California has always been a good place for powerpop, and this is no exception. Opening song “And Such And Such” displays great songwriting skills from the start and reminds me a bit of DRAMARAMA. “Easy Come Easy Go” mixes 60s garage to 70s punk rock energy, a song like “Another Day” won’t have any problems to stay stuck in your head, and you won’t resist dancing to “My Camaro (Have Some Fun)”! The band even flirts with psych pop on “Purple Microdot”, and while “The Longer I Wait” could fit somewhere between FLESH FOR LU LU and LOVE AND ROCKETS, the spirit of ELVIS COSTELLO is never too far (“Let Love In”, “Two Pillows”…) These guys also know how to surprise us: When you could expect a BEATLES cover, the band chose to offer us their own version of The STONES” “Time Is On My Side”!
No wonder why people like Little Steven Van Zandt and Michael De Barres said good things about The FORTY NINETEENS! /Laurent C.
This is the first song from Spencer Robinson and the Wolf Spiders’ new record “Beneath the Surface,” out in November on Rusty Knuckles Records. This is a song about one night drinking in a bar in Los Angeles that resulted in a couple of fights and some broken bottles. It’s about the things people sometimes say and do when they’re fueled by alcohol.
BRAT FARRAR‘s 7″ “Being With You” was quite a good surprise last year. Here he is back with a 10 song album released by Off The Hip Records on CD, and Kizmiaz Records on vinyl.
“On Your Mind” opens this album in a straight noisy punk way, as if The PXIES did speed for breakfast! The 90s alternative rock influence is still strong in songs like “Make You Mine”, “When I Wake”, “Last Summer”, or “Try To Get Away” and its SONIC YOUTH feel.
At times, some songs get more experimental/shoegazey (“Sugar Coloured Dream” and “Downtown”), and it all gets very interesting when BRAT FARRAR explore darker territories (“Never Gonna Go”, “Waiting For You To Call”) in which 80s synths mix with alternative rock. You’ll even get a surf rock’n’roll touch in “And You Know It Now”! If you miss noisy pop and need to listen to something new in that style, then look no further! /Laurent C.
MAGIC EIGHT BALL delivers an interesting mix of modern rock and 80s/90s influenced alternative rock, including big metal riffs, boogie drum beats in “Keep Me Out Of The Sunshine”, good vocal melodies, and dark atmospheres close to bands like TOOL at times, especially in “Falling In Love’s Like A Vampire.”
Some ENUFF Z NUFF influences can be heard in “She’s Leaving”, and “Once Again”, so it’s not surprising to learn that Donnie Vie was a guest on their previous album, both bands share a common interest in BEATLES influenced vocal melodies. MAGIC EIGHT BALL might come from Southern England, but they know how to sound sunny on songs like “Dying To Say” or “Tomorrow Can Wait.”
The band also released a live album, “Richest Men In The Dolls House”, in which you can hear the raw side of the band better, and singer Baze Francis also has a live EP out “Live at Molly Malone’s”, so you’ll undoubtedly find something to your tastes./Laurent C.
Lipstick, an independent theatrical rock band from Nashville, TN, has just released their first music video: an homage to Conan O’Brien that pleads with him to invite the band to be his musical guest.
“Conan O’Brien has always been a hero of mine,” states lead vocalist and principal songwriter, Greg Troyan, “I’ve been watching his show since I was thirteen years old. When he moved to LA to follow his dreams, it gave me hope and inspiration to move to Nashville to follow mine. He helped give me hope that dreams can come true. His words of ‘work hard and be kind’ is a mantra I truly believe in. So, I decided to write a song, telling him that I think he’s cool and that I’d like to appear on his show, because it’s always been a dream of mine.”
“We’re a positive band. We sing songs about rock n roll, time travel, true love, and following your dreams. We hope that this song spreads a little more positivity out there. Also, our mascot is an awesome dancing cat, and who doesn’t love awesome dancing cats?”
The band is asking its fans to tweet their new music video at Conan O’Brien on twitter (@ConanOBrien) and to use the hashtag #TheConanSong.
“We’re an indie band. We don’t have major label support, we’re young and hungry and out there trying to make our dreams come true, so we’re just trying to get Conan to notice us. We’re confident in the quality of what we do, and we think Conan will love the video…and so will you!”
Third album for French songwriter BILLY THE KILL as a solo artist (he also plays in 70s hard rock/90s power pop influenced band BILLY GAZ STATION and is also part of SIMON CHAINSAW’s backing band.)
Opening in a stripped down folk way with “The World Is Yours”, which title already sounds as a promise, BILLY THE KILL quickly gets caught back by melancholy with “Everything In Past Is True”, reminding a bit of the STEREOPHONICS.
In the manner of Lenny Kravitz, our boy Billy plays almost every instrument on these 10 songs, and there sure has some KRAVITZ traces in “Somewhere In My Mind” and in “The Hardest Is a Better Way To Begin.”
Billy also gives a second birth to one of his catchiest old tunes, “I Can Write Some Songs”, and will surprise you with two unexpected covers: “Les Lendemains Qui Chantent” from French cult band LES THUGS, and “Holy Diver” ( a very personal, yet astounding version!) as a tribute to Ronnie James DIO.
On this album -which is also his best produced so far- Billy’s 90s indie/grungy/power pop influences mostly show on the rockin’ and DINOSAUR JR. sounding “Self-Destruction Ambition”; and as the album slowly gets to the end, you can only think that “An Open Book With Spelling Mistakes” is a very successful exploration of Billy’s musical/cultural world, an illustration of moods and emotions… and most importantly, always keeping things pop. Laurent C.