Album of the Day: Foxy Shazam – Burn

When Foxy Shazam came out with The Church of Rock and Roll in 2012 it was almost as if our Rock and Roll Dreams had been answered. Bringing over-the-topness back to Rock and Roll and pushing the envelope to the extreme with the bombast of “Holy Touch” and the otherworldly wail of the title track, throwing down Glam, Pomp, and a whole lot of audacity, it looked for one flicker of a moment that the devil spawn of Freddie Mercury had finally been born, and the race with the devil was headed to the Sunset Strip circa 1987. Until that is, Eric Nally and the band crashed and burned in ways that would have made The New York Dolls blush.

That’s why their latest record Burn is such a treat to the ears. The high camp is still front and center, albeit turned down to levels normal humans can endure, and from the lead-off title track it is clear that this rebooted version of the band that channels Mick Jagger, James Brown, and Justin Hawkins from The Darkness is pressing forward with fairly straightforward Pop anthems with a swashbuckling style that is more Three Musketeers than Pirates of the Caribbean. And that is a very good thing.

The Song “Dreamer” is early Queen by way of Supertramp, “In My Mind” has a bit of Bruno Mars Mojo to it, “Doomed” somehow rhymes china and vagina without and it actually works, and the auto-tuned close “Into The Wild” does take a wide left turn but ends up to be trippy instead of entirely offense to the years.

In short, from what these band of renegades delivered with this album, they might be one record away from creating their opus.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (January 22, 2021)

Things are rocking as well as rolling right along entering the new year. We have a lot of really hip releases as several artists are stepping their toes into the waters fully understanding that we will likely have problems remembering these tasty morsels when it comes to putting together our best of the year lists.

David Gray is representing full-on with a sublime tune from his quarantine bunker.

Our boy, Allen Stone is bringing the voodoo down for Jam in the Van.

And, Austin’s own, Black Pumas represented with pride performing at the Biden inaufuration.

On top of all that, here are five really good records released this week.

James Yorkston – The Wide, Wide River

Here. the Scottish singer-songwriter joins forces with The Second Hand Orchestra on a set of songs that run the gamut from Baroque-Pop to Pastoral Folk on to the Indie-Folk brilliance of “There Is No Upside.”

Rhye – Home

If you are hip to the Rhye scene you understand. While this record does not deviate too much from the norm it is nonetheless a record that demands some of your ear-time. Sensual sonically pleasant musings that are perfect for a Sunday afternoon or a night of rekindling that fire that burns within you.

The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground

Here in the halls of Rock is the New Roll we have been waiting for this one for a really long time. Glen Hughes, the voice of Rock and Roll, fronting the Dead Daisies. If you like good old fashioned Rock and Roll brought to you by a frontman that has scorched the earth with Deep Purple, then this is your jam.

Cub Scout Bowling Pins – Heaven Beats Iowa

Shhhhhhh, don’t tell anybody but Cub Scout Bowling Pins is actually a side-piece band of Guided By Voices. Certainly in the Indie Rock Mold, and certainly in the wild and wonky Robert Pollard Vein, this is about as good as it gets. The title track should be in consideration for top ten of the year honors.

John Diva & The Rockets of Love

This band could very well have been stapled up to a telephone pole in the Sunset Strip back in the glory days without blinking a mascara wearing eye. These guys make no bones about their influences that fall squarely in the Motley Crue, Poison, RATT mold. They are even more old school than Guns ‘N’ Roses for that matter. But love ’em, or loathe em’ and we stand firmly in the love them camp, if you like your rock on the roll side, John Diva and his band of hooligans are your jam.

 

 

 

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool New Songs Our Ears Are Enjoying This Week (January 15, 2021)

One of the more enjoyable things to do this time of year is to catch up on the singles that dip towards our years in anticipation of the proper release likely to hit the shelves in the upcoming 3-6 months. This time out we have ear-picked 5 choice cuts to rock your world.

Julien Baker – Hardline

The new record, Little Oblivions, comes out on February 26th, but here, with her single “Hardline,”  you get a chance to check out Julien’s more expansive less introspective sound. And, so far we like what we are hearing.

Field Music – Orion From the Street

Shimmering and lush, this expansive track that brings to mind early Electric Light Orchestra is a great placeholder for their new record to be released later in the year.

Baio – Dead Hand Control

The title track from the upcoming January 29th release of his solo record from the Vampire Weekends member Chris Baio.

Still Corners – White Sands

The new record, Last Exit, comes out on January 22nd with their terrific single carrying a bit of a Chris Isaak vibe into the new year.

