Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mid-April Roundup.

Conrad Korsch-On the Threshold. Conrad Korsch, the bassist in Rod Stewart's touring band for the last 10+ years, steps out on his own with a top-notch collection of power pop. Opener "1+1+U" recalls Matthew Sweet circa 100% Fun, "Earthlings" sounds like a lost hit from the 80s, and "We Write Our Own Eulogies" has more hooks than a tackle box. If your taste in power pop runs in the glossier-sounding side of things, this one's for you. Plus it's Rod-endorsed:

CD Baby (for samples)

Swedish Polarbears-The Great Northern. Swedish Polarbears are back! You can be forgiven for not being excited as me, but these guys had an EP of sorts back in 2007 that I wrote about here, and were never really heard from again until recently when they released a couple of singles in advance of their long-awaited (by me at least) full-length debut. To say these guys (who are in fact Swedish) are influenced by Teenage Fanclub might be an understatement as one of those 2007 tracks was titled "Norman Blake", and they also tip their sonic hat to countrymen The Tangerines and The Merrymakers. So you get melodic gems like "Sleeping/Dancing", the jangly "Sun of a Gun" and "Rewinder". And "Stay Young" does indeed sound like a lost Teenage Fanclub track. How Swede it is.

iTunes | Listen at Spotify

Mark Roebuck-The World and All Within. Virginia's Mark Roebuck has been kicking around the power pop scene since the 1980s, in bands such as The Deal and Big Cirle, and releasing some solo albums. (He also recorded an acoustic folk-rock album with fellow-at-the-time bartender Dave Matthews in 1989 as Tribe of Heaven) His latest finally brings him to my pages, and it's a wonderful collection of Byrds/Big Star/Badfinger-styled pop. "One More Fall" opens the album in fine fashion with some Byrdsian flair, and "Billboard Blue" follows in the same vein. Other tracks of note include "King William County's the Place" which has a British-sounding rustic-era Kinks feel, the lovely ballad "Holden", and the rocking "God is a Gun". So if you haven't caught up with Mark Roebuck in his many musical incarnations over the years, this is as good a time as any.


No comments: