Friday, 20 October 2017

The Red Button - Now It's All This (2CD)



Seth Swirsky's last solo album, Circles And Squares was reviewed here. It remains one of the Top 10 visited posts here and that is a testament to how good the album is. During that review, his Red Button adventures weren't mentioned and I'm delighted to say that can now be remedied with this release.

The Red Button consists of Seth and Mike Ruekberg. 2007's debut album, She's About To Cross My Mind was refreshing departure from the Big Rock that was around at the time. It's a Power Pop Gem, all jangling and chiming.





Whilst that debut was very much in the McCartney Pop of the 60's, there was still plenty on it to update a more modern audience. I personally felt that it was very much in the territory of The dB's. Floating By is one of the great lost Psych Pop songs, XTC like in it's structure.

Can't Stop Thinking About You is a popped up Tom Petty jangle, Gonna Make You Mine is a Farfisa joy that you'd expect to hear as the opening theme in one of those mid to late 60's UK films for "the kids". There's so much great Pop here, particularly for Revolver fans. Loads of hooks.






The band followed up the debut album, with 2011's As Far As Yesterday Goes. Equally excellent, it wasn't just a sophomore release. It keeps hold of what made the first album great, but spreads it's wings a little more. Easier would grace any great Mid 70's Pop Rock of your choice.

Album Number 2 is if anything a slower more reflective affair that works beautifully. On A Summer Day could be 10cc. I Can't Forget is Classic Merseybeat. Running Away could be The Strawbs or Lindisfarne.





Marty Scott's revival of Jem Records continues apace and just reissuing these two fine albums would be more than enough. However there's more. a second disc contains six new songs and four Unplugged versions of songs from As Far As Yesterday Goes.

The six new songs leave you hopeful of a third album from the duo. With the exception of Solitude Saturday, these songs are even more Lennon McCartney like and the former could be Al Stewart. I really can't recommend this double disc affair any higher than just to tell you to get your wallet out tout de suite.





You can buy the album from today everywhere.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 18



Back to normality after a week's break from IDHAS.

The I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is brought to you by the Number 18 tomorrow.

It's been a great week for new releases and such. So much so that only this week's opener is an archive track.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first seventeen shows here.

Reviews are back on here from tomorrow.

Here is this week's playlist :

01 Feeder - Buck Rogers
02 Third Of Never - Austerity
03 Shrug Life - First World Problems
04 Groovy Uncle - Our Gary's No Fool
05 UV Pop - Anyone For Me
06 Horizon Arcs - Fast Forward
07 Future Teens - In Love Or Whatever
08 Kris Rodgers - Rock N' Roll Radio
09 Avora Records - We Happy Few
10 Berwanger - The Astronaut
11 The Moms - Good Job
12 Robyn Gibson - 5D
13 Salto - Home Again
14 Takotsubo Men - Tony Szabo Destroyed Everything
15 Linda Perhacs - Crazy Love
16 Gentlemen Jackals - Waiting For The Day



Thursday, 12 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 17




The I Don't Hear A Single Radio show reaches the Number 17 tomorrow.

It's a Special Edition providing the opportunity to listen to one of the best Power Pop Albums of the year ahead of this weekend's review. The full self titled debut album from The Stanleys is exclusively played for your listening pleasure.

As if that wasn't enough, the front end of the show sees the return of Custard and Liverpool Express with possibly the reissue of the year.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first sixteen shows here.

Here is this week's playlist :


01 The On And Ons - Not The Only One
02 Ian Person - Whatever It Takes
03 Skytone - Second Hand Shops
04 Custard - In The Grand Scheme Of Things (None Of This Really Matters)
05 The Two Tens - Streetlight
06 New Politics - One Of Us
07 Liverpool Express - Every Man Must Have A Dream
08 The Stanleys - Amy
09 The Stanleys - Cigarette Glow
10 The Stanleys - What Are We Gonna Do
11 The Stanleys - My World
12 The Stanleys - Always
13 The Stanleys - Hefner
14 The Stanleys - Everybody Dance
15 The Stanleys - Say You Will
16 The Stanleys - This Time Goodbye
17 The Stanleys - Summer
18 The Stanleys - Kid's Gonna Rock



Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Liverpool Express - The Albums (3CD)



In the halcyon days of Anything Should Happen, Billy Kinsley was the ideal artist for what that Blog celebrated. He was involved in not one but two classic lost Pop Rock albums, added to his Mersey Beat standing. What more did you need? He is one of the mainstays of that genre, yet few of the general public laud him. Hopefully that's about to change.

Billy Kinsley was a founder member and vocalist (with Tony Crane) of The Merseybeats and left, excepting a brief departure in 1964, after their glory years were fading in 1966. He duly formed a vocal duo called The Merseys with Tony Crane, famous for the first cover of Sorrow which was a massive hit. Bowie would later also cover this McCoy's B Side.

His tie up with the equally excellent Jimmy Campbell in Rockin' Horse resulted in 1970's Yes It Is, an album that is still celebrated by the Power Pop Community. nearly five decades on. The band are held in the same esteem as say Badfinger, despite this being their only album. Indeed their only live outing was as Chuck Berry's Backing Band on his 1972 Tour.

After a period out of the limelight, but still touring, Kinsley re-emerged in Liverpool Express in 1975. Rapidly signed to Warner Brothers, their debut album, Tracks, has remained an album that fans have been waiting for on CD for a long long time. 






Containing the hit singles, You are My Love, Hold Tight and the superb, Every Man Must Have A Dream are essential listening. Tracks is an album that any lover of McCartney type pop should own. It warrants it's position in the Top 10 Pop Rock albums of the 70s. The album lit up 1976.

