Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday round up with Stanley Road, Mod Gun, Fuzzy Vox, The Ballantynes and "The Various Flavours of Power Pop" by JP of Pezband.

Stanley Road - Spanish Art Today

Blog Mod faves Stanley Road are back serving up a delightful debut album, that frankly, looks good enough to eat.
Stanley Road deliver more of the high quality tunes that we have come to expect from them in the stylings of The Jam, The Chords et al, but on this very fine debut they offer up several songs in their native Spanish, which I think is great.  This is Mod revival with a twist at it's very best!

The album is available to download and also available on CD, I believe it will be available on vinyl soon too which will be worth having to have that very tasty artwork in 12" form, not to mention the top tunes, brilliant!

Stream, download and buy the album here: Bandcamp

Contact, follow, befriend, like and love Stanley Road here: Facebook


Mod Gun - No Beaches

When I featured this bands last album "Fools" I couldn't tell you much about them, other than who they were and who played what in the band, well, now I can tell you a little more, the band consists of husband and wife, Paul and Kathleen Peters,  her brother and Paul's best friend and they come from Boston, they have been playing together for three years and of course, this is all trivia, but, they make some bloody good shoegazing/indie/psychedelic music, and that is the important bit right....oh and as before, the album is available for a Name Your Price fee or FREE to download, so go get it and enjoy!
As I always say, if you can contribute something, it ensures that the band can carry on making music, if you can't, get it anyway and share the bands links.

Stream and download the album here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Mod Gun here: Facebook


Fuzzy Vox - Technicolor

Next up we say "Bonjour" to our new favourite band from France "Fuzzy Vox."  This Paris based band take good old rock and roll, give it an almighty great boot in the derriere and blow your ear drums out, this band rocks, like a good band should, the bands version of Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls of Fire is simply amazing, I also love there version of Thee Vicars "Everyday," absolutely brilliant, I could sit here blowing smoke up there arse all night, but go take a listen and do that yourself, they are that good!!!!!
Fuzzy Vox are about to embark on a few dates with that other superb French outfit "Crusaders Of Love" so check out the bands dates and if you are close to any of the venues (or even if you aren't)  I seriously wouldn't miss one of the gigs, I have a feeling they will be dynamite!!!
The "Technicolor" EP has been released on vinyl, unfortunately, I don't have any info on where from, but I am sure that the band will hook you up with a message to them on facebook or here:

Listen to more tracks here: Soundcloud

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love Fuzzy Vox here: Facebook


The Ballantynes - Faith/Velvet 7"

Last year I ran a feature on the very excellent "La Ti Da Records" and one of the bands that I mentioned in that feature was The Ballantynes, who, are now back with a new single, steeped in a sixties pop feel, this little nugget will have you dancing on the table, so don't play it until you have finished eating.  This seven piece Vancouver outfit really know how to knock a tune out, organ wailing, hips shaking, tambourine it!

Buy the 7" vinyl here: La Ti Da Records
(Be sure to check out the other bands on this fantastic label too!)

Stream and download the single here: Bandcamp

Contact, befriend, follow, like and love The Ballantynes here: Facebook


When you ask anyone what their favourite Power Pop bands are, you often get a groaning reaction about the term "Power Pop."  For me personally, it takes in an extremely wide spectrum of music, which to my mind is very healthy, I still don't listen to Whitney Houston though.....anyway, I digress, I got this great e mail from JP from Pezband, a band that always get a notable mention when you talk about great pop bands, and I like to share it with you as it really puts things into perspective, but first, here is a Pezband tune to warm you up!

The Various Flavors of Power Pop

Pezband has been around since the Fall of 1971, and I have played with Mimi for even longer- he and I did a live radio broadcast playing the Yardbird's "New York City Blues" when we were kids in 1969. The group hasn't been active for all that time, we've all done other things, been on tours, session work, major/minor/indie labels, etc etc. But we are currently back together because we figured out that we like playing this music, and are pretty good at it. 

