Monday, January 31, 2011

CD of the Day, 1/31/11: Secret Powers-What Every Rose Grower Should Know

Usually I post a review after I've listened to an album over a period of a couple of weeks. However, I was so stoked to see Secret Powers was out with a new album that I decided to experiment and live-tweet a review on Twitter while listening to it for the first time. So here are my initial reactions to their fourth album in four years (the verbatim tweets):

* Holy crap, Secret Powers is out with another album (4th in 4 yrs). First 3 were classics, and digging the first track

* It's called "Generation Ship", sounds like a demented outtake from ELO's Time. Maybe I'll just live-tweet my first listen to the album.

* Next up is "Tarantula", a rollicking 2:16 tune about being afraid of them. It's so catchy I almost want to find a tarantula to sing it to.

* "What Every Rose Grower Should Know", the title track, follows. With most bands this would be a metaphor. Not with these guys.

* Track #4 is "Candy". Straight-up power pop, melodic if unremarkable. Still might be the best song on a lot of other bands' albums.

* Next is "The Desert". I knew these Montana boys had a quasi-Morricone Western in them, complete with Jew's harp and portentous whistling.

* "Crocodile" follows. Unlike "Tarantula", this is not a literal title. Instead, it's a pleasing mid-tempo love song.

* Next track: "I'll Be Home". Solid, if unspectacular, followed by "It Should Have Been Me", a classic SP-sounding track w/fun piano backing.

* "Queen of Bizarre" not as bizarre as its title or some of their other stuff, but another quality tune.

* "In The Way" a decent track, "Blue Thing" is classic Schmed, and closer "My Idea" returns to the ELO motif a la Side 3 of Out of the Blue.

* All in all, sounds like a top 10 contender (albeit a bit front-loaded). Thanks for putting up with my first ever live-tweet album review.

Depending on how many Twitter followers I lose, I might do this again in the future for a disc I'm eagerly anticipating and/or surprised to discover. Here are the usual links:

CD Baby | Facebook | iTunes

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday night Link-o-Rama.

I have a bunch of new releases I want to spread the word about but don't have the time or motivation to write about them at length, so I'll just briefly summarize and provide the pertinent links.

The Hard Way-Tell Me When You Can't Breathe. Remember back in 1977 when the Klaatu record came out and people thought it was the Beatles under an assumed name? Well, substitute 2011 for 1977, The Hard Way for Klaatu, and Superdrag for the Beatles and you get the picture here. CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Eric Bay-Pair Shaped. Fine debut EP from this British singer/songwriter who has a McCartneysque flair. Absolutely love the track "Cheer Up". CD Baby | Facebook | iTunes

The Test Dream-Shades of Love. Full-length debut from a band whose EP I featured a couple of years ago (did that lead them to send me a copy of the new one? No, I had to find it on my own. Hmph). Dreamy indie pop that meets the promise of the EP. CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Dan Kibler-Capsule. How ironic that I feature a disc named Capsule in a blog post consisting of capsule reviews? OK, not that ironic. Anyway, Kibler (when not making cookies with elves) is a Pennsylvania guitarist who's played with Parallax Project and has this album produced and engineered by Shoes' Jeff Murphy. And the tunes match the pedigree, so give it a listen. CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Marco Joachim-Hidden Symphonies. When we last visited Marco Joachim, he was releasing Songville at the end of 2007. That disc found Joachim channeling Wilburys-era Bob Dylan; this one finds him switching Wilburys to Jeff Lynne as he's gone for a more ornate and hooky sound. Verdict: it worked. "Those Days" has that late-period ELO sound down and "Things You Do" is bouncy Beatlesque pop. A very pleasant surprise. CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Monday, January 24, 2011

CD of the Day, 1/24/11: Scott Gagner-Rhapsody in Blonde

San Franciscan Scott Gagner is back, and if the name doesn't ring a bell it might be because he's known to readers of this page as Cartographer, who released an excellent EP right about three years ago. With other acts using the Cartographer moniker, Gagner decide to go with his own name on the full-length and it's a disc anyone would be proud to put their name on. With more room to breathe, Gagner expands his sound on Rhapsody in Blonde to encompass psychedelia, folk/rock and Americana in addition to power pop.

