When I read a press release that claims the enclosed music "references Todd Rundgren and Carole King to Elvis Costello and The Replacements," I am going to listen. "The New AM, " released today by The Imperial Sound, claims to offer all that and more, and while it is not completely untrue, to my ears, at least on my second go around, this band has a terrific sound all its own, with only traces of the aforementioned pop and rock heroes.
I was hooked from the opening track. "Yesterday," sung by Nora O'Connor, who became a favorite of mine as one of The Flat Five, sounds like the perfect Paul Weller tune. It's not quite authentic enough to call soul music, but it does have one of the most infectious horn lines and vocal hooks I've heard in some time. Another one of the Flat Five, the goddess Kelly Hogan, has a duet with the great Peter Himmelman on "Ain't Crawling Back," which would not sound out of place on Costello's "Spike." It's another gem with a chorus hook big enough to snag a flounder. As a matter of fact, just about every song has something to grab you.
"Tracing The Lines" has a groove that reminds me of "Ooh La La"-era Faces and maybe, if I squint, "Pleased To Meet Me"-era 'Mats. Either way, it does indeed groove, for almost two whole minutes before the first line of vocals is sung.
I look forward to spending a lot more time with The Imperial Sound and I think you should, too. Check out the first single, "A Man Like You," a great slice of 80's retro soul. There's a lot to love on "The New AM."