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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Taylor Locke and The Roughs “Marathon”

How many people can put out three great albums in a single year? Virtually no one. No one but Taylor Locke, that is. Locke is best known as the guitarist in the powerpop band Rooney, but he is quickly making his mark as a talented solo artist. It was only back in April when he revealed his outstanding debut, “Grain and Grape” and then early this summer we heard Rooney’s latest CD, “Eureka.” Now he throws a collection of 10 new songs at us on “Marathon.” The most astonishing thing is that his work has been stellar throughout. To say the guy is on a roll is an understatement.

While most of “Marathon” is brilliant, it does get off to a false start. The epic opener, “The Honor Role,” sounds like three or four completely different songs loosely patched together. I presume they were going for something that rivaled McCartney’s “Band On The Run” or a Jellyfish opus, but the disparate parts just don’t work together.

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Features

You may know him from Rooney, but now Taylor Locke reveals his alter ego that rocks out with The Roughs

You may know him as the guitarist and vocalist from power pop / rock band Rooney, but Taylor Locke has also just released “Grain and Grape”; a solo project featuring his own backing band, The Roughs.  The Rock and Roll Report recently had the opportunity to ask Taylor a few questions:

Q:  Most people have their hands full being in just one band, but you manage to succeed being in two! What is it like to live this “double-life” as a musician?

A: It’s quite fun and interesting to live this double-life, as you say.  My roles in each band are quite different from one another. Also, one group has lots of history and a loyal following, while the other is just beginning on a grass roots level. As far as making time, I just look at the calendar and fill in the holes.

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Reviews and Suggestions

You want great Rock and Roll? Just say SHAZAM!!

Meteor by The Shazam

Shazam – Meteor
Not Lame

Not only does this new album from rockers The Shazam mark the long-awaited return of one of the best power pop groups of the past twenty years or so but it also marks the return of THE best power pop label ever, Not Lame, if only temporarily. Two great treats in one! Seems the great folks behind Not Lame have decided to partner with The Shazam on this new CD but have no plans to revive the label outside of this release. Boo! Then again, if there was ever a reason to bother to start (or revive, as in Not Lame’s case) a label it is for a band as deserving and overlooked as The Shazam. For over a decade now, this powerpop juggernaut led by guitarist/songwriter/singer Hans Rotenberry have been at the forefront of the New Power Pop which sprung up in the mid-’90’s thanks to pioneering bands such as Jellyfish, The Posies and The Smithereens – bands who took the combination of melody and guitar bombast The Beatles, Badfinger, Big Star, and early Who represented and decided to bring it forward while giving it a much-needed kick in the ass with some modern technology and post-punk attitude. That the band hasn’t become more of a household name is very unfortunate as their distinctive blend of arena rock with razor-sharp pop hooks should have been the perfect bridge betwen the kind of FM hard rock fodder listeners have suffered through for over thirty years and the alternative rock of the mid-90’s and beyond. In fact, if Fountains of Wayne, Weezer and Foo Fighters were combined, it would sound like The Shazam.