Check out ‘For The Dreamers’, a new track from Astral Drive

Back in 2018, multi-instrumentalist, producer and one-time member of The Cure launched a new project, Astral Drive.  The “band” acted as an outlet for Thornalley to revisit the kind of 70s AM radio pop he’d always loved.  The album marked itself out as an instant classic, often inviting comparisons to the best works by Todd Rundgren and Jeff Lynne; the kind of record that would keep fans of classic retro pop entertained for years.

The album was then represented in stripped back arrangements on a digital release (self-titled, referred to as “The Green Album”), but it didn’t seem as if the world would see brand new music from Astral Drive again for some time…or possibly ever. The original LP almost sounded like a flash in the pan for retro cool; a perfect statement of the past, recreated for the present.  To follow it up with anything as perfect would be a tall order after all.

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Justin Kline returns with Dungeon of Skeletons

Those of you with long memories will remember Justin Kline.  The Nashville based singer songwriter built upon his cult following with an excellent power pop EP, ‘Triangle’, back in 2010.  By 2012, he’d reinvented himself in a rockier guise as frontman of the short-lived Weezer-esque Origami Hologram.

Justin seemed to be one of those people that showed a natural flair, regardless of whatever musical subgenre he approached, but following a release of home demos and a self-depreciating EP ‘Doormat’ in 2013, he seemed to disappear.

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Following a handful of ragged but enjoyable albums with his band Extra Arms, Ryan Allen released his most personal work to date in 2019 when ‘Up From Here’ documented his emotional regrouping following a divorce. Essentially punk pop’s answer to Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, the record had introspective qualities, but had enough musical clout to entertain the kind of listener that doesn’t listen to lyrics. In short, almost everything about it suggested that Allen had reached full potential as both a songwriter and musician. Then, in quick succession, Allen threw out three more releases containing a barrage of cover tunes and scrappy songs which, in his own words, were “written in a flurry during life in lockdown”. Aside from being keen to move on, it almost seemed as if he wanted to cast aside ‘Up From Here’s musical maturity.

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