First and foremost: RIP Bare Wires, the defunct former band of guitarist Matthew Melton. But like the mythical phoenix, Melton has arisen from the ashes of his former band and formed Warm Soda, carrying on the power pop tradition. This debut album, compressed to a fuzzy AM radio sound, is a colorful guitar-driven fling through the more playful side of rock ‘n roll. Differentiating from Bare Wires, Melton has seemed to have caught a bit of a Strokes-ish influence and can be primarily seen in the title track, “Someone for You,” and “Waiting for You Call.” It takes you out of the music just a bit when you hear it and make the connection, but otherwise, it never seems like they’re trying to mimic them. Lastly, driving tracks like “Violent Blue” and “Only in Your Mind” really carry this baby to the finish for me. Melton’s vocals and guitar work really have an infectious/irresistible thing going on that really keeps me pulling me back for more. So do yourself a favor and pop this baby in and let that sticky bubbly fizz pour into your head.
This is the second release from Montreal’s Rishi Dhir and has band of psych rockin’ pals. Rishi has been making a name for himself thanks to his talent on the sitar, touring with some pretty sick bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre. I’ll admit it, I’m a little surprised by the amount of hype surrounding this album. It’s got some solid jams and pretty impressive musicianship, specifically by Rishi himself, but it’s not astounding. I like my psych rock with a side of reverb and an extra helping of fuzz, and there could have been more of both for the majority of the record. The vocals are clear and poppy. The instrumentation is deliberate and precise. It feels clean. I don’t like clean.
Ruban Nielson and his gang have returned with the appropriately titled sophomore album II. Have no fear, UMO has come back with its spaciously psychedelic, broken-down groove intact. II is mature, slowing some stuff down to blend more R&B with their hazy pop/rock of before. Nielson's unique vocals, some truly psychedelic instrumentation, and a few trippy filters makes II sound like something that might have been made about 45 years ago rather than today. These are all quality tracks, so play them.