven-piece band from Stockholm, playing in the Northern Soul, Freakbeat and Garage playgrounds. “Wishing And Hoping” has a cool, mid-60s cosmopolitan flair with soulful horns and even more soulful vocals:

Soulbird, “Soulwater”: Soulbird produces subtly soulful pop music, with an occasional country infusion, in London, England. “Soulwater” imparts an early-70s Southern California vibe, punctuated by barque flute stylings:

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So, there’s another five excellent tracks from Power Popsicle Brain Freeze to add to your personal playlist. Check back soon for news on another five standout tracks.

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The Ice Cream Man Scores A Hat Trick

a0153222958_16Pop That Goes Crunch radio has now streamed more than 100 editions of the Ice Cream Man Power Pop And More Show, on which Wayne Ford spins a beguiling mix of Power Pop, New Wave, Punk Rock, Mod, Ska, Garage Rock, Northern Soul, etc., etc., etc.  The show airs three times a week — Thursday at 7 pm Pacific, Friday at 1 pm Pacific, and Saturday at 8 am Pacific.

Wayne has just released his third annual, 100% free and 100% legal compilation downloads. This one, cleverly titled Power Popsicle Brain Freeze, delivers a whopping 139 tracks. That is nearly seven hours of music! You can get it from the Futureman Records site on Bandcamp, and they won’t take your money even if you were so inclined to offer it. Get it right here, no risk at all.

So, where to start?

Well, your humble servant is here to help, with the first in a series of posts on some of the finest spins on Power Popsicle Brain Freeze. We’ve happily added many tracks from the download to Pop That Goes Crunch Radio. The scientific word for the actual number is “oodles.”

So, without further chit chat, let’s start digging. The focus will be on artists and bands that have not been discussed previously on this site, and the order is pertinent to nothing in particular.

The Stoplight Roses, A Bomb Goes Off. The Stoplight Roses hail from Atlanta, Georgia, and take their name from the Nick Lowe tune of the same title. A Bomb Goes Off lays out a bit of personal history, and nicely encapsulates the band’s overall mix of vintage Power Pop, Garage Rock and Alt-Country. Its also one of the finest songs of the year:

Arvidson & Butterflies, Tired Of Running. Roger Arvidson and crew hail from Gothenberg, Sweden. Their self-titled debut is a must buy for jangle-holics who also like the occasional stomper. The relentlessly uptempo Tired Of Running jangles with them best of them, and features some nice harmonizing to boot:

Butch Young, Persephone. Butch Young’s long-player, Mercury Man, achieved a rare feat on Pop That Goes Crunch Radio — we added the entire album. Young spends his time in and around the pop-psych genre. “Peresphone,” one of the standouts on Mercury Man, finds him in decidedly Beatle-y territory, without succumbing to cliche:

Solarflairs, Stereo Alley. Solarflairs is a Power Pop-inspired band from Memphis, Tennessee. They have two tracks on Power Popsicle Brain Freeze. We’re partial to the sharp guitar that propels Stereo Alley, which would feel quite at home on a mid-late 80’s indie pop playlist:

Ed Ryan, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright: Ryan’s recently-released long-player, Roadmap, is a rocker with nonstop hooks. You know, a characteristic of almost all rock ‘n’ roll back in the day. That makes it timeless, not timed out. Everything starts with a sharp guitar riff, which gives way to a classic, fulsome Power Pop sound:

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So, there’s five stellar tracks to get you started with Power Pop Brain Freeze. Check back soon for five more.

The New Trocaderos Deliver Non-Stop Thrills And Chills

thrillsThis blog has championed the six previously released tracks by The New Trocaderos, the “supergroup” consisting of Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer of The Connection, and Kurt Baker. They scored a track on my list of the best 30 songs of 2014, and nabbed a spot on my list of the best EPs of 2014. I also had the opportunity recently to discuss the band and its future, with Michael Chaney, who primarily pens the lyrics, hooks and melodies that form the bases of the blistering, melodic, real rock ‘n’ roll The Trocs record.

The Trocs just dropped their debut longplayer called Thrills & Chills, which, as advertised, delivers thrill-after-thrill-after-thrill — along with liberal doses of chills — spread over the course of twelve Chaney originals that alternate between glee, pathos, self-deprecation, anger, lust, passion, disinterest, and humor  — sometimes swirling around in the same song. The sound this time is expanded greatly, with the addition of the occasional horn and harmonica, and inclusion of some of the finest backing vocals put down in quite some time courtesy of Palmyra Delran, Kim Shattuck and Line Cecile Dahlmann. Kris “Fingers” Rogers, who played on last year’s EP, returns to deliver tasty some keyboard lines, while The Connection’s Rick Orcutt pounds the drums with controlled abandoned.

