Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

Archive for the tag “music”

Late Summer Round-Up, Volume 2

This second edition of my late summer round-ups discusses two releases steeped in the Southern California sound of the past, but which are far from being mere retro projects.

William DukeWilliam Duke, The Dark Beautiful Sun: Duke’s second solo outing is aptly titled as it frequently combines, or moves effortlessly between, beauty and sadness, melancholy and joy and darkness and light over the course of eleven finely honed tracks. The overall sound evokes the Laurel Canyon scene of the late-60s and early 70s, with elements of country, folk, and psychedelia playing off against Duke’s higher register lead vocals and the gorgeous harmonies that wind their way through many of the songs. Identifying an artist’s actual influences is always a somewhat subjective endeavor but, undoubtedly, the work of at least some of the artists mentioned in the article linked above played a role in the creation and shaping of The Dark Beautiful Sun.

Duke begins the album with a two hook-filled tracks, both of which are marked by instantly catchy guitar riffs. The riff in the opener, “The Golden Ring,” veers back and forth in a manner that will stick in your head unconsciously for days. The title track takes a subtler approach, its basic riff giving way to a mellower vibe supported by endlessly creamy harmonies:

“Many Years Away” is, mostly, a mild, Western-tinged stomper about loss and regret, with its two pieces separated by a minute-long break featuring a rather pretty guitar solo. “Just Lookin’ For Some Sleep” jangles endlessly, and quite beautifully. Duke’s bright vocals give his cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s Vietnam-war era song, “Summer Side Of Life,” even more tension than the original as it contrasts “green fields” and “young girls everywhere” with “young men   . . . goin’ off to fight.” “Your Laughter Fills The Room” tackles the pain of still vivid memories as Duke sings in the chorus “there’s a storm that’s coming soon/as your laughter fills the room/and our dear friends they can’t seem turn away.” The album fades away with the quietly soaring instrumental, “1977.”

While the Dark Beautiful Sun is certainly rooted in particular place and time, it nevertheless feels quite contemporary. You can get this timeless collection of terrific pop songs either digitally, on CD or on vinyl via Bandcamp, and I highly recommend that you check it out immediately.

 

High Desert Fires

High Desert Fires, Light Is The Revelation. High Desert Fires is a six-piece band hailing from Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles County. Their debut EP, Light Is The Revelation, was recorded in mono and mixed to analog tape. Leader Chris Traynor describes the work as a “spiritual” inspired by the Southern California landscape, particularly the chaparral that dot its hillsides.

The lead track, Azrael, blows in (literally) with desert wind and imparts a comforting vibe over four-and-a-half minutes. The next track, “Fernwoods,” is an early-70’s-styled track, with strings, horns and pitch perfect male-female harmonies:

“High Desert Fires” starts as a quiet rumination. It ends as a mid-tempo R&B instrumental. “Shemahazi” exists suspended in a hazy, drifting dreamscape. “Metaphysical Fight Song” is marked by muscular choir-like vocals and a symphonic backing track. The final track, “Dead Sparrows,” grafts grand orchestration onto a pop song about the cycle of life.

Light Is The Revelation makes its case in barely twenty minutes, and succeeds over-and-over-again. That’s hardly enough, however. The EP leaves you wanting a whole lot “more,” which means that the band has done its job quite well. You can get it on iTunes.

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.”

New And Noteworthy Nuggets By The Jeanies, Trees and Timber and The Fad

The Jeanies

Here’s a short rundown of new and noteworthy rockin’ pop nuggets that came across my virtual desk in recent days.

The Jeanies: “Amilee”/”Bad Side”: The Jeanies’ 2014 self-titled debut long-player nicely captured old-school Power Pop, with occasional nods to traditional rock ‘n’ roll, a stick or two of bubblegum and a whole lot of vintage 70’s sonics.

