The Nines-The Nines. The Nines are back! Their self-titled latest is their full album of all-new (well almost all-new, as "Jack McGee" was on their CQDZ Transmission Files EP many years back) material since 2007's Gran Jukle's Field. Steve Eggers & crew once again deliver their ELO-meets-1980s-Moody-Blues power pop, although this new one isn't quite the genre-hopping affair Gran Jaukle's Field was. Opener "Blackout" is a blast, with fake crowd noise and a funky backing that builds into a quintessentially Nines chorus and it's following by "Far Away" a driving piano-based number that channels Ben Folds. Meanwhile, the garage riffs of "Jackie Smokes" and the Bleu-like "No More Time" add to the fun. Elsewhere, "Don't Worry Misery" and "Martin" are in the spirit of Eggers' classic piano ballads, and the jaunty "Seasons" recalls The Red Button. Odds are if you're a reader of this site, you already know The Nines, so if you haven't picked this one up already, run - don't walk - to your nearest online retailer.
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Bohemian Radio-On the Air. Bohemian Radio is Brooklyn's Brett Stratton, and his debut here (billed to be the first in a series of releases) is a loose concept album about a fictional radio station, WBOH, that plays a variety of genres from rock to pop to Americana. After an acoustic intro number and a station ID, we get the Replacements-style rocker "About Nothing", built around a nice guitar riff and followed by the midtempo "The Sky Was Brighter", which sports a memorable chorus. Other standouts include the moody power ballad "Sincerely", the banjo-backed "Summer Friend", and the Cheap-Trick-meets-The-Ramones straight-ahead power pop of "Fan Club". The album closes with the wonderful "What Have You Done?", a wistful ballad with a lovely melody, and "WBOH Signing Off", a hypnotic electro-rock number that repeats the station's call letters. Stratton shows quite a bit of potential here as he masters multiple genres but never loses sight of the hooks, and I look forward to his next installment.