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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Pop - Go!

Name: The Pop
Album: Go!
Year: 1979
Style: Power Pop, New Wave
Similar Bands: Cars, Romantics Fixx, A Flock of Seagulls, Motels, Big Star
"One-Word" Review: Snotty Americana
Based Out Of: LA, Cali
Label: Artista
 Go! - Cover, Sleeve, Record
Go! Back, Sleeve, Record
Go! (1979)
  1. Under the Microscope 4:40
  2. Shakeaway 2:22
  3. Beat Temptation 3:58
  4. She Really Means That Much to Me 3:35
  5. I Want to Touch You 3:36 /
  6. Waiting for the Night 3:34
  7. Go!  3:32
  8. Falling for Carmen 3:00
  9. Maria 4:58
  10. Legal Tender Love 3:30

Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Roger Prescott - Vox, Guitar (The Silver Tears, Walking Wounded, Texacala Jones, Train Wreck Ghosts)
David Swanson - Guitar, bass, Vox (Cliff Richard, Lamant Dozier, Future Flight, Bobbi Lyle, The Towels, Brenda Russell, Peri)
Tim McGovern - Bass (Motels, Sacred Warrior, David Cassidy, Bonedaddys, Burning Sensation, Neil Merryweather, Randy California)
Tim Henderson - Bass (Silver Tears, Warlord, Willie Harris, Sanctus Real)
Joel Martinez - Drums (Andy & the Rattlesnakes)
David Robinson - Drums (Modern Lovers, Cars, DMZ, Bob Schneider)
Earle Mankey - Producer, Engineer (allmusic credits, Sparks)
RIA Images - Art Directions & Design
Ted Wilcox - Back Cover
Tori Swenson - Second Engineer
Andrew Su - Front Cover

Unknown-ness: I have never heard of this band, but the name The Pop, is so generic, yet full of energy, that I can only assume it is going to be fun, bouncy, catchy new wave/power pop, further based on the artwork/cover photo, sleeve band photo & font. Also, 1979 was a good year for this genre. Although, the back diagonal lines and Dalmatians makes me think of Rick Springfield (which is retro-active, since Springfield was a few years later).

Album Review: The pop have a great pedigree of influences and references from The Kinks to the Who to the Stranglers, Big Star, Bowie and Brian Eno. They played the late 70’s Hollywood scene with bands like the Motels (formed Radio Free Hollywood) and the Plimsouls, and thanks to fanzines, they grew in popularity. This, their second album is a bit of a departure from the first, apparently sounding vastly different, and contains inferior songs. In 1981, they release their third and final outing, a mini-LP, Hearts and Knives.

“Under the Microscope” begins the album with a swooping, new wave bass beat, with dark tones and is a little Cars and Devo-like, with a chanting chorus.
“Shakeaway” charges right out of the gate with a pounding bass and drum tempo, and power pop chords. I can hear some Big Star influence in the vocals. The song never lets up, and builds nicely.
“Beat Temptation” has a more bouncy melody, and some Nick Gilder-esq big power pop hooks. The vocals are nasally and a little jittery. This is a pretty solid song.
“She Really Means That Much to Me” has a much more jangely start, even if it has some power chords layered underneath. The vocals start out like Mooney Suzuki, but they become much lighter, yet still carry with it some Big Star style.
“I Want to Touch You” has a very Cars-like start with the tone and the vocals. The shuttering, nasally vocals have a dark, back alley coldness to them, with a touch of bluesy, wind-swept guitars.

“Waiting for the Night” Picks up side two with the same 70’s rock intro. But the vocals are higher, a little raspy, and more classic rock oriented with, yet it is still solid power pop.
“Go!” starts off harmonisly, with a bold drum beat, harmonized, in the round singing of Go (reminding me of the Futureheads’ acapella album). The deeper, snotty vocals make it more of a new wave song.
“Falling for Carmen” is a rushed, Americana love song. It feels very middle America with the rolling drum fills, the bass line, and power hooks.
“Maria” is a more new wave love song, reminding me of the A’s second album. It is bold and confident, yet still has a jittery vocal, feeling a little like a smoothed out Elvis Costello track. The chorus has a strength and passion to the delivery.  
“Legal Tender Love” Begins with heavy power chords, and a ringing rhythm guitar that becomes the lead guitar by the instrumental end. The song is sturdy, and moves on at a mid-driving pace. The nasally vocals give it a strong new wave tone. 

Stand-Out Track: Beat Temptation

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