Beginning on a downcast, reflective note, "American Drag" by Portland, Oregon band the Domestics quickly shifts into something else entirely: a quirky and ebullient love song filled with twisting guitars and tight harmonies, ready made for a power-pop summer.
What makes for a classic rock lyric? Effortlessly revealing multiple meanings at once. Take the opening of "Out of the Gray" by Austin, Texas band Moonlight Towers: "Like a house on fire / I can't watch you burn / There's no justice served / And no lesson learned." And what makes for a classic rock recording? Just about everything heard in this catchy, melodic, guitar-and-harmony-driven tune.
A surging and slightly menacing indie and psych-damaged, power-pop track, "Come On Back" by Brooklyn, New York band Isadora begs to be played loud enough to blow away the blues.
For the past few years it seemed that things were beginning to slow down for the New Pornographers, as if they were beginning to fade. Their new album, "Brill Bruisers," is their revival. Frontman, A.C. Newman has said that after a dark period nothing is holding him down anymore. "Brill Bruisers" is a celebrates this new outlook.
A breezy if slightly nerdy (in a charming way) burst of power pop, "Anna" by Ransom and the Subset captures the ennui of a heartbroken girl with her records and a boy and a band who probably don't stand a chance of winning her back -- though they're not about to stop trying.
Like school children sending notes back and forth across the classroom, Ted Leo and Aimee Mann were constantly exchanging songs cross-country in preparation for "The Both." Their debut release isn't so much a work of two separately renowned artists, but one in which the Both come together to create something unified, cohesive and extraordinarily catchy.
In the sound of "Inamorata" you can clearly (and loudly) hear from where Vince Frederick and Nicky Veltman hail. Natives of Detroit and based in Los Angeles, the duo, known as the Singles, have a keen feel for power pop, glam and unadulterated rock 'n' roll.
George Glass (the band, not the imaginary friend) plays easy-gliding rock with a flash of twang (in the fiddles) and power pop (in the harmonies and guitars). "AM Radio" sounds great on any frequency.