Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (October 28, 2022)

Setting ourselves up for disappointment with Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming November release, it seems that things on the new release front are a bit tepid at the moment. But fear not, we here at Rock is the New Roll to do the work so you don’t have to.

Still yearning for the new First Aid Kit Record, a new single and video has been released for “A Feeling That Never Came.”

Nashville’s resident Psych Rockers All Them Witches weigh in with their latest, “Holding Your Breath Across The River.”

And, R.L. Burnside speaks the truth.

But, that’s not all. Here are five more blasts of goodness to wash your ears with from this weeks new releases.

Drugdealer – Hiding in Plain Sight

Yacht Rock is back, and it’s like it never left. With equal parts Hall and Oates, Little River Band, and, for those in the know, Pablo Cruise, Hiding In Plain Site, the latest from Drugdealer, is a time-warp affair that will take you back to the days before kids, jobs, and responsibilities pretty much killed the vibe.

“Baby,” is a Beach Boys inspired floater with a guest turn from Tim Presley that has a distinct aroma of “Pleasant Valley Sunday” in its DNA, and “Someone To Love” could have been a deep cut on Boz Scaggs’ Silk Degrees.

“Pictures of You” warrants a more contemporary comparison vibing Bethany Constantino and her band Best Coast, while the instrumental “To Live and Drive in L.A.” could have been a b side for Simply Red’s “Money’s Too Tight Too Mention.” And, should you think these guys are all yacht and no Rock, “Hard Dreaming Man” carry’s a Mick swagger from the days that Keith was hanging out with Gram Parsons.

This one is a pleasant all around listen that will cleanse your mind and soothe your soul.

Jonathan Tyler – Underground Forever

Considering that 6 singles have already been leaked out to streaming sites, it seems like Underground Forever, the Latest release from Jonathan Tyler was a long time coming, and, in fact the album was mostly completed in early 2020, the very beginning of the pandemic. “Movin’ On” foresees the hopeful end of the disease and “Old Times” bookends things with the line “one day we’ll remember these times.”

Performed against a backdrop of smooth Americana and every-man songwriting, Laurel Canyon Vibes, the song “Hustlin’”is perfect road trip material displaying Tyler’s guitar dexterity, and the psychedelic undertones of “Movin’ On” with it’s early Steve Miller dusting provides nuance to the proceedings.

The title track, “Underground “Forever” is a jaunty picnic in the park affair, and “Magic Sam’s Boogie,” a tribute to the late blues singer, is as badass as it sounds it might be.

Truly a DYI artist, Jonathan Tyler is someone that should be on your musical radar.

Joanne Taylor Shaw – Nobody’s Fool

Seemingly, since moving to Nashville living in the shadow of the Ryman, Joe Bonamassa has been everywhere. And, here, the current hottest guitar slinger in the world lends his talents behind the board producing the new record, Nobody’s Fool, for Joanne Taylor Shaw.

Earning a write, or co-write here on 10 of the 11 songs presented here, Shaw lays down a pallet of hook-laden Rock, Soul, Blues, and R&B. The title cut shares plenty of DNA with “Werewolves of London” with a side order of “My Sweet Lord,” and “Bad Blood” is highly pleasurable surf guitar Tarrantino-noir.

Once the gritty “Just No Getting Over You (Dream Cruise),” a song that embodies her Detroit upbringing, kicks in, the blues travelogue comes full circle.

“Then there’s you is a Koko Taylor worthy stomper, and the sole cover song here, “Missionary Man” with Eurythmic Dave Stewart on a stellar version of the classic rock staple.

Impeccably produced and expertly played, this one has real Blues Album of the Year potential.

Lee Fields – Sentimental Fool

Along with Leon Bridges and the late Charles Bradley, Lee Fields is bringing real soul to the millennium masses.

“Two Jobs” brings to mind Bobby Blue Bland, and “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City,” and the opener “Forever” is pure Al Green gloriousness. And, the title track, “Sentimental Fool” is pure Lonnie Smith worthy bliss.

Teaming up with Daptone records, the delicate horns peppered throughout and the old school ‘60s production values makes this one a new school treat with an old school heart.

Brant Bjork – Bouganvillea Suite

Digging deep into 60’s era Psychedelic Rock think Iron Butterfly by way of The Doors on Brant Bjork’s latest, Bougainvillia Suite.

“Let’s Forget” is desert rock atmospheric, and yes there are bongos, the version presented here of “Who Do You Love” is next-level cool, and “Ya-Dig” would be the perfect soundtrack to listen to while during through the desert on a horse with no name.

