MPBTBLondon’s Midnight Playlist are a four piece alternative pop-rock/pop-punk band, who bring a strong sense of good times and youthful spirit on their debut EP ‘Built To Break’.  There’s a real energy present from the very beginning of the opening track: a door slams, voices chatter, an amplifier buzzes…and with that, the quartet burst into life. That opener ‘A Year In Hell’ mixes pop-punk guitar chords and an alternative rock spirit, like a DIY collision between early Sum 41 and Don Broco; it’s a performance on which drummer Atish really excels.  Twin guitars chug and thrash in classic punk-pop style – even making room for a couple of lead flourishes – while lead vocalist Aaron cries each line with confidence, all the while happy to let his natural accent through, despite the attempts of a few vocal filters to make his voice sound more generic to the musical style.  You’ll have heard this sort of thing a thousand times before, but there’s an energy and tightness here – even obvious despite the limited recording budget – that makes this tune very enjoyable all round.

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Parks & Recreation: Real Gone meets Brian E. King

In 2010, an unexpected power pop gem appeared in the release schedules by an unknown band named Oranjuly.  The release played almost like a history of power pop, pulling influence from Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Jellyfish and Weezer on a strong set of songs.  A year or so passed and we hadn’t heard much from the Oranjuly camp at all…until multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/songwriter Brian E. King re-appeared in a band named Parks.  In the autumn of 2014, Real Gone caught up with Brian to find out what happened to the Oranjuly project and why they seemed destined to a be a one album deal.


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As part of our “catching up” series, Real Gone caught up with Mark Bacino, last seen in our columns in 2011.

Bacino gained some positive notices in the power pop community with his third full-length release ‘Queen’s English’, a mature album that moved away from his previous bubblegum styles and bought more Billy Joel and Randy Newman influences to the fore.  It was a concept album of sorts about growth and family, the album shared Bacino’s love of New York.  We hoped for a similarly classy follow-up, but the years passed and nothing appeared.  

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