Powerpop CD Review: PopDogs – Cool Cats for Pop Dogs
Its rare that I hear a collection of songs that sound like I’ve heard them before yet they still seem fresh. Just such a thing happened when I gave a listen to The Popdogs’ Cool Cats for Pop Dogs.
Catchy hooks, harmonies and Byrds-like ringing guitars are the order of the day here, making for a very enjoyable listen. Much of the album reminds me of one of by faves from the 90’s, The Blow Pops, who were also huge fans the Liverpool sound. In fact, if the lead singer, James Styring, sounded a little bit more like Mike Jarvis and the rest of the band indulged in recreational hallucinogens, they’d BE the Blow Pops.
The disc opens with “Kelly’s On”, an uptempo number somewhat reminiscent of 60’s bubblegum. As a huge fan of the genre, this was a VERY good start. The Merseybeat influence is never more in evidence than on “High Time” with it’s chiming guitars and killer hook.
“Mild Mannered J” is a cross between Henri Mancini’s “Peter Gunn” and The Records‘ Cheap detective music and is a pleasing track albeit not all that memorable. There is, however, a neat Dick Dale thing going on here and its a nice change of pace – perfectly placed in the track order.
The Popdogs saved the best for last, as the LP ends with two irresistible powerpop gems, “Kissing Alicia”, a tune you simply will not be able to get out of your head, and “Queen of the USA”, the story of a party girl who just didn’t know when to stop.
“Hotel room out in Vegas, they called the cops. They found her in the bathtub. Her heart had stopped.”
So throw these guys a bone. Buy their record.