There was a lot of power pop talk over the weekend which prompted me to dig out this old chestnut and give it a spin. I actually like power pop quite a lot, though it genuinely has to have some power and drive for me, but I’ve favored the harder stuff for some reason the past couple of years.
This one-album (Catch-All) band had a guy from the Mavericks, a guy from Wilco and, what probably prompted my attention the most, Tom Petersson, the bassist from Cheap Trick (ironically, they’ve been pretty ignored on this site thus far). Then I found this:
The album’s real Beatle-y and jingly-jangly, but very well done. According to the Amazon reviews, too well done for some. Here’s a song called Louise that I liked upon hearing for the first time in years:
That’s a song that’s far weirder and better than I expected. The Beatlesy middle section (the harmonies mostly) gives way to some deeply cheesy elements (the strings, exaggerated base notes), and by the end it’s careering into some pretty pleasing but disquietingly lush strings.
Never heard of these guys, and I’m glad you’re on this beat Steve. More like this please!
BTW A couple of months ago I tried to do a piece on Cheap Trick. They have a few great great songs that are featured in one of my fave teen rebellion movies (Over the Edge), and I wrote early on here somewhere about how effective the goodlooking guy/goofball guy dynamic worked for them.
But playing back their stuff now, I was either numbed to the hits or didn’t find the non-hits worth revisiting. I didn’t listen to everything, probably not even close, but from my perch today I was underwhelmed once I looked past their great hits.
Cheap Trick for me is the second and third albums (“In Color” and “Heaven Tonight”). I like some stuff from the debut, but I think there’s lots of waste there too. It went downhill quickly after “Heaven Tonight.”
Saw Cheap Trick open for The Babys at the Roxy Theater, a little old movie house in Northampton, PA. They threw out a lot of guitar picks (both Rick and Tom) and I still have them.