The Allrightniks-Nothing's What it Seems. The Allrightniks are a three-piece band from Virginia with power pop in their blood and a real swell name. Nothing's What it Seems is their second EP after their self-titled 2011 debut, and they have a British Invasion-style sound that should appeal to fans of The Spongetones and The Janglemen. "No Words" opens the EP with the kind of jangle you'd expect from a band of this style, while "Down to Me" has more of a contemporary drive to it, reminiscent of Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend album. Elsewhere, the midtempo "So Glad" has an early-mid Beatles sound and "Nobody Knows But Me" channels The Byrds. When you put this together with the aforementioned debut EP, you'll have a fine album-length collection of power pop worth gracing your music player of choice.
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Chris Degnore & The Black Drops-Cinema. Detroit's Chris Degnore has been kicking around the music scene for almost 20 years, playing and recording in Nashville and then spending a few years in the UK. His experience, professionalism and craft shine through on Cinema, his debut with backing band The Black Drops. Degnore & Co. offer up power pop that's gritty and rocking yet tuneful, as evidenced by the Replacements-style leadoff track "Coming Down". "Dame Street" follows in the same vein, while "Speed of Light" offers some clever and penetrating melodic hooks, and "Ghost Inside Your Head" is straight-up power pop of the Cheap Trick variety. "Broken Hearted Man" is another standout and perhaps the album's poppiest track, while "For You" is an effective change-of-pace acoustic ballad. If you don't mind a bit of bluesy rock mixed in with your power pop, Cinema is well worth your while.
CD Baby | iTunes