Factory Settings (Futureman)
From the band’s website; “POP CO-OP is a group of four geographically dispersed musicians who focus on making the music they want to hear. They formed in 2016 as a result of Spongetones’ bassist Steve Stoeckel inviting friends on social media to collaborate in songwriting: Stoeckel threw out titles and music, asked for lyric snippets, assembled the snippets from contributors into full song lyrics, and recorded the song. Along the way, Stoeckel enlisted the guitar talents of Joel Tinnel, who introduced him to Bruce Gordon (aka Mr. Encrypto). Gordon already had several CD’s to his credit and subsequently introduced Stacy Carson to the group.
The group had so much fun creating a first song together that they decided to form a band and release an entire album. The effort was truly cooperative: each member wrote, recorded, engineered, produced, and mixed these 12 songs in every combination. “POP CO-OP” was the obvious band name.”
If this had been the only positive result of the creation of the internet, it would have been worth it. These four acquaintances mesh perfectly together, in a musical melange that is equal parts friendship, fun, craftsmanship, and reverence for the very best of what is often humbly referred to as pop music.
“No Man’s Land,” which heralds these eleven splendid tracks, begins with a stomping Dave Clark Five beat and the best melody this side of Andy Partridge. Switching gears, “Keen To Be Near You” is a soft, Jane Austin-inspired ballad with lovely touches of mandolin and a vocal by Stoeckel that will melt even the hardest of hearts.
I think my favorite of the set, however, is the rollicking “Won’t Be Me,” which sounds like Billy Gibbons being backed by Chuck Berry and Rockpile. I really can’t get enough of this one, in particular.
Also, when you’re finished devouring “Factory Settings,” you’ll want to pick up the quartet’s 2017 debut, “Four State Solution.” It’s a seriously inspired start to what will undoubtedly be an illustrious discography.
There’s a great radio station out of Syracuse that I listen to quite a bit, and they’ve got a big problem. New York’s governor has issued a stay-at-home order, which means, none of their on-air talent is able to make it to the station to do that thing that they do!
Thankfully, others are stepping in to help. My friend Rich Firestone has started his own pre-recorded show, which will help fill the gap until the regulars can get back to work. I sincerely hope he continues long after that, because his show is a good’n.
With his trusty producer, Harry the Corgi, Rich opens up his treasure trove of CD’s, vinyl and tape, to give listeners a pleasant Sunday drive through the history of recorded music. It’s a talented DJ that can string together the likes of Mose Allison, The Beatles,The Modern Lovers, Johnny Cash & Captain Beefheart, and Rich does exactly that.
Greetings to our new readers from Germany & Italy! We’re glad that you’re here, and hope you’re healthy and safe. Have a great day!