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Nine Times Blue

Nine Times Blue’s new record, Matter of Time is a tour de force of driving, melodic rock, each song simultaneously infused with the craftsmanship of the Brill Building era and the electric energy of seminal bands like Big Star, The Replacements, and The Smithereens. The moniker power pop (coined by Pete Townshend) can be applied to Nine Times Blue, but only according to its original definition: a genre that draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock, and features strong melodies, clear vocals, and infectious guitar hooks. Pop history enthusiasts might recognize Nine Times Blue as the title of a song by Mike Nesmith (of The Monkees), a fitting homage by a band not afraid to tap into power pop’s venerable roots. Matter of Time follows Nine Time Blue’s critically acclaimed 2012 release, Falling Slowly.

“Modern, mature, rock/power cahoots with the Matthew Sweet, Fountains of Wayne/Crowded House/Gin Blossoms/Jellyfish school of Beatlesesque guitar groups”
- Jack Rabid, Big Takeover

“There is no denying that singer/songwriter/guitarist Kirk Waldrop knows how to write a melodic, infectious tune.”
- Lilli Friedman, Relix Magazine

Nine Times Blue came together while recording Falling Slowly, and Matter of Time unveils a more seasoned band, one that’s had time to hone their sound as well as inspire each other to grow musically. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Waldrop says “knowing that Jeff, Greg, and Jason would be playing these songs and developing their own parts really improved how I approach my own writing.” Nine Times Blue features Jeff Nelson on bass, Greg King on lead guitar, and Jason Brewer on drums. Almost all of Matter of Time was recorded in King’s home studio, Radial By Design, where the band was able to focus on laying down the perfect parts without worrying about tallying studio hours.

Waldrop and the band have been hard at work over the past year, writing and arranging all the songs on the EP (collaborating on the title track with friend, Cliff Hillis). The record’s first single, “Only Lonely (The Shovel Song),” is a dark, but catchy down tempo love song, telling the tale of unrequited love gone just a bit too far. The hooky chorus, perfect for boisterous car ride sing-alongs, is complemented nicely by driving bass and dynamic guitar parts. “Matter of Time” showcases the craft of a mature songwriter, seamlessly blending introspective verses with a percussive, high energy chorus, followed by a screaming guitar solo worthy of any Dinosaur Jr. record.

Waldrop has been involved in the Georgia music scene since the 1990s, fronting Athens based group, The Features from 1994-1997, and releasing two singles on Democrat Records. In addition to his experience as a front man and songwriter, Waldrop has worked as a producer, notably on two Paul McCartney tribute compilations released on Oglio Records. The albums featured artists such as Robyn Hitchcock, Matthew Sweet, Semisonic, , The Finn Brothers, Barenaked Ladies, and They Might be Giants, and raised money for breast cancer research in honor of Linda McCartney. After initially working with these artists as a producer, Waldrop has since had the opportunity to collaborate with some of them live and in the studio, creating a strong network of talent and support that has stood the test of time.

Matter of Time will be Nine Times Blue’s second release on Renegade Recordings with national distribution through City Hall Records. Matter of Time’s record release show at landmark Atlanta rock venue, Smith’s Olde Bar, on February 21st is already sold out and the record’s first single, “Only Lonely (The Shovel Song)” is getting play on Radio 105.7 FM and Rock 100.5 FM. This marks an auspicious start for an album that seems to have its own legs and a band who’s struck just the right balance of raucous energy and steadfast dedication to go the distance. April 2014 (link) April 2014 (link)

Powerpopaholic April 2014 (link)

April 2014 () Best. Song. Now. Listen to Power Pop Gem from Nine Times Blue - BLURT

Sometimes we say things that we do not mean… but not this time. Thinking about making the “Best. Song. Now.” a recurring feature here. The Atlanta band makes for the perfect debut…

Jeezus… this is the best song I’ve heard in… what the hell, gonna go out on a limb and say in at least the last year. Not. Kidding. That’s a lot of fucking tunes, my friends, but I know my power pop and I know when I hear something classic, and potentially timeless. It’s called “Falling After You” and it’s by Atlanta combo Nine Times Blue (yeah, Google that band name for a reference; you’ll get a pretty cool secret thrill, just like I did). I cannot get this one out of my head, and I’m not ashamed to testify to that. Dig.

