Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Poppin' Wheelies - The Poppin' Wheelies - 2000

In 1995, Robin Wilson, lead singer of Gin Blossoms, had an idea for an animated TV series, called The Poppin' Wheelies: a teenage rock & roll band with a magical guitar travels through outer space while being chased by an evil witch's minion new wave band, the Techno-pops, who try to retrieve the enchanted instrument. The disc's artwork was done by Alejandro Garza (E.V.E Protomecha), one of the top names in the comic book industry. The Poppin' Wheelies character design is largely based on locals of the Tempe music scene, including late Gin Blossoms founder Doug Hopkins. The concept for the show harks back to a time when rock was a staple of Saturday morning. Inspiration for the show came from the cartoons of the 1970s, including The Banana Splits, Captain Kool and the Kongs, Josie and the Pussycats, The Bugaloos, and even The Osmonds. The The Poppin Wheelies soundtrack is as sweet as a bowl of Sugar Crisps cereal and is a collection of ten bubblegum pop songs, including covers of tunes by Starclub and Tommy Keene. Keene, an overlooked power pop musician who heavily influenced Gin Blossoms, is also the inspiration for the main character, Otis. The Poppin Wheelies combines Wilson's true loves: rock & roll, sci-fi/fantasy, comic books, and animation. Fans of Gin Blossoms should track this CD down. It's a fun, Beatlesque record, especially for those who feel that the sweet pop sounds of the 1980s went away too fast. Distributed through Wilson's website: and Diamond Comics Distributors.-JT Griffith, All Music Guide

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