With “Good Bones” genre shifting at the blink of a Hammond B-3 between Funk and Psychedelic Stoner Rock, and the spacious opener “Trip In The Wine,” a song that hovers and floats as if Jim Morrison was fronting Cream, the entire record is a transportive Desert Rock wonder that will take you to another time, another place, at the blink of a 60’s head trip.

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

The releases should get a bit more groovy over the next couple of weeks as the artists are in a frenzy to get their new releases ready to be wrapped under your Christmas tree.

The Ruen Brothers are out with their first new single in many a fortnight with “Don’t Know What’s Come Over You.“

Husband and wife duo Johnny Fox and Renee Couture doing business as The Standstills are scorching the earth with able assistance from Eagles of Death Metal on “Motherload”.

If you somehow missed the glory five minutes when Sebastian Bach was in the band and, like us, have been struggling to keep up with the revolving door of Skid Row frontmen since, with the mighty Erik Gronwall manning the microphone this time out may be worth a listen.

Librarians With Hickeys – Handclaps & Tambourines

From the opening blast of “I Better Get Home” from Handclaps and Tambourines, the latest album from Librarians with Hickeys, you will think you have been time-warped all the way back to the middle of the groove line at Austin Powers’ wedding reception. This record is that cool.

Fresh, propulsive, Power Pop in power drive, with a distinct undercurrent of Psychedelia, these bookworms lay down plenty of hookworms. “Lady Overdrive” is a perfect soundtrack for that early summer convertible drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, the ebullient “Over You” sounds like the best of Badfinger if they had been a little less depressed, and the ballad-ish “Stumbling Down Memory Lane” clearly demonstrates that this band is no one Cheap Trick Pony with the songwriting chops to match the Power Pop splendor.

Certainly subject to change as we are only 6 spins into the record so far, a favorite song in the set is “Last Days of Summer,” a song that likely would have been a hit song in the canon of the mid-era Beach Boys. Avoid the temptation to pigeonhole this one into any one particular sub-genre, put on the headphones, and immersive yourself in what is turning out to be one of the wholly satisfying listens of the year.

Lightning Seeds – See You In The Stars

For extra credit, take a trip back in the way back machine and check out “Pure,” the 1994 smash hit from The Lighting Seeds to get a flavor of the pure pop perfection that this band is capable of releasing.

And, with their latest, See You In The Stars, along with the lead off single “Losing You,” you don’t know if it’s 1979, 1989, or 2019, the music is that vibrant and relevant.

“Great To Be Alive” is a festival-worthy stunner, and the title track is a perfect song to calm the nerves in times of trouble.

Find a new friend, or reacquaint yourself with one of the best back in the day bands you likely have lost touch with.

Miko Marks and the Resurrectors – Feel Like Going Home

From the opening buzz of the lead-off as well as the title track, you get immediate sense that Miko Marks is on to something special. Aretha Franklin with a side of Bonnie Raitt is the vibe presented here with the overall band stepping in with an energy that would make the Tedeschi-Trucks band blush.

And, once “One More Night” kicks in paying tribute to Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton, and Muscle Shoals, her lend is fairly cemented.

A genre bender of the highest order, Marks can wrap her tonsils around a Mahalia Jackson spiritual or Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” with equal aplomb. Don’t waste your time looking, this record is all stunners no bummers. “Peace of Mind” is a slow and slow ballad, and “Trouble” is a real deal, for the times country stomper.

Chips to the middle of the table, this is a year end top 10 record for sure.

The Big Moon – Here Is Everything

Loosely themed around the experience of motherhood courtesy of vocalist and band leader Juliette Jackson, this is a fresh slice of Indie Pop Nirvana.

“Wide Eyes” is a cinematic wonder in a Florence and the Machine meets U2 sort of way, and “My Very Best” is a testament to simply giving things a go.

Listening to “Ladye Bay” there is a discerning freshness to the production value that seems a bit contrary to expectations since this was generally a covid-centric release with the band not in the same room in the era of file-swapping. The piano based “Satellites” lays bare the songwriting chops of the band, and “Trouble” is about as exuberant as you can get given the general topic is child birth.

We are officially putting The Big Moon on our Buzz Bands list.

Cory Branan – When I Go I Ghost

Cory Branan is one of those under the radar artists that gets little play in the mainstream but those who know definitely know.

His latest, When I Go I Ghost is definitely a must hear. From the opening salvo of “When In Rome, When in Memphis,” the sonic boom is palpable with his Steve Earle by way of James McMurty vibe hitting you between the ears.

