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Monday, April 10, 2017

(the) Continentals - Fizz! Pop!

Artist: The Continentals
Album: Fizz! Pop!
Year: 1979
Style: Garage, New Wave, Power Pop
Similar Bands: Cars, A's Tommy Tutone, Raspberries, Knack, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, 
One Word Review: Nasally Anxious Pop
Based Out Of: London, UK
Label: CBS, Epic, Nu Disk
 Fizz! Pop! - Cover & Record
Fizz! Pop! - Back, Record

Fizz! Pop! (1979)
  1. Fizz Pop (Modern Rock) 3:05
  2. Walking Tall 2:45 /
  3. Housewives Delight 4:05
  4. Two Lips from Amsterdam 3:24

Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Tommy "Ramone" Erdelyi - Producer (Ramones)
Thomas Doherty (Whirlwind)
William John Holliday (Whirlwind)
Allan Harris
Doug Smith - Manager (Motorhead)
Paula Scher - Design

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, but from the energy, picture, and names on the EP cover, I had to get it, even if it was a little more than what I typically try to pay for TSM records. Looks like it will be fun, neurotic/urgent/jittery new wave/pop. And the year fits, too.

Album Review:             There is really not too much out there about these three guys from the US…living in the UK, I believe, if the sources I’ve seen are accurate. Aside from being one of the few bands that were given the push on the short lived Nu Disk 10” records, their biggest claim to fame is two of the three went on to write for the British rockabilly band Whirlwind.


“Fizz Pop (Modern Rock)” pops right off with a fun, jittery power pop hook. The vocals are nasally as expected, and recall an anxious Elvis Costello. The recipe is a simple oldies-rock verse chorus template, but sped up and electrified. The variations of the chorus keep it interesting, and last for a good portion of the second half of the song, proving they are a more dynamic band than just straightforward, easy power pop.
“Walking Tall” also has a sense of driving urgency, and the nasally vocals recall Costello again, with a little darker tone with the bass line. The exaggerated, sharp syllables define the popular neurotic nature of the music/sound at that time.

“Housewives Delight” charges right at the get go, but then lightens up with a little Americana mixed in with power pop new wave, with a hint of darkness. The chorus is a little light, as the title is sung. The tone of the song is anti-radio, as a spoken section toward the middle of the song explains. The song is a little long for its own good. It tries to push some variants of their chorus, but it is not a very strong hook to try and repeat as they do here.
“Two Lips from Amsterdam” feels a little like a song from Grease or American Graffiti at the beginning, with a high school girl & guy romance seeming to be at the center. The vocals still offer their nasally, updated delivery, but the song structure is a definite call back to songs like “Under the Boardwalk,” but sounding like Richard Bush and the A's.

Stand Out Track: Fizz Pop (Modern Rock)

Links:
Discogs
Allmusic
Wilfully Obscure
My Life's A Jigsaw
Last FM

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