The Hangabouts – Kits & Cats and Saxon Wives
Michigan is now the center of the power pop universe. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but consider this. Many of the best power pop albums of 2016 came from Michigan area bands. Recent releases from Legal Matters, Nick Puinti, Ryan Allen, and 2017’s Boomerang from Your Gracious Host. And now, Ann Arbor’s The Hangabouts Kits Cats & Saxon Wives adds yet another strong effort to that list.
The cover art’s paisley motif hints at the 60’s influenced psych-pop tracks contained within. And like all the best albums of the 60’s (and thereafter, for that matter), there are “singles”. The first of those is “Sinking Feeling”, a poppy number featuring a back and forth vocal exchange between Molly Felder and Greg Addington. “Evelyn Wood” is smooth, melodic pop with a killer hook. “Twelve Songs” is another bouncy, catchy tune that’ll stick in your head.
My favorite track however, has to be the lennonesque “Selling Out”. This piano driven number struck a chord with me both from a lyrical and musical perspective. Yes, the piano and vocal stylings are reminiscent of everybody’s favorite Beatle (feel free to argue this point below in the “comments” section, if you wish) but when it comes right down to it, “Selling Out” is at its core a really well written pop song. Even if you’re not a big Lennon fan, its hard to imagine not liking this track.