Music Review: David Brookings & the Average Lookings – Scorpio Monologue

When I pressed play on “And It Feels Like,” the opening track on David Brookings & the Average Lookings’ new record Scorpio Monologue, I initially thought I’d messed up and played a Gin Blossoms song instead. Which was fine with me! But then David’s voice came in, and I realized it was him after all. In fact, once the vocal melody takes over, the track actually becomes closer to something of an Oasis opener, just a great leadoff track that may not be a single on its own, but a song that gives you the feeling that a BUNCH of singles are about to come pouring out into your lap. And that’s exactly what happens here, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with David’s work.

The second track, “I Grow Up Fast,” has David’s classic sound, melody, and lyrics. It’s a smash hit single just waiting for anyone at any radio station to realize it. Retrospective enough to match the kind of jangle pop he’s playing, David’s lyrics are on point here as always. He says, “I wanna make it last/I grow up fast.” And I mean, we all do. But thankfully, guys like David keep making music like this to accompany the whole growing up thing.

And again, the singles just keep coming from there. “Destiny” has a really cool summer feel, with piano and killer layered harmonies. Fountains of Wayne fans will love it. “Big Gun” has another big ’90s chorus. Meanwhile “Rainbow Baby” slows things down and feels like something McCartney would’ve done for the White album or maybe one of his first solo records.

The cover of Badfinger’s “Without You” was a little surprising, as I’d mostly known versions by Air Supply and Mariah Carey. But it’s a really great display of what David can do vocally. On the other hand, both “Silicon Valley” and “She’s Mad at Me Again” are hilarious yet strong examples of simple rock and roll songwriting that checks all the boxes while also standing out as something completely new and different, which is not easy at all to accomplish.

Overall, this is another solid effort from David Brookings & the Average Lookings. If you’re looking for crystal clear power pop with a Beatles and ’90s rock influence, this is your band.

You can currently stream and purchase Scorpio Monologue through all of your favorite stores and services. Check it out on Spotify here.

Music Review: Caper Clowns – A Salty Taste to the Lake

The Caper Clowns are from Denmark and play the kind of upbeat power pop that we love around here. Their new album, A Salty Taste to the Lake, follows The Buca Bus, the band’s great 2016 debut.

A Salty Taste to the Lake kicks off with “The Way I Dream,” which sounds something like a John Lennon track from A Hard Day’s Night. It’s definitely a hit single in some other place and time.

“Second to None” features a running piano riff through the track, as the band seems to race along a little faster than usual. Still, the chorus is just as catchy as always, and the strings in the break are beautiful.

“Sacre Bleu” is bouncy and catchy, and it seems exactly like something you’d hear in an American TV commercial, while “Paper Trail” has a crunchier guitar and almost sounds like a Fountains of Wayne album cut.

The Caper Clowns know how to write catchy songs with good choruses. If that’s something you’re into, this is for you.

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