That recipe is in fine form on the band’s recently released digital single. “Amilee” is a muscular rocker about romantic perseverance even when she’s “slippin’ through my hands, again.” The flip side, “Bad Side,” is a slower, jangling r&b number featuring Joey Farber’s sweet, strong vocals and a very cool guitar flourish at about the 2:10 mark:

“Amilee”/”Bad Side” is highly recommended, and makes the band’s sophomore long-player highly anticipated. You can get the single, along with an early acoustic demo of “Amilee,” right here.

Trees and Timber, “Good Is In The Graveyard”/Official Music Video: Great rockin’ pop emanates from the Pacific Northwest these days, and Trees and Timber is among the region’s finest purveyors of the form. The band’s 2014 release, Hello My Name Is Love, is a stellar collection of pop tunes enlivened by occasionally biting humor.

The release of a fun music video for “Good Is In The Graveyard,” a rather catchy track from Hello My Name Is Love, presents a good opportunity to spread the word about a band that is deserving of attention. You can explore Hello right here. You can watch the video for “Good Is In The Graveyard” directly below:

The Fad, The Now Sound: This is not new at all. Its a collection of lost tracks recorded more than  three decades ago by “a three-piece Mod/Power Pop group who often dressed in ‘Star Trek’-type outfits” and whose 6 song EP was unfortunately “marred by the fact that their producer strong-armed them into speeding up the vocal tracks to almost Chipmunk-like speed.”

Sounds absolutely horrible, right? It’s actually one of the coolest things you will hear this year. Kool Kat Musik has resurrected 12 songs by the band, slowed the vocals to normal speed and unleashed this authentic bit of Mod revivalism on the unsuspecting. This is hip-shaking, head-bopping stuff. Try, for example, to sit still through “The Now Sound.” It’s physically impossible:

The same thing can be said about most of the tracks on this thirty-five minute collection. There is nothing even remotely innovative or groundbreaking here, but who cares? This is just good, clean fun from a bygone era of sharp, immediate and “to the point” songcraft. Start bopping along to “Broken Hearts” right here, and jump over to Kool Kat Musik and get The Now Sound.

Stereo Tiger: More Great Rockin’ Pop From Michigan

Stereo Tiger - Two Weeks

I wrote recently that some of the very best music these days comes to us from the state of Michigan. Indeed, artists based in the state liberally populated my year-end “best of” lists for 2014, which you can peruse here, here and here.

This month brings yet another fine offering from the state in the form of Stereo Tiger’s debut long-player (they previously released a pair of EPs), Two Weeks. This will easily make my year-end list. In fact, it likely will make my Top 10 since it is hard to imagine that ten LPs will be released this year offering a better combination of songwriting, vocals, musicianship and production than Two Weeks.

Stereo Tiger is less than two-years old, having emerged from a series of impromptu jam sessions involving three of the four band members. Nevertheless, Two Weeks reveals a band with a great deal of self-assurance. Instead of starting the festivities with a rousing, upbeat number designed to hook the listener immediately, Two Weeks begins with the slow burn of “Magic Balloon,” whose soaring harmonies perfectly compliment its psych-rock underpinnings. Distinctly 70’s-styled keyboards announce the next track, “Perfect World,” a bit of (almost) lite rock that would be a massive hit in a more perfect world.

High-gear kicks in by the third track, “Open Up Your Eyes,” which is propelled by an instantly memorable guitar riff and pitch-perfect harmonizing. It nabbed the lead spot on the current installment of my semi-weekly podcast of rockin’ pop nuggets, The Big Show, which attests to its greatness:

“Open Up Your Eyes” is followed by the relentlessly pounding “Runaway,” whose chorus sounds like something blasting from dozens of car stereos one summer back in the day. That doesn’t make it retro. It is, as the band says in a different context on its website, “both familiar and fresh.” Coupled with “Open,” the two tracks deliver a rather potent back-to-back, six minutes of rockin’ pop:

The hits don’t, however, stop there. “Philly Girl” sways along brilliantly, and seemingly without effort. “Did You Ever Love Me” is a hook-laden rocker about romantic disappointment that will have you singing along immediately. Two Weeks closes with an aching ballad, “I Do I Don’t,” which underscores Stereo Tiger’s fluency with a broad range of sounds and textures.

