Category Archives: power pop

Review: Anarbor – Free Your Mind and The Bigger Lights – Fiction Fever

Label: Hopeless Records Released: March 10, 2009 Label: Doghouse Records Released: April 7, 2009 Thirty years ago, a subgenre of rock that had been building for a few years was just about ready to explode. AOR took the best elements of 70s rock, dummied it down, made it safe and sold millions of records whose broad appeal was based on… Read more »

Review: Cheap Trick – Budokan 30th Anniversary Edition

Label: Epic/Legacy Released: November 11, 2008 I always had a tough time understanding why Cheap Trick was so popular. Sure, “Surrender” is among rock’s greatest songs and they had their share of other decent tunes, but why would they stand out like they did? The answer I was told is contained in their live show and this 30th Anniversary Edition… Read more »

Review: Switches – Lay Down the Law

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Label: Interscope Records Released: March 18, 2008 Lay Down the Law is a collection of songs that is perfectly good in the moment. Their catchy 80s power-pop (filtered through more recent times via the Strokes) is pleasant enough, but it can’t hold on to what it’s caught. Even after multiple listens, there isn’t a single melody here that sticks with… Read more »

Review: Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer – Schematics

Label: Flight Plan/Reignition Records Released: September 25, 2007 Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer is yet another power-pop band among what seems like an endless stream coming out these days. So, what sets this female-fronted hook-fest apart from the others? For one thing, energy. In a genre that seems to go through the motions, Zolof is engaged in what they’re… Read more »

Review: Bert Susanka – Onward Christian Slater

Label: Cornerstone RAS Released: February 13, 2007 I once saw an interview with a pro surfer. When asked who was the best surfer in the world, she replied, “The one having the most fun.” Bert Susanka might be the musical embodiment of that surfing ideal. Onward Christian Slater takes the harmonies of the Beach Boys, the down-to-earth grittiness of the… Read more »

Review: Watershed – Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust II

Label: Idol Records Release Date: September 11, 2007 As Watershed well knows, a live album is a difficult proposition. Their 1994 debut (on Epic Records) didn’t pan out the way I’m sure they’d hoped and now, 13 years later, they’re trying again. The real difficulty with live albums is that it’s hard to find that middle ground between too live,… Read more »