Monday, 28 August 2017


As a genre Power Pop is pretty difficult to tie down as it spills over into so many other genres…………………but roughly (and we mean very roughly) it’s the bit on the Rock n Roll Venn diagram where Nuggety Garage Rock, the influence of British bands such as the Kinks and Beatles, the Punk Pop smarts of the Ramones and post Psychedelic 70s Pop radio intersect. Trace the roots of Power Pop back to the turn of the 70s and major influences such as Badfinger, The Raspberries, Todd Rundgren and Big Star emerge before the genre went seriously overground with Cheap Trick’s zillion selling Live At Budokan album. Moving into the 80s, Power Pop mutated and shared influences with the children of Nuggets, cross pollinated with the new breed of Neo-Psychedelic and Post Punk Garage Bands before more or less spluttering out as a commercial force in the 90s with the Badfinger tribute band Jellyfish. Still thriving in the underground, mainly in the USA, Power Pop is alive and well with new bands putting out great records and festivals dedicated to the genre such as International Pop Overthrow and the Power Pop-A-Licious music festival attracting an audience of dedicated fans.

Broadcasting outta Syracuse on their local Internet Radio station, since forever, former GOLDMINE writer Carl Cafarelli and his co-host Dana Bonn have been blasting out the finest Power Pop on their weekly show This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl mixing up tunes from the better known bands with the new breed, unearthing a few obscurities along the way. Carefully compiled by Dana and Carl, This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Volume 4 is the latest release in a ongoing series of collections of their favourite Power Pop tunes since Volume 1 dropped in 2005. With The Rubinoos, The Grip Weeds and The Smithereens among only a few bands reasonably well known outside the Power Pop scene (no doubt due to licensing issues), This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Volume 4 features the best of the less known and newer bands on the scene who have been influenced by……………..erm………..Nuggety Garage Rock, British bands such as the Kinks and Beatles, the Punk Pop smarts of the Ramones and post Psychedelic 70s Pop radio and includes absolutely killer tracks by Stepford Knives, Popdudes, Ronnie Dark, 1.4.5, The Rulers and The Legal Matters’ stunning take on Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Don’t Look Back’. As previously mentioned, Power Pop has a habit of spilling over into different genres and this compilation is no different…………….it mixes together The Bottle Kids bubblegum Psych/Surf Pop with crunchy Cheap Trick style riffing from Chris von Sneidern (now a Flamin’ Groovie), the furious Punk Pop of The Rulers brilliant ‘I Want My Ramones Records Back’ with 1.4.5’s cool Pop Rock and The Smitheerens Dixy Beatles groove of Big Star with The Grip Weeds Byrdsian jangle…………showcasing the best of what is a pretty wide ranging mix of styles that could be loosely be described as Power Pop . Although Power Pop aficionados are going to really dig this, the range of music here is universal enough to catch the ear of a wider audience and well worth checking out.

Dana & Carl Present: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 4 is out NOW on CD, released by the very groovy Power Pop/Alt Country specialist label Kool Kat Musik with a portion of the proceeds going to Spark Syracuse, the community radio home of This Is Rock n Roll Radio.  Available directly from the label’s shop or if you are brave enough you can get your local Indie record store to order it for you.

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