Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday roundup.

The Slingsby Hornets-Whatever Happened To... Frank E. Slingsby (nee Jon Paul Allen) and his Hornets are back with another mix of covers and originals just like last year's Introducing The Fantastic Sounds, and it may be even more fun this time around. This time around, the covers include "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and "For Your Love", but my favorite here is all-time cheesy classic, the Bay City Rollers' "Rock 'n' Roll Love Letter". The originals are pretty good, too: "Way of the World" has a baroque opening but settles into a Posies-like groove; "Flying Tonight" is a pretty mid-tempo number, and "Black & White Movie" recalls Teenage Fanclub. And if you act now, he'll throw in a 5-track bonus disc of covers titled Knee Deep In Glitter and featuring his take on classics like "Does Your Mother Know" and "Devil Woman".

CD Baby | MySpace

Steven Wright-Mark-Sideshow Freak. Some of you may recall Steven Wright-Mark from Pop Motel, his debut of a few years ago. Those who don't (and those who do) can jump right on board with his latest, Sideshow Freak. This one hits all the power pop sweet spots with a sound reminiscent of Matthew Sweet combined with Elvis Costello, and a pop sensibility shared by the recently reviewed Rob Bonfiglio. Standouts include "Change", "Baby's Coming Home", "Because of You" and "The Real You", which I've helpfully embedded below. Good stuff.

Not Lame | MySpace | Listen at Lala

Hangar 18-The Alien Highway. When I first came across this disc from this New Jersey band, I noticed it had 20 tracks. It's been my experience that in the case of new bands this is more of an indication of quantity rather than quality, so I was skeptical before I started listening. Sometimes it's good to have your instincts proven wrong, as The Alien Highway is excellent Beatlesque/British Invasion power pop. Highlights (too many to list in full) include the staccato guitars of "Anymore", the uptempo "My Shirt", the rocking "She Rocks", the pensive "Two Tone" (which recalls Icecream Hands), and the Michael Carpenteresque "Talk to Me". Plus, they throw in a cover of The Beatles' "You Can't Do That". I can't recommend all 20 tracks, but the hits far outweigh the misses so you'll still get your money's worth.

CD Baby | MySpace | Listen at Lala

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