Rebellious Jukebox XL: Whoa Thunder vs Lydia’s Trumpet

imageEeep! Sorry it’s been awhile (for anyone who noticed it’s been awhile), but I went on tour & moved & was busy doing other stuff & stuff. I’ve got a big bag of backlog built up, so let’s go!

 

First up, we’ve got a fairly new flexi-disc from Whoah Thunder. This is the vinyl debut (well, more plastic than vinyl, I guess, but still a thing you put on a record player) for the band & the recorded debut of its current lineup of South City St Louis all stars, fronted by reliable power pop provider Brian McClelland. The two songs presented are tightly arranged, very cleanly delivered, & chocked full of hooks. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine hearing these songs in one of those surprisingly good teen movies with the surprisingly good soundtracks that have songs written by, like, the guy from Fountains Of Wayne or the gal from That Dog or whoever. It’s the sound of power pop today, unafraid of synths & electronic touches, but still built on huge harmonies & chunky but catchy guitar hooks.

Early-mid 90’s psychedelic folk-popsters Lydia’s Trumpet weren’t remotely tightly arranged or cleanly delivered, but they still created some wonderfully literate pop gems in their time, four of which are presented on their sole vinyl offering, 1994’s “Valentine” ep, on Faye Records out of Columbia MO (I’ve written about at least one other Faye release, but it was a while ago, you can scroll back through if you want; I’ll wait). Starting the ep with the long mellow title track, about traveling to a small town in Nebraska, sounds like a bad idea, but the band pulls it off, setting up the listener for the crashing dynamics of The Arms Of Dead Men. The time limitations of the 7″ format didn’t allow for any of the full-on psychedelic space jamming that can be found on a couple songs from their earlier “Catalpa” cassette, but side two’s Rocket To Mars manages to squeeze in some cool guitar burbling. Then the last song wonders if Copernicus was worried about whether or not the Church would declare his discoveries heretical. Heady stuff, but never heavy-handed. Just, y’know, that’s the kind of stuff those guys wrote songs about. Fun side note: Lydia’s Trumpet lead guitarist Tim McAvin & Whoah Thunder’s Brian McClelland both spent time in fine St Louis power pop act Tight Pants Syndrome.

 

Whoah Thunder-Hop To It

https://whoathunder.bandcamp.com/track/hop-to-it

 

Lydia’s Trumpet-Rocket To Mars

 

 

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