The Sleepwalkers-Lost My Mind in Stereo. The SLeepwalkers are Ian Olvera & company, whose last two records came out as The Ian Olvera Band, and then Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers. Along with the subtle shift in band names, there's been a subtle shift in their sound as well. Where once it was Jayhawks-meet-Tom-Petty, now it leans more to the Petty side of things with some slight nods to pop-punk not unlike Archie Powell & The Exports. Opener "My Best Wasn't Good Enough" advertises this change, rocking with attitude and melody, as does the frenetic "Come Around". Other standouts include the rocking and catchy "Talking Out of Turn" and the laid-back nod to their earlier sound in "Chicago". Top-notch stuff with a Saturday night feel to it.
Static in Verona-Everything You Knew Before You Knew Everything. Also returning to our pages is Rob Merz and his Static in Verona projecc, following up his 2012 EP Some Things You Knew with this appropriately-titled release. Here Merz delves further in dream-pop, opening with the densely melodic "Bitter Branches" and following that with the percussion-heavy, vaguely electronic "Rosemary (Bury Me)" which still sports the hooks. There are still some nods to traditional power pop here, courtesy of "Roman Candle", but the sound here is summed up by the majestic "Friendly Fires" and its pop-friendly soundscapes. If you want to hear something a bit different that the usual power pop, but from an artist we know has the melodic bonafides, this one's a good investment.
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