THE BLAKES – Readymade Blakeup EP

The origins of this EP go back a long way. All the way back to 2003, to be exact. New Jersey power poppers The Blakes recorded some demos and had plans to form them into a fully fledged, fully finished release to follow their debut EP…and then they split. The Blakes’ vocalist/guitarist Paul Rosevear and bassist Gay Elvis subsequently formed Readymade Breakup, a great band that adopted a few more alternative rock traits and, as the years passed, The Blakes became an ever fading memory.

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BEST BOYS ELECTRIC – Ten Years Of Brett Pop Affairs

Best Boys Electric’s 2016 EP ‘Brett Pop Affairs’ flaunted the band’s love of 70s power pop, glam and 90s indie to create a four tracker that was maybe a little ramshackle, but enjoyable. What the tunes occasionally lacked in finesse, they made up for with a truckload of enthusiasm. Regardless of what you thought of the end result, you couldn’t say it wasn’t made with love.

A similar approach is applied to their 2019 vinyl long-player, ‘Ten Years of Brett Pop Affairs’, a sixteen track romp through the band’s love of all things retro. The four EP tracks are reprised here – and as part of a broader musical landscape, they sound a little better – but for those already familiar with the band, naturally, it’ll be the newer tracks providing the biggest draw.

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KURT BAKER – After Party

Following the release of a couple of superb albums and a slew of EPs celebrating a classic late 70s/early 80s power pop sound, Kurt Baker relocated from Portland, Maine to Madrid. New horizons brought new inspirations and Baker joined pop punk/power pop band Bullet Proof Lovers and also formed a new band, The Kurt Baker Combo. Although the Combo still worshipped good old power pop, their sound was a little harder around the edges than the previous Kurt Baker Band, injecting Baker’s songwriting with a touch of garage rock. This was most obvious on the Combo’s second release – 2018’s ‘Let’s Go Wild’ – where a desire for fuzzy energies sometimes came at the expense of some great melodies.

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DOGMATICS – She’s The One EP

Likened to early Replacements meeting with Johnny Thunders, the Dogmatics were very much a cult band on the Boston rock ‘n’ roll/power pop scene in the 80s. During their original run, they toured with Dinosaur Jr., The Bangles, Hoodoo Gurus, The Fleshtones and dozens of other well known rock bands. Tragedy struck in 1986 when bassist Paul O’Halloran died in a motorbike accident and with just two studio albums to their credit, the band called time on their short career. [A twenty track anthology, ‘1981-86’, brings together twenty Dogmatics recordings and is the ultimate primer for anyone unfamiliar with their work.]

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