Breaking news is a feature where we damn the regularly scheduled programming, ignore the well-behaved (and frankly backed-up) queue of music I’ve been waiting to write about, and rush out these tracks because, well, you’ve just got to hear them now. These are brand new tracks from mostly brand new bands, with a few exceptions. What they share is that rush of adrenaline that accompanies every breakneck, killer poprock song.
Public Access TV is a band in the process of coming into its own. Released less than a year ago, their first EP, Public Access, was great, featuring strong tracks like “Patti Peru,” “Metropolis,” and “Loose Ends” (with its great loopy piano solo). But starting with last November’s single “In Love and I’m Alone” the band really began to carve out a distinctive sound, which is reinforced with the first single from their forthcoming album: “On Location.” Public Access TV come to Toronto May 6 to play the Garrison in what will undoubtedly be a great show.
Twin Peaks looks like a band of stoner dudes, ready to party anywhere. But their music is not the spaced-out stoner jams of yesteryear. This is a rock and roll outfit whose material stretches from the buzzed out vocals of “Baby Blue” to the garage rock vibe of “In the Morning (In the Evening)” to the dirty power pop of “Flavor” to the crisp poprock production of “Telephone.” But they have outdone themselves on their new single “Walk to the One You Love.” This song is sonically more sophisticated and professional than anything they have ever done. The band owns this tune, riding a catchy guitar riff, mixing in great vocals, horns and piano. All this bodes well for their soon-to-be-released new album, Down in Heaven.
There are a lot of bands named Swerve. This one is a California band that channels the great poprock sound of those mid-1980s Athens, Georgia, post-new wave acts. Even their smoldering cover boy above exudes 1980s angst, or is that just a chill in the air? It was hard to choose just one song from the Swerve’s recently released self-titled EP. “Aw Hell,” “You’re Wild,” and “Baby Blue” all have single written all over them but this time I’m going with “Remedy” which kicks off with a great wall of guitar before going a bit quiet and then coming back in strong on the chorus.
John Faye is no newcomer to the music scene. He was for many years the creative force behind IKE, which had a number of hits. But if you’re familiar with his past work, you will hardly recognize him from this new solo album, Meddling Kid. On this new effort, he has traded in the FM radio rock sound for a more poprock palette. Highlights for me include “Meddling Kids,” “Into Philadelphia,” and our featured track, “Keep On Hanging Around.” The song builds masterfully from a simple acoustic guitar opening verse to then fatten up the vocals and introduce more of the band and electric guitar in a way that hooks the listener in. A ‘how to’ of great poprock production.