Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End Of The Year Shout Outs

Photo of Kevin Lee from his Facebook page.

In no particular order, here are some more CD releases that impressed me this year. I’ll have another batch tomorrow.

The Britannicas - Self-titled Ringing guitars and tight harmonies abound on this international trio’s collection of melodic 1960s styled power pop.

Darker My Love - Alive As You Are L.A. band follows R.E.M.’s method for reinventing The Byrds, while guitarist-vocalist Tim Presley and bassist Rob Barbato create perfect harmonies.

Hollus - Part One The first of two planned EPs finds the hard-rocking Hollus using more sophisticated arrangements, while still exuding an adventurous spirit.

Kevin Lee & The Kings - Dusk Till Dawn A worthy follow-up to Lee’s 2006 full-length effort, Flip The Switch, it furthers his long-standing reputation as an engaging power pop singer-guitarist.

Braam - Living Room Latest effort from the band of brothers impresses with an intricate, acoustic-based approach on melodic, well-crafted songs.

Matt Ryd - Looking For A Home Ten easy-going love songs that showcase Ryd’s knack for catchy melodies.

The Severed Limb - Woo Eee Ha Ha! Fun EP from London-based skiffle band whose stripped-down arrangements and energetic harmonies exude the excitement a live performance.

The Valley Downs Self-titled The band’s follow-up to their Behemoth EP features singer Marianne Shimkus and bassist-vocalist Mike Galassini on songs that evoke The Bangles and The Beatles.

Aaron Fox and The Reliables - Late Too Soon Solid debut offers a melodic blend of acoustic and electric instruments on songs that tap into the Midwestern power pop tradition.

Johnny L Friend This veteran of Chicago punk bands like The Slugs breezes through a collection of short, eccentric pop tunes on his second solo effort.

Matt Dodge & The Lobsters - Lobsters! Dodge is too young to have been around when the classic songs of the 1960s were being released, but he sure sounds like he’s been influenced by them.

Magatha Trysty - Be Safe Vocalist-keyboards player Catherine Bevard and vocalist-guitarist Christopher Bevard anchor a sound that falls somewhere between power pop and indie rock.

Maple Mars - Galaxyland An imaginative mix of power pop and psychedelic rock, with most of the tracks composed and produced by vocalist/guitarist Rick Hromadka.

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