Friday, September 15, 2017

"Means" by Errant Boy

Over a month ago I devoted digital ink to a 2016 album by Scotland's Errant Boy.  The album was indeed worth my time and effort, but when discussing albums long past the release date, especially by artists involved in other musical ventures, one worries that perhaps the band won't make more music and one has gotten the readers unduly excited.  Fortunately, Errant Boy spares us that concern by releasing new song "Means".  It has an Postcard Records Orange Juice/Josef K sound with excellent dynamics and a pace that gets our blood moving.  And on Fridays, our blood needs moving.  Oh, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that it is a free download.  Thanks, Errant Boy.  Now write a few more; we are insatiable.







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Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Until We See The Sun" by Beauty Sleep


Introducing Cheylene Murphy, Ryan McGroaty, and Aimee Williamson, collectively known as Beauty Sleep.  We think their brand of upbeat, hook heavy synth and guitar pop is a welcome ray of sunshine on the scene.  A new EP, Nature Will Eat Me, is expected soon.  Meanwhile, you can enjoy their latest single, "Until We See The Sun".  Right here.  Right now.



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"Frostbeat" by Sad Palace

Whether Sad Palace are indeed sad, or whether they live in a palace, are questions we'll leave for another day (read: we hope no one asks us about it because we have no idea).  But the four-piece from Britain's south coast can be happy about how their latest single, "Frostbeat" turned out.  The song offers two sides to the band in one package.  After about three minutes of straight up melodic pop, a big guitar riff slams into the picture, grabbing the song and the listener (lovingly and, thankfully, figuratively) by the throat, and then dissolving.  Knowing how to make a memorable impression is important in this industry.  Well done, Sad Palace, well done.

"Frostbeat" is out now via Kissability.  Check your favorite digital outlet.




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"A Single Truth" by The Deportees

The Deportees are a five-piece from northeast Scotland that have proven quite adept at a brand of Celtic folk rock that tends towards the dramatic.  Their sound is full, layered and quite satisfying.  The band's debut album is titled The Birth of Industry and will be available on November 3.  The first single is the digitally released "A Single Truth", which thrills will rich harmonies, dark themes and insistent guitar lines.



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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cody Munro Moore - Perfume Nightmare


On Perfume Nightmare Cody Munro Moore shapes a post-punk soundscape with taut pop-rockers, '80s pop and a bit of house.  The hooks are plentiful and the songwriting clever and smooth.  And the Sydney musician's vocals, often reminiscent of The Cure's Robert Smith, are up to the task regardless of the genre at hand.  As always, we give extra credit for employing a sax, such as on "Just Don't Need It Enough" and "Night Scene".  You may be familiar with Cody's endeavors with Big White or New Lovers, but it doesn't matter if you aren't.  This album stands by itself and we think it marks a big win for Mr. Moore.

Perfume Nightmare is out as a digital download on September 15 via Moore's Dinosaur City Records.








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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Joy Cleaner - Total Hell


Your first question upon hearing Total Hell might be 'is this a compilations of hits from Joy Cleaner?'  Your second question may well be 'who the hell is Joy Cleaner?'  Fair enough, let's take the second question first.  Joy Cleaner is a power pop trio from New Jersey which includes Kyle Wilkerson of the late Makeout Vertigo.  Kyle and pals Joey and Cory display a knack for loading each track with wall-to-wall hooks and playing them with anthem-level energy.  As for the second question, to my knowledge this is their only album to date, but it is full of sharp-edged indie pop gems.  Good stuff at a good price!

Total Hell is available now in digital and CD formats from Jigsaw Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.







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"Strange Insistence" Gun Outfit

Hard-etched and deliciously textured western soundscapes with mystical musings, the music of LA's Gun Outfit is a special kind of musical treat.  Take a taste with "Strange Insistence" and then mark your calendars for the new album, Out of Range, the band's fifth.  The LP will be released on November 10 via Paradise Of Bachelors.



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Monday, September 11, 2017

Even As We Speak - The Black Forest


Once upon a time there was Sarah Records, on of the finest of the indie pop labels.  It was so beloved that in the wake of its sad demise its life has been celebrated in documentary and book form, and the label often is mentioned in reviews of records by current bands if they are deemed to have a style similar to the bands which released on Sarah.  The laudatory postmortems (well deserved, in our professional opinion) prompted renewed interest in some of the Sarah Records stable.  One of such bands is Sydney's Even As We Speak.  They played NYC Popfest last year, and with renewed energy returned to the studio to record their first record in a quarter century.  The resulting The Black Forest EP bears testament to the fact that the band has lost nothing in the intervening time.  From the achingly sweet opener through standout track "Such A Good Feeling" to the country-jam instrumental closer, it is clear that Even As We Speak can still thrill and inspire.  The five-song set is essential indie pop and we highly recommend it.  Get it now in vinyl, CD or digital format via Emotional Response Records.





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BMX Bandits - BMX Bandits Forever

Purveyors of bittersweet pop of high quality, BMX Bandits has been around long enough to now have released their tenth album.  Admittedly, that isn't an exceptionally high number for a band formed in 1985, but BMX Bandits have always lived via their own schedule.  The lineup has changed numerous times, with the constant being founder Duglas T. Stewart, who named the band with the expectation that they would be short-lived.  The cast of other performers over time have included, among others, members (or future members) of Teenage Fanclub, Superstar, Soup Dragons, Boy Hairdressers, The Vaselines and Eugenius.  BMX Bandits Forever does not contain any surprises for fans of the band, but that is intended as praise, not criticism.  The album contains a generous sixteen songs of the sort of guitar pop that those of us who admire the band expect and cherish.  With ace-colleagues such as Stuart Kidd and Anton Newcombe, the band offers classicn heart-on-the-sleeve music, with sunshine and regret never far from the surface, and plenty of humor and wry observations to keep the listener engaged.  When a band remains active this long, there is a good reason, and it is that it delivers what we need, and BMX Bandits Forever delivers.








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