The Stanleys - The Stanleys (Off The Hip)

the stanleys lpLet’s resist the cliched temptation to wax lyrical about something something mysterious in the water content in Perth, Australia, producing peerless pop-rock music. It’s been done to death and Swan Lager was more likely the culprit. 

The Stanleys (or the two principals) hail from that most isolated of state capital cities but make music that could have come from anywhere on the globe where there’s a love of harmonies, big guitars and sharp hooks. 

Here’s a band that, for once, has done things the other way round. Meaning, they’ve played hundreds of shows since 2011 but have only released their debut album now. This is not the done thing in these times of manufactured pop and inspid TV talent shows. 

New Feeling - The Favourites (Reckless Records)

new feelingSounding every bit like a band born out of time, The Favourites have released their debut album - 40 years after they expired. 

Throw your mind back to 1977-79 (pretend, if you weren’t born) and think about the music de jour in the UK. Punk? Ska? New Wave? It sure wasn’t Power Pop. What was around used the descriptor New Wave and was at the mercy of the notoriously fickle UK music media. So-called provincial bands (not based in London) had their work cut out. 

The Favourites grew out of two Nottingham bands, the DTs and Plummet Airlines, the latter signed to Stiff Records. Their two-and-a-bit-year existence was peppered by recording sessions and live work, and they shared stages with Squeeze, The Rich Kids and The Only Ones. 

Electric Trails From Nowhere - The Golden Rail (Off The Hip)

electric trailsHere’s the thing with pop music - at least for me and probably for many of you, too. First impressions count for a lot; I'm impatient. And the initial take-out from a spin of “Electric Trails From Nowhere” was how grown up the music sounded. 

For two reasons. As the bio says, “Electric Trails” is the output of a 30-year songwriting partnership between Ian Freeman and Jeff Baker, the Melbourne-via-Perth principal members of The Golden Rail. The other factor is that The Golden Rail sounds like none of the music that passes for “contemporary pop” in 2017. 

I Thought Thunderbolt – Big League (Off The Hip)

i thought thunderboltYoung Melbourne Indie band Big League have released their first album, “I Thought Thunderbolt”. What the fuck that title means is anybody’s guess, but it doesn’t matter when the music speaks for itself.

The follow-up to “The Dandy Hub” EP is a joy; good pop songs, fuzz guitars and trong song-writing. It’s sure to get airplay on enlightened Melbourne community radio stations like PBS and Triple R.

The Sonic Race - The Sonic Race (The Sonic Race)

thesonicrace epThese boys come outta the blocks right at your face and do their best to tear it off. So you’re dancing like a middle-aged dickhead in the living room (or I am, anyway), loving the sharp, smart changes, the handclaps, the groove, the bounce and bluster.

Given the band and the song this website is named for (it's not Pinky and Perky, nor New Order, nor The Smiths. Give up..?) it’s almost a no-brainer that you’d probably enjoy “The Sonic Race” EP.

In fact, I’d say this: if you’d never heard Birdman, MC5, Stooges, Dictators or the Dolls … or anyone like them, and you heard The Sonic Race… you would go out and buy an instrument and learn how to play it, and drag people in until you could all go out and play like demons and lay waste the countryside.

Where There Once Was a Fire - Andrew McCubbin featuring Melinda Kay (1am Records)

where there once mccubbinMcCubbin & Kay had me before the LP was half-way through Side A. Such a deeply romantic, real record, the songs are so well-constructed, so relaxed in their delivery that you just fall into that trap anyway, also you end up applying the words to your own life… And it gets better… you know how some LPs absolutely nail an emotion, or a period you went through? 

No?

Well, you haven’t lived much, is all I can say. I mean, you don’t have to play this one at 1am … though that would be a perfect time, and I will be doing just that fairly shortly. Mind you, pretty much anytime is perfect for "Where Once There Was a Fire".