Alfa 9 – My Sweet Movida

Alfa 9

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Alfa 9’s third long player is a heady mix of influences that are worn clearly on their sleeves.

With sixties melodic jangly pop and west coast US psychedelia coming to the fore, The Byrds being a huge reference point, but including undeniable Country & Western and Spaghetti Western leanings.

The bands harmonious layered vocals would also not have sounded out-of-place in the 90’s alongside more modern luminaries like Burgess and Brown. To an extent you can also hear an element of the lush dreamy sounds of shoegaze bands such as Slowdive and Chapterhouse from around that time.

With this mix of influences, it is natural that different styles come to the fore at different times on the album.… Read the rest

Reaction – Out of My Head – 7″

White Vinyl

To keep Reaction fans going until the new album, they have a limited edition white vinyl 7″ out now for ordering on Tarbeach Records.

The two songs on this 7” show two different sides to the band. On one side, “Out of My Head” with its driving guitar, pounding bass and drums intro & refrain is the sophisticated melodic punk rock that the band have become known for. engaging guitar breaks, cymbal crashes and tambourine all add up to this being a stonker of a tune. Carson my want “you out of my head”, but I’m quite happy for this tune to stay there all day.Read the rest

Graz – Acoustic Astronaut: Galaxy Traveler Acoustic EP

Graz

I’m currently enjoying this acoustic EP from talented NY singer/multi-instrumentalist Graz (Dan Graziano).

Dan Graziano - (photo courtesy of grazmusic bandcamp page)
Dan Graziano

The EP consists of 6 original acoustic songs, as you may have expected from the EP title. Graz has a gruff but rich warm voice, vaguely reminiscent of Elvis Costello and a more than agreeable selection of tracks on the EP.

Each song has something a little different to give, the little twists and unusual instruments on some of the tracks (see musician list below) add an interesting and diverse layer to the songs.

Take, for example, the music box intro and harmonica throughout “Concrete Jungle Blues”, and the atmospheric instrumental of “The Lullaby of Valiant Thor” which adds has an eerie feel.… Read the rest

Voicex – Waiting

Voicex – Waiting…

Following on from “Never”, the Scottish post-punk super-group (Scars, Boots for Dancing, Heavy Drapes) follow up with second offering “Waiting”.

It is a jangly indie-guitar masterpiece.

Shades of 60’s buzz pop/The Primitives in the intro, and capturing the spirit of many bands of the classic 80’s era in Weather Prophets, Shop Assistants and their ilk, with shades of Bunnymen thrown in to boot.

Suky
Suky Goodfellow – photo courtesy of Voicex website

Don’t get me wrong though, Voicex have their own individual sound when you add Suky’s impassioned vocal to the mix. Listen for yourself:



I’ve been fortunate to hear a sneak preview of another track and if you like, nay, love the 2 tracks so far, you won’t be disappointed.… Read the rest

The Lost Boys – Nosebleeds – album review

I’m Addicted

As the first track on The Lost Boys album says “I’m Addicted”. I’m addicted to this album, I’m addicted to its charm. I’m addicted to its powerful hook laden tunes. I’m addicted to its humour and clever lyrics.

Take a level tablespoon of the power-pop-punk sensibilities and driving guitars of The Buzzcocks, season with a bit of the abstractness of Graham Coxon, add the warm timbre of Mark Morriss from The Bluetones, mix well. Add the personality, humour and song-writing of Daniel Ash (showing my age, but no, not that Daniel Ash) and before you know it you’ve got a thrill rush that has resulted in the brilliance of Nosebleeds.Read the rest

The Autumn Stones – Escapists (Album Review)

The Autumn Stones
The Autumn Stones

The Autumn Stones – Escapists

The Saxophone

The saxophone. A deep resonance, rich, vibrant and mellifluous.

I personally love the saxophone, and co-incidentally, have seen 2 videos cropping up again recently on social media of buskers playing sax which both had me enthralled. I often scan videos on social media, but both of these I watched all the way through, then did it again.

The sound and look of a sax being played just has something that draws me in.

Over the years there have been many great alternative/rock bands and/or songs that have used the sax to great effect.… Read the rest

Pepper Kings – Pepper Kings album review

Pepper Kings

Pepper Kings
Pepper Kings

2018 releases on Tarbeach Records are underway with the eclectic debut album from Pepper Kings.

Over the years there have been a number of underground/alternative bands coming out of the USA that could be described as eccentric in their approach. Whether that be their image, style of music or song subject matter. I’m thinking the likes of Velvet Underground (with their bizarre tale “The Gift” on White Light/White Heat), through the 70’s of Devo and The B52’s up to the 80’s/90’s of Beat Happening or Daniel Johnson.

Add NYC’s Pepper Kings to that list. It is most refreshing to hear an album that sounds like the band is thoroughly enjoying itself.… Read the rest

Ian Donaldson – From Stars We Came

The Return of the 80s

There has been a trend of bands from the 70s/80s returning/reinventing themselves/releasing new albums over the last few years – The Professionals released what Vive Le Rock magazine named as their album of 2018, The Skids have played some of the best gigs of the last few years and released their first album of new material since 1981 in “Burning Cities”.

Is this a welcome trend? I suppose it depends on your point of view and whether you think there are enough new acts about playing live and releasing innovative new music. I love hearing new music from new bands and recently have heard a few that I love.… Read the rest

A Motley Mish-Mash of Melodious Musical Merriment

Since the turn of the year, I’ve been listening to a variety of music – new and old – and in a variety of formats. I’ve never been a fan of streaming, but I’m trying to get into the 21st Century and using these formats where there isn’t an alternative.

I’ve been playing catch up on music I’ve been sent over the last few months as well as listening to Christmas presents and recent recommendations from friends.

Speaking of recommendations – I recently wrote a blog about Jason How, if you haven’t already checked him out. I’d recommend a listen, regardless of what “genre” you normally listen to.… Read the rest

Jason How – Four albums of Psychedelic & Pure Power Pop Genius

Jason How

I’ve only recently been introduced to the music of Jason How (cheers Joe Whyte). I’m so glad I am no longer a stranger to his music. Jason is a prolific songwriter, releasing an album per year over the last 4 years.

It would be difficult to pin Jason down to a specific music genre or style as there is a great variety of influences across the albums. His influences are apparent in the music, US West Coast psychedelia standing out, but also with the influence of 70’s punk/power pop and 80s indie.

Certain elements come together and bring to mind different bands and/or singers.… Read the rest