Thursday, February 27, 2020

Big Stir Singles: The Fifth Wave Preview
Big Stir Records

The fifth volume of the Big Stir Singles series, which will be released on March 6, is the best one yet. Its good feeling carries all the way through, with songs that, even when they’re sad, find the good in the bad.

All types of modern pop/rock are well represented here, covers and originals, and all are wonderful. Keep an ear out for it.

Andrea Weiss

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Big Stir Singles: The Second Wave
Big Stir Records

I always did love college rock and power pop, but didn’t know much about modern pop/rock bands. These Big Stir compilations give me the opportunity to learn and explore.

Modern pop/rock is the normal side of that spectrum: ordinary people making punk, post-punk, and retro songs about normal problems. In the case of this album, which leans heavily toward jangle pop, it means mostly sad, angry, even bitter love songs. The two that aren’t, are The Living Dolls with “Everything That Happened,” about romantic confusion, and In Deed with “Don’t Need, Don’t Care,” a happy love song. But the best of the love songs, a feminist one about loving yourself, is In Deed’s “Marry Myself.” The singer doesn’t need men to love, just herself.

The really happy songs are the ones about life, such as the Kariannes with “This Is a Cure,” and politics. The political songs, mostly about class, shine the most. "Anytown" by Joe Normal And The Anytown’rs is a working class hero anthem that soars, and calls for revolution.

I hear Big Stir already has Vol 5 of this series in the works. I eagerly await it. In the meantime, stay tuned for my upcoming review of The First Wave.

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, February 16, 2020


The Forty Nineteens
Tell Me/It's For Fun (That's All We're Living For)
Big Stir Records

On their first single, this new band mixes some country, soul, rockabilly, and folk into their garage rock songs about love and life.

John Pozza from The Leonards sings, Matt Colleran and Chuck Gorian play guitar, Nick Zeigler plays drums, and Kevin Barber plays bass. Colleran and Zeigler were in the unjustly forgotten Mary’s Danish, and the overall sound does resemble that band in the way various types of  music blend.

This single follows up 2017’s "Good Fortune" album, which is a good one indeed. I like the blend, and I’m told there will be more, so keep an ear out for them.

Andrea Weiss

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Rockinghams

The Rockinghams
Makin’ Bacon
Precedent Records

The Rockinghams were another band Jim Basnight led, and a great one. These songs, recorded from 1994-98, are loud, fast, and punky, just the way I like power pop or modern pop/rock.

Lyrically they are mostly about relationships, with some exceptions. “I Need A Car” is about not having one, or anything. In “Ho Chi Minh” everyone rocks in Vietnam, or Asia. “Rock and Roll Cowboy” is about being an outlaw, not riding the range.

All in all, it's a very cool album. I wish it, and more music like this, would hit big. It’s too good not to.
Andrea weiss


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