Since July 25 the International Pop Overthrow Festival has been happening in various clubs in the Los Angeles area. For those of you close enough to attend it's not too late as it will continue until August 9.
I'm not fortunate enough to be attending this one in person so I've been checking out as many bands as I can online to get an idea of what I missed. There are close to 100 bands playing in less than 2 weeks so it has taken quite a bit of time to plow through and decide which ones really impress. If any readers out there were lucky enough to have attended any of the shows I would appreciate feedback in the comments section.
The first band that caught my attention, 'Nushu' are reminiscent of the Go Gos, Veruca Salt and an early, looser, Bangles. One song called 'Spill' has the manic energy of the Ramones crossed with the Go Gos. Another, 'Pop Sound' is almost a Radio Jingle for the genre we love. If I was DJ somewhere on the airwaves, I'd certainly use it. This band made IPO festival organizer David Bash's top 100 albums of 2007 and was actually number 11 on that list! The band has released one CD called 'Nevermind Lullaby' and you can hear 4 of the bands tracks on their MySpace site.
Damn Automatics are a harder edged power pop band that bring to mind the Foo Fighters. There's also an element of that studio buffed Green Day sound, but that's not a terrible association. However, for power pop lovers that prefer a punkier sound these guys could be for you. Their absolute runaway best tune is 'Kill Your Radio' which intros with a dose of Brit Glam Rock, a gaze in the direction of 'Red Kross' and also says to me, a little 'Rooney. Love the sentiment and refrain: "Yeah, we almost made it, yeah, but we're overated" - a philosophy that manages to cater for 99% of bands that ever trod the rock n roll boards. Second favorite, 'The Other Kind', has a frenetic beat and the song clocks in under 2:30 minutes - magic!