To kick off 2011, here are a pair of Northeast bands who aren't into soft pop or Popicana, but good old fashioned guitar-heavy rockin' power pop:
Watts-On the Dial. The boys from Boston named after the legendary Stones drummer are back with another set of kick-ass yet melodically rich tunes. Songs like the title track, "Chaperone" and "Afterburn" are begging to be turned up to 11, and the boogie-rock of "Dancehall Days & Nights" brings to mind a Northern version of Terry Anderson & The OAK Team. You're not going to find any sensitive ballads here, and the closer "Sweethearts of the Radio" is most definitely not a Byrds homage. Instead, to paraphrase their namesake's frontman, it's only rock 'n' roll, and I like it.
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Readymade Breakup-Readymade Breakup. It doesn't get more rock 'n' roll than Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is from where Readymade Breakup hails. Their third album is a must for those who loved their first two, and uninitiated will want to check in here. It rocks harder, as opener "Inside All Along" proves, and "Waiting for You" might be radio-friendly enough to grab some market share from the likes of Jimmy Eat World. The kinetic "Good Things" is another standout, and "Not Through With You Yet" is a quiet, fetching ballad. And "Erased" is an excellent Stones/Crowes-type closer with depth.
Buy & Listen at Bandcamp