The album is titled Matter Of Time and it is currently in heavy rotation around the BLURT space station. Song after song here connects, on the same level that—and yes, I repeat other writers’ praise and comparisons here, so sue me—Smithereens, ‘mats and Gin Blossoms, or earlier, Big Star and dB’s. Maybe even some Don Dixon and fellow Atlanteans The Producers as well. The album is that immediate, that infectious, and it dropped a few weeks ago via the Renegade Recordings label. Here are the links you need for the time being. Your path is clear.
- Fred Mills, Blurt

April 2014 () Goldmine review

Nine Times Blue – Matter of Time

"Any band named after a Monkees tune gets major coolness points right off the bat. When the songs are solid and non-cliched, the lead vocals are passionate with just the right balance of grit and sweetness, and the playing is sharp and varied, well, that’s the icing on the cake. Kirk Waldrop writes and sings all six songs on the EP (save for one co-write with fellow pop dude Cliff Hillis ) and the results sound to me like a less mannered Darius Rucker fronting a really tight indie pop band. Trust me, it’s a good thing." Grade: B+

Parc Bench April 2014 (link)

“The tacky packaging (think story tape for eight-year-olds meets 90s computer game) belies the very well produced and mainstream pop-rock within. From the upbeat title track opener to the good time strum-along of the unlisted tenth track, this is a very polished piece of work. Perhaps overall a bit too clean and radio-friendly – the odd vocal rasp, guitar wig-out or passionate outpouring wouldn’t go a miss. But all in all Nine Times Blue prove to be a musically classy bunch. And with the likes of John Faye and Merrymaker David Myhr contributing to the album, this Atlanta-based band are making the right sort of friends, and may well start to influence people.”
- Terry Herman, Bucketfull of Brains.

“The debut album from Nine Times Blue is a concise 37-minute exercise in power pop comprised of ten radio-ready tracks. The band takes their name from a Michael Nesmith song, and Nesmith’s band The Monkees are an appropriate comparison for this Atlanta-based quartet that is not afraid to invoke classic pop sensibilities. Falling Slowly’s opening title track is a fast-paced, straight-ahead rocker with a catchy hook, and serves as a blueprint for a majority of the record. The structure of most of the songs can feel stagnant and overly familiar, but there is no denying that singer/songwriter/guitarist Kirk Waldrop knows how to write a melodic, infectious tune. The songs that stray off the well-trodden path are the most interesting, and the slower, more complex “Fun and Games” is especially memorable.”
- Relix Magazine

“Atlanta, Georgia-based Nine Times Blue (named after the Michael Nesmith song) is helmed by singer-songwriter and guitarist Kirk Waldrop, who previously fronted The Features from nearby Athens in the mid-90s. Waldrop ingeniously models his catchy writing style and jangly rock arrangements after seminal powerpop influences Squeeze, The Smithereens and The Gin Blossoms, while craftily infusing his radio-friendly originals with a more cutting edge plushness that renders them newly germane.


Particular pleasures include the set-opening, plaintively bright title song, a tambourine-steadied confessional ‘Fun And Games’ (with echoes of The Beatles and Kinks abounding), the slowly unwinding, melodically contemplative ‘Groove’, a drum-pounding, rousing ‘Silent Words’ and the Byrds-like closer ‘So Much Time’. I’m smiling.”

- Gary von Tersch, Shindig Magazine

“Nine Times Blue’s debut album, Falling Slowly, is a great addition to the pop world. The foursome- Kirk Waldrop, Greg King, Jeff Nelson and Jason Brewer- have a strong album that is full of upbeat tracks, pleasing vocals and guests Brett Talley and John Faye. With a great sound, it’s very easy to compare this band to the talents of Matchbox 20 and Sister Hazel.

