Tuesday, 13 May 2014

PowerPop Review's Very Best of 2013 Albums – Part 1

As with many recent years there has been an over abundance of phenomenal music being made despite the fact that a large percentage of it is not being heard via commercial outlets. Those of us who have had rock music as the backdrop of our lives will continue to seek out the music we love despite the forlorn state of the music industry. On a positive note there are more places to discover music than ever before be it via sites like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, CDBaby, eMusic, independent music blogs & streaming music services.

This best of list reflects those particular albums that need to be heard. I had hoped for the list to be posted much sooner than this but I wanted to make sure that it was an accurate summation of those albums that were truly loved in addition to the ability of holding up in future time.

Hope some of you reading this list will fall in love with a musician and/or band's music, seek out their output and support them either by purchasing their music or seeing them perform.

Breaking with tradition, Mr Qwerty & I are publishing our best of lists separately for 2013 – this is mine.

PowerPop Review's Best of 2013 Pt1 - Top 10
Gary surveys the tip of the Top Ten
Top 10 in no particular order

01 Eric Barao - Eric Barao
02 Dark Ocean Colors - Close Enough to See
03 Ulysses - Kill You Again
04 Shake Some Action - Full Fathom Five
05 Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities
06 Split Sofa - Coloured Dream
07 Corin Ashley - New Lion Terraces

08 Groovy Uncle / Suzy ChunkOne Vowel Away From The Truth
09 Electric Soft Parade - Idiots

10 Mothboxer - Three

PowerPop Review's Best of 2013 - The Next Ten 

And the next ten:

11 Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs                                                - Under the Covers Volume 3

12 Grip Weeds - Inner Grooves

13 Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues

14 Contrast – A Sinister Flick

15 Stephen Lawrenson - Obscuriosity

16 Resonars- Crummy Desert Sound

17 Mikal Cronin – MC11

18 Schnauser - Where Business Meets Fashion

19 Michael Mazzarella -Love In Laureltide Green

20 House Of Love - She Paints Words In Red

PowerPop Review's Best of 2013 - The Rest

And the rest:

21 Ex-Norwegian – Crack
22 And The Professors – Our Post Mortem
23 Hot Nun – Hot Nun
24 Jo Dee Purkeypile – Messenger
25 Autumn Defense – Ten Full Paces
26 Beachwood Sparks – Desert Skies
27 Elephant Stone – Elephant Stone
28 Wiretree – Get Up
29 Robert Vincent – Life In Easy Steps (De-luxe issue)
30 Higher State – The Higher State
31 Sadies – Internal Sparks
32 The Green Pajamas – November
33 Steve Cradock – Travel Wild Travel Free
34 Brendan Benson – You Were Right
35 Nines – The Nines
36 Grapes of Wrath – Good To See You
37 Richard X. Heyman – X
38 Alfa 9 – Gone To The Ground
39 Any Version Of Me – We Are You
40 Dom Mariani and the Majestic Kelp – Turn Up The Sun
41 8 x 8 – Azalea's Room
42 Dutch Barn – Didn't Suit Me Anyway
43 Brother Kite – Model Rocket

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Radio Days - Get Some Action

This is Pop - Yeah Yeah!

Italian Pop Punks Radio Days have regrouped, remodelled and refashioned themselves as something radically different to their original mid 2000's blueprint. The catchy appeal and trademark precision is still strongly evident, but they've blunted the edges of their Ramonesque short snappy pop, relaxed the razor-sharp edges and endings, and replaced it with a purposeful nod, if not march, to a early Merseybeat.

In an attempt for wider appeal to a bigger audience the band have almost wiped the slate clean of the shake 'em up of old and settled for an altogether sweeter and cosier approach - sure you can't blame them - obscurity doesn't pay the bills - but it takes some adjustment. Especially if you revel in their previous identity where they would mix excellent covers like The Beat's 'Rock and Roll Girl' with stellar originals like 'Brand New Life'.

Of course Beatle references have always peppered their work, but perhaps there's a bit more work-a-day Formost & Swinging Blue Jeans than there is Fab Four. Having said all that, there's no denying that their most serious bid for crossover appeal pulls no punches in its clear intentions. Title track and potential single 'Get Some Action' proudly proclaims in its refrain “Yeah yeah yeah yeah ye-ah, one direction, get some action, now” blatantly mixing its Fabs and its cheesy boy bands in one delicious sing-a-long chorus. Certainly the video promoting the same pulls out all the stops – it looks expensive yet not wasteful – it's cutely modern but with retro styling – so maybe it's time for some proper success?