Minky Starshine-Womanity. Boston's Minky Starshine is back with the followup to 2009's excellent Unidentified Hit Record, and they may have topped themselves with Womanity. They've worked in the past with Ken Stringfellow and Chris Manning, and there is a Posies-meet-Jellyfish element to their classic power pop sound. The buoyant, ultra-catchy opener "Hard Times" (replete with horns) will shake you of whatever funk you happen to be in at the moment, "Cinematic Mojo" (video below) adds a Motown bass line to their power pop mix, and "Beautiful Girl" is a power ballad done right. Elsewhere, "Straight Hip" channels the aforementioned Posies and "What I Want" makes nice use of its boy-girl vocals in service of a radio-friendly tune. Another example of 2012 being off to a great power pop start, and to paraphrase the famous Hindenburg announcer, "Oh the Womanity!"
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The Backpeddlers-Songs of Guilt & Revenge. Back in 2007, I gave these guys a brief mention when they were known as Mark Norris & The Backpeddlers. Back then, I had alluded to them being described as "The Basement Tapes recorded with Ray Davies instead of Bob Dylan", and on the followup with Norris still in charge but no longer top-billed it's more songs in this vein, with a bit of a harder edge. Opener "Turn the Tables" is a raucous rocker that recalls Guided by Voices, "It's All True" does the Pixies-like quiet/loud thing, and the late 60s Nugget-sounding "We Know (Who We Are)" earns them the Kinks komparisons. While this might not be the sweet-sounding power pop usually featured here, those who want something a bit different and bit crunchier will want to give this one a shot.
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