Yes it's late stocking filler time for the music lover in your house and you want to get them a great lost album they may have never heard of or you just need a great slice of powerpop rock. Well you could do worse than picking John Easdale's first solo album. He was and is the singer in Dramarama and yes it came out in 1997 but plenty of fans like me never saw it in a record shop as I'd have bought it. Oh and his 1997 sounds a whole lot fine than mine was with what was disintegrating back then which is why I wouldn't have seen much of what was out in America at the time.
John mentioned it to me while we chatted at Dramarama's first London show earlier in the year and he promised to send me a copy along with the Bent Backed Tulips album and being the good man he is it arrived with a nice hand written note. Well I hear you can find copies at all your favourite online dealers.
The album really sounds a lot like Dramarama and that is fine by me it opens with Call Me Dave that's a great powerpop list of all the things you can call John and that list unlike David Ryder Prangley's similar list includes calling him Dave.
Bright Side is a wonderfully bruised piece of poetry about love and the no matter who you are and who you talk to you still feel broken with some gorgeous searing guitars jangling away to express the anguish and the pain the sort of song I want to hear again and again with some nice percussion from Clem Burke who I wish sounded this good when I saw him earlier this year and I wish I'd heard this song years ago.
13th Summer Day is a trip of a song in more ways than one as the tale unfolds over jagged guitar and sparsely persistent percussion.
Waiting (For That Sound) is exactly the sort of zesty upbeat power pop that sounds timeless as he finally unleashes that sound on our ears blimey you need to hear the solo and the sound oh and the liner notes are quite entertainingly modest.
Drown is downbeat and drowsy personal letter to a recently left partner who has abandoned him to his despair you'll need a glass of red wine after hearing this.
Breaking Things is the argument song both musically and lyrically angry bitter twisted guitars as just how much he feels like breaking things unfolds and did Mark Englert break the guitar strings playing that solo or not it sounds like they gave it everything.
Rollerskating On Rattlesnakes is a good song about just about making enough to pay the rent and get by or something that would make you go rollerskating on rattlesnakes. Ecstatic sounds well nothing of the sort being more the come down after the binge almost whispered.
(It's Been A) Couple Of Years is a great song about not being in demand and lots of other things that have been a couple of years and John plays everything on it as he things about his career choice as he hopes to turn that corner again a great song I want to hear over and over.
Just because is another late night question about what went wrong song. Before the pace picks up as John tells us a few things that fit with what you might reply Don't Ask me to as he don't know and it has some cool squiggly organ synth sounds with the guitars taking it away in an urgent rush as we can all figure a way through it all ourselves.
Then in a proper 1990's way you have to wait a few seconds for the hidden last track that's listed on the sleeve so not exactly hidden but hey it's called Piss Take so what do you expect as John tells us this whole album is just a piss take well if it was its the sort of joke I want to be in on as this is one cool contender for great lost solo albums of the 1990's and I really do wish I'd found out about it at the time.
You can find out more about the album here http://www.eggbert.com/easdale.html even if one of the links on the site takes you to a Myspace page.