JANGLE ON – January

Posted on 08 January 2015



by Eric Sorsensen

Jangle On

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The fleeting fat snowflakes that fell (but did not stick) the day before Thanksgiving remain the only snow that the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area has seen this winter.  After enjoying the mild weather of Arizona and San Diego for ten days, I am getting re-accustomed to the need for a jacket.  The final month of 2014 did not feature much in the way of new jangly music, but several notable discs and artists do warrant mention here:


Turnaround: Let’s Do It – Zero Hour Records has released this 16-track compilation of material recorded by this early 80s Australian power pop band.  The disc is overflowing with jangly, chiming and catchy tracks … that have stood the test of time.  Some of the tracks remind me of the Barracudas, the early Hoodoo Gurus, the Rubinoos, the Knack and “new wave” bands from the same time period.  Jangly music fans will want to acquire this disc and fill in another gap from the skinny tie era.


Pop Power From The Garage: Australian Power Pop – 74-86 – released by Dead Cat Records.  This 22-track compilation includes “Let’s Do It” by the Turnaround … and many other “should have been hit songs” from days past.  When I lived in the San Diego area in the mid-80s, radio station 91X introduced me to many Australian bands that were popular with the large Aussie surfing population in Southern California.  If I had been listening to 91X sooner (or visiting the Off The Record store in Hillcrest that Bart Mendoza worked at) in that decade, I would have learned of the artists featured on this sampler.  Thankfully, these gems (many only previously available on vinyl) are getting a belated audience.


45 – The Rubinoos.  Since I mentioned the Rubinoos earlier, I would be remiss not to mention the band’s latest disc.  This veteran group delivers the goods with thirteen tracks of meaty power pop music.  The tracks may not jangle, but they have the snap, crackle and pop one would expect from the Rubinoos.  Long may you run!

Latvia Radio

For Love And Spite – Latvian Radio.  After discussing the Rubinoos, it’s nice to segue to a conversation about one of the solid newcomer bands on the power pop scene.  For Love And Spite deserves consideration for Top Ten honors in 2014 … and it features some chiming guitars on several tracks: “To Find You There,” “On Display” and “Cubicle On The 31st Floor.”  To borrow an expression from a work colleague, it’s all good!

Pop Parade

Pop Parade 5 (Cinco) – Rock Indiana’s latest power pop compilation is excellent.  While I may not understand the lyrics of “Cada Dia” by El Inquieto Roque, I do understand the jangly guitars and the timeless melody.  Even though this compilation features tracks and artists (the Comebacks, the Breakdowns, Dropkick, the Happy Losers, Edward O’Connell and the Tangerines) that I am already familiar with, I feel it is important to support one of power pop’s primo labels.


Good friend Ray Verno continues to mine the INTERNET for jangly, Byrds-inspired music.  This month, Ray sent me Byrdsian Volume 104 – the latest in his terrific compilation series.   The disc features some excellent cover versions of Gene Clark tunes: “Full Circle” by the Piedmont Brothers Band, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” by Billy Bragg’s Guilty Pleasures and “She Don’t Care About Time” by the Newtown Rebels.  Other standout tracks include “When The Word Comes Around” by the Lonesome Trailers and “Sparkle And Fade” by the Summer Wardrobe (featuring a Rickenbacker 12-string with great compression!)


Until next time, have a happy New Year … and jangle on!





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