A heads up… Thomas McConnell

Thomas McConnell came across my radar with his YouTube cover of McCartney’s new song “New”.

Off the back of that I ordered his EP which i’ve been enjoying in addition to this rather good ditty over at his SoundCloud page.

I’m expecting good things from McConnell. Definitely one to watch out for.

The Disbandables

Self promotion alert.

I’ve created a new site called http://www.disbandables.com where I interview great bands. The sites been up a few weeks with a new bunch of bands at the beginning of each month.

If you wondered what happened to

Brown Eyed Susans
Jackdaw4
Klaatu
Love Nut
The MerryMakers
Ooberman
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Second Saturday
Sugarbomb
Tiny Volcano

then http://www.disbandables.com is worth a visit.

Aaron from the great Powerpopaholic was kind enough to post a short interview with me about the site.

http://www.powerpopaholic.com/artist-interviews/matt-whitby-disbandablescom

Review: 1-2-3-4-5 (ep) by The Real Numbers

Can it really be 2010 since I last heard an album from San Francisco’s The Real Numbers? Yes, yes it can. See the (short) review here.

I loved the happy, sunny pop of their debut and their follow-up EP “1-2-3-4-5″ could very well be songs from the same album (not that I expected them to move over to a heady mix of grunge and metalcore). I’m happy to say they’re as joyful and buoyant as ever.

Songs about the mile-long, zig-zagging bicycle route from Market Street to Golden Gate Park, Internet Fame and pouring your heart out to a now gone Daphne.

Listen to recommendations; Look there’s just the five tracks. Listen to them all.

Find them at;

Web –
Listen – http://realnumbers.bandcamp.com/

Featured Album – The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

4 Stars

4 Stars

The Duckworth Lewis Method - Sticky Wickets

The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

Having enjoyed the first outing by this band featuring the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon and Pugwash’s Thomas Walsh, I was excited for the new album. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by it. The first one had more of a psychedelic fantasy approach which was interesting, but soon wore thin. This album seems to take a more forward stance coming at you full on with the opener “Sticky Wickets”. This prepares you for a more straightforward rock approach to the game of Cricket.

Yet if you are looking for the more whimsical approach, look no further than the epic “It’s Just Not Cricket” which blows the lid off of the cricket industry, yearning for some good old days, complete with an orchestra and gang vocals! Other highlights include “Out In The Middle” and “Line and Length”. The key ingredient to all of these songs is the little twist that makes the song less about the intricacies of the sport, and more about life itself. I may not know a thing about cricket, but I get a heck of a lot out of this album.

Definitely worth picking up if you liked the last one, but I feel this one could be accessible to many more music fans and for those sports fans with a sense of humor. Cheers to all!

Album Review: Introducing Ruby Free by Ruby Free

Ruby Free - Introducing Ruby FreeI’ve built myself a time machine and you can too. Tuck yourself under your bed sheets and put on the debut from Rick Hromadka (Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars) and Lisa Cavaliere. The dappled light now leaking through the covers is no longer from your normal surroundings but from Laurel Canyon in its sixties heyday.

Laid back, melodic tunes to while away your time to. With Ruby Free every day is a warm, sunny, carefree Saturday.

Plug in. Switch on. Chill out.

Links;

https://www.facebook.com/rubyfreeband

Band — The Penelopes

I got a handmade compilation CD of songs by The Penelopes from Japan (not to be confused with the Paris based dance rock band of the same name). Having never heard of The Penelopes I tried to do some digging to find out more but there appears to be precious little information. From the All Music Guide; “The Japanese twee-pop outfit the Penelopes was essentially the work of singer/songwriter Tatsuhiko Watanabe; the group debuted in 1992 with the album In a Big Golden Cage, followed a year later by Touch the Ground. Although by this time the band was primarily a Watanabe solo project, he maintained the Penelopes’ name for 1997’s Kiss of Life; A Place in the Sun, issued that same year, was the first LP issued on Watanabe’s own Vaudeville Park label.” [1] which is pretty much what the bio on the send press-release says.

Facebook tells me I have twenty mutual friends of the Tatsuhiko Watanabe so my ignorance of his music is down to me, rather than them.

Twee pop certainly describes some of the bands output which puts it firmly into the Belle & Sebastian category (great purveyors of said genre that they are). Twee Pop is a sensibility rather than being as dismissive as it may sound.

Splitting their output between 60’s and 80’d influences over their substantial output there’s a lot to work through. Often synth based with a love of what I would presume is a glockenspiel there’s often an understated feel to the songs. Melodic, calming and some are almost anthemic if the anthem was designed to get you to sit down and drink a nice cup of tea.

Site details;

You can hear some samples over at http://www.newusb.co.uk

You can pick up three of their albums on iTunes

Reference: [1] Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Review: The Kimballs by The Kimballs

Album Cover2013 brings us The Kimballs third album. I confess to not having heard their first two, though having thoroughly enjoyed their eponymous third i’ll be seeking them out.

Citing influences such as Lou Reed, Warren Zevon, Nick Lowe and Television when listening to tracks such as ‘Agnes’ you should add some Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson.

On a hot day as the asphalt cracks beneath your feet a band is crashing away in their garage and the upbeat strains waft pleasingly down the street. Upbeat, melodic songs wend their guitar sounds earwards. A fun, Summer record. Crack open the beer, light the barbecue and put on some Kimballs.

Tracks to try; “Fact or Fiction”, “Agnes”.

More information:

http://www.thekimballsrock.net
http://thekimballs.bandcamp.com
http://cdbaby.com/all/thekimballs
http://www.twitter.com/thekimballsrock

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