From Butch Young comes the independent release "Mercury Man". Butch has put together a collection of songs worth considering.
On first listen, the influence of the fab four is evident. But while others emulate a more "pre-psychedelic" Beatles sound, Butch immerses himself in the feel of the Beatles more experimental phase complete with orchestration.
"Persephone" features a slide guitar reminiscent of George Harrison's solos, a solo heard, but not overpowering. "One Foot In" starts with an acapella set of vocals, whose sound is as if the Beatles were attempting a Beach Boys session. The horns in the background help fill out the track and compliment it's "Penny Lane" feel.
"Sunday Driver", another bouncy track begins with what is either trumpet or french horn lending a little Burt Bacharach feel which soon gives way to everpresent Beatles theme.
I always like to close with a little suggestion of something I would have liked to have heard but didn't. I would like to have heard a little more range in the vocals. I would liked to have heard Butch stretch out a little more, a few more higher range vocals would have increased the catchiness of the vocals.
All in all a great effort and worth checking out! You can purchase and listen through Butch's bandcamp link below:
Are you looking for some late summer, top down, hard driving power pop? If so, do yourself a favor and check out the Empty Hearts. Wally Palmar (The Romantics), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Clem Burke (Blondie), and Andy Babiuk (The Chesterfield Kings) have the cure for what ails your late summer doldrums.
The disc kicks off with a rousing, raucous chorus of guitars and an opening hook filled "Na Na" chant guaranteed to stick like glue to the brain. "90 Miles An Hour (Down A Dead End Street" is a fine choice for an opening song. Wally Palmar weaves the melody with so much confidence it's as though he's still at his "Talking In Your Sleep" peak.
"I Don't Want Your Love (If You Don't Want Me)" starts with a blues lick from Easton, but quickly turns into a mid-tempo anthem, complete with group vocal shouts. If the Dave Clark Five had recorded this song in the 60's, it would've easily been their biggest hit. The ease with which Elliot Easton changes from his previous meticulously crafted Cars' solos to the current rough edged solos is quite remarkable.
With the next track, "I See No Way Out", I am immediately transported back to the first time I spun the Romantics album "National Breakout" back in the 80's. This tune would've fit quite well within the grooves of that vinyl.
"Fill An Empty Heart" gives the listener a chance to catch their breath. This ballad, which starts with a Zombies like bass line, goes down like a spoonful of honey. Lots of smooth background vocals add the perfect compliment to Palmar's lead vocals.
At first I thought the next track, "Soul Deep", was going to be a cover of the Box Tops hit, However I was pleasantly surprised to find it's another Empty Hearts rocking original.
"Loud And Clear" is more pure rock than power pop during the intro and first verse, but as the chorus bursts through, the catchy harmonies are revealed as pure power pop.
"Perfect World" finds the band dipping into some social commentary without being too heavy handed. "I Found You" explores it's country ballad roots with the clever guitar work of Easton. "Just A Little Too Hard" and "Drop Me Off At Home" crank up the decibels again, with the latter finding it's best Jagger/Richards groove. "Jealousy" brings the harmonica back to the forefront, while "Meet Me 'Round The Corner" closes the album with attitude to let you know they aren't driving off into the sunset, they are only beginning their journey.
Overall I definitely recommend this release. Modern power pop that's not afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve. This will surely bring a smile to every fan of the genre.
The album releases officially August 5th via 429 Records and is available for pre-order now at Amazon.
For those who've never heard the Hot Dates, it doesn't get any better than this. Great songs and production, it's a shame they didn't go far. I've made the whole album, plus their 1978 single available to listen to in it's entirety at YouTube.
If you love powerpop, it doesn't get much better than this. Sam Page's "The Slog In Uncertainty". Sam page has put forth another astounding effort in the powerpop domain.
From clever titles and lyrics ("I Don't Not Love You") to blistering rhythm guitar work that gets your feet moving; or in my case since I was listening in the car, it gets the car "moving". (albeit a little too fast!)
What Sam pulls of is something I've not heard other indie artists come close to achieving. Somehow, Sam has a production value that while sounding current, at the same time sounds also "classic". It's as though some classic powerpop late 70's band went back in the studio and ended up firing on all cylinders.
I would list the standout tracks, but needless to say, each one is great. Do yourself a BIG favor and purchase this release today! Tell him PowerPopulation sent you!