“When I Leave Here” displays the songwriting chops that matches the musicianship. And, “Room 101” takes you on a back street love affair.

And, a listen or two to of “Come On If You Want to Come” will have you scrambling to check out his back catalog that goes back to 2002.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (October 7, 2022)

Albeit, if we are being honest, this week is a bit tepid on the new release front. But fear not gentle readers as we are doing the work so you don’t have to.

The excitement is building in Rock is the New Roll HQ with the new single and video “Turning Onto You” from First Aid Kit. Look for a new album in early 2023.

New Skynyrd loving Southern Rock favorites Black Stone Cherry are releasing songs from their Live From The Royal Albert Hall album, this time featuring “Peace Is Free.”

And, Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts are out with one of the best songs they have ever put out. Part Cheap Trick, some Jellyfish with a bit of Queen thrown in, and all cool.

But wait, that’s not all. Here are five voice albums to tickle the earbuds this week.

The Mahones – Paint The Town Red

This Celtic-centric band from Kingston, Ontario Canada is the real deal. And, with this record, Paint The Town Red, the band having been around since 1993 is at the top of their game.

It is rare when an album comes out that is the perfect salve for a point in time that desperately calls out for a set of anthems the likes of which are presented here. All of the familiar Emerald Isle touch points are front and center from The Waterboys to This Lizzy, The Chieftains and beyond.

Devil in the bottle is the requisite drinking song that would make the Dropkick Murphys blush, “Rise Up (Be Strong) comes rolling down the rails like some devil hybrid of The Dexy’s and U2 with even a bit of a ramshackle Replacements vibe, and the propulsive base line on the lead track, “Paint the Town Red,” is the most purely Irish sounding song in the set and prepares the palate just perfectly for what is to come.

A nuanced listen for sure, this one is a lot of gold at the end of a listening rainbow for sure.

Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners – Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners

Mostly known for his rock and roll side with his band The Wildhearts, with this incarnation as Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners there is an Americana bent to the music much in the mold of his work Jason and the Scorchers.

The Country rock and ‘70’s rock interplay on this record is refreshingly eclectic on this record and the cover songs curated here in The Georgia Satellite’s “Six Years Gone,” as well as the Status Quo classic “Dirty Water” represents a band that is at the top of their game.

The opener “Wasted Times” is best consumed with the top down rolling down the Pacific Coast Highway, and “Code of the Road,” a song that provides a glimpse behind the scenes at what life on the road with a touring band is like would have made for a perfect Dr. Hook song back in the day.

The Cult – Under The Midnight Sun

It seems that a band that has been around for over 40 years should have more than 11 albums under their belt, but here, Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy and the rest of the band clearly know the formula that works for them as their latest record, Under The Midnight Sun, represents the band at the top of their game.

The vocals are soaring throughout particularly on “Vendetta X” where Astbury rings to the cheap seats of the stadium with a vocal that would make Bono proud, and “Outer Heaven” is as swirling a powerhouse of a rock song that the band as ever laid own. And, “Knife Through Butterfly Heart” could have been on any of the early Doors records.

The most fulfilling aspect of this record is that the band really seems to enjoy playing together with a spark an energy that is palpable on every song. Don’t look now, but the rock album of the year may have just mad it’s presence known.

The Bobby Lee’s – Bellevue

This high energy, furnace blast of a record puts the post in Post-Punk. As frenetic as the Ramones before Phil Spector got a hold of them, the Bobby Lee’s are all about blasting through the status quo in short, sometimes off-kilter blasts of sub 2:00 CBGB worthy glory.

“Ma Likes To Drink” has a B-52’s “Rock Lobster” in its DNA, and “Death Train” roars down the tracks as if Ty Segall was a member of Van Halen, and the band even stretches things out a bit on the lower and slower slow burn of “Strange Days” with the song weighing in at 2:43.

Nuanced where it needs to be and perfectly apoplectic in spots, this is a record that will bring out the secret punk rocker that resides in all of us.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – N.K-Pop

Having been part of the Housemartins in the ‘80’s and The Beautiful South in the ‘90’s, Paul Heaton definitely knows his way around a pop song. And, here with N.K-Pop, his with Jacqui Abbott, we have exhibit A.

As close to a perfect pop record that your ears will savor this year, the chemistry and lyric sparring skills that booth artists have on display here are complementary sides of the same coin. “Good Times” is a bouncy and ebullient opener, “I drove her away with my tears” is a perfectly constructed Brit-Pop single, and “Baby It’s Cold Inside” is a poignant juxtaposition of the original classic.

