Rave On: ‘Clap Your Hands’ for new power-pop discs

By John Borack

Nederglam! For those not familiar with the term, it’s the boot-stomping, guitar-crunching brand of shout-along music that burst out of the Netherlands in the early- to mid-’70s. There is a boatload of these high-heeled riches to be found on the aptly titled Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet, a super groovy, all-out glamfest that any fan of the genre — hell, of early ’70s music in general — will want to snap up real quick-like. It’s all extremely obscure stuff — unless names such as Cherrie Vangelder-Smith, Long Tall Ernie And The Shakers or the Heavy Dwarves ring a bell — but the quality of the two dozen tracks is uniformly swell. Me, I’ve fallen in love with Bonnie St. Claire And Unit Gloria’s ridiculously catchy “Clap Your Hands And Stamp Your Feet,” Heart’s storming “Lovemaker” (definitely not the Wilson sisters) and Lemming’s bizarro “Father John,” slightly disturbing religious imagery and all.

The Shazam

Back with their first release in six years is The Shazam, Tennessee’s own kickass rock-and-roll combo who proudly cites The Move, Cheap Trick and The Who as major influences. The big news surrounding Meteor is the fact that it was produced by Mack, who helmed many of Queen’s biggest successes. Funny thing is, his presence doesn’t seem to make a heck of a lot of difference sound-wise, other than the massed-chorale backing vocals on the ditzy “Latherman Shaves The World” which absolutely screams Mercury, May, Taylor and Deacon. While Meteor has very few tracks that slap you hard across the kisser at first listen, the record is a definite grower. Tracks such as the loopy “Disco At The Fairgrounds,” the overtly poppy “Always Tomorrow” and the silly, hard-driving “Time For Pie” showcase Hans Rotenberry’s slightly bent, hard-rockin’ vision and provide the foundation for another fine effort.

Green

Speaking of bands that have been out of the spotlight for awhile, Illinois-based Green has released The Planets, their first effort since 2001. Always adept at mixing pop, punk and soul into an intoxicating brew, leader Jeff Lescher tones things down here, opting for a gentle, wistful feel on most of the tunes. (He also eschews his manic, piercing vocal stylings, which were used to great effect on Green classics such as “Hurt You” and “Gotta Get A Record Out.”) The Planets is an easy-to-like record, with tracks such as the peppy “Rockinville Road,” the early ’70s AM radio fare of “I Just Can’t Remember Your Face” and the breezy white soul of “I Wouldn’t Wait Too Long” all shining brightly.

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