Blair Gilley-Almost Home
. Nashville rocker Blair Gilley, after fronting a couple of bands, goes solo with impressive results on his debut EP which brings to mind the likes of Oasis and Green Day in their poppier moments. This is "modern-sounding" power pop that also calls to mind Rooney, especially on the anthemic opener "Hopelessly". The power ballad "My Communication" slows things down to a degree but works equally as well, and the real winner here is the closer "What You Do to Yourself" which sports an indelible chorus. A brash and impressive debut.
The Metal Babies-The Metal Babies EP
. This band from Sydney caught my eye with their name, an obvious homage to a classic Teenage Fanclub song. The caught my ear as well with their sound, which despite their name isn't a slavish attempt to recapture the TF sound. Instead, they have kind of a "heartland rock" sound which shows on the "This Cloud of Mine", while the opener "In the Dirt" has a Tom Petty feel (as well as an always-welcome "woo hoo hoo" in the chorus). Elsewhere, "Trainwreck" is an enjoyable rocker and the midtempo "Willing to Wait" boasts some fine guitar work. Nothing flashy here, but five above-average tracks that will be welcome on your music player of choice.
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