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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Review-Pop-Evil-Up-2015

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e-ONE MUSIC | Release Date: August 21 2015




 

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Pop Evil may be largely unknown outside their native US where we’ve caught them live a number of times but with this year’s ‘Up’ that is likely to change.


Calculated? Well let’s face it ‘Footsteps’ the lead single is really pure pop dressed as rock, nice, hummable, catchy and nicely paced. It sits somewhere south of Shinedown, lacking their craftsmanship and even their sonic edge, with a little more bite I’m sure it could have been a contender but as it is it seems firmly pitched at the teen radio audience rather than the rock scene. Well you have to make sacrifices sometimes to be heard.


Thankfully the rest of the album has more balls, though still retains that ear for a catchy tune. ‘Core’ has enough bite, but still seems somewhat subdued purposely going for gloss in production rather than grit. I guess that is really the story of the album these are decent enough songs, even great at times but rather than back themselves all the way all bets are hedged. But like I say that’s not necessarily a bad thing from a number of perspectives if it gets them out there. And that in essence is the conundrum of being in a Rock band in 2015 – which way do you go?


Back to the music and it’s a mixed bag: ‘In Disarray’ has a touch of STP and sounds great; ‘Take t All’ sounds like what happens when you water down Nu-Metal too much; but ‘Ghost of Muskegon’ really hits pay dirt, compelling, full of energy and with more than a hint of Shinedown it’s just the sort of song that makes up for the previous.


Elsewhere on the album it’s a similar story as the band mine the Rock music of the nineties primarily and either do good or do bad! ‘If Only For Now’ is a step too far for me almost stepping into Coldplay meets Maroon 5 territory; but both ‘Ways to Get High’ and the excellent Metallic ‘Vendetta’ supply sufficient grunt, whilst ‘Lux’ mines that Shinedown territory again to good effect.  The album also closes strongly with the trio of ‘Dead in the Water’; ‘Seattle Rain’ and ‘Til Kingdom Come’ bring us home with a wet sail. 


Many fans of the band are surely going to love this, but those who have been in for the long-haul might see the trading of the ‘edge’ that the earlier albums had, for ‘sheen’ as a step in the wrong direction but whatever your thoughts their song-writing has undeniably progressed and at times they do hit exactly the right spot like on ‘Vendetta’. 


And that is what ‘Pop Evil do so well, and why they are likely to succeed – it’s not an exact science of course, but they seem to have hit on something on ‘Up’ that allows them to cast a broad net that is more likely to snare you than alienate you. Sure at times the production and pop-leanings do frustrate your average Rock fan but we’ll get over it! This will be playing everywhere soon so get on board…

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


 

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