William Doyle – And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright)

We will need to wait until March to enjoy the new record from William Doyle, formerly known as East India Youth, but in the meantime, we have this bit of Syd Barret and Robyn Hitchcock wholesomeness to savor.

 

 

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (January 15, 2021)

The yearly musical hiatus seems to be over. Artists that have been waiting in the wings for the right time to elicit maximum exposure for their music are back and ready to entertain us once again hanging on to the hopes that they will be able to get back on the road very soon. In the meantime, Rock is the New Roll favorites Moon Taxi performs “Stay” a song from their upcoming album to be released later in the year looking pretty lonely at a Tennessee Titans playoff game.

The Last Internationale with frontwoman Dilila Paz for some reason dressed like Zorro delivering a beautiful socially aware song and video with “Modern Man.”

The Power Pop mavens Radio Days bring joy to the world with their Big Star meets the Rubinoos “I Got A Love.”

Here are five new records that are tickling our ears, touching our soul, and are making the world a better place.

Kurt Vile – Speed, Sound, Lonely KV

Mostly known for his Slacker Rock vibe, here, Kurt Vile leans into the Country and Americana side of life with an impressive 5 song E.P. that serves to pay tribute to his hero John Prine, having toured with the songwriter just before he passed away in 2020. Vile’s handling of Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” is hero-worthy and floats into Gram Parsons territory, the version of Cowboy Jack Clement’s “Gone Girl” could have been on a Steve Earle record, and the gemstone of the record, “How Lucky,” a duet with Prine himself is worth the price of admission alone.

One of the shorter Kurt Vile efforts we have heard in a while, his records typically go one hour or more, here, less is more as this short-stack of sublime tunes is pretty much perfect.

Beach Bunny – Blame Game

The E.P. is all the musical rage these days as artists are floating out little nuggets of wonderfulness as they raft the COVID waters waiting to release a full album until they can hit the stage and entertain the troops live and in person.

Here, in a short burst of perfectly hooky teenage-anthems the Pop-Punk burst of energy from the opener “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used)”  as well as the closer “Blame Game” will have you firmly convinced that the problems of the world may finally be solved.

Pearl Charles – Magic Mirror

Already earmarked for the 2021 top album list, Pearl Charles has finally found her voice. After experimenting with Garage and Psychedelia, here, she definitely sticks the landing with a laid back blend of Southern California Beach Soul and late ’70s Country Pop in the Bobbi Gentry mold.

The sun-warmed touchstones are in abundance right from the ABBA inpired opener “Only For Tonight.” From there, she takes a left turn toward the coast with the Fleetwood Mac evoking “What I Need,” a song that brings to the ear “Baker Street” as well, with “Imposter” she delivers Dr. Hook without the eyepatch vibes, and The Carpenters make an appearance on “Don’t Like Myself.” The spot-on production value is highlighted on the George Harrison-esque “Sweet Sunshine Wine” and don’t sleep on the Helen Reddy loveliness of “Take Your Time.”

Vintage sounding while still being fresh, this record will stay in your rotation on into the summer when it will be the perfect time to pick it up once again and bathe in its dandelion glory.

Matthew Sweet – Catspaw

With Catspaw, his third record since joining the mass exodus out of Los Angeles, Matthew Sweet has returned to the studio in his home town of Nebraska on another set of Power Pop Wizardy. Turning the guitar dials up just a bit, a-la Crazy Horse, this record has a raw sound with a bit more of an edge than we may be used to from the Fuzz-Pop maestro.

Sweet plays all of the instruments with the exception of the drums here and does so impecibly well. Rooted firmly in ’70s inspired rock, songs Like “Driftwood” have a Sweetheart of the Radio era Byrdsian vibe to them, “Stars Exlode” could have been on any mid-era Neil Young record, and “Challenge The Gods” is Tom Petty fronting Big Star.

Bring out the good stuff and warmly embrace and old friend.

Midnight Sister – Painting the Roses

There is no sophomore slump going on here with Painting the Roses, the fine new record from the Stylized-Pop mavens, Midnight Sister. Delicately mood setting from the sultry “Satellite” on to the disco dancefloor worthy “Limousine” calling for you to put on your Sunday Dancing shoes there is nary a miss-step on this one. “Wednesday’s Baby” is a love song to a dog, and the opener “Doctor Says” is a great string-laden introudiction to the album and to a band that deserves more attention.

Cover Song of the Day: Luke Spiller & Jesse Hughes – Stuck In The Middle With You (Jam in the Van)

When two of your favorite artists throw down a collaboration on one of your favorite YouTube shows and cover one of your favorite songs the results should be epically cool. And they are.