However, it's power pop that grabs you out of the gate here with "I Hate to Say", an effervescent number that adds a bit of that famous Motown bassline into the mix. The quality jangle-pop of "Speak & Spell" follows, and "Laura No. 1" recalls prime Marshall Crenshaw. Elsewhere, "Ride" and "Take Two" are fine rockers with a 70s sheen.

As alluded to, Gagner isn't afraid to change gears. The spare "Right Before My Eyes" is a gorgeous acoustic number, and "Love You More" is almost in Roy Orbison territory with its pedal steel and emotional falsetto chorus. "Houdini" manages the trick of bringing the Pernice Brothers to mind, and "Laura No. 2" is haunting dream-pop. "Golden Mean" is 7 minutes of psychedelia that serves well as an album closer, but Gagner decides to add a coda, a hushed acoustic cover of Guns'n'Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine" that shows Axl Rose for the folkie he may be at heart.

Rhapsody in Blonde is the work of a real talent and although it's extremely early, Gagner is the leader in the clubhouse for top album of 2011.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The David Bash Best of 2010 Lists, Part 4

And finally here is the top half of David Bash's Top 100 of 2010:

1. Secret Powers-Lies and Fairy Tales (Self-Released
2. Agony Aunts-Greater Miranda (Big Cinnamon)
3. The Royalties-The New Royalties (Music For Records)
4. The Grip Weeds-Strange Change Machine (Rainbow Quartz)
5. Nushu-Hula (Cactus Boy)
6. Jeremy Messersmith-The Reluctant Graveyard (Self-Released)
7. The Above-The Above (Self-Released)
8. The Lovedays-House Of Cards (Self-Released
9. Taylor Locke and The Roughs-Grain & Grape (Self-Released)
10. The Uncoventionals-Flower To The People (Western Songs)
11. Bastards Of Melody-Hurry Up And Wait (FDR)
12. Seth Swirsky-Watercolor Day (Grimble)
13. Fitz and The Tantrums-Pickin’ Up The Pieces (Danger Bird)
14. Laurie Biagini-A Far Out Place (Self-Released)
15. The Len Price 3-Pictures (Wicked Cool)
16. The Mayflowers-Red Balloon (Rooster)
17. Ben Jones-Echobox (Self-Released)
18. Timmy Sean-Sounds From & Inspired By Noisewater (Self-Released)
19. The June-Green Fields And Rain (Rainbow Quartz)
20. Smash Palace-7 (Zip)
21. Moon Safari-Lover’s End (Blomljud)
22. Radio Days-C’est La Vie (Tannen)
23. Oranjuly-Oranjuly (Self-Released)
24. POPFILTER-Pop This! (Self-Released)
25. The Genuine Fakes-The Genuine Fakes (Self-Released)
26. The Offbeat-In Love Field (Self-Released)
27. The Sunchymes-Shifting Sands (Self-Released)
28. The Passports-Is It True (Self-Released)
29. Lucky Soul-A Coming Of Age (Self-Released)
30. Duncan Maitland-Lullabies For The 21st Century (Indigoctagon)
31. Dom Mariani-Rewind and Play (Spider Music)
32. The Like-Release Me (Geffen)
33. The PondHawks-…Have Landed (Self-Released)
34. The Well Wishers-Post Modern Romantic (thatwasmyskull)
35. Farrah-Farrah (Rock Indiana)
36. Maple Mars-Galaxyland (Kool Kat)
37. Bleu-4 (The Major Label)
38. The Ugly Beats-Motor! (Get Hip)
39. The Rubinoos-Automatic Toaster (Self-Released)
40. Elvyn-The Decline (Little Wagon)
41. Taylor Locke & The Roughs-Marathon (Self-Released)
42. The Scruffs-Conquest (Scruffsville)
43. Gavin Guss-Mercury Mine (Obsolete Media)
44. Garfield’s Birthday-More Sense Than Money (Pink Hedgehog)
45. The Shamus Twins-Garden Of Weeds (Shamussongs)
46. The Third Men-Boost (Speed!)
47. The Slingsby Hornets-Something Old…Something New (Expedition Hot Dog)
48. SMASH Fashion-Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things (Electric Pudding)
49. The Posies-Blood/Candy (Ryko)
50. Deadbeat Poets-Circus Town (Pop Detective)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The David Bash Best of 2010 Lists, Part 3

It's now time to get into the main list. Here's the bottom half (51-100) of David Bash's 2010 full-length list. Tomorrow we'll have the top half.

