Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (September 16, 2022)

Somehow, Ozzy Osborne was able to convince Eric Clapton to play on his new album and the latest single, “One of Those Days.”

Magnolia Park is doing their best Fountains of Wayne impersonation on the fantastically catchy “Addison Rae.”

And, the garage rock noise-nicks Murlocs come out blasting with their new one, “Ballerine Ballerina.”

But wait, don’t turn those ears down just yet, here a five more cool sounds for you to savor this week.

Crossword Smiles – Pressed & Ironed

As debut albums go, Pressed & Ironed, delivered by Crossword Smiles, is as great a debut record that you are likely to hear all year. From the breezy Little River Band adjacent “October Leaves” to the calmer side of The Replacements on “…Where’s The Sense,” and sliding into the early Who evoking wonderment of “The Girl With a Penchant For Yellow,” on this one, all of the coolest touchstones coalesce into a pool of power pop perfection.

From the opener, “Feet on the Ground,” the listener is introduced to a sparkling new band that brings to the minds-ear pre-Sweethearts of the Rodeo Byrds, and “Take It On the Chin” would have fit in quite likely between Full Moon Fever and Damn the Torpedos in the Tom Petty canon while the epic “Parallel Lines” seems to share some DNA with The Zombie’s and “She’s Not There.”

With the crisp and pristine production combined with an ear-pleasing mix with the vocals floating just in front of the guitars, there is no puzzle to be solved with these crosswords. 5 across, 6 letters……WINNER.

Rhett Miller – The Misfit

Rhett Miller, the head man of The Old 97’s doesn’t come out to play solo very often, his last effort was way back in 2018 with The Messenger, but when he does, the results are typically outstanding as is the case with The Misfit.

Once again teaming up with Sam Cohen, a former member of Apollo Sunshine, this time out the order of the day is psychedelic infused Indie Pop instead of the Americana version of The Replacements like we are used to with him. Touches of Big Star, The Beatles and Tom Petty make this one a relaxing sail in calm waters.

Starcrawler – She Said

With front-woman Arrow De Wilde and their new record She Said, the band Starcrawler is in full throttle mode to continue their assault on rock and roll supremacy.

With a style that brings to mind John Doe and his band X, The Distillers, along with the sleazier side of The Rolling Stones, it is no wonder that they count Jack White, Dave Grohl, Angel Iggy Pop in the fold as super fans.

Lead single “Roadkill” travels down the highway sounding like The Go Go’s on steroids, “Thursday” would make The Runaways proud, and “Midnight” takes thing low and a bit back alley slow.

If this five piece L.A. collective can stay raw and hungry there is no telling the heights they can reach.

Ondara – Spanish Villager No. 3

Having taken the Americana world by storm with his Grammy nominated album Tales of America, Nairobi, Kenya native Ondara moved to Bob Dylan’s Minnesota stomping grounds in an attempt to capture some of the mojo from his idol.

Now, three years beyond his debut, Ondara finds himself settling into his new life quite nicely, case in point the autobiographical “An Alien in Minneapolis.” With songs like “A Shakedown in Berlin,” “A Seminar in Tokyo,” and “A Drowning in Mexico City” the album is part travelogue, part vagabond love letter, and all heart courtesy of an artist that really should be more widely known than he is.

The Black Angels – Wilderness of Angels

Remaining slavishly devoted to Psychedelic Rock forbearers Syd Barrett Roky Erickson, and Arthur Lee, Austin’s Black Angels deliver on all fronts with this mellotron forward, swirling tour de force.

On “The River” Syd and Roky along with members of The Velvet Underground are name-checked, while “Firefly” is straight up ‘60s flashback, Donovan by way of Austin Powers. And, “A Walk on the Wild Side” careens down the paisley highway managing to bring itself together just as the proceedings seem to be blindly veering into magical mystery tour territory.

This record is yet another ambitious undertaking from a band that continues to push the psychedelic boundaries.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (October 11, 2019)

Cody Jinks – After The Fire

With each successive record he releases Cody Jinks seems to channel Chris Stapleton more and more, and that is a very good thing. Now that he is back to being independent after a brief dance with Rounder Records, Cody delivers a solid set of Outlaw Country complete with Honky Tonk blazers and mellow ballads. Jinks blends the darkness with the light with a nimble touch and his Randy Travis Meets Garth Brooks croon is wearing very well on him.

Trigger Hippy – Full Circle & Then Some

On their second incarnation of the band Amber Woodhouse replaces Joan Osborne when a female lead singer is needed as the band lays down the best Country Soul this side of Delaney and Bonnie. This one is decidedly Laurel Canyon retro in all the best of ways.

The Lilac Time – Return To Us

A lovely sort of pastoral listen, there is a meandering pedal steel that sets much of the tone on this nine song set. Slightly political in some places, the title track, written three days after the current inauguration, plays off an Obama speech, and elsewhere there is melancholy whimsey in the Country inflected “Simple Things” remembering a time with less technology.

Starcrawler – Devour You

Strawcrawler comes at you and lands right in your face like some sort of Glam Punk David Lee Roth zombie mutant released to the world. Despite this, their second long-player, being a bit less aggressive than their debut, they still manage to turn out some real fine Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired Rock and Roll.

Joseph Arthur – Come Back World

Joseph Arthur is nothing if not prolific. Despite this being his first solo project in three years, Arthur has definitely been part of the scene organically implanting himself into many musically diverse projects including Arthur Buck with Peter Buck, Fistfull of Mercy with Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper, and Jeff Ament. Here, his pals Jesse Malin, Ben Harper, and Patrick Carney join in on the fun with a spirit calming set of his most personal and powerful songs to date.

New Music Friday (August 2, 2019)

Yola – Shady Grove

The latest video from Yola’s debut record, Walk Through Fire.” A top 20 record for sure.

Starcrawler – Bet My Brains

Starcrawler, one of our favorite over the edge Rock Chick bands are back witba new single and video.

Trigger Hippy – Don’t Wanna Bring You Down

In 2014 Trigger Hippy, a supergroup consisting of Nashville session musicians released a self-titled album that was one of the best of the year. Here they pop up out of nowhere with a scorching new single.

Midland – Cheatin’ Songs

Normally, we would cry fowl on a band that travels the 80’s Country landscape, but for Midland all bets are off. We are all in. Here is their latest Garth Meets George gem.

The Allman Betts Band – Shinin’

Formed by the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts the Southern Rock torch has Ben duly passed. Close your eyes and you will think it is 1975 all over again.

Demob Happy – Autoportrait

This Psych Rock trio turns up the burners on this one to deliver the headbanger of the week.

Moon City Masters – The Price You Pay

A strong 70’s filter on this one picture Blind Faith jamming on stage with The Allman Brothers and you will pretty much get the idea.

Goodbye June – Universal Mega Love

These guys already have the chops to Greta Van Fleet and Rival Sons. A Rock band on the rise look for their new record Community Inn to come out in October.

Elles Bailey – Deeper

A vibrant Blues/Soul singer Elles Bailey could be the younger sister of Beth Hart.