Recordings

By Tom Reardon, February 2020 Issue.

For the first edition of this column for the new

decade, I’m switching things up a bit. This month, I’m going to look at singles

that have recently come out and give you thoughts on them, for better and/or

worse. Most people don’t listen to full records anymore, anyway, so it’s time

to add a new wrinkle. So, without further ado …

Justin Bieber – “Yummy”

More like yucky! I am just not down with the Bieber.

“Yeah, you got that yum-my, yum-my, yummy, yummy” will just never be a

compelling lyric. For example, what is “Yummy” about the person or people in

question? Do they taste good? Are they attractive? I need to know if I am going

to feel anything but repulsed by this song. Yep, fuck this song and the

frosted-tip horse it rode in on.

T.S.O.L. – “Ghost

Train”

Released by local label, Slope Records, T.S.O.L’s

“Ghost Train” sounds so much like love child of ‘80s new wave/alternative kings

Simple Minds and Psychedelic Furs that I would swear the two bands fornicated

beneath a Billy Idol poster. Got a visual on that yet? Anyway, while it’s not

anywhere close to as powerful as their early ‘80s punk rock fury, “Ghost Train”

is actually a really fun listen and shows that the boys from Long Beach were

listening to more than just punk in the old days.

Bombay Bicycle Club – “I Can Hardly Speak”

So much better than Bieber and that is not saying a

whole lot. This tired indie-pop kind of lays there inviting you to climb on

board and maybe rub something against it, but you know, deep down, it doesn’t

care if you’re there or not. There is some cool instrumentation happening by

Bombay Bicycle Club and it will stick with you, but so does the extra ten

pounds you gained over the holidays from all that fudge.

Rat Boy – “Victim Of A System”

Surprisingly catchy, this song was not at all what I

expected when I saw the name of the band. Got to love that Spotify new music

list for throwing on something that gets the toes tapping a bit. Definitely not

my usual cup of tea, but I didn’t hate it and will probably listen a few more

times, as well as see what else these kids got. I’m assuming they are kids.

Maybe not. Maybe Rat Boy is half-rat, half-manchild, and is coming to take over

the world. Catchy stuff (and now that I’ve looked him up, seems like a

wonderful NYC boy who likes to rock out while cranking out pop gems. Good on

you, Rat Boy, good on you).

Foo Fighters – “Winnebago”

This is the first track off a new Foo Fighters EP and

I like it. I forget that the whole concept of Foo Fighters was pretty cool at

first. Dave Grohl was in one of my all-time favorite bands, Nirvana, when he

started Foo Fighters, it was certainly exciting to see what he could do on his

own. Of course, we know now that he’s an incredibly talented songwriter and an

engaging front man who seems to also have no problem putting his money where

his mouth is in supporting other musicians, as well. “Winnebago” is a definite

rocker with some great guitar work and drumming. The whole package is quite

nice.

Howard Jones – “The One To Love You (The

Lifelike mix)”

I think I’ve openly declared my love for Howard Jones

a few times in the last year and here I will do so again. While I cannot put my

finger on exactly why this is, I love pretty much everything the polite, older

Englishman does. This mix of “The One To Love You” is danceable 80s Britpop at

its finest. Timeless, really, as old folks like me are easily transported by

Jones’ fine voice and rhythms to our days of dancing at Tommy’s and Hot Bods

before we were 21, taking in the sights and sounds and smells of adolescent

angst mixed with hormone (and Strawberry Hill) fueled desire.




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