“Sometimes you hear new songs that sound like old songs…”, says Nick Piunti of ‘Downtime’, making no secret of the retro qualities that provide the heart of his 2020 release. It’s ten songs draw influence from a very broad selection of power pop and radio friendly alt-pop tunes from the 90s, serving up a selection of songs that easily feel like a visit from an old musical friend and could even awaken a few old memories along the way.
The last time most people heard from The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco was in the summer of 2018 when they released a stand-alone video single ’39 Grams’. An odd tune, it side-stepped their usual sunny sounds and Steely Dan obsessions in favour of something with bigger beats and musical quirks. Understandably, the response was mixed.
The band actually sneaked out a new track, ‘Cold Cuts’ – a semi-acoustic number that was a little more traditional – at the beginning of 2020. They’ve followed ‘Cold Cuts’ with another off-piste affair ‘Dream Pharma’ which is as quirky as it is catchy.
To a legion of power pop fans, Shoes are legendary. To a lot of other people – and especially those in the UK – they remain a largely unknown entity. While some fans will claim that 1977’s ‘Black Vinyl Shoes’ is the Shoes masterpiece, it merely shows a band on the rise. It’s a record with some good songs, a lot of enthusiasm and a certain amount of DIY charm – and it’s likely that DIY “cool factor” that makes it so highly prized by those vocal champions. In terms of consistency, it’s somewhat hit and miss. If you’re looking to discover a band at their peak, look no further than the three Shoes albums recorded for Elektra Records between 1979 and 1982.
This 4CD compilation presents each of those albums in full, alongside a massive vault of bonus tracks – fifty four in all – making ‘Elektrafied’ the ultimate Shoes package for the uninitiated.
Best known as a member of Fleshtones, Ken Fox tackles retro sounds of a slightly different persuasion on his 2020 EP ‘Ken Fox And Knock Yourself Out’. Taking a pinch of 70s glam, a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, a whole world of 80s power pop and Kurt Baker‘s ability to summon good times, these five songs whip up a rock and pop storm almost guaranteed to please a wide cross section of garage rock and power pop fans.