Powerpop CD Review: Travel Lanes Start Again
Travel Lanes are back with another summer powerpop release, this time following up last summer’s EP with a full-length effort. With Lets Begin to Start Again, Travel Lanes play their hand perfectly while doubling down on past influences like Tom Petty and Paul Westerberg. Judging by some of the more off-the-wall stuff, these guys are a card short of a full deck – but in all the right ways.
The disc gets off to a great start with “Class Trip”, a song that would have made a great background track to the bus trip scene in One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest – or maybe it’s simply meant as an analogy for life. Either way, it has a demented bend to it that makes it so wrong it’s right. “In the World” is a hooky, radio friendly track that leads right into another jangle-pop gem entitled “No Go”. “100th I Told You” is a 2 minute slice of bubblegummy goodness that hits all the right notes. But the best is yet to come.
“The Year” (that everything fell apart) has an alt-country feel to it that fits perfectly with the subject matter. The tempo picks back up with “But I’m Not” and “TA” could be an outtake from an early Tom Petty album. Then, the coup de grace. The countrified (and delightfully twisted) “Death” may be my favorite track so far this year. If there’s an American Bandstand in the afterlife, Dick Clark and the kids are giving this track a “10”. It’s clever, funny, and you can dance to it (sort of).
Twisted at points and just plain enjoyable at others, Travel Lanes’ Lets Begin to Start Again is a wonderful surprise. It’s HIGHLY recommended. Their 2013 release, Hey Hey We’re the Travel Lanes was one of the best powerpop EPs of 2013 so check that one out too.