It's time for some power pop and roots rock straight from the heartland of America - Mission, Kansas, the home of Red Guitar. Their brand new release Beauty Will Save The World is turning out to be one of the more enjoyable releases of this barely 2 1/2-month-old year.
Red Guitar seems to be an amalgam of The Jayhawks, The Gin Blossoms, Matthew Sweet and a slower, midtempo Weezer (i.e., "Island In The Sun"). There really isn't a bad track on this album, which came to my attention during a recent wade-through of cd baby releases. Things start off smashingly with "V-Day", which has a bit of "With or Without You" U2 behind the verses, but the chorus is pure power pop. The title track follows with a more modern sound, kind of like Millicent Friendly, for those familiar with that fine 2005 release. "Leave It In Another Day" is a slight bit slower, but with a punchy, anthemic chorus, and "The Sting" is where the "midtempo Weezer" sound is most apparent. And the ones I'm not singling out aren't slouches either; most of the remaining tracks have memorable chourses at the least. Discoveries like these are what make the CD Baby listening marathons worth undertaking.
You can stream the title track and "Leave It In Another Day" at their myspace page, and sample the rest (and buy) at CD Baby. The two-minute samples should be enough to hook you, as they hooked me. If you go to their official site, you won't hear anything from their new album, but you can stream their first album, 2003's Based on a Blue Story, which from my brief sampling sounds pretty good as well.