The festivities begin with a bang on the loud and unrestrained “What The Hell Did I Do,” with Marino assuming the voice of a misbegotten fellow finding himself tracked by the police after a particularly blurry lost weekend. Next up, “I’m So Bad” proudly flashes its influence, as Marino  swaggers that “I drink a lot more booze than Keith” amid slinky slide guitar fills and a pounding, mid-tempo R&B beat. Close your eyes and “I’m So Bad” might as well be a lost track from Exile On Main Street.

Thrills & Chills changes focus by the third track, “Crazy Little Fool,” with Palmer supplying sweet lead vocals over a decidedly British invasion vibe:

Things get even more interesting on “Love Anymore,” a bit of updated doo-wop with Baker contributing lead vocals that Chaney describes as being in an “Elvis style, ala ‘Good Luck Charm.'” Throw in some swaying call and response backing vocals, and understated, melodic piano by Rogers, and you have an unexpected stroke of genius. “Love Anymore” also sports one of the great lines of the year, when Baker sings “You’re getting calls from a whole lot of men, and one of them’s older than Roger McGuinn”:

Thrills & Chills shows that Chaney can write, and The New Trocaderos can sing and play, in virtually any style that is part of the basic rock idiom — blues, country, rockabilly, jangle pop, power pop, doo-wop, punk rock, garage rock, etc., etc., etc. Put it all together and you get timeless rock ‘n’ roll for the modern world. Marino, Palmer and Baker also make their own each of the songs they sing, with their distinctive vocals and lead guitar playing placing indelible personal stamps onto Chaney’s fine compositions. Thrills & Chills is year-end Top 10 stuff.

You can get Thrills & Chills right here. When you do — and there is no excuse not to get it immediately — turn it up way past 11, and sing along at the top of your lungs. Great happiness will ensue. Guaranteed.

The Ice Cream Man Does It Again

Ice Cream Man -- Got It LickedOver at Pop That Goes Crunch Radio, we proudly broadcast to the planet the Ice Cream Man Power Pop And More show. Each week, Wayne Ford spins a delectable mix of some of the finest Power Pop, New Wave, Northern Soul, Ska, Garage Rock and Mod sounds ever put to wax, tape, disk and 1’s and 0’s. Last September, Wayne assembled a gigantic, free download of some the highlights of the first year of his show. We featured it right here.

Last week, however, Wayne topped himself by dropping a ginormous collection of — hold your breath on this one — 109 tracks that you can download for absolutely free, legally and with no strings attached. This bit of sonic generosity is likely unprecedented in human history. The good folks over at Futureman Records are hosting it right here for your downloading delight.

Many of the tracks on the compilation are by artists that are perennials on this blog, and over at Pop That Goes Crunch radio, including The Hangabouts, Propeller, Gretchen’s Wheel, Muscle Souls, Eric Barao (doing my number 1 song of 2013), Phil Ajjarapu, Chris Richards & The Subtractions, Nick Piunti, Trip Wire, and Watts. But, with 109 tracks in all, you can do a deep dive (or two or three) and discover a whole lot of new artists for further exploration over the wide variety of genres that Wayne features regularly on his show.

Got It Licked is easily the compilation of the year. Nothing can possibly come close in sheer breadth, quality and rocking bliss. You would be remiss not to let your fingers and mouse do the walking over to the Futureman page and download 109 songs for zilch.

Need further prompting? Check out Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders doing “Another Wasted Day,” as it appears on Got It Licked:

The Big Show, Season 2, Show #7

The Big Show

The seventh installment of the second season of The Big Show is another really, really big show — another 30 rockin’ pop tunes streaming your way for more than 90 minutes. Here are some of the highlights, focusing particularly on lesser-known acts that deserve much wider attention:

Susan James is a Southern California-based purveyor of fine acoustic folk mixed generously with tasty baroque pop flavorings. Her recently released album, Sea Glass, is destined to make my year-end list as it features song-after-song of perfectly updated West Coast pop stylings. Show 7 features “Calico Valley,” whose jaunty tone and melodic string arrangement nicely compliment James’ gorgeous vocals as she sings about environmental mismanagement. You can get Sea Glass right here.

