Anthemic Pop Wonder's Rapid Pop Thrills is a wonderfully apt name for a gloriously unabashed album that is equal parts wobbly, enthusiastic guitar muscle and hooky pop/rock. A good reference point is Guided by Voices' Bee Thousand (or the less-cryptic moments of Alien Lanes), for Anthemic Pop Wonder has the same gleeful, serendipitous approach to tune-craft as GBV. "Masterminds" funnels blunt yet snappy lyrics ("Free time, no way/Success à la mode/Install the disk and take to the road/Your life, monsieur, it figures into the Plan") through early Who or Creation guitar crunch. "Let Go in a Song" threads a clever but simple riff and appealingly nerdy vocals through a new wave romp, while "Free From Fear" goes straight for the heartfelt, guitar-charged anthem jugular in an appealingly ragged way. This N.Y.C. outfit comes out ahead in a big way with this collection of ear-pleasing and unpretentious guitar pop. -AMG
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