51. The Sails-A Headful Of Stars (Rainbow Quartz)
52. The Young Veins-Take A Vacation (One Haven)
53. John Lindsay-Escape From Plaza Midwood (Chocolate Lab)
54. The School-Loveless Unbeliever (Elefant)
55. Lannie Flowers-Circles (Aaron Ave.)
56. Chris Corney-Sans Everything (White Wall)
57. Huw Jacob-Higher Every Day (Self-Released)
58. Sunrise Highway-Sunrise Highway (Songheads)
59. Geoff Smith-That’s Gravity (Self-Released)
60. The Malibooz-Queen’s English (The Pier Group)
61. Slumberjet-Slumberjet (Broken Lullaby)
62. The Silver Seas-Chateau Revenge! (Self-Released)
63. The New Pornographers-Together (Matador)
64. Paul Collins-King Of Power Pop! (Alive)
65. Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse-Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse (Other Tongues)
66. Mark Bacino-Queens English (Dreamcrush)
67. William Duke-…Presents The Sunrise and The Night (Kool Kat)
68. Blake Jones and The Trike Shop-The Underground Garden (Whisper-Ma-Phone)
69. The 88-The 88 (Rocket Science)
70. La Fleur Fatale-Silent Revolution (Killer Cobra)
71. Spygenius-Red Lounge (Whammo)
72. The Hot Rats-Turn Ons (Fat Possum)
73. Michael Pink-Michael Pink (Self-Released)
74. Skeleton Staff-Solipsism (Swizzlestick)
75. The Contrast-God Of Malfunction (Wicked Cool)
76. Zombies Of The Stratosphere-Ordinary People (Self-Released)
77. The Brigadier-The Secret Of No Success (Self-Released)
78. Dino-Fool’s Gold (Holy Cow)
79. The High Dials-Anthems For Doomed Youth (Rainbow Quartz)
80. Teenage Fanclub-Shadows (Self-Released)
81. Buva-Not Scary! Friendly (Hi-Fi In Motion)
82. Chapa-Creation Room (Self-Released)
83. Dave Rave-Live With What You Know (Bongo Beat)
84. The Paparazzi-Rococo (Self-Released)
85. Square Root Of Margaret-WYSIWYG (Marpy Menkle)
86. Joe Adragna-Fall Back (Green Leaves)
87. Steve Barton-Projector (Self-Released)
88. Horizontal Ladies Club-Galloping Into The Western Hemisphere (Songgram)
89. The Jigsaw Seen-Bananas Foster (Vibro-Phonic)
90. Rooney-Eureka (California Dreamin’)
91. The Gurus-Closing Circles (Rainbow Quartz)
92. Neil Nathan-The Distance Calls (Pirate Vinyl)
93. Bad Love Experience-Rainy Days (Mabel)
94. Thousands Millions-Rock Days (Tannen)
95. Casey Curry-Tidal Tales From The Other Side (Self-Released)
96. The Parties-Coast Garde (Rainbow Quartz)
97. Van Duren-Resonance Road (Three Cool Cats)
98. Jen Olive-Warm Robot (Ape House)
99. The Romeo Flynns-Masque Of Anarchy (What’s Left)
100. Susan Hedges-Kiss My Attitude (Self-Released)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The David Bash Best of 2010 Lists, Part 2

Before we start his main top 100 list tomorrow, here are the remainder of his various miscellaneous category lists:

Top Compilations-Single Artists

1. Why Isn’t Chris von Sneidern Famous?-Music Soundtrack From The Feature Film (Mastromonia)

Top 4 Compilations-Various Artists

1. International Pop Overthrow Vol. 13 (Not Lame)
2. Sweet Relief II-Hearts On Fire (Jam)
3. *It’s Happening: Volume 2 (Shindig!)
4. Staring At The Sun Vol. 8-A Compilation Featuring San Diego Music (Blindspot)

