Some bands throw their guitars to the front of mix or offer up some hooky guitar lick that drives the song. This post features songs from bands where the guitar attack is a key part of the charm but none take up the challenge in quite the same way.
Poole’s “Supermerica” blasts open with a guitar storm not unlike more than few singles from Fountains of Wayne but the vocals have more of a Bob Mould solo tinge. The band put out three albums in the 1990s but didn’t really take off, sadly, as their 1995 debut Alaska Days is fantastic and features this song. The Travoltas drop into “I’m Sorry” with crunchy load of rhythm guitar before settling into a great poprock sound that the Dutch seem to have patented in recent years with bands like this one and Tommy and the Rockets. This song has nice of dose of Beach Boys harmony about two-thirds of the way through, not surprisingly given this 2002 album title is Endless Summer. The band’s most recent album, Until We Hit the Shore, continues to mine this beach-infused party punk sound. Australia’s Genes or The Genes (depending on the recording) make their acoustic guitars jump out of the speakers on tracks like “A Smile Will Do” and “I Know.” Our featured track is from their 1995 record, Buy a Guitar, and the whole record is pretty consistently acoustic guitar dominant in ways you didn’t really think possible. Of the three bands, only the Travoltas seems serious about promoting their music online. You will search in vain for much info or a website for the other two. I’m SorryA Smile Will Do
Of the bands featured in this post, The Ivins probably most fit the bill of potential mainstream rock success with “Roam the World” from their new album, The Code Duello. Eclectic Music Lover put me on to them and this song rumbles into life with a killer echo-y guitar riff. The style is very old-school FM radio rock, less poprock, but the brothers who comprise the band have a killer harmony sound that ups the melody quotient at various points in the song. By contrast, Odd Robot give off an indie vibe both in terms of their guitar sound but also their vocal style. I love how it all comes together on our featured song “Take With Two White Pills” from their recent album A Late Night Panic. The guitars and vocals are some great poprock, tweaked with just a hint of that discordant indie élan. Wrapping up this post is recovering noise punk band, Terry Malts. I say ‘recovering’ because the boys appear to be changing their stripes with this most recent single “It’s Not Me” but there are indications that old habits die hard. The song opens with a crisp lead guitar line that loops around as the main hook of the tune while the vocals are bit more shoegaze. It’s a really great poprock single but it is about the only one in their extensive catalogue. Ok, I shouldn’t be greedy, one song is better than none. However, when I saw the band recently in Toronto even this song got the noise punk treatment. Would love to see more songs in this vein from the band.
I didn’t find any internet sites for Poole or Genes but the Travoltas, Ivins, Odd Robot, and Terry Malts all make internet contact easy. I’ve only scratched the surface of what they offer here. Dig deeper.
Great post, Dennis, and thanks so much for the shout out.