Monday, June 02, 2008

CD of the Day, 6/2/08: The Black Mollys-Ignorance Is Bliss

The Black Mollys are back, and they're ready to kick power pop's ass. The Chicago band, whom we heard from last three years back with Overnight Disgrace, has unleashed a set of 11 heavy rockin' power pop anthems that will get fans of Cheap Trick, Enuff z'Nuff, Butch Walker and others on the heavier side of power pop all a-twitter.

"Complaining", "Erica" and "I'm So Ordinary" set the tone and let you know you're not in sensitive singer-songwriter territory. As much as I like the softer (and less "powerful") side of power pop, it's nice to something to rock out to as well. Still, if you like things dialed down a bit, they do offer you the power ballad "Hollywood", but in what almost seems like penance for the slowdown, they crank the guitars up even louder on the next track, "Girlfriend". But it's not just mindless noise - the harmonies and melodies are there; in fact, "Girlfriend" even throws in a bit of a Beach Boys break at one point during the song. Meanwhile, "All My Life" recalls some of Nirvana's more melodic moments, and "Fake It" takes aim at phonies, both real and perceived, centering around California. And "Gone Away" proves to be one of the more interesting tracks on the disc - ironically, after knocking California, they follow it with this 70sish Laurel Canyon-sounding track.

I've heard on more than one occasion that I tilt to the softer side of power pop, and I plead guilty as charged. But for those who have made that observation somewhat unfavorably, I give you The Black Mollys - and I would say that there's nothing blissful about ignoring this disc.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve.

FYI - I saw Bryan Scary play in New York at the Mercury Lounge this past Friday, and while he and the Shredding Tears are clearly outstandingly talented, I don't know if they were either way overhyped or what was going on, but they played every song on "Flight of the Knife" at what must have been three times the normal speed.

I think I've certainly established my love for the record, but I'll be the first to admit that the the songs are already pretty manic as it is, and it was a bit disarming to hear Scary's ornate and complex arrangements being ripped through at such a breakneck pace.

Perhaps they were doing whatever they could to squeeze in as many songs as possible, but I really think they would've benefited from playing the songs at their normal speeds.

Anyway, just thought you'd be interested to know.

Anonymous said...

By "overhyped" I mean that they must have been on an adrenaline rush, not that they are/were being undeservingly talked up.

Although some folks on here would probably agree with the latter iteration.