Top Christmas Discs

1. Kool Kat Kristmas (Kool Kat)
2. Rockin’ The Mistletoe (SideB)

Favorite Song Of 2010

*The Heath Robinson Five-Don’t Like To Say

Other Reissue Categories

Top 10 Two-Fers, Three-Fers, and Four-Fers: Proper Albums

1. The Guess Who-Wheatfield Soul/Share The Land/Canned Wheat (T-Bird)
2. Amazing Blondel-England/Blondel (BGO)
3. Walter Egan-The Collection: Fundamental Roll/Not Shy/HiFi/The Last Stroll
4. Jet-Jet/Even More Light Than Shade (RPM)
5. Middle Of The Road-Chirpy, Chirpy Cheep Cheep/Acceleration/Drive On (7T’s)
6. The Main Ingredient-Tasteful Soul/Bittersweet (SuperBird)
7. Paper Lace-And Other Bits Of Material/First Edition (7T’s)
8. Honey Cone-Take Me With You/Sweet Replies/Soulful Tapestry/Love, Peace & Soul (Edsel)
9. Clouds-Scrapbook/Up Above Our Heads/Watercolour Days (BGO)
10. The Hondells-Go Little Honda/The Hondells (T-Bird)

Top 20 Compilations, Single Artist

1. The Beatles-1967-1970 (Apple)
2. The Beatles-1962-1966 (Apple)
3. Paul Revere & The Raiders-The Complete Columbia Singles (Collector’s Choice)
4. John Lennon-Gimme Some Truth (EMI/Capitol)
5. Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin-Broken Records: The Singles (Broken)
6. The Knickerbockers-One Track Mind: The Garage Pop Sound Of The Knickerbockers (Grapefruit)
7. Sandy Denny & The Strawbs-All Our Own Work: The Complete Sessions Remastered (Witchwood Media)
8. The Jetset-Swings & Roundabouts: The Very Best Of The Jetset (Cherry Red)
9. The Mindbenders-A Groovy Kind Of Love: The Complete LPs & Singles 1966-1968 (RPM)
10. The Poppees-Pop Goes The Anthology (Bomp)
11. Tracey Ullman-More Over Darling: The Complete Stiff Recordings (Salvo)
12. The Drifters-First Loves: The Complete Drifters Singles 1972-1980 (Sony)
13. Bob Dylan-The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (Sony Legacy)
14. Curved Air-Retrospective Anthology 1978-2008 (Repertoire)
15. Dee Long-1,2,3,5: Longevity Vol. 4 (Bullseye Songs)
16. Dave Berry-Picture Me Gone: The Decca Sessions 1966-1974 (RPM)
17. Carnival Season-Misguided Promise: Carnival Season Complete 1984-89 (Arena Rock)
18. The Chessmen-Collection 1964-1966 (Regenerator)
19. Jackie Lomax-Lost Soul: Lomax Alliance & Solo Singles & Demos 1966-1967 + Badger (RPM)
20. The Goodees-The Complete Goodees Condition Red! (Ace)

Top 20 Compilations, Various Artists

1. Fading Yellow Volume 10-The Better Side: A Collection Of Euro, UK & Australian ‘60s/Early ‘70s Pop/Sike and Other Delights (Flower Machine)
2. Book A Trip: The Psych-Pop Sounds Of Capitol Records (Now Sounds)
3. Piccadilly Sunshine: Part 4-British Pop-Psych and Other Flavours 1967-1969 (Past & Present)
4. Piccadilly Sunshine: Part 3-British Pop-Psych and Other Flavours 1967-1970 (Past & Present)
5. Rockin’ With The Pirates: Big Hits, Classic Tracks & Lost Gems From The Golden Era Of Off-Shore Radio (EMI)
6. A Cellarful Of Motown Volume 4 (Tamla/Motown/Universal)
7. Come And Get It: The Best Of Apple Records (Apple/EMI)
8. Fairytales Can Come True Volume 5-Steppin’ Through An Empty Time: 20 Slices Of British & European Pop-Psych Confections (Psychic Circle)
9. P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri-You Baby: Words And Music By P.F. Sloan & Steve Barri (Ace)
10. Lovers From The Sky: Pop Psych Sounds From The Apple Era 1968-1971 (RPM)
11. Mixed Up Minds: Obscure Rock and Pop From The British Isles 1970-1973 (Past & Present)
12. Hey Beach Girls!: Female Surf ‘N’ Drag 1961-1966 (Ace)
13. With Love A Pot Of Flowers: The Wild Flower Harbinger Complex Euphoria The Other Side (Big Beat)
14. Do You Dream?-UK Pop and Psychedelia 1965-1970 From The Angel Air Catalogue (Angel Air)
15. That Driving Beat-‘60s & ‘70s Northern Soul Stompers (Harmless)
16. Lee Hazlewood-Califia: The Songs Of Lee Hazlewood (Ace)
17. Bless You California: More Early Songs Of Randy Newman (Ace)
18. Open Up Your Mind-The Psych Pop World Of Rembrandt Records 1966-1967 (Cicadelic)
19. You Heard It Here First!-Volume 2 (Ace)
20. Looking Towards The Sky: Progressive, Psychedelic & Folk Rock From The Ember Vaults (Fantastic Voyage)

