powerpop Archive

Album Review: SVT — Always Comes Back

As I’ve mentioned before, SVT is the band most often named among those interviewed for my latest book as the Bay Area band most deserving of greater success than they found. With a sound that touched on new wave, punk and power pop and featured the extraordinarily talented Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) on

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 1

It’s time for some more hundred-word reviews. These quick capsule reviews get to the point quickly, and readers should note that all come recommended. Don’t be misled by the lack of a longer treatment of these releases; all are worth your time. Amoeba Teen – Amoeba Teen This band’s 2018 compilation Selection Box Vol. 1

DVD Review: SVT – The Price of Sex

SVT is one of the coolest bands you’ve likely never heard of. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Marnell, this San Francisco-based band had talent to burn, combining musical muscle with sharp songwriting. But the group didn’t last long, and their recorded output was limited to a couple of singles, and EP and one

Album Review: Scott McCarl — Play On

I am sure we can agree as to the wonderfulness that is The Raspberries’ catalog. “Go All the Way” is pop perfection, taking the “don’t bore us; get to the chorus” aesthetic to the extreme in its quest for rock’n’roll transcendence. And though they released only four albums in their ‘70s run, what a great

Hundred-word Reviews for April 2022, Part 1

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a set of hundred-word reviews. Content slowed to a trickle during the worst of the pandemic. But now things seem to be headed toward a “new normal.” So here are looks at a pile of new releases, all of which warrant further investigation. Rick Holmstrom – Get It! Inexplicably,

Album Review: The Split Squad – Another Cinderella

The “supergroup” label is tossed around far too wantonly; in proper usage, it should only be applied to groups that feature members who have all achieved notability (or at least notoriety) individually and/or as members of other groups. By that strict measure, The Split Squad is indeed a supergroup, and a super one at that.

Album Review: Lannie Flowers — Flavor of the Month

Texas singer, songwriter and guitarist Lannie Flowers is a giant in the power pop subgenre. His body of work showcases chiming, hooky and melodic songs with an immediate, relatable character. His 2019 release, Home took things in a slightly different direction, leaning in more of an acoustic/Americana style. Though widely acclaimed, Home remained something of

Album Re-Review: Two Pound Planet — Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox

Today I’m revisiting a review originally posted more than a year ago. Songs From the Hydrogen Jukebox received what we’ll call a soft release in late 2020. As nice as that set looked, it’s really about the music. And now it’s out with professional packaging worthy of the contents inside. Highly recommended, like I already

Album Review: The Grip Weeds – Dig

If you’re a band that has a well-earned reputation for top-notch original material, an album of covers had better add something worthwhile to listeners’ understanding and appreciation of what you do. Otherwise, beyond a busman’s holiday, what’s the point? The Grip Weeds have long since established their rock-solid rep as purveyors of hard-charging, muscular (yet

The Be Positives – Everything About the Be Positives

This Manchester outfit released its self-titled debut in 2019, and has continued in earnest on a creative path in the months since then. A single, “It’s Easy (If You Try)” was released in December ‘20, and another track, “Circles” debuted around the same time. Now the band’s second long-player, Everything About the Be Positives has