The thirty-eight minutes of music on Two Weeks fly by in what feels like a couple of moments. Nowhere near a bum track is present in the eleven-song collection. Sonic kudos also are in order for Andy Reed and Glenn Brown, who recorded and mastered Two Weeks, respectively. Not only does Two Weeks sound great, but the music goes bang when it needs to go bang, and pulls back nicely when a more subtle attack is in order.

All I can say at this point is: Run as fast as you can and get Two Weeks now, either here or here.

Great New Music Abounds: The Big Show, Season 2, Show 5

The Big Show This action-packed episode of The Big Show is overflowing with new music. Of particular note are three artists whose songs, albums (or both) are destined to find their way onto my year-end lists for 2015:

Love Axe kicks off the show with “Only Gonna Tear You Apart,” a hook-filled track, with a bit of “call and response harmonizing,” from their wonderful South Dakota long-player — one of the finest albums released so far this year.

Propeller’s “You Remind Me Of You” made my Top 30 songs list last year. Their new single, “Wish I  Had Her Picture,” may be the band’s best song to date, with its sweet and smooth vocal harmonies nicely complimenting its bouncy rhythm. Look for this one in my Top 10 for 2015; its that good.

Nick Piunti’s Beyond The Static LP somehow manages to up the ante on 13 In My Head which, in retrospect, could very well have been my favorite long-player of 2013. “Head In The Clouds” is third song from Static to be played on The Big Show. Its a pitch-perfect, mid-tempo guitar rocker punctuated by Piunti’s typically fabulous vocals.

But, wait, there’s a whole lot more great new music for your listening pleasure in this season’s fifth show.

The Kurt Baker Combo tear the roof off the house with a blistering live version of Leiber and Stoller’s “Love Potion No. 9.” Dot Dash infuse their immensely catchy “Rainclouds” with a bit of old school punk rock swagger to great effect. Los Breakdowns deliver traditional Power Pop via the late-70’s with “Off The Record” from their wonderfully titled LP, Rock ‘N Roller Skates.

A bunch of 60’s styled rockin’ pop is featured prominently in the fifth show. Those mad scientists of the four-track recorder, Dr. Cosmo’s Tape Lab, check in with some 60’s swing on “Time Enough For Love.” Grab a cocktail by the pool with this one. Roger Houdaille, recording as Plastic Macca, takes the lo-fi 60’s approach in a decidedly different direction with the rocking and rollicking “Art” from one of his two recently released LPs. Smile Factory, a “pop collective,” contribute perfectly updated British Invasion pop on “There She Is.” The Zags deliver some understated 60’s-styled pop with subtle psych undertones on “Messin’ Around” from their rather tasty, recently released self-titled LP.

New music is rounded out by Caddy, making its second consecutive appearance on The Big Show, with the beautiful and swaying “Bring It Back” from an upcoming LP, and by The Surf School Dropouts whose “Should Have Known Better” features sparkling harmonies and a slinky, instantly memorable guitar riff. The entire twenty-seven song tracklist can be found 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.  Love Axe, “Only Gonna Tear You Apart”

