Thursday always seems to be good time to let the guitars ring. Today’s mixture has both albums and singles of note, with varying degrees of sibilance on display.
The Neilson Family hail from the indie musical Mecca of Portland. Their new album is Double Life and it’s full of jangle and positive references to public sector workers. “Civil Service Anthem” is just what it sounds like – a great tune and sentiments! But check out “Same Sign Pt. 2” as it’s also pretty special.
It’s been a big year for The Vapour Trails, an EP, an album of new material, and now a collection of home recordings and demos entitled The Inner Truth. It’s not just cast offs here. “Behind You” is driven by a killer Beatles “Day Tripper” lead line, “Miggs” has great organ and guitar fills, and the cover of “Michelle” is airy and delightful. 17 tracks here, both quality original material and inspired covers (the Byrds covers are maximum jangle!).
The guitar on The Umbrella Puzzles’ “Dusty Pages” practically leaps out of the speakers and then goes on for 30 seconds – I thought it was going to be an instrumental – before Ryan Marquez’ low key vocals kick in, creating a sweet counterpoint to the jangle. The self-titled EP has more of the good same.
Our next track I nicked from Wayne Lundqvist Ford latest amazing annual power pop compilation, Screwballs and Curveballs. From the 133 tracks in the collection, I had to showcase Dave Molter’s “Midcentury Man.” The song’s got an opening jangle that cuts through everything (in a good way!) while the lyrics shed light on the great hopes of music-loving 1960s boomers, with some sweeping ‘ah’s and engaging instrumental interludes.
Wrapping up this session of JT, the more lofi jangle of Manchester’s Butcher the Bar. “Go” comes from a record largely recorded between 2013 to 2015, though only released this year as III. There’s a bit of Dropkick and Teenage Fanclub here. “Lying,” “Haunts” and “Toulouse” are pretty winning tracks too!
Perhaps The Neilson Family, The Vapour Trails, The Umbrella Puzzles, Dave Molter and Butcher the Bar have a special fuzz pedal on layaway somewhere. That’s when every song sale really counts.
Bright, bright streetcar lights courtesy Larry Gordon.