Powerpop Review: With 3 Item Combo, The Condors take off
1. either of two large, New World vultures of the family Cathartidae, Gymnogyps californianus (California condor) or Vultur gryphus (Andean condor), the largest flying birds in the Western Hemisphere: the California condor is almost extinct; the Andean condor is greatly reduced in number and rare in many areas.
If you’ve been to an IPO show in the LA area lately, then you know how rare it is to find a good powerpop band. In fact, the species known as Californianus PowerPop Bandus has been nearly extinct in these parts for years now. But, Thanks to bands like the Condors, the genre just might survive the commercial ice age it’s currently experiencing.
I was not familiar with the Condors before this release and, as I understand it, they were/are primarily a garage band. It’s a style they seem pretty adept at based on a couple of the cuts on their latest release, 3 Item Combo. After listening to the entire disc a couple of times, I can tell you first hand that there is a lot more to Pat DiPuccio and company than just the garage sound.
Here I Go is a light, energetic pop song, a great way to start things off, and a natural single. Queer fascination, with its jangly guitars and catchy chorus, sounds like it would have fit nicely on a Who record back in the day. I got a little bored with All Hung Up but the next song, Holiday, is one of those sneaky tunes that one may dismiss on first listen but catches you by surprise. After only a couple of listens I couldn’t get the tune outta my head.
After listening to the first half of the disc, its easy to pidgeon-hole these guys as your typical powerpop band. It’s the second half of the 3 Item Combo that makes the listener stand up and notice.
Full Blown Heart Attack, my favorite song on the disc, reminded me of a Fleshtones songs. It seems to me that this song would fit right in with some of the better Fleshtones albums like Laboratory of Sound or More Than Skin Deep. I found myself shouting out the background vocals while stopped at a traffic light. The guy in the car next to me thought I was mentally unstable.
Throw together some Dave Alvin with a little Stray Cats and you get the next cut, Bad Tattoo. Zyyzx Road is a straight out rocker and guarantees that this effort ends with a sonic boom, not a whimper.
You can get a copy of 3 Item Combo at Amazon.com.
Although I can’t find any recent video of The Condors, here’s an old one from the movie “Target Practice”.