Archive for September, 2012

CD Review: “My Plastic World” ~ Steven Wright-Mark

2012-09-05

Steven Wright-MarkI have a funny story to tell you about music piracy: Sure, it’s wrong, and in some way we’ve all done it … whether it’s mix tapes and CDs to Napster to any P2P or torrent site you know of; trading with friends, etc. And we’ve all heard about how it’s taking money from artists in the giant-trickle-down of the business of making and making money from albums, but sometimes, piracy has just the opposite affect … it creates fans. This is how I discovered, became a fan of Steven Wright-Mark. A guy who I can say I’d probably never have heard of if not for piracy.

After downloading his first CD — quite by accident, thinking it was the comedian Steven Wright — I gave it a listen and was completely blown away the first song, “Pawn Shop Crystal Ball.” Completely hooked me, and by the end of “Pop Motel” I became a fan. In the five years since then, that song has entered my Top 50, ever. It’s a well done power pop song with super catchy lyrics and hooks.

Since then, I’ve actually purchased both of his first two albums; and started following him on Facebook, Reverb Nation and Twitter … and was surprised when he not only followed me, but was active and engaging in conversations, debates, shared dislike of several bands I won’t name, and was surprised to get a direct message offering to send me the new CD, which I received a couple of weeks ago and have been listening to repeatedly.

“My Plastic World,” was released August 28th on Amplifrier Music Co, and is available digitally via iTunes. or Amazon if you want a physical copy, or if you’re a Spotify fan, you can stream it there, too. It quickly found a regular spot in my playlist, and easily one of the top three CDs I’ve heard in 2012. The lyrics are nicely woven little gems of power pop hooks, but what sets this album apart from his previous two are the guitar riffs. Flying out of nowhere and taking the songs a different — and better — direction musically. I mentioned that in a tweet, Steven replied, “Yeah, been getting into heavier guitars since playing more live. It’s simply fun to do!”

The 11-song album gets rolling with a 43-second distortion-microphoned intro and then the guitars kick in on “I Wanna” … which also features great vocal layering. That’s gonna be a fun one to see live, for sure.

“On Your Turntable” and “Almost Summer” show off the lyrics, including this gem from “Almost Summer”

“She hides intentions like her toes beneath the sand
One wiggle and it’s there to see”  ~ Almost Summer

A sad-bastard girlfriend-made-good song, “That Star” follows, then things get rocking. “My Friends Are Trash,” “The End Of Another Year,” “Imaginary Friends” and “Your Name” are four of the last six on the CD and the best four songs on the CD, in my opinion. Makes me remember the days when albums (and cassettes) had the A-Side and B-Side … and how one was always so much better than the other. For me, the B-Side of “My Plastic World” is far superior.  In all honesty, the entire 11-song, 41-minute CD is a home run, I just prefer the second half to the first half.

If you’re a fan of the sweet lyrical hooks of power pop powered by amazing guitar riffs and changes you don’t see coming, “My Plastic World” will score well in your real world. It’s ready, and able, to be on your turntable. It may not go straight to number one, but Steven Wright-Mark’s “My Plastic World” would be a welcome addition to anyone’s playlist.

And if you do check it out, toss down the money. Trust me. As I guy who discovered him through piracy, I have no problem dropping a Hamilton for a great CD.

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Getting Back into the Swing of Things …

2012-09-04

Hello. Well, after a whole lot of changes in my life, and rediscovering the power and enjoyment of music, I”m ready to get back into the blogging about bands, albums, shows and all things I love about the bands, songs and musicians that you’ll probably never hear of. I’m going to try to cover at least one 2012 release a week through the rest of the year, mixed with random show reviews and rediscoveries.

So, if you’re still here … or you’re new here … welcome to JACOMB 2.0