Friday, August 31, 2018

Stop, Hey, What's That Imperial Sound

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."



What a great start to the long weekend!

Once again I'll look like one of the cool kids thanks to Burning Wood.

Anonymous said...

In looking up the band, I see that it features former members of The Service and New Duncan Imperials, both bands that I enjoyed during their respective runs. NDI have one of my favorite song titles in "Gizzards, Scrapple & Tripe" (which is about...gizzards, scrapple & tripe), but for an intro to their pop chops I'd recommend "Tilt-A-Whirl", an exuberant blast that doesn't even wait for two minutes to say its piece. The Service was more all over the map. The internet search also told me that Pravda records was still in biz, which I'm glad to hear since I liked much of their (now obscure) releases (Slugs, Gringo, Feelies offshoots). So thanks for the heads-up, and the featured tunes are good'uns, to boot!
C in California

Anonymous said...

Really good stuff but the video gave me the heebie jeebies!

I'll keep an ear open for The Imperial Sounds! Thanks Sal.

Captain Al

ken49 said...

Great call! I can't say I was sitting around waiting for something like this but what a pleasure to hear. It's from a different time in style but updated to sound fresh. Plus the quality of the sound on the recording is impressive. Been listening to it all day.

Troy said...

Thanks for the suggestion. Will definitely check this out.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I don't hear any of the artists referenced, except maybe a dollop of EC, however, it doesn't matter as, like you said, it's pretty cool on it's own.

M_Sharp said...

When I read a press release like that, I'm very skeptical. But it usually makes me check out the band. I like what I've heard here and on their site. Thanks for the tip!