What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? Part Three
TOTOS - ROOMMATE
JAPAN only import and a great find for jangle fans with much of the material on this 16 song album from Totos, a band I have not heard of before. Probably because the Japanese pop scene appears to insular and separate from the rest of the world. When you listen to these trax, you will wonder how not more of the world`s pop fans know of Totos. Listen to the perfection of BANDWAGONESQUE-era Teenage Fanclub on track #1 at the link. Gorgeous. What follow is more of that style of jangle pop and bits of early/mid 90s indie pop. Think Velocity Girl as some of the songs feature male/female counterpoint. There is no information on the band or informative reviews of the CD in English anywhere but now we all can enjoy the sunny, uplifting energy of Totos here. Extremely Highly Recommended!
THE SWIMMERS - FIGHTING TREES
What-A-Gem! Just listen to the four samples below and hear what you think. Have heard `zero` talk about this band and can not fathom why. Echoes of The New Pornographers would seem merit some kind of hip, indie buzz but, alas, it is up to you and me to get the right `n proper word out bearded, bespectacled hipsters be damned.
"Piano-banging, hook-laden wistful pop, a la the Zombies, ELO, the Shins. Through its single lens, Yutzy-Burkey has focused on three of the great themes of pop music: lost youth, thwarted love and the fear of death. This is serious stuff, yet couched in such likeable, easily absorbed musical settings that you hardly notice the angst. And in a way, is not that the secret of great power-pop? You are humming along to philosophy`s most serious questions...but with a big smile on your face." -Pop Matters
THE DIPSOMANIACS - SOCIAL CRUTCH
Their 6th album has arrived and the Dipsomaniacs just keeping doing whey do so very, very well. As is their trademark, they parade out a strong Replacements vibe (but tighter) along with plenty of Material Issue, some Flamin` Groovies, some Posies, The Who. It`s a familiar drill, arguably, but The Dipsomaniacs have their patent on this sort of filtration system and it works extremely well and goes down with ease.
"If you like the early power pop stylings of The Who and/or guitar driven Replacements-like rockers, this is gold. Throw in a splash of Weezer on some of the poppier stuff and Steve Earle on the country tinged rockers for some great flavor." - Rolling Stone online
THE PALE FIGURES - MEMPHIS AND CHICAGO
Thanks to Not Lamer Tom Hibdon for turning me onto the Pale Figures, a band that will enigmatically avoid any easy comparison to anything you have heard before. The first song on this album, "You Are A Star" (sorry, did not soundbite this one), sounds like Willie Nelson playing with the Feelies and Pavement, while others evoke such obscure bands like the Vulgar Boatmen and the Texas Instruments with their laid-back, `hanging on the porch`strumming and when the heat turns up, it is all cool 90s indie rock, bringing to mind Versus , Spent and Pavement. But the band they most remind me, for those who are truly ultra-cool in your good tastes, is the late 80s Austin, Texas band, Glass Eye. If you know of what I talk about here, trust me, it is really, really, *really* cool music going on here with these 19 trax.
Speaking of, the title speaks to the fact there two different albums here with the 11 being recorded in Memphis and the other 8 recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini, surprisingly. The band is the same, the articulation of spirit with the material is reflected in the cities they were recorded in.
THE RESPECTABLES - s/t
After how well that the Respectables second album SIBLEY GARDENS did the last few months here at Not Lame, `wowing` dozens of your over with their classic rock riffs and pure popping melodies, it is now time to offer up their self-titled debut. Both albums have that Replacements Mid West rock thing going on; it`s classic rock for the power pop sect with its mixture of Keith Richards/Stones guitar riffs(think Black Crowes) and a soulful punch of tasteful horns mixed in here and there. Passion, GUTS and TUNES! Think Mitch Ryder meets Cheap Trick. The Respectables combine equal elements of power pop, glam rock, roots rock, and classic rock to create their version of the truth. Great songs, bad ass playing and let the tape roll! What`s captured here is a straight ahead pop rock record that`s not afraid to let it`s roots show.
NICK PIUNTI- s/t
Nick Piunti is the leader of Detroit`s the Respectables, whose two albums grace the NOT LAME web site proudly and which not only light the fire under my rock `n roll soul but have for many, many Not Lamers the last year. This CD from Piunti is from 2002 and it comes from the same swath as the Respectables, albeit a little less rocking - but, hey, that usually is the domain of solo records, right? Here, the flow of heartland rock and the MidWest shines. Think a more cool, less pretentious BoDeans and 54-40. Also, reminds me of the Del Lords, the Del Fuegos and the Rainmakers. Now, those sounds were popularized for many us back in the 80s ,mostly - but it really is the timeless sound of rock `n roll done with a working class soul, working for that weekend. Very Highly Recommended.