Forgive me for expecting Mo Troper to continue crafting these hook-laden gritty rock numbers for his new album, Natural Beauty. It would seem that Mo’s completely flipped the script here, brandishing more of a penchant for pop than anything. The orchestration behind Troper’s songwriting has definitely added some great textural layers to this tune, but I’m still all about that chorus; I love the way his voice soars when he sings “when I was younger/it was fun.” This feels like one of those unexpected albums that you just fall in love with, trying to convince all your friends its the greatest things out there! Natural Beauty is out via Tender Loving Empire on February 14th.
I’ve been off battling a cold all week, so it’s good to find a nice little rocker to squeeze into the playlist on a Thursday, just before we roll into the weekend. This Hussy (not to be confused with THE Hussy) tune is really great, and I honestly can’t quit playing it super loud. It offers this fuzzed jangling riff, coated in atmospherics that set up the immediate bounce of the vocals; I love the urgency in Sophie Ellison’s voice as the tension in the track builds. Sometimes you just need a jam of a song to come in and lift your spirits, and pretty sure this tune’s spot on in that fashion. Go on, have fun.
Cold weather is creeping in through my window, and I’m trying to hold onto every extra ounce of energy possible over here, which is great since there’s this Hot Shorts video to share with you. It’s a quick pop ditty, opening up with muted guitar riffs and vocals for a good thirty seconds or so. Drums drop in, the song bursts off with this anthemic chorus that you’ll find yourself screaming in a matter of seconds. It’s a no frills pop rocking journey that ends just as soon as its started, so press repeat. Or better yet, go buy I Understand and I Wish to Continue via Icecapades Records.
I loved the shit out of Second Home (2016), and I felt like Dogbreth generated some decent buzz, so I was surprised to not hear from them. But, like all things, Tristan had to move, so the band changed up until he found friends in Seattle, his new home. And, all of a sudden there’s a brand new LP of great pop rock tracks that you should turn up real loud right this instant. The opening tracks have some punch, but don’t worry about getting burnt out, as you’ll find a few slow jams like “Walk You Again” to sort of cleanse the palate. It’s like this glorious hodgepodge of power pop, pop punk, emo and indie rock, all rolled into this delicious package built for repeat rock listens. Ever Loving is a great LP, and I just now found out about it! Go grab it from the band now!
Admittedly, I was hooked almost instantly when I heard the latest tune from New Hollywood. But, sitting here now, I’m not quite sure which part of the tune I love the most. At first, it was the initial hook, the way the vocal delivery kind of coolly beckons you over. Then it was the bright shift towards pop horizons in the immediate chorus. Still, right now, there’s this brief little moment vocal curl with the delivery of the line “on the way home” that really makes me a huge sucker for this track. Just one of those tunes that gives you the feels, and there’s never a bad time for those, is there?
Lame Drivers hadn’t been on my radar up until this single crossed my desk, but you can bet that I’ll be sure keeping my ears on the band, as they’re on a run or catchy pop numbers. This one kind of finds the band straddling that ground between the Mats and Superchunk; its got a little bit of a snarl to it, though you can definitely hear the band’s penchant for pop numbers lurking about. I love the cool little pop curl that comes in just before the 3 minute mark, bringing in a nice little hook before the song goes hopping down the road. Happy Tuesday!
I’m pretty sure that Joy Cleaner is the bastard child of Ultimate Fakebook and Teenage Fanclub. Both aforementioned bands (as well as JC) brandish the same sonic tendencies, feeding listeners these huge riffs. To me, the this song’s reliance upon the vocal melody while still kicking out arena ready riffs is where I get the UF comparison; they almost share the same slight vocal hiccup…and that’s one of my favorite reasons to love both bands. Guess I’m just the world’s biggest sucker for catchy pop rock n’ roll, which is probably why I’ve been loving every second of You’re So Jaded; it drops on November 1st via Jigsaw Records.
Don’t let the scuzzy guitar fuzz on this tune frighten you; the Hussy are here to bring you a bright pop rock tune that will stick inside your head. They enter the scene here with this distorted swagger; the vocals delivered coolly, building the tension towards the chorus. It’s here you get this huge release as the volume seems to jump up, only highlighting the band’s infectious hook that they’ve built into their song. Blasting with sweet melody, the band just jump right in, melt your face, then they’re gone in just over 2 minutes…so feel free to go back there and press repeat. You’ll find this tune on their new LP, Looming, out this Fall via Dirtnap Records. They’ve got an Austin show at the end of September with Xetas.
As long as we’ve run this site, there’s been a Ram Vela in our lives. He’s been buds with RayRay forever, and his old band Whitman played countless ATH shows. But, he’s been quiet for a bit, focusing on other things. But, as of late he’s been working with his new band Ram Vela & the Easy Targets; he’s been in the studio with Taylor Muse from Austin’s Quiet Company. As of today, he’s got two pop rock nuggets ready to go for you; they’re heavy on riffs and hooks, two things you can always count on Ram to give you in his songwriting. I love the breakdown in “Garage Apt,” while “If I Fail” is more anthemic, built for crowd sing-a-longs. Ram and the band will be playing at Mohawk next Friday with Quiet Company.
By now, if you’re one of the 8 people reading these pages, you know how much I’ve been looking forward to hearing the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, the new LP from Mammoth Penguins. Today’s the day that it drops, giving us further insight into the band’s return to a slimmed down 3 piece (after the John Doe release). While there are some definite pop rocking numbers, my early time with the LP has me falling for “There is So Much More;” it’s a really soft tune, giving the album some diversity so it doesn’t wear on you…not to mention there’s no such thing as a bad Kupa performance. If you love your pop music, you’ll love this album, so go grab it from Fika Recordings, or stream it below!