KELLEY STOLTZ - My Regime
Twenty years and ten albums on, his stint as the rhythm guitarist for Echo & The Bunnymen over, Kelley Stoltz seems to have decided to take stock of where his music is and do a little recapitulation of his favourite sounds. And although he dabbled, almost always successfully, with everything from Sixties psych to modern disco, judging by My Regime his latest, his heart is deeply fixed within the sounds of the Eighties.
You can hear it in The Cars-like title track, reviving the sounds of the Eighties power pop bands like The Romantics (“Uh Oh”), doing his best version (or anybody else’s besides the original) of Steve Kilbey and The Church (“Fire On Fire”), or ‘the best of’ Human League and Heaven 17 (“Zonked”). Of course, he couldn’t do without the Echo & The Bunnymen vision of the psych sound ( “2020” and “Things Go Bump”).
It is all there. Or almost all, at least the stuff that was good about the Eighties, and no matter what anyone says, there was, and Stoltz just goes on to prove it. You then start getting both the multi-image cover and the album title. Yet, no carbon copies or covers. Stoltz seems to have picked up everything he likes, thrown it into a music blender and comes up with sounds that recall the ones that he knows and loves at every point adding something of his own, with the key influence emerging at the forefront, the middle or in the background.
He even manages to involve the modern times in the proceedings, like in “2020” - “have you got what you need to ride it out… I wish I could see peace in 2020”. I’ve no idea whether Stoltz or any of us will see peace in 2020, but on the evidence of “My Regime,” he can certainly ride it out.
Kelley Stoltz enters his 20th year in the record business with the release of his 10th full length album, “My Regime”. This will be his second release for the Spanish label Banana & Louie after prior albums on Castleface, Third Man Records and Sub Pop. A longtime DIY home recording multi instrumentalist, Stoltz again engineers, mixes and plays all the instruments on the album and his unique brand of “60’s/80’s” pop, garage-rock and folk sounds seem to have gotten better with age.
“My Regime” was recorded during an emotional year that saw him get engaged to marry, his father pass away and his tenure as rhythm guitarist with longtime heroes Echo & the Bunnymen come to and end. Jovial and reflective moods ensued and were put to tape by Stoltz in his Electric Duck Studios at home in San Francisco.
The first single “Turning Into You” ponders the delight and soul connections of love, while “2020” asks “have you got what you need to ride it out… I wish I could see peace in 2020”, in reference to the chaotic politics at home. “Fire on Fire” written with his Dad on his mind, and is a big beat slow burner reminiscent of the Church’s “Starfish” years.