Tuesday, September 05, 2006


THE 88 Over and Over (EMK)
Better late than never, I always say. Over and Over was released last year but it still sounds great in September 2006! The 88 presents classic powerpop without irony and totally guilt-free. The songs are crunchy, bouncy, jaunty and ultimately very cool.

DUKE FAME Too Proud to Practice (Geeves)
I dug the Duke’s debut album – Regrets – and had none. If anything, Too Proud to Practice is even better – more hooks, more harmonies, more hip songs about being square. The Duke treads a fine balance between rock abandon and pop finesse.

DAVE RAVE Anthology Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (Bullseye)
This pair of discs represents an ambitious labour of love to chronicle the musical exploits of Dave Rave (nee DesRoches) from his days with the Shakers, Teenage Head, Agnelli & Rave, Fulcrum, Crashtones and as a solo artist. Dubbed the Nick Lowe of Canada certainly gives the pop fan an idea of what Rave is capable of. Straddling 25 years of great pop-rock music from new wave to garage punk and from powerpop to jazz pop, Rave is a multi-faceted gem waiting to be discovered.

MARTY RUDNICK More Songs About Cars and Girls (Sandbox)
Marty Rudnick? Isn’t he a Rubinoos associate and one of the guys behind Sandbox Records. True, but Marty Rudnick is also a singer-songwriter in his own write and what he specializes in is “Merseybeach” which is supposed to suggest a hybrid of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Which is probably the best way to describe Cars and Girls and 60s pop fans will positively lap this up. Oh and Michael Carpenter produces as well. No brainer, pop fans!

JEREMIAH LOCKWOOD American Primitive (Vee-Ron)
You know, Jeremiah Lockwood looks way too young to be able to produce such earthy, authentic country blues like this! Austere, sparse production values bring out the power of these visceral songs. Together with his weathered larynx and light instrumentation, American Primitive is pretty much irresistible.

MARY LEE’S CORVETTE Love Loss & Lunacy (Western Force)
Is Mary Lee Kortes the pop underground’s answer to Thea Gilmore? Whatever, there is something definitely cooking here in this fine effort produced by Stephen (Smash Palace) Butler. Strong country-flavoured pop-rock material always reels me in. Sold.

THE STATES Multiply Not Divide (Self released)Another 2005 release that deserves to be heard in 2006 and beyond… The reference point most will use is Interpol and yes, I hear it too but I believe the stellar work found on Multiply Not Divide deserves more than a cursory footnote. Sure, you get the almost obligatory staccato high-fretted guitar attack ala the Edge/Will Sergeant but there is an indefinable quality about the States that lifts much of this excellent debut above your average post punk revivalists.

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