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.