There are quite a few bands who have played our kind of music, and for one reason or another are doing it again, as well as a lot of younger bands who are doing it for the first time..a lot of the latter are really good. In order to put this style of music in a 2 word byte..the term Power Pop has resurfaced. Pezband has always had a love/hate relation with it. 

The term Power Pop was coined by Pete Townsend in 1967 to describe The Who. Pop music in the UK at the time was a catch all for everything that wasn't classical music. This could be the Beatles and Stones..but also Acker Bilk, Dixieland/trad, ethnic music and Ja know what else. I think what Pete was trying to say here was that the Who were pop..but to differentiate them from the rest.. POWER Pop, and if you've ever heard the Who in those days, you wouldn't confuse them with Mr Bilk. The term went dormant for a while until Mimi used it again to describe Pezband in around 1976. All of a sudden it seemed to make sense to describe a few groups around at the time..not punk, not new wave, not hard rock. Great bands like Dwight Twilley's, Big Star, The Motors, you probably have your own list.

For me, the one distinguishing feature of a great Power Pop band is that it's a product of it's locality, ("terroir", as my friends in Paris would say about wine), and uses the music from its region to blend in with mostly 1960's Brit Invasion styles. The Who did this (although they were part of that invasion) by blending in the Mod Culture R&B of Swingin' London. Big Star blended in Memphis blues and soul to their take on it, Twilley blended in Memphis rock and soul with Beatles harmonies. Pezband took Chicago Blues (via both the original, which was played nightly 3 miles east of where we grew up) as well as the Brit versions of Fleetwood Mac and the Yardbirds, and blended it with the Who and Kinks. All of these bands play Power Pop, but have different approaches and sounds. 

I mentioned we at Pez have had a love/hate relationship with the term. In the late 70's a lot of bands had turned the genre into something that was so stylized and self consciously derivative that it made us not want to be associated with it. I think Twilley and Chilton felt the same. This was the time when any band with a skinny tie and mod hairdo could put together a set of not so original songs and parade around as a Power Pop group. Most of these bands were really terrible live, clearly showing they had no real roots in anything, except for being mimics or entertainers. It got so terrible that the term (and bands with it, good and bad alike) self destructed in the 80's. 

As I said in the beginning, we all branched out and played other things for a while, retracing our roots for a refresher. It's a good thing to retap what made you want to play in the first place, as you come back stronger and with a deeper understanding of the music you play. Also with a better view of where you fit in the long view of things.

When we play now, we are as likely to blast into an extended version of a Billy Boy Arnold (via the Yardbirds) tune like "I Wish You Would" as we are to do "Love Goes Underground" or any other Pezband back catalog number. We are also writing new material that reaches back to our roots and blends in over 40 years of playing. And we don't mind it all that much to be labeled a Power Pop group..just as long as people get what that really means. And as we are finding out when we take to the boards again..they do.

JP also mentioned to me that the band were hoping to get to the UK in Autumn and asked what I thought of that?  Well, I think it would be great and it would be great to see the band embark on a complete European tour, Sweden can be quite pleasent in the Autumn too JP! ;)

Contact, befriend, follow, find out more,  like and love Pezband here: Facebook


  1. thanks for this..if not for REAL MUSIC blogs like the mighty ICMPP, good music would be buried under the weight of corporate shite like..ok, fill in the blank..

    We WILL be playing the UK and Japan this year, and would love to get to Sweden as well as Denmark and a few other civilized countries. We have new material to be released this year, as well as a few indies putting out unreleased material and like that. Keep in touch via FaceBook for now, and as soon as the new stuff comes out, Wayne will be among the 1st to have it.

  2. can you dish out some names of power pop bands that you thought were terrible? I actually have a hard time finding ones from the late 70s/early 80s that are really bad and unlistenable. It's kind of like 60s garage rock... even the worst is still better than a lot of music.