And, as if you needed another reason to admire Paul Heaton, to celebrate his 60th birthday he left 1,000 pounds behind the bar in 60 random pubs throughout the U..K.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (September 30, 2022)

Another week in the books and things seem to be cranking. We were a bit skeptical when we heard that The Boss was putting out a Soul covers record, but holy Motown, by the sounds of this single that has leaked out it is going to be great.

Librarians with Hickeys have a new one out that is a Power Pop pleasure.

And, the Big Star, Badfinger devotees The Bablers tickle the ears with their new single “You Are The One For Me.”

Dead Daisies – Radiance

For those about to rock, we salute you. Here at Rock is the New Roll H.Q. we are big fans of Glen Hughes, next to David Coverdale our favorite Rock singe. And, by extension, we are cards to the middle of the table, all in, on the latest Dead Daisies record, Radiance.

Full of high-tone ‘70s rock swagger in the Deep Purple mold, this super group that consists of former Whitesnake guitarist David Aldrich, Glen Hughes, major-domo and bandleader David Lowy, and drummer for hire Brian Tichy, pull out all of the stops on a record that is full of heavy riffs, soaring vocals, and monster drumming.

Sure, the music is not very subtle and there is not much room for nuance, but if you like Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Rainbow, or Ronnie James Dio, then this record is right up your horns up street.

2nd Grade – Easy Listening

The Philadelphia five-piece that is 2nd Grade is poised for next-level greatness with their third proper full-length, Easy Listening.

The texture transitions from song to song that the band pulls off makes for not only an interesting listen, but also rewards the listener with new signature Nuggets to be unfurled with each successive spin.

The opener “Cover of Rolling Stone,” no not that one, is a short fuzz-laden, straight ahead rocker, and “Strung Out On You” is a Power Pop gem in the Weezer and Fountains of Wayne mold. And, believe it or not, there is a bit of James Gang essence on “Controlled Burn.”

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice To Let It Be” shows the band’s softer side as well as highlights their songwriting acumen, and “Keith and the Telecaster” has a bit of a Ramones feel to it.

Pound for pound one of the most eclectically cool records of the year, look for this one to show up on several best-of lists later in the year.

The Airport 77s – We Realize You Have A Choice

From the opening Journey by way of Night Ranger riffage on “One Good Thing About Summer” to the Cheap Trick if The Struts Luke Spiller fronted the band splendor of “Birthday Girl” the ears are tuned to coolness with this sophomore release of Airport 77s.

With the lyric, “He has a photo with Sammy Hagar and tattoo that says Aloha,” on “Losers Win,” you get a sense of the whimsical side of the band, and the soaring gang vocals imbedded in “Somebodies” is pure ‘80s rock that would make The Romantics proud.

Putting the power in Power Pop and the radio in Radio Friendly, this banger of a record might force you to change the needle on your turntable you will be playing it so much. And, yes, there is cowbell.

Buddy Guy – The Blues Don’t Lie

Blues man Buddy guy doesn’t stray too far from home here, but when you apply your craft so well, that is never a bad thing.

From the opener, “I Let My Guitar Do The Talking” it is abundantly clear that there is a lot left in the blues tank and Guy has lost nothing on his fastball, either vocally or instrumentally.

The title track is a poignant reflection on Sonny Boy Williamson that told Buddy that the blues never die when he left Chicago for Little Rock to die, and “The World Needs Love” is a slow burner with a message for the times.

The proceedings heat up in the back half of the record with guest turns from the likes of James Taylor, Elvis Costello and Bobby Rush. And the emotionally devastating “Gunsmoke Blues” with Jason Isbell lays bare the issue of gun control. And, for the record, the cover of The Beatles “I’ve Got a Feeling” presented here is epic.

The pristine production, careful curation of the contributors, and strength and tenor of his playing and his vocals combine to make this record one of the best albums the blues legend has put out on the last 10 years.

Alice Cooper – Live From The Astroturf

This 12th proper Alice Cooper live Alice Cooper record this one was recorded live in 2015 at Good Records Dallas, Tx.

Featuring mostly the original Cooper line up, Alice, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neil Smith with Ryan Roxie filling in for the late Glen Buxton, this intimate performance is notable in that stripped of the often over the top stage theatrics Cooper engages the audience with story telling stage banter that adds to the enjoyment level of the concert.

With songs focusing on the glory days of the band, “Be My Lover,” “I’m 18,” and “School’s Out” blast from your speakers as if these men of a certain age were playing them for the first time.

This one is a must-have for fans of Alice Cooper and a definite peek into the glory days of rock and roll. For extra credit there is a documentary of this event that includes Q&A’s with the band members.