Friday, July 3, 2009

The Vandalays - re(begin) - 2004


For a good number of years, the Quick was a paragon of Chicago power pop virtue, ultimately attracting the attention of Shoes’ Jeff Murphy who produced the band’s last EP, Mr. Deelish. But when bassist Miles Okumura moved back to his native Hawaii, the rest of the band, already in the throes of various upheavals, elected to take a break. When the remaining trio (keyboardist/vocalist Chris Cerasoli, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Ken Valskis, drummer/vocalist Dave Franco) finally reunited, they christened themselves after George Costanza’s favorite alias and started working on (re)begin. (re)begin is a set of songs that hang together in a discernibly conceptual arc on the nature of beginnings, endings and acceptance while kicking out the spiky-hair-skinny-tie power pop jams. Hints of Shoes, 20/20, Off Broadway and other avatars of 70’s/80’s pop greatness waft in and out of the Vandalays’ mix, but never distractingly so. The Vandalays understand that the best power pop stands on the shoulders of giants and recognizes the view without looking down. - Brian Baker (Amplifier Magazine)



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