Top 10 Box Sets: Single Artist

1. Sandy Denny-The Complete Studio Recordings (Universal)
2. Rick Nelson-The Last Time Around 1970-1982 (Bear Family)
3. John Lennon-Signature Box (Capitol)
4. Bruce Springsteen-The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story (Columbia)
5. Caravan-The World Is Yours: The Anthology 1968-1976 (Decca)
6. Camel-Rainbow’s End: An Anthology 1973-1985 (Universal)
7. Syl Johnson-Complete Mythology (Numero Uno)
8. The Fourmyula-The Complete Fourmyula (EMI New Zealand)
9. The Who-Live At Leeds: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Polydor)
10. The La’s-Callin’ All (Universal/Polydor)

Top 5 Box Sets: Various Artists

1. The Apple Records Box Set (Apple/EMI)
2. A Complete Introduction To Tamla Motown (Motown Universal)
3. A Complete Introduction To Chess (Universal)
4. Cave Of Clear Light-The Pye and Dawn Records Underground Trip 1967-1975 (Esoteric)
5. The Perfumed Garden: 82 Rare Flowerings From The British Underground 1965-73 (Past & Present)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The David Bash Best of 2010 Lists, Part 1

For the third year running, Absolute Powerpop is proud to present the year-end lists of the inestimable David Bash, Mr. International Pop Overthrow. As usual, not only does David have a top 100 and top EP list, he has lists for compilations, reissues, etc. Today we'll start with the reissues and work our way to the main list proper. There's so much to check into with these lists (even on my end) that it's best not to unveil them all at once. So without further ado, here are his comprehensive Best of 2010 Reissues lists:

Reissue Categories

There are still some reissues I haven't heard which would probably make the list, but there's only so much time and $$.ok, mainly $$; I'll always somehow find the time. J

I. Top 50 Proper Albums

1. The Monkees-The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees: Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade)
2. Jan & Dean-Carnival Of Sound (Rhino)
3. Paul McCartney & Wings-Band On The Run: Deluxe Edition w/book (MPL)
4. The Association-Birthday: Deluxe Mono Edition (Now Sounds)
5. Badfinger-Magic Christian Music (Apple/EMI)
6. Tages-Studio (RPM)
7. The Jam-Sound Affects: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/Universal)
8. Sorrows-Bad Times, Good Times (Bomp)
9. Jammë-Jammë (Now Sounds)
10. The Monkees-Head: Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade)
11. The Rubettes-Where It’s ‘At (7T’s)
12. Badfinger-Straight Up (Apple/EMI)
13. Chris Rainbow-White Trails (Vivid Sound)
14. Gary Lewis-Listen! (Now Sounds)
15. Clifford T. Ward-Mantle Pieces (Cherry Red)
16. Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin-As Far As Dreams Can Go (Broken)
17. Supertramp-Breakfast In America: Deluxe Edition (A&M/Universal)
18. Tommy James & The Shondells-I Think We’re Alone Now (Collector’s Choice)
19. R.E.M.-Fables Of The Reconstruction: Deluxe Edition (Capitol)
20. The 13th Floor Elevators-The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators (Charly)
21. Katrina and The Waves-Katrina and The Waves (CGB)
22. Badfinger-No Dice (Apple/EMI)
23. Twinn Connexion-Twinn Connexion (Now Sounds)
24. Nick Heyward-North Of A Miracle: Deluxe Edition (Cherry Red)
25. The Cowsills-On My Side (Now Sounds)
26. Dexy’s Midnight Runners-Searching For The Young Soul Rebels: 30th Anniversary Special Edition (EMI)
27. Clifford T. Ward-Escalator (Cherry Red)
28. Barnaby Bye-Room To Grow (Wounded Bird)
29. Mandy More-But That Is Me (Sunbeam)
30. Squire-Get Smart! (Vivid Sound)
31. The Jackson Five-Looking Through The Windows (Motown/Universal)
32. Nervous Rex-Nervous Rex (Renaissance)
33. The Holy Mackerel-The Holy Mackerel: Deluxe Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)
34. Skip Bifferty-Skip Bifferty (Grapefruit)
35. The Jackson Five-Skywriter (Motown/Universal)
36. Aphrodite’s Child-End Of The World (Esoteric)
37. Paul Williams-Someday Man (Now Sounds)
38. John Lennon & Yoko Ono-Stripped Down (Capitol)
39. Four O’Clock Balloon-Four O’Clock Balloon (Killer Music Group)
40. The Alan Bown-The Alan Bown (Esoteric)
41. Nick Garrie-The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Elefant)
42. Carl Wilson-Youngblood (Iconoclassic)
43. Rick Springfield-Wait For Night (Wounded Bird)
44. David Bowie-David Bowie: Deluxe Edition (Deram)
45. The Candymen-The Candymen (Darby Pop)
46. The Guess Who-Artificial Paradise (Iconoclassic)
47. Katrina and The Waves-2 (CGB)
48. Aphrodite’s Child-It’s Five O’Clock (Esoteric)
49. The Tradwinds-Excursions (Rev-ola)
50. The Pretty Things-Parachute (Snapper Music)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two for Tuesday, 1/11/11