2.  Plastic Macca, “Art”

3.  Los Breakdowns, “Off The Record”

4.  Dot Dash, “Rainclouds”

5.  The Electric Mess, “There’s Nothing You Can Do”

6.  The Zags, “Messin’ Around”

7   Propeller, “Wish I Had Her Picture”

8.  Smile Factory, “There She Is”

9.  Caddy, “Bring It Back”

10. David Bowie, “I Dig Everything”

11. Lisa Mychols, “Its As Easy As 1, 2, 3”

12. Nancy Sinatra, “I Move Around”

13. Josh Woodward, “The Rival Within”

14. Elliott Smith, “Let’s Get Lost”

15. Brandon Schott, “Fire Season”

16. Surf School Dropouts, “Should Have Known Better”

17. Scott Brookman, “She Smiled At Me”

18. Dr. Cosmo’s Tape Lab, “Time Enough For Love”

19. Kurt Baker Combo, “Love Potion #9”

20. The Woggles, “I Got A Line On You”

21. Generation X, “Ready, Steady, Go”

22. Chris Church, “Absolutely Nothing”

23. Nick Piunti, “Head In The Clouds”

24. John Holk & The Sequins, “If She Were You”

25. Carousels, “For You (Sha La La)”

26. The Rooks, “Music Sound Sensation”

27. Cliff Hillis, “End The Telemarketing”

The Big Show, Season 2, Show #2

Vintage Hi-FiSeason 2 of The Big Show rolled on with 25 rockin’ pop tracks, including new music by The New Trocaderos, Watts, Timmy Sean, The Popguns, Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms, One Like Son, Gretchen’s Wheel, etc., etc., etc.

A set late in the show featured a bit of vintage “mod,” a track from the mod revival of the early-80s and the contemporary mod-inspired stylings of Muscle Souls.

As is customary, the complete tracklist appears after the embed.

Play this one loud, and tune in frequently to Pop That Goes Crunch radio, spinning the best of seven decades of melodic rock ‘n roll 24/7.

Tracklist:

1.  The New Trocaderos, “Luckiest Man In The World”

2.  The Electric Mess, “Lemonade Man”

3.  Watts, “Flying Over With Bombs”

4.  Timmy Sean, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

5.  Luzer, “Hard Luck Woman”

6.  Chris Richards and the Subtractions, “No Action”

7.  Faerground Accidents, “She Makes Me Want To Die”

8.  The Popguns, “City Lights”

9.  The June Brides, “Just The Same”

10. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms, “Looking Forward To Looking Back”

11. One Like Son, “New American Gothic”

12. Baby Scream, “Back To Douche”

13. Lewis Wilson, “Manhattan Skies”

14. The Hangabouts, “She Hates You”

15. Gretchen’s Wheel, “Second To Last”

16. Mothboxer, “Laughing Out Loud”

17. Jonathan Rundman, “Flying On A Plane”

18. Jessepop [With The Weebees], “Johan & Elliott”

19. Muscle Souls, “Soul Down”

20. The Untouchables, “Free Yourself”

21. St. Louis Union, “East Side Story”

22. Dum Dum Girls, “Evil Blooms”

23. The Alarms, “Make It Better”

24. Quitty & The Don’ts, “Running Out Of Time”

25. The Crush, “Don’t Mind The Sunshine”

Big Rock ‘N Roll From Watts And One Like Son

Rumors of the death of rock ‘n roll are greatly exaggerated. Want proof? Check out these two recent releases.

Watts Flash Of White Light

Watts, Flash Of White Light: Once upon a time, real rock ‘n roll could be heard anywhere and everywhere – AM radio, picnics, barbecues, shopping centers, sporting events, etc. It was part of the fabric of daily life, particularly when its practitioners spiked their guitar and drum attacks with liberal doses of big left and right hooks.

On its third long-player, Flash Of White Light, Boston’s Watts unabashedly and unapologetically summon those days gone by and deliver forty minutes of blistering rock ‘n roll tempered by the occasional slower burn to keep the heat at least somewhat manageable.

The band’s basic approach is spelled out in the title track, which kicks off the festivities: “Don’t get excited/hold on tight/blazing guitars and a flash of white light,” begins the chorus in delivering a perfect statement of purpose:

“Wasted Angels” provides a nice excuse to pump one, or both, of your fists in the air while singing happily along. “Rocks” sounds precisely as advertised, particularly if you think about a mid-70’s album of the same name issued by a rather successful Boston-based band. As is also to be expected, “Ghosts On The Dancefloor” has a great beat, and you can dance to it!

The less rousing tracks on Flash Of White Light are no less successful. “Wrapped Like Candy” slowly makes its case for more than three minutes before descending into a long fade-out. “Sidewinder” plays like a missing track from Exile On Main Street. “Flying Over With Bombs” nicely sound checks “Sweet Child O’ Mine”:

The guys in Watts know they are not producing wildly original sounds. They even joke about it on “Trick,” which closes the eleven-song set by beginning: “We wrote this song today/you thought you heard it play when you were younger.”

