Nick Piunti — Beyond the Static
(Two Brains TB002, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-04-13You know when you wake up in the morning and there’s some great song playing in your head and you try and figure out where it came from, and then you realize it’s from some album you listened to three days before. Yeah, like that. This is one of those albums. And memorable songs like that begin with superb songwriting and crafty arrangements, laden with strong melodies and irresistible hooks, not to mention the great playing throughout by all. This is power pop of the highest order, informed by legends like The Who, The Beatles, Wings, Cheap Trick, Nick Lowe, Tom Petty, and Big Star, among others. That’s not to say that the eleven songs here sound like any of those guys, but their influence is certainly felt, as well as the whole jangly guitar driven sound of the British Invasion. Piunti’s a masterful guitarist who understands the importance of rhythm playing as the basis of a catchy tune, but he turns in many exceptional solos here, as well as singing; joining him on most of these tracks are drummer Donny Brown, and bassist Andy Reed. They all play some keyboards, and Ryan Allen contributes some additional guitar on two songs and vocals on four. Other players contribute guitar, vocals, keyboards and more to this song or that, and these are all fine players. This is Piunti’s third release, and the first couple tunes (“It’s a Trap,” “Heart Stops Beating”) sound like they could be out-takes from his previous 2013 album 13 in My Head (another great one to investigate), but things take a quantum leap forward on the third cut “Time Machine,” and it never lets up from that point forward, with too many many great songs to enumerate. There’s a lot here to like in every groove and lick; the three minute power pop style doesn’t get much better than this.
Related artist(s): Nick Piunti
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more