Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CD of the Day, 10/27/10: Three Hour Tour-Looking for Tomorrow

Darren Cooper's Three Hour Tour is back, and thankfully this time we didn't have to wait almost ten years like we did for 2008's B-Side Oblivion. Once again, Cooper enlists Adam Schmitt (who plays bass, co-produced, co-engineered and mastered) and Velvet Crush's Paul Chastain, and once again he's given us one of the year's best power pop albums.

What makes Looking for Tomorrow even better than B-Side Oblivion is Cooper's desire to punch things up a little more. The whole disc sounds loud, and leaps out of your speakers. "Pig in Disguise" is the clarion call here as Cooper "lays (his) cards on the table" with a high-energy rocker which recalls Guided by Voices. "For Now We Say Goodnight" cranks up the amps as well and features some excellent drumming from John Richardson, whose drumming resume reads like a who's who of power pop and Americana. We get a relative chance to catch our breath after that opening 1-2 with "On Television", a more midtempo track with a great chorus and fine guitar work from Cooper. And you won't want to escape from "Alcatraz", possibly the most Beatlesque track on the album, while "All Time Low" is another driving rocker.

Things don't fall off on the back end of the disc either. "All We Need" is a dense, Revolver-sounding winner, while the title track slows things a bit with acoustic guitars you can hear in service of a Badfingeresque anthemic melody. "Dead Reckoning" is outright jangle-rock with 12-string guitars and a Byrdsian melody, and "Gone" rocks as hard as anything else on the album. And in keeping with the spirit of the disc, Cooper closes the proceedings with a cover of the Who's "Heaven and Hell", and when put side-by-side with the rest of the album it could pass as an original for the unfamiliar. Brad Elvis channels Keith Moon on the drums here, and you can almost picture Cooper smashing his guitar at the end. Looking for Tomorrow is one of the year's best, and hopefully Cooper & Company will settle into a new album-every-2-or-3-years cycle, a tomorrow I'll be looking for.

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Unknown said...

Don't worry! THT will have another all new album out in the summer of 2011 8^)

MB said...

Darn! The first time I've ever put my eMusic account on hold and I miss a Three Hour Tour album! Sheesh. When I get my subscription back in December, I'm going straight to this album. And, if my prior experiences with THT are any indication, I'll download most of it put all of those tracks onto my list of favourite mp3s, and never get tired of them. Love this band! Thanks for the alert!