Misfit Kid-Hellway to High. North Carolina's Mark Ivantich is Misfit Kid, a name he takes from a 1980 Cars song. He doesn't take his sound from The Cars, though - instead this 7-track EP/mini-album is a more Posies-like affair. "Right Where You Oughta Be" reminds me of one of Ken Stringfellow's moody opuses while "Sugar & Spice (She's Just a Girl)" calls to mind one of Jon Auer's peppier power pop numbers. "Stronger" is another barnburner and "Training Wheels (For My Heart)" might just be the best track on the disc, a languid midtempo tune with a warm chorus. All in all, a strong solo debut from the former frontman of Gravity's Pull, a 90s band that had some success on the East Coast.
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The Flowerthief-Without a Safety Net. This is the second album for The Flowerthief, a San Diego band that specializes in tuneful indie pop not unlike The Minus 5. After the contemplative "Lonely Man's Paradise", the disc kicks into high gear with the uber-catchy "Just a Minute" and the folky pop of "Late". Other standouts include the McCartneyesque piano pop of "Gioconda Smile", the Lennonesque "Favourite Pill", and the straight-up power pop of "June Gloom". An eclectic yet accessible release for this band who pulls off their high-wire act.
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