Trip Wire was featured previously in these pages. The San Francisco-based band’s recently released long-player, Get In & Get Out, is rock and roll as it should be, mixing elements of Power Pop, Garage Rock, and 90’s-style alternative rock. Their Bandcamp page quite aptly describes the band’s overall approach: “Our songs are short and catchy and we encourage you to listen and then move on to the next one as we do not jam.” Show 7 features one of the catchiest, and best, tracks on Get In & Get Out, the punchy “1973,” which will have you grooving to it immediately. Get it here.

Cameron Lew is the bass player, and one of the singers, in The Yorktown Lads, featured in these pages earlier this year. His debut solo album, welp, is in the finest of DIY traditions — recorded in his bedroom, featuring Lew playing a bevy of different instruments and utilizing the services of “some cheap AKG Condensor” and a “really crappy mic from the 80s.” You wouldn’t know it, though. The LP sounds quite good — I hear a lot of not-so-well recorded music, and this is not that — and serves as a nice platform for Lew to explore various melodic rock styles. Show 7 features the lead track, “Adieu,” a cool and breezy bit of late-60s-influenced pop. Get it here.

The Pacific Northwest is becoming quite a hotbed of melodic rock ‘n’ roll. Strangely Alright, hailing from the Seattle area, is the latest to push great tunes across my virtual desk. “If I Don’t Laugh I’m Only Going To Cry” builds from humble acoustic origins into an epic wall of sound, while featuring a memorable sing-a-long chorus and Regan Lane’s strong, glam-influenced vocal. You can check out the band’s body of work here.

Show 7 also features music by perennial favorites of these pages, including The Connection, Andy Reed, Sloan, The Ramones, Teenage Fanclub, and The Go-Betweens. It also features two sets of songs from the early days of “alternative” music.

As always, the entire tracklist is below the embed. Crank up the volume, and check out Pop That Goes Crunch radio, streaming the finest in melodic rock n’ roll 24/7.

Tracklist:

1.  Hidden Pictures, “California Plates”

2.  Stereo Tiger, “Runaway”

3.  The Connection, “Treat You So Bad”

4.  Shark Tape, “Long Time Coming”

5.  Trip Wire, “1973”

6.  The Jeanies, “Amilee”

7.  Cameron Lew, “Adieu”

8.  Andy Reed, “Darlin’, You Don’t Know”

9.  Strangely Alright, “If I Don’t Laugh I’m Only Going To Cry”

10. The Reivers, “Sound And The Fury”

11. The Primitons, “All My Friends”

12. Full Fathom Five, “A Little Hope”

13. The Jangle Band, “This Soul Is Not For Sale”

14. Your Gracious Host, “If You Ever Have Your Doubts”

15. Sloan, “Carried Away”

16. Soft Picasso, “Blue-Eyed Boy”

17. Susan James, “Calico Valley”

18. The Autumn Defense, “Estate Remains”

19. Braddock Station Garrison, “Johnny Stone Stole My Girlfriend”

20. The Big Believe, “Creatures”

21. LazyEye, “Katie Jones”

22. The Ramones, “Danny Says”

23. Teenage Fanclub, “Everything Flows” (Acoustic)

24. The Go-Betweens, “Surfing Magazines”

25. The Fad, “The Now Sound”

26. The Lads, “Neighborhood Kids”

27. New Hearts, “Just Another Teenage Anthem”

28. The Beau Brummels, “Laugh, Laugh”

29. The Nashville Ramblers, “The Trains”

30. Material Issue, “I’d Wait A Million Years.”

Highly Recommended New Releases By Baby Scream And The Crush

Baby Scream, Fan, Fan, Fan

Baby Scream, Fan Fan Fan: The prolific Juan Pablo Mazzola welcomed the new year by dropping 39 new tracks over three LPs — a proper long-player of 12 new tracks, and a gonzo 27 track collection of assorted odds and ends, medleys, radio theme songs and covers.

The proper long-player, Fan Fan Fan, finds Mazzola in great form — disgusted, bemused, sarcastic, wrenched in self-doubt, spitting out the occasional profanity, and seemingly not caring a bit whether you like him or not. Never mind, of course, since you’ll be singing along quite happily as Mazzola peppers his cynicism with pretty melodies and non-stop head-boppin’ hooks.

All of this is immediately apparent. The lead track is a pounding piece of rockin’ pop called “Everybody Sucks.” It says its peace in a whopping minute-thirty-four after kissing off the world and closing with the words “my life’s a joke.” This is followed, most naturally, by “Back To Douche,” a slow, skull-pounding bit of regret about life’s wrong roads taken, living the shallow life and ultimately embracing mediocrity with gusto. The “Loner” is exactly as advertised (he’s also a “loser, for good measure) and Mazzola uses the platform to rock real hard. We learn later that “Politicians r Bullies,” perhaps, in part, because they “have never been kissed” and because “nobody is trying to be their friend.”