Wild Bores-Welldone and Charred. John Whildin continues to maintain an almost Robert Pollard-like level of prolificacy with his third full-lenghth (on top of an EP) in approximately three years as Wild Bores. It's more of the fine power pop we've come to love on the previous releases, with maybe a bit more of a rock edge. In fact, the Pollard comparison applies to the music as well as "Expect Me Now" has a Guided by Voices feel to it, while "Biology" has hooks galore to go with its start/stop guitar riffage. Other standouts include the 80s-inspired "Forward is Backwards", the bright pop of "Freake" and the Matthew Sweet-like "All Fall Down". Never a Bore, Whildin has proved he's good for 10-12 fine tracks a year.

CD Baby | MySpace | Listen at official site

Marc Danzeisen-Released. LA's Marc Danzeisen has been an accomplish studio drummer for a couple of decades now, and has been at the fringes of the power pop scene in the band Powerslide and as a solo act with 2004's Absorbent. He's back now with Released, a late entry onto my 2010 top 100 list which deserves more than a mere year-end listing. Danzeisen is reminiscent most of Rob Bonfiglio as he brings a "professional" power pop sound to the proceedings. "No Me Without You" has the sheen of a classic power ballad, "See Yourself" recalls Cliff Hillis-era Ike, and "Love Till it Hurts" boasts mood and atmosphere in addition to melody. And "'68 Chevelle" is just plain fun, a rework of a Powerslide tune that captures the near-universal male lament of why one's woman can't be as reliable as his car. A pleasant surprise, and Absorbent is worth a listen as well.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Monday, January 03, 2011

Monday roundup.

To kick off 2011, here are a pair of Northeast bands who aren't into soft pop or Popicana, but good old fashioned guitar-heavy rockin' power pop:

Watts-On the Dial. The boys from Boston named after the legendary Stones drummer are back with another set of kick-ass yet melodically rich tunes. Songs like the title track, "Chaperone" and "Afterburn" are begging to be turned up to 11, and the boogie-rock of "Dancehall Days & Nights" brings to mind a Northern version of Terry Anderson & The OAK Team. You're not going to find any sensitive ballads here, and the closer "Sweethearts of the Radio" is most definitely not a Byrds homage. Instead, to paraphrase their namesake's frontman, it's only rock 'n' roll, and I like it.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Readymade Breakup-Readymade Breakup. It doesn't get more rock 'n' roll than Asbury Park, New Jersey, which is from where Readymade Breakup hails. Their third album is a must for those who loved their first two, and uninitiated will want to check in here. It rocks harder, as opener "Inside All Along" proves, and "Waiting for You" might be radio-friendly enough to grab some market share from the likes of Jimmy Eat World. The kinetic "Good Things" is another standout, and "Not Through With You Yet" is a quiet, fetching ballad. And "Erased" is an excellent Stones/Crowes-type closer with depth.

Buy & Listen at Bandcamp