Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meet Vista Blue!

Oh, boy! I've got a good one for you pop lovers today! You may remember The Loblaws as one of the better pop-punk bands of the late 2000s. They had a really excellent 7" out on Mutant Pop Records when the label had a brief revival in 2008. You also may recall that the great Wyatt Funderburk was a member of the band. While The Loblaws eventually split, brothers Mike and Todd Patton regrouped last year under the name Vista Blue with a series of baseball-themed releases.

Based in Nashville and Cincinnati with roots in New Orleans, Vista Blue is essentially a more "pop" continuation of The Loblaws. Think classic pop-punk (Ramones, MTX) meets modern power pop (Weezer, Fountains Of Wayne) with a heavy Beatles/Beach Boys influence. In anticipation of an upcoming Vista Blue/Loblaws CD on RTTB Records, the band has released Betsy Took My Baby Away - an EP comprised of songs that were originally intended for release on Mutant Pop before the label called it quits in 2009. It sounds like classic Mutant Pop fare - bringing to mind unheralded greats of the label like The Proms and Ruth's Hat (with hints of early Lillingtons in the vocals). These tracks began as Loblaws songs and were completed by Vista Blue - creating a perfect bridge between the two bands. The title track, inspired by Hurricane Katrina, imagines the experiences of two people on the eve of Hurricane Betsy in 1965. It's pretty much an instant classic of harmony-laden pop-punk. "When She Cries" and the Funderburk co-write "Maybe Tomorrow" are great as well. The CD will feature these three songs along with the seven completed Loblaws recordings and the entirety of Vista Blue's brand-new Jamie Lee EP. The new EP is a little more in the power pop vein - yet similar enough for it to make sense for all of these songs to be on the same album.

Essentially Vista Blue blurs the already thin line between power pop and pop-punk - adding add in early rock n' roll harmonies for good measure. I love the songs, I love the vocals, and I love this band! I can't wait for the full CD! If Buddy Holly was the granddaddy of this sort of music, we've definitely met the grandchildren! 



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