Breaking Down w/ Bruce Joyner and The Reconstruction’s “Invisible Smile”

Of the many forces in life that drive artists to make art – love, loss, joy, pain and myriad other inspirations – one of my favorites is the post modern angst ridden existential crisis. Who doesn’t have them? Hearing a fellow human articulate same is somehow comforting and cathartic. Funny, even. To that end, I present Atlanta, GA gentlemen Bruce Joyner and The Reconstruction, completely freaking out. A rant, meticulously arranged into a new wave meets prog rock format. Take it away, Bruce.

Bruce Joyner and The Reconstruction
“Invisible Smile” (download mp3)
from “Elements”
(Haunted Lake Records)
“Invisible Smile” (play)
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Young Mothers’ Tasty Twist On Power Pop

Tuscon’s Young Mothers have the power-pop thing nailed. But mixed in with the hyper-sweet melodies and tooth-decay harmonies are some off-kilter chord progressions, distorted vocals, and interesting production that bring this a notch above the norm.

Young Mothers
“Come On, The Cross” (download mp3)
from “Come On, The Cross 7inch”
(Fort Lowell Records)
“Come On The Cross” (play)

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Stiff Richards – “Not From Here”

“Not From Here” today’s MP3 Jackpot winner from Stiff Richards is very profound theme for popular music. How amazing, the concept of being the perpetual stranger is totally articulated in song. This was recorded when the legendary Uptones performed as the four piece, Stiff Richards, and this is one of the gems they created.

Stiff Richards
“Not From Here” (download mp3)
from “E-Mail – EP”
(Fun Fun Fun Recordings)
Not From Here (play)

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Jetty Boys will be fine. Really.

Jetty Boys – “I’ll Be Fine” mp3

From Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Jetty Boys play punky pop music like they really care about it, like the world simply wont be acceptable if they don’t. Clearly they love them some Green Day and Ramones and all, but they bring a ferocity and sincerity all their own that is endearing and infectious. Gr8 power-pop erupts from the suffocating boredom of a sleepy American town? But yes!

Jetty Boys
“I’ll Be Fine” (mp3)
from “Sheboygan”
(Rally Records)

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Agent Orange – “Everything Turns to Grey” mp3

Agent Orange – “Everything Turns to Grey” mp3

Southern California’s beloved surf punker pioneers Agent Orange have rocked for over three decades, and they continue to tour and deliver a gr8 live show. This song from their brilliant 1981 album “Living in Darkness”- recently re-released digitally by Posh Boy Music – is a good taste of their innovative guitar work and unique collision of power pop, surf and punk. The lyrics to “Everything Turns to Grey” are brilliant, at once idealistic and resigned. A classic song from a classic LP. Surfs up!

Agent Orange
“Everything Turns to Grey” (mp3)
from “Living in Darkness”
(Posh Boy Music)

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Marvelous Darlings, simply Marvelous

The Marvelous Darlings‘ single “I Dont Wanna Go To The Party” rocks for two minutes and thirty seconds in a rush of pure and I mean PURE punk pop abandon. Very favorable comparison to Ramones, Clash, Cheap Trick and The Knack. Full on power pop angst-bliss! I love it I love it.

The Marvelous Darlings
“I dont wanna go to the party” (mp3)
from “I Don’t Wanna Go To The Party”
(Deranged Records)
I Don't Wanna Go To The Party (play)

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Punk Pop A Lula, She’s My Doppleganger

Utterly bratty kick-butt garage punk from Be My Doppleganger, outta Evansville, Indiana – a gritty, rockin’ four piece pop punk outfit with an affinity for Cheap Trick and The Descendents. “I Need a Ride” is an outburst of guitars, hormone fueled teen angst, and self deprecating humor. Gr8 fun!

Be My Doppelganger
“I Need a Ride” (download mp3)
from “Protect 2: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children”
(Geykido Comet Records)
I Need a Ride (play)

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Rude City Riots – “Victoria” mp3

Rude City Riots – “Victoria” mp3

A gleeful tale of woe and woo, told in ebullient third wave ska punk rapture. Did I form that sentence? I did. This is power pop the way the kids do it now, try and keep up, Opa.

Rude City Riot
“Victoria” (mp3)
from “Quickstar Productions Presents : Ska 4 Life volume 6”
(Quickstar Productions)

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Rude City Riot-Victoria

New End Original’s very own “Thriller”

New End Original – “Lukewarm”

And how do we like our emo? Why, with kick ass power pop hooks and punk pop aggression and yearning teen angst on that razor’s edge between bliss and despair, thank you, how else? This song has it all. In fact, “Lukewarm” by New End Original has been one of my faves in this genre since it first popped up on the MP3 Jackpot radar a few years back. The band was a sort of supergroup, composed of refugees from some very loved and respected underground rock bands – namely Onelinedrawing, Far, Chamberlain and Texas Is The Reason. NEO burned hot out of the gate, recording a monster debut album which they had the charming audacity to name after the best selling album of all time.

New End Original
“Lukewarm” (mp3)
from “Thriller”
(Jade Tree)

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Power Pop For Lulu!

Flesh For Lulu – “Baby Hurricane”

And what for the interstate drive to the ‘rents house for turkeyopalypse? Big rock, sweeties, big, loud, top-down, preferably decadent glam goth, can we do that? Thank you. Living 80’s zeitgeist Flesh For Lulu has re-recorded some of their classic material, with more modern production values, and created a record which is bound to introduce them to new starry eyed romantics the world over. “Baby Hurricane” is just the kind of thing I love from this band – huge guitar powerchord-scapes remind of Mott the Hoople and T-Rex, as smoky English power pop vocals melt down into a sort of heartbroken lustful bliss. Spectacular.

Flesh For Lulu
“Baby Hurricane” (mp3)
from “Best Of (Re-Recorded)”
(Corporate Risk Products)

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