This ten-track album is strong from title track “Falling Slowly” to “New Beginnings”. Each song has the perfect mix of drums, guitars and vocals to keep you smiling and singling along. Fans of this genre will not be disappointed. “Serena” is a fun addition to the album with a little more quirk than the others, starting right away with the lyrics and a catching guitar beat that continues throughout the song. “Silent Words” is a gem on this album. Everything was strong from the message of the song to the beautiful voice of Waldrop.

Perhaps the only thing some could find wrong with this album is the repetitious sound of many of the tracks- but not me. Bands like Goo Goo Dolls, John Mayer, Matchbox 20 and others made their career off albums with tracks that all had similar upbeat and fantastical instrumental sounds. It encompasses everything that the greats from the last generation in this genre did. Rating: Iconic.“

- Lexi Bissonnette, That Mag

“When was the last time you had your spirits lifted by a power pop group you've never heard of and kept coming back to its disc because it sounds so fresh and invigorating? This debut album from an Atlanta-based rock quartet, Nine Times Blue, hooks listeners with its great rhythms, intriguing lyrics, vocals, and foot-stompin' melodies. There's nothing fancy about the quartet -- but the sound is rich and rewarding, with lyrics that are intelligent, but not pretentious.”
- Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

"[Nine Times Blue] have developed a sound that channels such artists as The Smithereens and Marshall Crenshaw and in places reminds one of elements of The Squeeze and the Gin Blossoms. The first full-length album by Nine Times Blue proves that power pop is alive and well in the Atlanta area."
- David Bowling, Seattle Post Inquisitor

“Power Pop, so named by Pete Townsend, has always been one of rock's most loved sub-genres and for good reason. With its emphasis on song structure, melody, strong lead vocals, and heavy guitar riffs that don't meander into long solos it's music that is readily accessible.

Power Pop was part of the makeup of everyone from the early Beatles, The Kinks, The Who (pre-Tommy), The Raspberries, Nick Lowe, Squeeze, The Posies, Marshall Crenshaw, and a host of others. More recent acts such as Fountains of Wayne and Del Amitri have also become important representatives of the style. Now we can add to the list, Nine Times Blue, a mighty fine new quartet named after an old Michael Nesmith song.

The Atlanta outfit's debut CD, Falling Slowly, could easily have been a hit if it had been released in an era when groups like this one received regular radio airplay. The disc is loaded with ten original songs that check in at a concise thirty-eight minutes. The band sounds a lot like Arizona's Gin Blossoms (especially on the loud, barn-burning title track) with a little Smithereens thrown in for good measure (catch the heavy bass intro to "Million Miles" as an example of the latter).

Nine Times Blue's chief songwriter and lead vocalist, Kirk Waldrop, is obviously the man in charge and he should make no apologies for being the leader. He handles all of the challenges required of him as easily as any veteran who has ever rocked.

Falling Slowly is not pretentious, nor deep, but it's music isn't trite either. It's also one of the best albums I've heard from a fledgling outfit in a long, long time.”

- Charlie Ricci, BLOGGERYTHMS

“Nine Times Blue takes its name from a Mike Nesmith song, a fitting choice for a group rooted in power pop, one of the genres that made up the music of the Monkees, Nesmith’s former band. The Atlanta-area based quartet serves up a pleasing mix of memorable melodies and heartfelt lyrics that recalls the work of Crowded House, the Gin Blossoms and the Smithereens. The title song kicks off the album with a jangly blend of electric and acoustic guitars. Jason Brewer’s propulsive drumming provides a rhythmic kick to “Crazy to Think,” a romantic kiss-off song by Kirk Waldrop, the band’s principal songwriter. The soulful “Grace” receives an assist from Philadelphia-area musicians Brett Talley and John Faye on guitars and backing vocals, respectively. “Serena” invites comparisons to the jangly pop of early ‘80s Marshall Crenshaw. “I Can’t See You” offers a burst of musical energy with its layered guitars and vocals, while “Silent Words” is a creative slice of pop songcraft.”
- Tom Wilk, Icon Magazine