Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two for Tuesday, 6/15/10

The Well Wishers-Post Modern Romantic. When it comes to certainties in life, there's death, taxes and Jeff Shelton. For over a decade now you can count on a quality new Jeff Shelton record, be it the Spinning Jennies or his current band, The Well Wishers. But if for some reason you need an introduction, the easiest way to sum up the Wishers would be say that they're the Posies of the 21st century. Post Modern Romantic continues the string of excellence, as it cranks up the amps a bit. The opening triumvirate of "Run Away", "Hanging On" and "All or Nothing" are crunchy guitar pop as good as you'll hear this year. It's not until "Someone Else" that we hear the "classic" midtempo, slightly jangly Shelton sound, and "Consequence of Love" also fits this bill. But it's the slightly heavier edge that dominates here, and tracks like "Grammareater", "Sorry About Your Politics" and "Flatlined" manage to capture that edge without sacrificing melody.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Snakehips-Month of Sundays. It seems that lately I've been stumbling upon more and more bands out of Memphis. After finding The Bulletproof Vests a few months back, I've now come across Snakehips. They've been around since 1993, and Month of Sundays marks their fifth disc. This is straight-up melodic rock'n'roll, and while there is an Alex Chilton/Replacements element to their sound, I also hear a lot of Willie Nile and Ike Reilly as well. Frontman Mark Harrison does sound vocally a lot like Nile, and the infectious opener "Walk Away" sets the tone for some enjoyable classic rock. "Time to Cry" and "Sheena" are a couple of more assured rockers, "Wonderland" is vintage power pop, and the spare, lovely "When I'm Blue" shows that Harrison & Co. can pull off the slower numbers. Rock 'n' Roll (and power pop) needs the true believers who stay faithful to the sound while keeping it fresh, and Snakehips fight the good fight.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

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