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!
I just this past year experienced my 30 Year High School Reunion...
I was contacted by the organizers to see if I'd be interested in being the "musical entertainment" for the evening with my band. My band had gone on to other things, work, life, family, etc. So to do this I would have to put together a NEW band. I would also have only about 6 or 7 rehearsals to hash out about 20 songs that were popular from our high school years... So of course I said "yes", then I worried about it afterward.
It came together better than I had hoped, so I put together a CD memento of the concert for those of my classmates who were interested. I figured I would offer the download version here in case anyone is interested. These are all cover tunes from, in general, the 80's. There is one original tune I wrote for the reunion which I've featured here before. But it is included here in it's live version.
For those interested, you can purchase the concert at bandcamp at this link:
I've got some reviews I'm working on from recent submissions, but in the meantime, I had my 30 Year HS reunion. I put together a band to play some of the old 80's tunes and had a great time! In reflection, I also wrote a song about re-thinking our attitudes from when we were young and in school, and how they've changed over the years. This song is available at my band camp page for you to check out.
Please click the link below to listen and download if you like!