Monday, September 14, 2009

CD of the Day, 9/14/09: 1220-Killin' for a Livin'

Are you ready to rock? Knoxville's 1220 would like you to answer that question in the affirmative, as they straddle the line between power pop and straight-ahead rock in their first full-length. 1220 is comprised of three songwriters (frontman Jacob Gibson, guitarist Ricky Dover Jr. & bassist Michael Cover), and the album is co-produced by former Superdrag drummer Don Coffey Jr. There's certainly a hint of the hard-drivin' Superdrag here, as well as other

Dover's "Local Girls" opens the disc, and although the tune shares its name with a famous Graham Parker tune, the sound here is reminiscent of Skynyrd's "What's Your Name?" crossed with a chorus that recalls lines from "Wig Wam Bam". It's an audacious combination that needs to be heard. Among his other tracks, "So Far" channels Pleased to Meet Me-era Replacements, "Feel Young" and "Alright Uptight" are racuous rockers, and "Iron in the Fire" is high-energy fun. As one might expect from a guitarist, his songs are heavy on the solos.

Gibson's songs lean more to the pure power pop side, especially "Get it Out (Kimmy)" and "By the Sea". "Funky Junk" brings the Red Hot Chili Peppers to mind, and his "Melody Rain" starts off in power ballad territory (really, it's a great title for a power ballad), and turns into a bit of a riff-fest. Cover chips in with "Just Wait", which adds a bit of rhythm to the mix, as well as the punky "Roll With It". It's a mix of rock and power pop styles, but the common denominator is quality musicianship without any dud tracks involved. These guys have just turned 20 on average, and they have a bright future ahead of them.

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