Saturday, July 29, 2006


SEGARINI Gotta Have Pop/…On The Radio/Goodbye L.A. (Bullseye)
Classic powerpop seldom gets better than this! Bob Segarini released three definitive albums of the late 70s pub rock/new wave era for Toronto label Bomb Records and now all three have been remastered and re-released by Bullseye. Gotta Have Pop is Segarini’s masterpiece as he lets his love for the Beatles flow through every song. Especially the original closer Love Story which addressed the Beatles reunion gossip that went on at the time (remember…?) … On The Radio is a live recording of an early show of the Segarini band which I can either take or leave. Goodbye L.A. contains many of the features that made Gotta Have Pop endearing but is probably more muscular than its predecessor. Powerpop fans who want to bone up on their history will find these re-releases essential.

SEMION Help Me I Work In An Office (Self-released)
This UK quartet’s first full-length album comes on the heels of the excellent EP – Get A Grip – wherein the band showcased an affinity for the likes of Teenage Fanclub. Whilst the Rickenbacker jangle is still very much in evidence, Semion has widened its palate somewhat with a heavier agenda (embracing influences like the Buzzcocks, the Kinks & Neil Young) with songs like Transmission, Liverpool Sunset, Never Changes, Black Cloud – it’s all sublime powerpop.

MIKE ELGERT Days Gone By (Self-released)
I’d say that Mike Elgert deals in old school 70s pop-rock and wonder seriously if that is a put down. It isn’t. With a strong slant towards the powerpop muse of Dwight Twilley, Cheap Trick but also display a love for the country-rock-blues affectations of the Black Crowes, which makes for a good mix. Elgert basically plays every sound you will hear on Days Gone By. A talented musician that the pop underground can proudly can call its own.

CHRIS MURPHY Elbow Room (Popboomerang)
Probably not what fans would expect from a Popboomerang record. More AOR than powerpop and that is not necessarily a bad thing. What I hear from Murphy’s mature country-folk-inflected rock is a clear empathy for the works of Don Henley, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne & Gerry Rafferty. Honest & sincere, Murphy sings from the heart without bothering whether it’s hip or not. Good for him.

RICKY High Speed Silence (Beat Crazy)
I got hold of this promo disc in 2005 and have been waiting for the opportunity to talk it up. Unfortunately, according to the band’s website, Ricky are no more! Pity because this is a great album with memorable songs like “Easy On You,” “Running” and “That Extra Mile” and so on. Catchy and dynamic, it is a bit of a travesty that you, the pop consumer, will never own this. *Sigh* Check out the myspace link below to see what I mean.

P. HUX Mile High Fan (Not Lame)
Here’s some music that should have seen the light of day in the early 90s and along with Jellyfish’s Spilt Milk, Greenberry Woods’ Big Money Item & the Grays’ eponymous album, would have been hailed as definitive of its form i.e. sophisticated powerpop. Recorded with Rusty Anderson, Jen Condos & Rob Ladd during Parthenon Huxley’s tenure as a MCA staff writer, the songs here have been rescued from oblivion by Not Lame and given the attention they deserve. Sharing with Paul McCartney & Andy Partridge, an uncanny gift to pull out unforgettable melodies seemingly from thin air, Huxley should be given his dues and fans of Roger Joseph Manning, Jason Falkner, Jon Brion and Brendan Benson must have this compilation in their possession.


Anonymous said...

I read your review of the Semion album and decided to buy it. Thanks, it is a really good record.


Power of Pop said...

Cool, Tony!
Thanks what it's all about - getting the word out. See u!