At this point, pop punk is old enough that nostalgic feelings have manifested in many 90′s children who are currently making music. Being There combines Blink 182 style guitar hooks and instrumentation with twee poppy vocals in a manner that despite being unforeseen, meshes seamlessly. I don’t know much about this British group beyond the fact that their Bandcamp features two of the most fitting early summer tunes I’ve encountered this month. “Tomorrow” is the kind of song that is most appropriately described as being the kind of song that one can’t help but tap his or her foot along with. Interestingly, the guitar tone screams Yuck, and while not being original, it’s more appetizing and pleasant in this setting. Being There has a lot of potential, especially with the ever growing 90′s revival scene.
The story of Forever Amber’s The Love Cycle is as charmingly curious as the album itself. The only thing people seem to agree on about the production of the album is that a British six-piece recorded it in 1966 and that only ninety-nine copies were pressed. Apparently, the limited release was the product of a tax scam, but again, the details are fuzzy. The album itself is all over the place, featuring a handful of lead singers and following a disjointed narrative about a couple falling in love, but a few of songs are very impressive. “Bits of Your Life, Bits of My Life” is one of the most delightful tracks I’ve encountered in a while. The simple, snare only, drum part provides the backbone for an even simpler vocal melody that is closely escorted by an organ and light guitar. The vocals stand somewhere between Colin Blunstone and Richie Furay, but without the preachy qualities that they occasionally present. What makes the song so powerful is how much you trust the lyrically understated love the song discusses. The song fits all of the longing joy of admiration into an almost perfect two and a half minute package.
Red Drapes are an english group that are interesting. After looking at their myspace, it is clear that they are doing everything in their power to get their name out there, and they might be worth taking notice of. Reflection is one of the most produced tracks that The Islander has come across recently. It isn’t a negative quality, but something about that facet of the song required some getting over on my part. Once I got past that, the song turned into something totally enjoyable. The vocals are very sturdy, and stand up to the reverb filled baking jam very well. The Islander can’t help but be reminded of Interpol, but again this isn’t a bad thing at all. Red Drapes have a very fun sound, and hopefully more will be seen of them.
SPLASHH are a British duo who are pretty rad at what they do. “All I Wanna Do” might have the most engaging first ten seconds of any song I’ve ever heard, and the promise it makes is delivered on. The only word I can comfortably use to describe the song is “charming”. Comparisons to groups like Ride are probably apt, but they’re a bit reductive. The song is so vibrant and succulently dynamic, it’s hard to describe exactly why it makes me so happy.