In less deft hands, this approach would wear thin rather quickly. But Mazzola knows his way around an instrument or five, spikes the negativity repeatedly with wit, and genre hops with considerable ease.  “Haters Will Hate” thus processes that well-worn phrase through a swaying neo-psychedelic gauze and nice piano melody:

A bit later, the acoustic “I Don’t Wanna Wake Up From This Dream” mines similar sonic territory and attests to the power of well-executed simplicity:

Fan, Fan, Fan is the probably the most fun you will have getting pissed off all year. You can get it right here. You can get 27 track compilation, lovingly titled The Worst Of, right here. While you’re at it, check out a prior compilation, quite charmingly called Greatest Failures.

The Crush, Someone For YouThe Crush, Someone For You: This Seattle-based three-piece captured the second spot on my list of the Best EPs of 2014. So word of their latest EP, Someone For You, was greeted with high hopes, and it doesn’t disappoint.  delivers five hook-filled tracks of rockin’ pop in a similar vein as 2014’s Future Blimps. This is pretty basic stuff, with chiming, scratching, occasionally jangling guitars, pounding percussion and Kira Wilson’s confident, knowing, almost mischievous, vocals.

The title track kicks off the festivities with a riff that burrows its way relentlessly into consciousness until it gives way to a chorus that does the same. “Don’t Mind The Sunshine” jangles with the best of them, and morphs from time-to-time into stomping garage rock:

“Stomping” best describes the next two tracks — “Question” and “Your Regret” — both of which will have you boppin’ along happily from beginning to end. The closing track, “Disco Puke,” channels late-70s punk rock so effectively that you could have sworn you heard it blasting over a rickety PA back in the day.

Someone For You is guaranteed a spot on my 2015 “best of” list. Its that good. Get it, now, right here.

The Crush Deliver Powerpop Fun For Your Summer

The Crush

The Crush is a rocking indie pop band from Seattle. I featured them previously in a round-up of songs added recently to Pop That Goes Crunch radio.

Their new EP, Future Blimps, quite fittingly dropped on the first day of Summer. It consists of five hook-filled tracks alternating between somewhat stomping garage rock and jangling Power Pop. There is nothing fancy here, just eighteen minutes of bass-guitar-drums rock and roll that flies by in an instant. Its your perfect warm weather accompaniment.

Future Blimps kicks off with a stomper, “Never Gonna Stop,” that immediately announces Kira Wilson as a vocalist with whom to reckon quite seriously. Her pipes are sassy, self-assured and powerful throughout the EP, and wind seamlessly through its many riffs and rhythms:

The next track, “Around” is sinewy, head-swaying jangle pop. “Better and Better” takes us back to the garage and serves up four-minutes plus of blues-rock riffing ripped from the 60s.

The jangle makes a comeback on “Its Love,” where the guitars vie for sonic supremacy with Wilson’s varying vocal stylings:

The EP concludes its all-too-brief stay with “Nothing To Lose,” a bit of classic 70s-styled Power Pop:

Future Blimps is not intended to set the world on fire with innovation, but that’s perfectly fine. Its just fun rock and roll, and the hooks come at you full blast. Its quite a steal, at only $3. The band even cites The Nerves as one of their influences, and you can’t beat that.

 

 

Retro New Music Sunday

Here’s your weekend round-up of what’s new, cool and now spinning in rotation at Pop That Goes Crunch radio.

phonograph

phonograph — “Don’t Bring Me Down” — In days gone by, this band’s debut collection of radio-ready melodic guitar pop (titled simply, Vol 1) would have yielded an entire basketful of hit songs. So I added four of them to the station. “Don’t Bring Me Down” makes you think for a couple of minutes that its 1965 again. It brazenly breaks no new ground at all. It’s just a couple of guitars, some voices, a bass and some drums living together in perfect harmony:

Dropkick — “Halfway Round Again” — This bit of laid-back jangle pop also stops for a while in 1965, before the band applies a slightly more contemporary gloss to the track’s basic retro stylings:

The Cocktail Slippers, “You Give Me”: The Cocktail Slippers are stridently and unapologetically retro. This bit of foot-pounding, head-bopping call-and-response garage stomp fits perfectly into their oeuvre. You can hear the studio version right here, but also check out the very cool live version recorded on Valentine’s Day:

Andy Klingensmith, “Pangea”: This one appeared on Bandcamp just yesterday. “Bored, so here’s a new solo single,” said Klingensmith on his Facebook page. Well, then, let’s raise a glass to boredom! “Pangea” is beautiful acoustic psych-folk featuring just Klingensmith’s multi-layered voice and his guitars in the vein of his 2013 debut which yielded a song on my year-end Top 20 list. The short break beginning at about 1:13 is awfully pretty:

Static In Verona, “Bitter Branches”: Chicago-based musician Rob Merz plays and sings everything on a wonderfully eclectic album of dreamy, often symphonic pop with occasional electronic flourishes. Merz’ gorgeous vocals play off stunningly against the wall of sound in “Bitter Branches,” one of the more rocking tracks on Everything You Knew Before You Knew Everything:

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So there’a another five new tracks to sample on a Sunday, but this time with a decidedly retro twist. Listen, support the artists and check out Pop That Goes Crunch radio, where the playlist has grown to more than 1,100 songs, and will keep on growing.

 

We Will All Be Screaming For Joy: The Ice Cream Man Brings Sweet Treats To Pop That Goes Crunch Radio

Ice Cream Man Power Pop And More!

The blogroll to the right has long-included a link to the Ice Cream Man Power Pop And More blog.

For the past several months, the Ice Cream Man has been rocking the world with a weekly radio show spinning the finest in Power Pop, Mod, 60s, New Wave and Northern Soul tunes for discerning ladies and gentlemen from his perch out in Sweeden.

Now, The Ice Cream Man is coming to the US.

Pop That Goes Crunch radio is happy to announce that it will be airing The Ice Cream Man’s weekly show twice a week for your listening pleasure beginning on February 14. You can catch it every Friday night at 7 PM Pacific Standard Time (10 PM on the East Coast), and every Saturday morning at 8 AM Pacific Standard Time (11 AM on the East Coast).

What will you hear on this week’s broadcast?

Tracks from The Cry! (about whom I wrote recently, right here), The Jam (a favorite of mine for more than three decades), Owsley, and The Surf School Dropouts, not to mention a bevy of Northern Soul, the “brutal garage R’n’B” of The Beatpack, the “Aggressive Pop Supreme” of Trees and Timber, the Missouri punk-surf-pop of Popular Mechanics and the “bubblegum Fowley worship garage pop rock” of The Ketamines. And much, much more!

You can’t go wrong with that kind of eclectic line-up. So take an hour out of your week and check out The Ice Cream Man on Pop That Goes Crunch Radio, right here, every Friday night and/or Saturday morning. You will be glad you did.

Now Streaming — Pop The Goes Crunch Radio

records7

As a compliment to this blog, I launched my own on-line streaming radio station at Live365. It streams 24-7, and plays the music discussed on this blog, and a whole lot more.

The station profile says in summary form that it spins a lot of different types of melodically-driven rock ‘n roll — “Power Pop, New Wave, Indie rock, lo-fi, British Invasion, Garage Rock, Psychedelic, West Coast Pop, Baroque Pop, Chamber Pop, Brit Pop.”

More specifically, you will hear today’s best indie pop artists, particularly those that placed a track on my  Top 20 of 2013Eric Barao, The Sharp Things, Nick PiuntiAn American Underdog, Stephen Lawrenson, Wyatt Funderburk, Lisa Mychols, And The Professors, Vegas With Randolph, Bye Bye Blackbirds, etc. The artists featured in my recent Indie Pop Playlist post feature prominently, as do those in my earlier two posts on playlists I created and uploaded. Those can be found here and here.

You also will hear Power Pop dating to its inception in the 1970s, both well-known (The Raspberries, Big Star, The Plimsouls), and somewhat obscure (The Pranks, The Secrets*, Gary Charlson, The Shivvers).

Early New Wave and Punk Rock is prominently featured, and represented by the likes of Elvis Costello, The Clash, Blondie, The Jam, and Joe Jackson.

The alternative rock scene starting in the early-1980s checks in with R.E.M., The Replacements, Husker Du, The Pixies, Guided By Voices, and others.

There are also doses of 60s rock from The Beatles, The Kinks, The Small Faces, Manfred Mann, The Beach Boys, The Zombies, Love, The Move, The Creation, The Pretty Things, etc.

For good measure, you’ll also hear earlier trailblazing pioneers of melodically-driven rock — Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers.

So, stop by frequently. I plan to rotate tracks into the playlist — more than 44 hours long — from my personal library on a weekly basis. Just follow this link.

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