Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CD of the Day, 11/10/10: Bastards of Melody-Hurry Up and Wait

Time for a shout out to the FDR label, the "other" power pop label from New Jersey (we all know and love Kool Kat). They don't release a high volume of discs, but the ones they do are usually really good, and the latest from NYC's Bastards of Melody is one of their best. The Bastards have been kicking around since the late 90s, but this is their first release since 2003 and it's a gem. This is high-energy yet highly melodic, closer to the classic definition of "power pop" than most others.

What makes Hurry Up and Wait closest to the power pop ethos is its brevity: 9 tracks spanning 30 minutes, with no filler or self-indulgent detours. The chiming, driving opener "Around You" gets down to business quickly, with its sing-a-long chorus and insistent guitar riff. "All I Want to Know" continues in this vein, with a bit of a Beatle sound thrown in (primarily in the killer bridge), and "Dream Jeannine" has a bit more retro power pop sound, recalling The Telepathic Butterflies.

The laid-back "Flunkin' Out" allows the listener to catch his breath after the powerful opening troika with its effortless midtempo sound, while "Exit 10" and its "Getting Better"-like staccato beat and chipper melody is another treat. The guitars are out in full force again on "Cut and Paste", a Lolas, Cheap Trick-styled rocker, and "Gateway Center" is straight-up jangle pop not unlike their regional counterparts Smash Palace. And the boys send you home with the frantic pop-punk of "Unproductive" just in case you were thinking the proceedings might be on the verge of mellowing out. "Power pop like the way it was meant to be" could be the Bastards' slogan, as there's nothing inglorious about this excellent disc.

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