Thursday, January 24, 2008
CD of the Day, 1/24/08: Various Artists-International Pop Overthrow Vol. 10
Year in and year out, the IPO compilations are the best bang for the power pop buck going. The latest edition has been out a while, and I finally get around to it today. I always look at these comps as comprising three categories: great tracks by "known" artists (this year The Orchid Highway, Evan Hillhouse, Admiral Twin, The Afternoons, Nelson Bragg, Chris Brown, Kelly's Heels, The Well Wishers, etc.); new tracks by known artists that are teasers for their next disc (Naomi Star, The Ringles, The Pulltops, The Tearaways); and the best reason for picking up the discs: the unknown artists who hit you out of left field with a great track. Needless to say, it's the latter category that I want to concentrate on here.
A couple of months back, I touted Morton Richter as someone who caught my ear from this comp, but in the time since, there have been several more:
Brownline Fiasco. Their fine track "Milk & Honey" is on Disc 1, and their late 2006 release New Revolution is worth your listening time. They're a "christian rock" band, but don't let that put you off - the preaching is kept to a minimum and the big hooks are there with the power pop sound of bands like Cheap Trick, The Knack, etc. CD Baby | MySpace
The Dirty Royals. Their IPO entry, "Cover Up The Sun", is one of the catchiest tracks on the whole compilation. It's great jangle pop that has a bit of a Swedish feel to it. Interestingly, they're Anglo-American, and their only proper release to date, the EP Obsessed America (which doesn't have this track), has a somewhat different, more punkier sound, but is still worth checking out. Keep an eye out for what these guys do next. CD Baby | MySpace
All Day Sucker. This LA band contributes "Picture", a new track from their forthcoming disc The Big Pretend. It's catchy as hell, with a radio-ready pop sensibility. Their 2004 self-titled debut is worth a listen as well, especially the amusing "Worst Case Scenario". CD Baby | MySpace (with several additional new tracks streaming)
David Levin. The title track from his new disc Criminal is featured here, and it's a great singer/songwriter soft rock track which will appeal to fans of Neil Finn, Ben Folds, etc. CD Baby | MySpace
These four are by no means the end of discovery on the disc; I'm still checking out some of the artists that are new to me, and who knows, I might have another one of these posts. It's truly the best value in power pop.
Meanwhile, I can't let a review of IPO 10 go by without singling out the first track on Disc 2: Kelly and Kimberley's "moc.emalton". In case the title intrigues you, just read it backwards. You may never visit their site again without hearing this track in your head.
Buy It Here