Travel Lanes-Hey, Hey, It's Travel Lanes! Philly's Frank Brown has been in the power pop scene for quite a while now, in bands such as Flight of Mavis and Buzz Zeemer, and most recently went solo with 2005's excellent Out of the Blue. He now returns with 3 of his fellow Philadelphians as Travel Lanes, and their 7-song debut EP is a treat for fans of Tom Petty and The Replacements. The catchy "Scared of Girls" opens the EP, with Brown's Elvis Costello-styled vocals and the driving rock beat recalling EC's own "Red Shoes", and "Intervention" could pass as one of his mid-80s guitar ballads. "Delinquent" is a sardonic and melodic mid-tempo tune that's Graham Parker meets Nick Lowe, while "Let You Down" closes the EP in riff-rocking fashion. No frills here, just high-quality rock like they used to make it.
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Third of Never-Downrising. Kurt Reil doesn't let the grass grow under his feet - while not churning out records with his main band The Grip Weeds and releasing solo material, he's giving us new music with side project Third of Never, and Downrising marks that band's full-length followup to 2007's Moodring (with a split 2011 EP in between). Downrising features more of Reil's retro rock, kind of The Grip Weeds meet The Smithereens (literally so to an extent as Dennis Diken guests on drums). In between the various interstitial instrumental tracks that give it a 20th-century album feel are some top-drawer tunes. The driving "Automat" is a standout, with verses that recall The Moody Blues in their more rocking moments and a chorus that channels the Weeds. Also of high quality is the jangly "Green Roses", while "So Long" is classic psychedelic rock and "On My Way" betrays a hint of The Move. A classic example of classic rock.
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