Today sees the release of the Descendents big “comeback” ‘Hypercaffium Spazzinate’. Due to an unfortunate and very offensive choice of title, the album has been met with some controversy in the UK. Whether the band meant offence or not, as soon as the word spasm becomes sp*z (by any variant or spelling), it’s automatically becomes a slur against disabled people – specifically those with Cerebral Palsy.
Although a new band for 2016, Tommy And The Rockets is a collaboration between two familiar faces – multi-instrumentalist and sometime Hitchcocks member Thomas Stubgaard and New Trocaderos songwriter Michael Chaney. Between them and their love for good old fashioned power pop and garage rock tunage, their debut release ‘Beer And Fun And Rock ‘n’ Roll’ results in some lean, mean and no-frills nuggets. The album’s ten tunes, each clocking in at three and a half minutes or less, are the kind that John Felice would have killed to have had the foresight to have written in ’77.
We’ve reached the end of 2015. It hasn’t been as thrilling a year for new music as 2014 had been, but there has been plenty to entertain. We’re still waiting on the proposed deluxe edition of Prince & The Revolution’s classic ‘Purple Rain’ (we could be waiting a long time) and those promised UB40 deluxe editions. Another year has passed without the arrival of Real Gone favourite Mick Terry’s second album. Lots of people in the UK have been (over)-excited by Steven Wilson’s ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase.’, but most of what’s impressed us the most at Real Gone – as is so often the case – is often just a little more underground.
Here are our year’s top picks…
It’s been a proper mixed bag for music this year. In 2014, Real Gone had a definite metal bias, to the point where we actually managed to issue an album length sampler of purely metal based acts.
This year, there has been metal, but more of the best music coming our way has been even more of a power pop or indie variety. That, of course, is reflected in our sixth freebie.
The first half of 2015 represented a very busy time for the collected members of The New Trocaderos. In power pop circles, it seemed as you couldn’t move very far at all without seeing one of the band pop up somewhere. Vocalist Brad Marino and guitarist/vocalist Geoff Palmer released a full-length album by their “other” band The Connection; bassist/vocalist Kurt Baker played a whole bunch of live shows and released his first live LP, while previous New Trocs singles and EPs were gathered together as ‘Frenzy In The Hips’ – a full length release of unmissable quality. Among all that, chief New Trocs songwriter Mike Chaney was beavering behind the scenes, shaping up a new batch of songs. The resultant collection, ‘Thrills & Chills’ – the first “proper” full-length from the Trocs – is a belter; it’s songs are a small step up from previous works and provide a welcome addition to any power pop/retro pop record collection.