Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Blondes - Swedish Heat - 2004

The sound of 1970s guitar pop has staying power. Many, many bands have paid homage to the radio-ready sounds of bands like the Raspberries, the Rubinoos, Cheap Trick, and the Records. Many bands flat out get it wrong; by being too wacky, by being too reverential, or by not having strong hooks. There are also a few bands who manage to transcend their debt to the '70s, and are inclined to create music that looks forward as well as backward. Redd Kross, Jellyfish, maybe Fountains of Wayne, to name a few. The Blondes are not ready to be added to that list yet. Far from it. Their debut full-length record is filled with all the trappings of '70s pop, with soaring vocals, harmony guitar leads, walls of overdriven guitars, and sweet, catchy, dumb songs. Unfortunately, the songs are on the far side of goofy. Numbers like "Teenage Foxes," "Suzi Quatro," and "Vesna Velovic" are not half as witty as the band seems to think. No one expects epic poetry to be sung over the rush of power chords and swooping synths, but they might expect lyrics that are not quite so feyly clever. Also, by the time the record reaches about track eight or so, the same-yness of the arrangements and guitar sounds begins to drag the listener down, and gets them to thinking about what they will listen to next. The Blondes do have potential however; some of the melodies approach timelessness and the record is well-recorded; the music seems to leap right out of the speakers. Chalk it up as a mildly entertaining power pop nostalgia trip, and hope the band grows up (just a touch) before their next album is released. -AMG

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The Blondes - Swedish Heat - 2004
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Todd said...

Thanks for helping fill out "The Top 200!" I start Everyday seeing what new gift you've left on my doorstep!

brainstormrecords said...



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