Friday, January 05, 2007


BRYAN ESTEPA All the Bells and Whistles (Popboomerang) Authentic 70s country-folk rock from Down Under. A great comparison would be the classic Rough Mix collaboration between Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane. Or perhaps the Eagles (the good bits) or Poco. Whatever, I like Estepa’s songs, they possess a certain heartfelt resonance only the best country tunes can bring.

FIEL GARVIE Caught Laughing (Words On Music) I just love it when bands screw around with my pre-conceptions. Last time out Fiel Garvie were an earnest shoe-gazer revival band. Not any more. Basically, Fiel Garvie has morphed into a very useful indie rock band. So out with the atmospheric guitar pedals (well, almost as “Airsong” will attest) and welcome the violins and cellos. Jagged but nice.

POP IS ART Epiphany (Self released) Scott McGinley used to front Bliss, a band that was huge (for 15 minutes) in my neck of the woods i.e. South East Asia. But that does not prepare me for the consummate power pop that McGinley effortlessly dishes out on this fabulous debut solo album. Taking his cues from all the right influences (The Beatles, Beach Boys, ELO & Jellyfish), McGinley has produced an insanely pop masterpiece.

MARYKATE O’NEIL 1-800-bankrupt (Self released) I can’t help enjoying the nostalgic 80s feeling I am getting off O’Neil’s new release. Reminiscent of the kind of jangle folk-rock the likes of Freedy Johnston and Marshall Crenshaw were delivering twenty odd years ago, 1-800-bankrupt is a wonderful evocation of a memorable era. O’Neil owns a rich pair of pipes that wraps your ears in unadulterated joy with tunes to match.

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