Justin Kline-Doormat EP. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the availability of Justin Kline's new EP on NoiseTrade, but at that time I really hadn't had a chance to give it much of a listen. Now that I have, it warrants more attention as it's a cinch to end up on my year-end best EP list. Doormat marks a return to power pop form for Kline, whose last release Cabin Fever Songs was enjoyable but more acoustic-based. The tinkling piano and crunchy guitars of the title track open things in highly catchy fashion reminiscent of Jellyfish; "I Wanna Feel Normal" boasts a sprightly McCartneyesque melody; "Mr. Victor" could be a lost late 60s/early 70s Kinks track, and the kinetic "Drop the Ball" doesn't drop the ball at all with its dictionary-defined power pop. The only knock I can make against this is that it's only 4 songs, but it's a clear case of quality winning out over quantity.
CD Baby | iTunes
The Bottle Kids-Such a Thrill. Kool Kat is probably the top power pop label & online store out there these days, and they're just as supportive of old school power pop as they are new acts. So it's a natural for them to be releasing the new CD from The Bottle Kids, who are a 2013 act but have an old school power pop feel. This shouldn't be too surprising as the band is essentially singer/songwriter Eric Blakley, who was the lead guitarist on Paul Collins' most recent album. There are a lot of parallels to Collins' sound here, as well bands like The Rubinoos and The Plimsouls, especially in skinny-tie power pop-sounding tracks like "Kissing You" ("who's k-k-kissing you?), "Yes You Can" and the title track. Blakley does like to mix it up a bit, though - "I'm in Love With You" is an epic power (pop) ballad that's George-Harrison-meets-Eric-Carmen, and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" is jangly, Red Button-style 60s pop. But it's the rave-ups that dominate, and be careful, because the chorus of "Careful What You Wish For" will get stuck in your head, and "Clap On" finds Blakley singing the lyrics as fast as guy from Reunion's "Life is a Rock". Everything old is new again.
CD Baby | iTunes | Kool Kat