BABY SCREAM is back with a collection of old demos, covers and songs that were never used. Opener “Britney Has Left The Building” is a kickass powerpop song with vocals reminding a bit of DINOSAUR JR., a song that was released on a Swedish compilation in 2016. “Cheap Perfume” is an acoustic demo with a very soothing atmosphere while “Fuck This!” is a crazy grunge song with NIRVANA guitars. Speaking of NIRVANA, you’ll also find an interesting cover of “I Hate Myself and I Want To Die.” The cover of Gene Simmons‘ “See You Tonite” has been reworked as a psychedelic pop song and it works really well while the new version of “Mars” displays more BOWIE and BEATLES influences and “Underworld” has a bit of a T.REX/Nikki Sudden vibe. “Plastic Jesus” is a folk song that Paul Newman sang in “Cold Hand Luke and it has been given a cool RAMONES treatment. Finally, “Guts” closes the album in a beautiful way, mixing superb pop and electronic elements. If you haven’t heard BABY SCREAM before, this compilation record will work well as a first encounter. /Laurent C.
American powerpop band The POPRAVINAS are back with a 4th album. Influenced by bands like The REPLACEMENTS, they give a lot of importance to the melodies in their music as you can hear in “Do The Creep” or in “Is There Anybody, Anywhere But Here?” The POPRAVINAS also have an americana (almost country side) in songs like “Self Made Derecho” or “Fade Out.” It sometimes feels like The STONES are jammin’ with SOUL ASYLUM when you listen to “Feasibility Holdout” or “Minor Resistance” and you’ll hear a Western saloon atmosphere in “Bunkin’ In Reno”! A song like “Might Want Out” has a 90s indie vibe, you can easily picture REM playing it while “Zoom To The Ocean” and “Who Started That” both take us to 60s/early 70s California. If you look for a cool summer album with solid songwriting, then look no further! /Laurent C.
When I started writing reviews a couple of years ago I decided I was going to write about stuff that I love, I just like the idea of promoting music I fall in love with. Some years ago when I was still living in Argentina I discovered Kurt Baker’s music by following some Power Pop blogs, been a fan since then.
When I moved to Spain I thought I was going to catch him live and I did, twice. So when I went to his last show I bought “After Party” and to be honest I can’t stop listening to it. I know for sure this is going to be personal favourite, mainly because you don’t get to buy albums that are 100 % perfect in the year 2021.
This dude carries the flag of amazing old school Power Pop, it’s The Records, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dwight Twilley and The Flamin’ Groovies all rolled up into one. Of course there’s the beatlesque twist, go and listen to “Waiting For You”, if he wanted to create that atmosphere, then he nailed it with a 1960’s vibe.
I wouldn’t know where to start describing this album because it is literally composed of 12 hits, period. It’s a nonstop dream of Pop bliss and I can’t decide which song is the one that I like the most because it starts with an explosive gem like “New Direction” and the Punk attitude of “I Like Her a Lot”, somewhere in the middle you get some brilliant mid tempo underground inspired song like “Good”, almost mysterious, btw, the album is filled with some kind of monologues that are brilliant.
While driving my car a few days ago I told my wife that “Over You” was my personal favourite here,(that was before listening to the whole album like 50 times) because it has this 1980s hook that is epic”.
Something that is occurring to me since I don’t have that much time to pay attention to albums is that I just listen to them without getting to know the names of the songs, so it makes sense that every time “A Song and Drink” was played in my car I immediately wanted to drink red wine, this could have been a “Burt Bacharach” song, easily.
Kurt sings some kind of apology letter to somebody in “Should Have Been The One” and he says that he “can’t change his ways”, maybe he shouldn’t.
This album is a complete masterpiece for the 21st century, a horrible era for real Rock and Roll, glad to know that some people are still that good and I can still become a fan. /Juan Pablo Mazzola.
Montreal-based rock’n’rollers Jonesy are releasing a new video for their anti-Record Store Day song, to be featured on their upcoming album. Here’s their statement:
“ We only have despise for that ludicrous hypocritical farce that is record store day. Very few record stores don’t play that sell out game, and most of them survived the 90’s and early 00’s because of people who don’t even shop on that day. We wouldn’t care if it wasn’t for the consequences of the thing: big delays for music that actually matters in pressing plants (nope, your expensive U2 repress doesn’t matter), and ridiculous prices on both records and press orders. Not to mention all the idiots who are after pricey collectables instead of music. In other words, Record Store Day is for losers.”
The song is from the forthcoming Jonesy 2nd LP, to be released later this year on Dead Beat Records.
The SPEEDWAYS offer us 5 covers on 10″ vinyl. HANOÏ ROCKS‘ classic “11th Street Kids” sounds very similar to the original version, maybe a little more laid back, still a great opener! On the other hand, ABBA‘s marvellous hit “SOS” sounds like a cool a power pop song here, good job! Same thing with KRISTY MACCOLL‘s “They Don’t Know” which naturally becomes a SPEEDWAYS song. BILLY OCEAN‘s “Love Really Hurts” is given an early punk powerpop treatment that makes it almost sound like a BITERS song while ROKY ERICKSON‘s “Starry Eyes” is powered-up and really works well as such too. We all know we need to listen to a record like this these days, a real sunbeam in Covid times! /Laurent C.
After multiple singles, EPs, tours, van breakdowns, floors slept on, more tours and a pandemic, RAVAGERS debut full length, “Badlands” will finally see the light of day in September 2021.
Their second single “Down That Road”, a fine mix of powerpop and ’77 punk rock and their full length “Badlands”will be released in the US by Spaghetty Town Records and in Germany with Wanda Records.
“First Hits Free”, TOMMY RAY!‘s first album was just released one year ago and here he is again with 11 new powerpop hits. “In Love Again” opens on a melancholic teenage note before hand claps and JERRY LEE LEWIS piano take over in the catchy “No No No”. Third song “On My Wall” slow things down and brings a romantic touch to the album before it quickly fades and let “One Step Closer” brings more sun and fun while “Closer/School Daze” keeps us pogoing and partying (“I don’t care what they say, every day is saturday!”) with its ’77 punk chorus. The JOHNNY THUNDERS influence can especially be heard in “Beer, Wine & Whisky” while “Feel The Pain” will take you to the 60s and “Loser’s Anthem” and its slight new wave touch will make you dance for less than 3 minutes. “If You Need Anything” and “Runnin'” will probably bring The CRY to your mind if you were into them, check them out if you haven’t yet! The last song “I Didn’t Do It” has a bit of this early HANOÏ ROCKS thing to it that will leave you wanting more. The physical version of the album will be released in April. /Laurent C.
Although The GREAT AFFAIRS released a few albums in the past, it seems like their 2018 album “Ten & 2” was a fresh new start for them. After a handful of singles, The GREAT AFFAIRS are back with a full album. Opening track “I’m Alright” shows that the band still has one feet in classic rock’n’roll and the other one in powerpop. “Believe In Ghosts” has all the fine melodies and hooks to be radio hit or a movie soundtrack while “Lyvia” could please every AOR fan reading this (if there’s any!) The bands’s music sometimes gets close to BRYAN ADAMS (“High On Rose”) and can also be emotionally quiet (“In The Wreckage”, “Worn Out Souls” or “Three-Leaf Clover” that reminds me of The BLACK CROWES) but you’ll also hear a bit of 70s AEROSMITH in “Light Years” or in “The Ride” and some Southern rock in “Satellite.” These guys probably have listened to LED ZEPPELIN as much as CHEAP TRICK so you can imagine that they can’t go wrong. /Laurent C.