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TEEN MEN: Skewed sunshine pop for people that want to remain in touch with their inner teen with all the rough edges that entails while retaining a certain sense of innocence. Not sure how you pull that off in these cynical times but everyone has their own version of nostalgia---it's all subjective. Not exactly what the Free Design had in mind, but that was another time and place and at some point or another, everyone thinks that kites are fun.

NEW YORK ELECTRIC PIANO/Black Hole in One: Any old bunch of vet rockers can listen to space period Miles and think I can do that. Should work wonders for my cred". However, you can tell when they've taken the time to listen to Coltrane in space, Hancock in Mwandishi, Duke on MPS, Bob James on ESP and more that shows you just aren't painting by numbers. Bottomed by an eclecticism that doesn't limit it's focus or scope, they were standing on the corner where Zappa met Dolphy and bought Varese a cup of coffee as well. It's almost a tribute to the golden age of when the inmates were running the asylum. Well done.

RIC TODD/Drawing Lines: A local hero in the upper Midwest that has some awards and recognition under his belt is now ready to rock out on his own. His debut is loaded with stripped down, contemporary blues rock that goes right for the gut.

HWY 61
HUGE LARGE: A self described two man power trio, there has to be just a drop of pomo humor behind them doing garage versions of garage classics---slipping in some hair band stuff along the way, hmmm. A detour from the usual pomo cocktail versions of grunge, if you just like to rock, this will simultaneously tickle your funny bone as well as your rocker nerves. Fun stuff with nothing to prove that does a great job of sneaking in under the radar.

CHANDLER TRAVIS & DAVID GREENBERGER/Bocce & Bourbon: Why shouldn't (Lowen &) Navarro have an east coast counter part? Pop folkie smoothness that doesn't ruffle the feathers spools out nicely here. Culled from 7 previously released albums, this putatative greatest hits set certainly whets the appetite for more by this duo that has sprung from the Casuals over time. Easy going adult pop that goes down well.

AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR/Friday the 13th: Really, these guys want to sound like Hawkwind and Can doing soundtracks for Freddy Krueger. Progressive space hell from France? Too much sulfites in the wine over there? Parents brace yourselves, this is the real nu malcontent sound of the suburbs. It's a wild ride that when taken at loud volume just might find junior killing you in your sleep. Juniorette might even be made more vicious if she plays this after you tell her she can't do something she wants to. Yikes!

ESZTER BALINT/Airless Midnight: No point in making a record more frequently than every decade if you don't have anything to say. Then of course, when Louie C.K. comes calling to do an arc in his show... An art chick of long standing that comes from a left field arts background to boot, the New York hipster is alive and well in her pen and voice as she turns out the downtown vibe in a way that's other than skronk jazz. Like a folkie for the left of center ears, Balint takes you on a tour of where underground singer/songwriters are hanging out with their well traveled hip pals. Dazzling contemporary pop that is loaded with things you never expect.

JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN/Greatest Hits: Seems like having a kid brought a new reality to Austin's trash poet making him rethink his positioning as a nu, rocking Bukowski for a nu generation that doesn't have the traditional attention span you need to soak in singer/songwriters. An acquired malcontent taste, Coleman seems to be single handedly trying to be Austin's answer to Ramones.

PEOPLE'S CHAMPS/American Dreamers: When you're a restless creative type with a "day job" for Beyonce, the after hours world beckons. Nu sounds of the street from Billyberg that mixes contemporary pop with synth and horns as well as international flavors, this is a well conceived but restless sound that has what it takes to dominate urban, multi culti dance floors until well into the wee hours. Wild stuff that hits below the belt with glee as well as style.

Volume 39/Number 3
November 3, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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