Arthur Alexander, Pre Nup, The Dumb Things, The Hanging Stars, The Incredible Vickers Brothers, The Maureens
Time to get your jangle on – it’s jangle Thursday! Why Thursday? I don’t know. Maybe people just need a bit of sparkle to carry them through to the weekend. This installment takes a broad view of what jangles, not limiting the pool to just the Rickenbacker electric 12 string crew (not that there’s anything wrong with them …).
Calgary duo Pre Nup get things rolling with some pretty nice jangle guitar on “The Grudge” from their recent LP Oh Well. Vibing a neo-1990s pop-grunge sound, the lead and rhythm guitars propel this song along at a wonderfully relentless pace. The Incredible Vickers Brothers take us in a more folk rock direction with “Mirrors” from their latest Torch Songs for Swingers, a sophomore record ten years in the making. Strummy with nice sparkly fingerpicking, the song segues effortlessly into some great hooky poprock. Now let’s take things into a more mellow mode with London’s The Hanging Stars, a band seemingly just off the Tardis from 1969 country-rock land. On Songs for Somewhere Else, the band display their mastery of a late 1960s laid back sound al la The Band or the Byrds. So many possible songs to choose from but “Pick Up the Pieces” captures the pleasant but still hooky sentiment of those times.
Next we set off for the Netherlands to hear what The Maureens have been working on for their much anticipated follow up to 2015’s fantastic Bang the Drum. Singles have been emerging this past year (reviewed here) and they do not disappoint. The latest is “4AM,” a swingingly delightful pop confection, full of jangly guitars and hooky vocals. The new album is Something in the Air, due to drop in February 2019, and it can’t come fast enough! Speaking of travel, Dumb Things hail from Brisbane, Australia and their self-titled debut album has a wonderful live quality to all its melodic poprock tunes. Case in point, opening track “Driving Home” with it’s driving rhythm guitar and dogged hooky lead line. Party dance number, totally. Wrapping things up – Arthur Alexander. No, not that Arthur Alexander (of “Soldier of Love” and “Anna” fame), but this one, formerly of power pop legends the Sorrows and the Poppees, and One Bar Left is, surprisingly, his first solo effort. Given his recorded resume, it’s not a shocker that the album is great, mining a melodic rock and roll seam perfected by his afore-mentioned bands as well as a bit on the boogie side of bands like Rockpile. So many super tracks but check out the early Beatles/British invasion jangle “I’ll Get Your Love Someday.” Perfection!
You could stream these tracks from Pre Nup, The Incredible Vickers Brothers, The Hanging Stars, The Maureens, Dumb Things, and Arthur Alexander but what if you lose the internet? Are you prepared to risk running low on hooks? Jangle peace of mind comes cheap at just 99 cents a tune.