powerpop Archive

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 1

The majority among these five lean in a powerpop direction. Rob Fetters – Ship Shake If Fetters’ name strikes you as familiar, that may be because you fondly remember The Bears, the arty powerpop group featuring him and Adrian Belew. And maybe you incorrectly assumed that Belew’s prodigious creativity was the Bears’ sole center of

Album Reviews: Big Stir Singles — The Seventh and Eighth Waves

Time was, Jordan Oakes reigned as the tastemaker supreme in the powerpop world. His Yellow Pills compilation series shone a light on the very best that the genre had to offer. And the four volumes in the series – all quite expensive today if you can even find them (you can’t have mine) – hammered

French Cassettes Get Fully Organized on ‘Rolodex’

It’s been a lot of years and a number of different styles for San Francisco’s French Cassettes. But on the long-gestating Rolodex – released December 11 on Portland, Ore.-based Tender Loving Empire Records – the group gets it right. Guitarist Scott Huerta formed French Cassettes in 2006. “We started having a concrete lineup around 2008,”

Hundred-word Reviews: January 2021 #2

Here’s five more brief reviews; this time we’ve got progressive rock, powerpop, indie chamber pop, goth rock and one album that’s simply beyond easy classification. What they all have in common is that they’re new, they’re indie, they’d be likely to escape your notice if you didn’t visit Musoscribe, and they’re all quite, quite good.

Album Review: Two Pound Planet — Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox … and More

The story of Two Pound Planet is the story of countless bands: they write and played some great music, got the chance to work with a great producer who understood them, made a great record, and … disappeared pretty much with out a trace. The 1990s were was something of a strange time for the

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Three

And here’s the last of this current run of hundred-word reviews covering new releases. Soul, powerpop and blues; something for most tastes. All worth your time. Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer Don’t let the cheesy, lurid, chartreuse album art dissuade you from the contents: this is the real deal. Sonny Green is one

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Two

Here’s five more quick reviews. Powerpop, ambient, jazz and more. Nick Frater – Fast & Loose The title might lead the uninitiated to suspect that Nick Frater’s album is something along the lines of the Stooges. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s melodic, tuneful and highly appealing rock that has the best elements of subgenres (classic-,

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part One

Today marks the triumphant return of my hundred-word reviews. My last roundup of new releases in the form of brief critical summaries came way back in February, before the world changed. For awhile there, the steady stream of new releases seemed to slow to a trickle; many planned releases were – quite understandably – put

Modern Strangers: Self-made Men

Infectious tunes like the speedy pop of Modern Strangers’ “Where’s Your Man” – the speedy pop gem that’s the leadoff single from Modern Strangers’ debut album, Dangerous Fiction – combine rock grittiness and the sleek, streamlined vibe of classic pop. Listeners yearning for weepy, introspective balladry are advised to look elsewhere; this band is all