Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (January 14, 2022)

The wait is over, the new year is upon us, and we lie in wait for a bevy of new releases over the next few months. It should be a big first part of the year as John Mellencamp has a guest-laden record in the hopper called Strictly a one-eyed Jack, the mighty Jethro Tull is coming out of hibernation, and speaking of Classic Rock titans, Bryan Adams, The Scorpions, Tears For Fears, and Ozzy Ozbourne all will be tickling your ears soon in 2022.

In the meantime, the always intriguing Mitski has already released an e.p. in advance of a formal long-player later in the year. Her single, “Love Me More” is already getting buzz for inclusion on many year-end lists.

Never sleep on Bryan Adams as the Canadian Rocker has, coming to eardrums near you, a new album with the release of So Happy It Hurts. And, well it sounds like Bryan Adams.

And, Eddie Vedder has teamed up with a couple of Chili Peppers forming a new band called The Earthlings with a platter due in February.

And now, without further ado, we have five tasty nuggets all set to tickle your eardrums and rattle your senses this week.

Elvis Costello – The Boy Named If

With this follow-up to 2020s Hey Clockface, Elvis Costello shows no signs of slowing down. From the scorcher of an opener, “Farewell, OK,” Costello and his band, The Imposters, kick things into gear and party like it’s 1977 and they are living in the My Aim Is True glory days. The voice hasn’t changed too much, Elvis never was one for stretching out the high notes, and, here he stays very much within his range with his delivery that is pure E.C. vocal splendor.

The title track, with If actually meaning imaginary friend, is Classic Costello with its off-beat eccentric songwriting, and returning to ballad form, “Paint The Red Rose Blue” should stand the test of time as one of his best songs. And, “Magnificent Hurt,” to our ears, is best in class. This one is a lost-in-time record that is could have been released anytime from 1980 to the present.

Put a pin in this one for top album of the year consideration.

Cat Power – Covers

It only took 12 years for Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall to come up with the follow-up to her 2010 release, The Covers Record, the album that featured her seminal version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” This time out, she covers songs by Bob Seger, The Replacements, and Billie Holiday among others in her own style making the songs almost recognizable but no less glorious.

Seger’s “Against The Wind” is transformed into a night-noir ethereal wonder, the piano-based Replacements seldom covered “Here Comes A Regular” has a definite Tom Waits touch to the proceedings, and the one-two punch of Jackson Browns’s “These Days” and “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” strays into Nina Simone territory when it comes to an artist making the song their own.

Ari Roar – Made To Never Use

Ari Roar is the name that singer/songwriter Caleb Campbell uses for his self-released projects. With a Ben Folds by way of Wilco vibe, the songs are all Indie-Pop bangers that you will be able to digest in short 2-3 minute jangly bursts. “Take Me Over” is Jack Johnson by way of John Lennon, and “Far From The Rest” could have been a Replacements with a slight Police vibe.

The hooks, rhythms, and melodies, all coalesce into a catchy set of songs that you should bring back out when the weather gets warmer and the drinks get colder.

Poco – One Night in Nashville

For many, the seminal band Poco is considered to be one of the original OG’s of Americana and the Country-Rock sound. Originally formed by Buffalo Springfield members Richie Furay and Jim Messina, the band released 18 albums with multiple hit singles including “Crazy Love,” “You’d Better Think Twice,” and “Rose of Cimarron.”

Now, the 2004 live concert from Nashville has been polished up into a spectacular blue vinyl edition that should serve to satisfy longtime fans of the band as well as those who are just starting to explore the roots of American Music. Reuniting original members Furay, Rusty Young, and drummer George Grantham, the band runs through all of the hits with particularly stellar versions of “Call It Love” and the harmony-laden “Good Feeling To Know” as stone-cold standouts. “Bad Weather” is a deep-cut must-hear.

Jacob Bryant – Barstool Preacher

Once you get past Garth Brooks, the ’80s flavor of Country music is not deserving of the scorn and ridicule that it seems to get in some circles. Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, John Anderson it’s all good music, certainly better than the “all hat, no cattle” purveyors of the scene that seem to be prevalent today.

Here, with his latest record, Bar Stool Preacher, Jacob Bryant’s ear-melds ’80’s Alan Jackson country along with contemporary outlaw country in the Jamey Johnson and Chris Stapelton mold that would fit in perfectly at your next fourth of July party or your next bourbon binge.

“Well Whiskey (Discount Cigarettes)” could have been a hit song for Keith Whitley, and on the semi rocked-up “Good Ol’ Boy,” Bryant laments his local turning into a hipster bar with boys in skinny jeans and no Skynyrd songs in the jukebox.

