MP3 Coronet Blue - POP: Power Pop
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17 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Americana
John Rooney (The Lonely Hearts) and Anthony Bautovich (The Lonely Hearts, The Orange Humble Band) are two guys from Sydney who?fve spent a fair swag of their lives playing in rock n roll bands with a savage and determined bent towards hard guitar hooks, great melodies, a real sense of dynamics - and a massive dose of spirit and passion.
When Rooney and Bautovich decided to record an album together as Coronet Blue, Rooney approached American Mitch Easter to gauge his interest in working on it. English radio broadcaster Andy Kershaw once described Easter, musician, producer and engineer, as 'the coolest man in America'. He's worked with power pop legends such as Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, The Sneakers, Marshall Crenshaw, the dBs, Kimberley Rew, and more recently, Ken Stringfellow and The Orange Humble Band. Easter has also produced recordings by Suzanne Vega, Pavement and is probably best known for his early work with R.E.M. (Chronic Town mini-album(1982), Murmur (1983) and Reckoning (1984)).
Easter liked the tapes Rooney sent across to him and Rooney hopped on a plane to the US, leaving behind a disappointed Bautovich who couldn't take time away from work to travel. Together with a bunch of Easter's cohorts, Rooney set about assembling the basis of Coronet Blue's self-titled album, the two sharing production and arrangement roles and Easter playing all lead guitars. Rooney then returned to Sydney where Bautovich added his vocals and a variety of other Sydney-based musicians augmented the tapes, which were subsequently sent back to the States for Easter to mix.
The result is nothing less than a power pop gem, a record that soars and roars with glorious harmonies and melodies coupled with some sublime singing and songwriting. Now available for the first time with 5 bonus tracks representing the complete Easter sessions, the record still sounds fresh, powerful and melodic. While the influences of the likes of The Beatles, Big Star, The Raspberries, The Plimsouls and The Shoes are there, Coronet Blue have moulded their influences into a sound that is simply that of Coronet Blue.
'It was an inspired move on the part of Coronet Blue's John Rooney to cold-call studio legend Mitch Easter with a view to collaboration on the band's self-titled album; for Easter has brought his deft touch to this collection of varied songs and lifted them up and away. Coronet Blue won't ever join the cool school - the band is too commercially accessible for that - but that's okay, because this is an album of ever-unveiling treats." 4 stars - Australian Rolling Stone
'Australian singer/songwriters John Rooney and Anthony Bautovich make up Coronet Blue, an ace power pop group that dissects relationships with both a sharp emotional dynamic and an uncanny knack for a catchy tune. Those aspects alone set their self-titled debut apart from the pack, but what makes it even better is the presence of several members of the 80s New South pop mafia. Mitch Easter produces and plays lead guitar, his former Let's Active bandmates Angie Easter and Eric Marshall provide further instrumental support, and Spongetones mainman Jamie Hoover thumps the bass.' - Pop Culture Press
Formed by members of the Lonely Hearts and Orange Humble Band, Coronet Blue revel in crunchy guitars meshed with a liberal dose of melody and a nod towards power pop. Tracks like 'Mission Bell', 'Brightest Flame' & 'Black Angel' have some real balls, with the layered guitars riding high but not taking away from the dynamic of the songs. Dynamics is something that this band has going on (through the whole album there is a barely a dud song) and the infectiousness of the songs and their delivery will seep into your system after repeated listens and remain for extended periods of time.
Mitch Easter producer behind some of R.E.M's early records produced and lent his hand at lead guitar on most of the tracks, the album is released in Australia with 5 bonus tracks (which comprises the whole Mitch Easter sessions). Coronet Blue will appeal to fans of Nick Cave, Cruel Sea and Paul Kelly. What are you waiting for? - Skinnys website
Coronet Blue somehow strike a chord. Their sound is rather hard to explain, although it's what I imagine when I think of fellow countryman Nick Cave backed up by a big hair metal band. Sounds kinda scary initially, but getting scared can be such a jolly good time, can't it?
The styles vary from vintage punk-metal, served up Billy Idol style, to goth-pop. An interesting mix to say the least, the songwriting is top notch throughout, which is what makes the self-titled album so listenable. The songs are well crafted with good hooks more often that not -- the best examples being "Black Angel," "Particular Kind of Girl" and "For Too Long A Secret." The vocals, delivered by singers John Rooney and Anthony Bautovich, aren't exactly world-class caliber, but as I said, the songs are so well-structured that its not hard to overlook.
For those with an open mind in their music taste, this could very well be the find of the year. It's not, by any means, the "it" album of the year, but who needs "it" with songs like these? - The Glass Eye Magazine
"Hard-rock power-pop from Australia by way of North Carolina, with absolutely ridiculous lyrics and a lead voice that kind of sounds like, geez, I don't know WHO the hell John Rooney sounds like, except that Aussie critics who say "Ian Astbury" aren't too far wrong, except that that ignores Coronet Blue's whole early-'80s jangle-pop vibe. Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself...except to say right here in the first graf that I really like this album for some reason and I just don't know why but it kind of roxx.
Sydneyites Rooney and Anthony Bautovich hooked up with U.S. cult hero Mitch Easter (Let's Active, producer of early R.E.M., etc.) to make this record, but only Rooney was able to come to NC to record with Easter, who played the stinging indie-metal guitar leads. Rooney then took the tapes back to Bautovich, who helped flesh out the songs with various Aussie musicians, and then they sent it all back to Easter for mixing. Some backstory, huh?