Indeed, we did. So what? Its only rock ‘n roll, but I like it. A lot.

Get it here.

One Like Son

One Like Son, New American Gothic: “Each song from the album ‘New American Gothic’ was written and recorded in 1 week during the 52 Weeks Songwriting Project,” says the band’s page on Bandcamp. If you dig deeper on Bandcamp, you also will find an album called 52 Weeks, which contains the fifty-two (!) songs from which the thirteen tracks on New American Gothic were culled.

One Like Son is largely a project of Stephen Poff, with the able assistance of Clinton Kirby on bass, Brian Seagraves on piano, and Ryan Fennell on drums. The band received a bunch of press a few years ago for producing an “entire album on an iPhone.”

Everything on New American Gothic screams “big.” The guitars are loud and full. The drums pound relentlessly. Poff’s vocals are strong and emphatic throughout. Even better is that New American Gothic is also chock full of great songs.

The title track is a pounding five-minute story of enduring modern romance between “the misfits and the preachers’ daughters.” Its chorus will ring around your head for quite some time:

“Punk Rock Prom Queen” explores a similar theme — love will protect you against the scoffing of small-minded conformists. Its doppelganger,”Sister Mary (Got Her Gun),” is completely un-serious Power Pop featuring this rather nice sing-along verse: “Bang bang went her gun/bang bang no more fun/bang bang turn and run/no one’s safe cause she’s mad as hell tonight.” “What Momma Knew” is a head-bopping bit of rockin’ pop about the transcendent power of rock and roll and Star Wars. If all else fails, of course, you can always “close your eyes and live inside your head”:

New American Gothic does not try to break any new stylistic ground. Instead, One Like Son deliver thirteen examples of finely crafted, big sounding, melodic rock ‘n roll. You can’t beat that. Get it here, and play it loud.

The Big Show: Season 2, Show #1

Old consoleThe “second season” of our roughly bi-weekly round-up of the finest rockin’ pop tunes from across the planet kicked off with a basket full of new music for your distinct listening pleasure. New, and relatively new, music was represented by Jonathan Rundman, Mothboxer, The Sharp Things, The Little Secrets, Yorktown Lads, Hidden Pictures, The Hangabouts and Samuel Justice. We snuck in a set that followed “Okinawa Girl” by Joe Sullivan and “Japanese Dancer” by Aerial with Kurt Baker’s raucous version of “Turning Japanese.” We played a Big Star original and an acoustic cover of a Big Star’s “Life Is Right” by The Well Wishers back-to-back. James Brown even made his debut hereabouts with his classic track, “Out Of Sight.” As always, the complete tracklist appears below the embed. Pop That Goes Crunch radio streams 24/7 right here. Your e-mails are always welcome at popgoescrunch@gmail.com.

Tracklist:

1.  Jonathan Rundman, “The Science Of Rockets”

2.  Mothboxer (Featuring Finchey), “I’m Working”

3.  The Sharp Things, “Everything Breaks”

4.  The Little Secrets, “All I Need”

5.  Yorktown Lads, “Anna Borg”

6.  Hidden Pictures, “Hannah, I’m Scared Of Your Boyfriend”

7.  Trees and Timber, “Eskimo Sun”

8.  Matthew Shacallis, “Tell Me Girl”

9.  Richard Snow And The Inlaws, “Middle Class Girl”

10. Woolens, “The End of All of Everything”

11. The Person & The People, “NYC Freakout”

12. Yorktown Lads, “Something to Write About”

13. The Hangabouts, “November”

14. The Merrymakers, “April’s Fool”

15. The Dead Girls, “Better Wait”

16. Samuel Justice, “Sign My Name”

17. The Cheap Seats, “Caroline, Yes”

18. Joe Sullivan, “Okinawa Girl”

19. Aerial, “Japanese Dancer”

20. Kurt Baker, “Turning Japanese”

21. Big Star, “Watch The Sunrise”

22. The Well Wishers, “Life Is Right”

23. James Brown, “Out of Sight”

24. The Jam, “Beat Surrender”

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: