[Update: OK, we're now fully obsessed with Johnny Foreigner. We just poked around and you can download five MP3s at their web site, and two MP3 samples of their first single "Sometimes In The Bullring"/"Camp Kelly Calm" (released in October) from the Laundrette site here --
[UPDATE 2: We can't stop listening. We can't. Figures, as the band mentions Meneguar in their bio. They may be the only ones who like Meneguar more than we do.]
>> London's The Draytones have a shaggy British Invasion sound that, while not particularly innovative, moves us. The forthcoming single "Keep Loving Me," rides a lunging chord progression for several glorious, mop-topped minutes. You can stream the song at the trio's MySpace flat here. It features the vintage production move of hard-panned instrumentation, something The Beatles did often. So it's drums in the right earphone, guitars in the left and bass and vocals tussling between your ears. And then there's the backwards guitar tracking. "Keep Loving Me" is available for pre-order, and will be released Feb. 26 on 1965 Records in a vinyl edition limited to 1000 copies. 1965, for you indie purists, is related to Sony BMG in some manner. The Draytones are currently touring all about the UK, and you can find the tour dates at their aforementioned MySpace digs.
>> We stepped out last night with BrighAAAAm to see the latest project of one of the former members of fabled '80s indie act Phantom Tollbooth, and we liked what we heard: dueling vocals, big guitars, the occasional burst of math and kick-ass drumming. The newish act is called Darling Nerves, and they've got several tunes over at their MySpace diving bell here. We struggled last night for descriptors for the Brooklyn-based quartet, but we can say the band has a very engaging early '90s indie rock fuzz going on. We're certain there were dozens of band with a similar sound when we were in college, but we're hard-pressed to think of an appropriate analog. Magnapop? Tsunami? Bettie Serveert? None of those are quite right, although the latter circa Palomine may be the closest we get. Anyway, head over to their MySpace and check out in particular the standout track "Roy Orbison." It's gloriously melodic and the instruments and vocals are all over each other in a cool way. The band has two shows on the horizon, so check MySpace to see if they'll be near you.