Stalwarts of the Americana scene, The Jayhawks have gone through a lot of changes over the years, both stylistically and in terms of line-up, but one thing that can usually be relied upon is their ability to release a great album. From their early records full of country influences, to the more commercial ‘Hollywood Town Hall’ from 1992, to the power pop infused ‘Sound of Lies’ and Byrds-ish ‘Rainy Day Music’, each record often borders upon essential listening. Even 2011’s slightly more downbeat ‘Mockingbird Time’ – marking the very brief return of founder member Mark Olson after a sixteen year absence – represented a band somewhere near the top of their game.
Approximately eighteen months after releasing two new songs on a split EP with the Raging Nathans, Chicago pop-punk legends Parasites gave fans yet more previously unreleased material in February 2020 as part a split with Dutch punks Lone Wolf. At the time of release, it started to feel like an eternity since the world last saw a new full length disc from Dave Parasite – his preference for releasing a couple of new songs every couple of years certainly keeps the fans ever hoping – but any new music is welcome, especially with one of the tracks from ‘Passport Split Series Vol. 4’ approaching somewhere near top-drawer Parasites.
With debut albums from Crowded House and The Housemartins standing alongside massive hits from Madonna, a-ha and Red Box, 1986 would already have a strong enough grounding to challenge 1984 as one of the decade’s finest years for music. With Huey Lewis’s ‘Fore!’ challenging 1983’s as his masterpiece, a strong AOR debut from Robert Tepper and Jackson Browne’s ‘Lives In The Balance’ channelling a very commercial sound, it was also very much a year for great Transatlantic AOR and sounds that now seem so entrenched within that decade, you can’t help but love them.
Purveyors of a whole world of pop punk and power pop music, Spanish Label Ghost Highway Recordings will be best known for distributing records by The Dahlmanns, Bullet Proof Lovers and Electric Frankenstein. Their contribution to a series of charity releases ‘Music For Gloves’ not only gives a quick insight into the label’s wares, but offers fans a few previously unavailable gems for a good cause.
In April 2020, adult pop heroes The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco made an unexpected return with their video single ‘Dream Pharma’. It had been almost eighteen months since the world heard from them, and the band themselves weren’t entirely sure they were going to make new music, but here they were.