Five Cool Ones – Five (More) Reasons That Pop Matters

It is no secret that here at Rock is the new Roll we love Pop music in any form. Whether it is Power Pop, Indie Pop, Pop-Punk, or Paul Simon and “Kodachrome” 70’s Pop we will be giving it a spin on our turntables. Here are 5 top-flight pop nuggets that hit our ears this past year.

The Lickerish Quartet – Threesome, Vol. 2

Formed from the ashes of famed S.F. Bay Area pop icons Jelly Fish, Eric Dover, Roger Manning, and Tim Smith are carrying the pop torch with their band, The Lickerish Quartet. Named after the Randy Metzger 1970 erotic drama, the band released a pair of stunning records over the last 18 months with Threesome, Vol. 1, and Threesome Vol. 2.

Roller Disco Combo – The Sun After The Rain

With their new e.p., Barcelona popsters Roller Disco Combo offers up Teenage Fanclub on “Indonesian Breakfast,” and a bit of a Laurel Canyon vibe courtesy of “Holes on the Grass.” In its entirety, The Sun After The Rain is a five-song e.p. that will have you yearning for more.

Sorrows – Love Too Late … The Real Album

This re-recording of a record that was originally released in the ’80s is a solid combination of Cheap Trick Power Pop, British invasion Garage Rock, and ’60s Rock and Roll with the cover of the Kinks “Tired of Waiting for You” a stellar standout. The back-to-back sound flurry of “Love Too Late” and “Crying Time” have the essence of The Knack Meets the Specials.

Bros. Vol. 2

BROS, the sidepiece band for Ewan and Shamus Currie from the ’70s throwback band The Sheepdogs deliver on a set of tunes that will have you reaching for your old KC and the Sunshine Band records. Never Gonna Stop is Hall and Oates meets The Greg Kihn Band, and Hesitationg is The Little River Band if they were just a wee bit cooler.

Radio Days -Rave On

Big Star with a bit of Replacements danger vibe is the cocktail of the day served on the latest L.P. from Radio Days, Rave On. Early Elvis Costello is also an appropriate touch-point for this record should cover all of your musical bases.

Video of the Day: Art d’Ecco – Good Looks

The mystery value inherent in the work of Vancouver, British Columbia artist Art d’ecco is only enhanced by the inability to find out what his first name is. Despite this closely guarded secret, this cool-cut for the 2021 release, In Definition, will take you back to the glory days of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, or a more amped-up Rufus Wainwright.

Song of the Day: The Brothers Steve – Next Aquarius

No Sophomore slump showing with the newest Brothers Steve record released in October, Dose. With popster extraordinaire Jeff Whalen providing the lead vocals and the rest of the band chipping in on the harmonies, “Next Aquarius” is a stroll down the rabbit hole with Marc Bolan as your guide.

Five Cool Ones: Five Rockin’ Mind Movers

Time to lose yourself and escape from reality courtesy of these five new Rock and Roll gems.

Ryan Hamilton – Personal Holiday

Another slice of summery pop from Ryan Hamilton in advance of a more fully formed collection to be released later in the year. Written about escaping the day-to-day nightmares of battling through a mental illness, realizing a ride down a highway to paradise would be what the doctor ordered.

Sweet Crisis – Ain’t Got Soul

If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to add these ’70s Cambridge rockers to your hot list of bands to watch. Their latest, “Ain’t Got Soul,” features Pink Floyd guitars, driving grooves, and catchy melodies. In short, everything you love about music all in one song.

Crazy Lixx – Anthem For America

Sleeze-Glam maestros Crazy Lixx are back again celebrating America as only they can. This one will take you right back to Guns ‘N’ Roses era Sunset Strip in the blink of an ear. Don’t over think this one, simply enjoy.

The Temperance Movement – You Fool No One

With Deep long-time Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice sitting in, there is a hint of early Cram on this song that bodes well for a proper full-length record later in the year.

Hayley and the Crushers – She Drives

Part Punk-Pop and part surf band Hayley and the Crushers would have been a perfect band in any of the ’60s beach movies.

Video of the Day: Coach Party – Can’t Talk, Won’t

It is pretty amazing that such a great band would come from such a small island, Isle of Wight. But naturally, the limited square miles available for wandering about means it is fairly inevitable that like-minded musicians will find each other and form a band. Newly signed by Chess Club Records, the folks who brought you, Wolf Alice, the band provides razor-sharp melodies and killer Indie-Pop hooks that should put them on the map in relatively short order.