You've heard of Big In Japan, well Liverpool Express were big in South America, very big. Whenever we discussed Liverpool Express, the fans from Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc waded in with their thoughts. The album was heavily bootlegged over there. Here you have 3 Bonus B Sides to add to the enjoyment.

The two follow up albums Dreamin' and LEX are not quite as good, but are still highly sought after. Dreamin' appeared in 1978, it was a rushed recording in between touring. Like many debut albums, Tracks had a lot of material honed before the studio recording, Dreamin' didn't. It got lost in the Punk and New Wave adventures of the time. 





It's a really decent album and So Here I Go Again is a fine single, Dreamin' is a great song, but compared to Tracks, it obviously suffers. The addition of the single Don't Stop The Music as one of the three bonus tracks is a welcome one. That got a lot of play on local radio, but sadly did no more.

The third album, released in 1979 contains 3 covers amid it's nine songs. Games People Play is a really nice stab at Joe South's original and the Kinsley original I Want Nobody But You is great, but largely the times dictated that the band had served it's time. The two single B Sides are added to the original album here.

In 2002, Kinsley released a Greatest Hits which is now inessential, thanks to this set. A reformed Liverpool Express released a new album, Once Upon A Time in 2003, but the moment had gone.
Billy Kinsley still tours with The Merseybeats. 






I was really disappointed to discover that I'd missed out on an excellent Spencer Leigh, 4 part documentary on Billy on Radio Merseyside a few years ago. If anyone has a recording of this, please give me a shout.

I Don't Hear A Single largely concentrates on the new, but as a collector, I never lose touch with my past. I have to say of all the reissues this year, this one delights me most. All three albums and eight bonus tracks. Cherry Red have made an ageing man very very happy. 


You can buy the set here and everywhere.



Thursday, 5 October 2017

I Don't Hear A Single Radio Show Episode 16


Episode 16 of the I Don't Hear A Single Radio show is tomorrow.

Broadcast on KOR Radio at 8pm UK Time on Fridays, repeated at the same time on Saturdays. Due to increased popularity, a Monday Night Repeat has been added at 8pm and there are plans for some more US Friendly times.

You can listen to it here.

Also, a reminder that the show is archived the following week on Mixcloud. You can listen to the first fifteen shows here.

Here is this week's playlist :

01 The Icicle Works - Understanding Jane
02 The Succesful Failures - All Wrapped Up
03 The Wild Young Hearts - My Oldest Friend
04 Mister Heavenly - Blue Lines
05 Belinda - Adi Shakti
06 The Young Hearts - Bloom
07 J Roddy Walston And The Business - Numbers
08 The Two Tens - Stuck In My Head
09 Michael Penn - A Bad Sign (Live At KCRW)
10 Tom Baker And The Snakes - Say Goodbye
11 Richard Turgeon - Look Away
12 My Little Hum - Geography Lesson
13 Hey! Hello! - All Around The World
14 Kevin Ayers Lady June And Ollie Halsall - Speeding Heart
15 The Granite Shore - Buyer Beware
16 Per Gessle - Ge Allt Du Kan



My Little Hum - Remembering Houses



My Little Hum are husband and wife duo Yuri and Dan Jewett. The San Franciscan duo's debut album is out on Allen Clapp's formidable Mystery Lawn Music label. Yuri's voice is sugar sweet. imagine Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell ditching the electrics.

There's plenty of interest away from the norm here, the guitar on Geography Lesson lends itself to a real psych pop strum, but the steel guitar takes it to another level. Take Care Of You is very Throwing Muses in a good way.






Take Care Of You is like Susanna Hoffs fronting The Church in a slower mode. Rise Over Run is all angular riffs, think Pretenders, with hints of Jangle. Very C86. Steep Ravine is very reminiscent of Susanna Hoffs solo album vibe.

There's also some real depth in the darker two part Alberta, a much moodier affair. There's some really interesting guitar work from Dan Jewett, very different to the songs that it aids. In fact, that's the great thing about Remembering Houses.







The vocals would normally grace a Girl Pop album with big choruses, yet are not used like that in any way. You'd expect to hear moody aching guitar and it's far more inventive, Johnny Marr like at times.

The solo at the end of Alberta II is refreshingly original gripping. There's also a cover of Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen In Love, a favourite song of mine forever. This style may wear a little thin in the UK with the number of TV Adverts doing this with similar songs, but elsewhere, this very different take will please many.






You can listen to and buy the album here.



The Forty Nineteens - Good Fortune



I've been doing a fair bit of catching up lately and this has involved listening a lot of old and new and some very different stuff. So it's nice to review something very much on my home territory. It's also nice to acknowledge the Kool Kat label's continued output and prosperity. I love talking to Ray, his enthusiasm is infectious, but I don't make enough time to do it. Too busy being busy, IDHAS taking off in all directions, all of them crap excuses.

Temecula's The Forty Nineteens inhabit a world somewhere in between Garage Rock and Power Pop, I suppose you'd call it Beat Pop. They are equally at home on songs like My Camaro and Purple Microdot in UK 60's Beat. Alternatively, the killer single, And Such And Such is in prime Plimsouls territory.






What they do know is how to grab a riff and ram it home. The Longer I Wait could be great 70's Pop Rock with a real jangle and a Classic Rock chime. Let Love In is classic Merseybeat. It's however the more recent nods that grip me most.

Two Pillows reminds me of The Searchers Sire Recordings and therefore leads me to The Records. Crocodile Tears and Another Day are so The Romantics or Paul Collins' Beat. The latter another potential riff out single. Overall, the band are like a popped up Fleshtones and as such Good Fortune works brilliantly.





You can listen to and buy the download here. More relevantly you can buy the CD at Kool Kat here.