Bruce's NEW AT NOT LAME Update for early Feb. 2008!!!
Here are the Top New Releases on the Not Lame web site for early February. There are many new releases on da 'ole home page, but for the time starved, these are the ones worth of your precious time. Click on the links for full mini-reviews on each CD and listen 'n sample lots of soundbites, as well. Have Fun!
THE LOLAS - LIKE THE SUN 20 new songs from The Lolas! For fans of The Beatles, Kinks, Silver Sun, Steve Miller Band, The Cars, The Byrds, The Sweet, T.Rex, 60's, 70's, and psych pop, jangle pop, mod pop – all here and accounted for! The Lolas just keep finding their stride and get better and better in the songwriting department with all their cool chord changes and bubble-gummy melodies inside a sharp, loud guitar sound with lots of handclaps and sing along choruses.
ICE CREAM HANDS - THE GOOD CHINA 2007 studio release of one of our all-time favorite power pop bands of the last 20 years - really! Listen here, find out why!
IKE (John Faye) - WHERE TO BEGIN John Faye is back for 2008 with another stellar, special effort! "Where To Begin" their new 14-song album, puts a magnifying glass to the ups and downs of staying together and starting over.
This is a bit of living water for the pop soul, and let it nurture any pop fix you may need. Clean vocals, razzle dazzle hooks and all the great riffing that macho talented folks like does like few others. Ever youthful, ever optimistic, IKE shows no sign of giving up, slowing down, or losing validity, with an album that acknowledges how hard it can be to keep going and rebuild what's broken, while looking forward to the limitless possibility of things to come. EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
NADA SURF - LUCKY 2008 Studio album with limited 4 song bonus EP!
"Their most accomplished record yet, in that the band finally articulates a fully developed point of view that distinguishes them from similar-sounding acts like the Shins and Rogue Wave.what works so well about Lucky is the interplay between the band's buoyant arrangements and lyrics. While the notion that there's beauty to be found in futility is far from revolutionary, Nada Surf have matured into a strong enough band to make an album like Lucky, which is full of such existential hand-wringing and one of the year's first great pop records." - Slant.
BRANDON WILDE - SONGS FROM THE DEEP SLEEP WHERE did Brandon Wilde come from?! WOW!!
For fans of Chris brown, a bit of the spirit of David Grahame, Ken Sharp, early solo McCartney, mellow Ice Cream Hands, Elliot Smith and a whole host of other wonderful songwriters of such ilk are all over this. The influences peek out from the corner, creep through closed doors and dart `n dash out of focus, which makes it all the more delightful, pleasurable.
SMASH PALACE - EVERYBODY COMES AND GOES A perfect combination of jangle-filled Tom Petty, Long Ryders, The Byrds, World Party, The Smithereens, Todd Rundgren and lots of Lennon-styled Beatles. On the more obscure side, the second album from Little America, Diesel Park West and The Rainmakers.
THE BON MOTS - FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS "The Bon Mots stretchuncanny abilities to write intelligent lyrics as complex and significant as Elvis Costello, Squeeze’s Difford/Tilbrook, Ray Davies (The Kinks), and even of XTC, and marry them to tight, hook-filled compositions that breathe the late 70s punk-New Wave style with a modern studio bent that accentuates a 60s garage sensibility, which in turn, looks at matters that convey a more mature appreciation for subjects as far reaching as common relationships, classical literature, global consciousness, and even siring a new generation. The band has expanded their sound with more lush harmonies and deeper instrumentation."-IndiePenDisc.
THE AFTERNOONS - ROCKET SUMMER RESTOCK of important indie power pop release!!
The tunes are like a warm breeze blowing over you, disguising the slightly bittersweet lyrics. The Afternoons are the sort of band that would take a festival by storm if the weather is right! From the opening bars of the first feel-good track `Rocket Summer` it`s clear that the there`s a west coast feel to the record. Tight harmonies that you`d associate with the likes of `Teenage Fanclub`, melodies that Belle and Sebastian would be proud of, wrapped around an element of `James` when they were at their most poppy!
STONECAKE - ALWAYS IN MY MIND Sweden's STONECAKE returns! This is a special and very limited 4 song EP from them as we wait for their next album! As always w/ Stonecake, it's dripping w/ classic clean Beatle memories, pristine production values, ringing and chiming guitars, massive hooks and sophisticated craftsmanship and a singer like Mimi Betinis from Pezband. This is Power Pop that represents our much loved genre very, very well! Lots of Merrymakers and Jason Falkner and bits of XTC, Squeeze.... Pure Pop Delight.
DAVE FOSTER - BLUE CIRCLE Dave Foster was in the late 90s power pop band Bubble - he returns magnificently! Listen the fabulous soundbites at this link, in particular, the first one “One Day” which upon my first listen – I promptly played three straight times right afterwards! Very Highly Recommended!
THE MEADOWS - FIRST NERVOUS BREAKDOWN 2nd album - The Meadows built upon the sound with vocal harmonies, organ, strings, violin, viola and noise to create an album that is expansive and cinematic. Good as their debut was, “First Nervous Breakdown” puts lasers on ‘stun’ and leaves their self-titled debut in the dust!
Their spirit, and sometimes musically, does remind me of Michael Carpenter`s gripping reinterpretation of Tom Petty rootsy jangle, but fans of The Gin Blossoms, The Rembrandts. Brimming with poignant lyrics, wistful harmonies and a upbeat, postitive attitude, deftly balances shimmering acoustic driven songs and vaguely rootsy jangle.
SOFT GONG - PRETEND YOU NEED ME An Idaho pop band - yeah! And REALLY, really good one! Reminds us of a lot of the great indie power pop sounds of the late 90s but what works on all the 12 songs here is focus and commitment to the hallmarks of really good pop – solid, workman-like rhythms, meaty hooks, guitars that bite down hard and soft-pure-pop styled vocals that hold it all together. Listen to the soundbites at th is link and get the story in the most direct and accurate manner!
For more of NOT LAME's newest Feb. releases, why not click here...