That's maybe why this record sounds so gloriously disjointed and deliriously misguided and so freakin' fun with its chunky hooks. "Particular Kind of Girl" could pass for Thin Lizzy if you were drunk enough, and that's a pretty accurate summation of the vibe (if not the sound) of Coronet Blue: pop music with Big Fat Rawk Guitars. Which is so WRONG in the year 2003 that it can only end up being ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, because these hooks could catch fish.
And then you have to throw in the whole '80s-pop thing: the chorus of "Givin' You All the Love" has a nice little Let's Active chug thing happening. "Fool In Love" proves that there was always almost no difference between Cheap Trick and Green Day, and Drivin' N' Cryin' rears its ugly/cute head on bonus track "The Spell." Yeah, there are five bonus tracks, and they're all as good as the "real" album cuts, which you would never have heard unless you were in Australia, in which case you wouldn't be reading this because you'd be too busy looking over your shoulder to make sure that Russell Crowe wasn't going to hit you with a brick or some make. That dude'z crazee.
Listen: this is a silly fun record that shouldn't resonate at all with my cynical-ass tastes, but it does. Rock and roll, baby." - https://www.tradebit.com
"Originally released in 1998, this fine pop record was greatly overlooked, therefore, sensing a more pop-friendly time, the wonderful Laughing Outlaw label has seen fit to give this record a second chance. Certainly any record co-produced by pop-meister Mitch Easter (REM's first few groundbreaking albums) deserves as much of a shot as it can get. Especially since he plays lead guitar on this whole album! Even more so that fellow pop-God and Spongetone Jamie Hoover plays a very McCartney-esque bass throughout! Coronet Blue is in fact two guys, John Rooney and Anthony Bautovich, and both write the material on this CD. The sound is kind of 80's oriented and very R&B based sort of like a cross between The Romantics and the Rembrandts as the songs can be poppy as well and the vocal harmonies very rich. Other bands that come to mind are a more Beatle-y Smithereens and maybe Urge Overkill with the residue hair-metalisms removed. Solid pop and with Hoover and Easter on board, who would expect otherwise?" - Erasing Clouds Website
"It's remarkable to hear an album fearless of harking back to the heyday of '80s Australian rock before the pretentious 'alternative' tag made such music a guilty pleasure. John Rooney and Anthony Bautovich, both members of the Sydney act The Orange Humble Band, have enlisted star producer Mitch Easter to help them to sign this modest gem. Easter, best known for his more acoustic flavoured productions of REM, Crowded House and The dBs, has strapped on the lead guitar himself and created numerous passages of indulgently zappy progressions throughout the 17 tracks gathered on this debut.
As can be expected from the canny Easter, this is no mere backyard act we're dealing with here - the sheer volume of quality music on this disc is far too kind for the first outing by the Coronet Blue duo. A melting pot of Australian influences makes listening to this eponymous release appear like a various artists compilation.
Opener, Mission Bell, could be a polished version of Radio Birdman, while the initial murk of Brightest Flame sounds like the work of The Bad Seeds before veering towards out-and-out rock. For Too Long A Secret offers a Powderfinger style tremolo effect over Little River Band vocal interplay, while the snatches of LRB combine with a touch of The Choirboys on Tenterhooks.
After spending the initial portion of the album going full tilt, the latter parts of the CD slowly comfort the listener with a reduced tempo and hook-laden melodies. The closing After Passion is vocally divergent from the Hugh Cornwall-backed-by-Mike Mills style of many of the preceding songs, with a country lick and lap steel guitars ending this respectable debut on a high.
With five bonus songs now included on this re-release, for fans of quality Australian 'old-school' songwriting, as one of the included tracks suggests, this album is Something You Can't Miss." - Rip It Up
"Coronet Blue are a Sydney two-piece made up of John Rooney and Anthony Bautovich, the later having played in Ken Stringfellow's The Orange Humble Band among others. Their debut album is co-produced by Mitch Easter, he of such glories as REM's first three as well as Pavement, Susan Vega, Mr Stringfellow's various outfits and more. Australian readers will know him from The Hummingbird's great Love Buzz album. Easter plays all lead guitars here, and Coronet Blue is then a tight, well-driven collection of up-tempo pop rock with a nice dose of soul to boot. The up-tempo rhythms are offset by some dark and miserable lyrics. With titles like "Black Angel" and "No Faith No Heart," it's obvious all is not a Nikki Webster wonderland, and even when Rooney sings all perky-like "it always ends this way / after passion / there's never much to say," you can tell there are no happy endings. "For Too Long a Secret" sees Mitch Easter's REM connections cast their spell, melodic vocals wrapped around backgrounded guitar slabs, and for a moment there's pop-meloncholy perfected, that little phrase that leaves singer, band, and listener longing for something no-one's really sure about anyway. Coronet Blue has re-released their album with five bonus tracks, which makes it good value for money as well as a space to display the band's obvious variety. Still, there's something not quite cohesive about the whole thing - maybe an album of ballads versus the darker, heavier material might have made more sense. As it stands, there's enough warm production value, Big Star jangly melodies, and harmonic happiness despite, or to spite, the gloomy lyrics so fans of power-pop won't come to harm by sinking their fangs into this." - Delusions of Adequacy Website "Heavily influenced by the likes of Big Star, The Raspberries and the more recent Matthew Sweet and The Gin Blossoms, this is multi-tracked guitar heaven with glorious harmonies and melodies coupled with some sublime singing and songwriting." - 4 /5 Americana UK Website
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