The On and Ons’ Welcome Aboard
Power Pop enthusiasts were initially exposed to The On and Ons when the guys acted as Paul Collins’ touring band in support of his King of Power Pop release. Shortly after, the band released its debut album entitled It’s the On and Ons Calling, which made our 2015 best of power pop list.
Earlier this year, the band put out a free download of one of the tracks from their new one as a teaser. Now, the wait for album #2 is over. Welcome Aboard picks up where Calling left off. As good as its predecessor was, the guys upped their game a bit with this new one.
The retro feel of the cover art suggests prime 60’s influenced pop-rock. And that’s pretty much what we have here. “No Good For Yourself” starts things off quite nicely, both from a thematic standpoint and with its definitive surf vibe. If you’re looking for a song to usher out the summer months, this would be an excellent choice.
A few tracks will take you back to 1967. For example, the appropriately named “Things I Love”. “Whole World”, an editorial statement about global tumult, really rocks. While these tracks are certainly worthwhile, things get even better from here.
“To Die For” is worth the full price of the record all by itself. This track has the power of a vintage Smithereens track and the jangle of a top notch Hoodoo Gurus song. And it hisses like the best Dave Faulkner penned tunes.
“Sugar Anne” is another winner with its quicker pace and a guitar riff that reminds one of that angst ridden period between pub rock and punk. In fact, when I heard the first few notes, it immediately took me back to the Kursaal’s “Television Generation”. This track typifies what great power pop does. Although there may be a wink to a prior time or place, it still sounds completely new.
When the dust settles, I expect that The On and Ons Welcome Aboard to show up on a few end of year best of lists. If you’ve heard The On and Ons before, then you’re probably already aware of their Nerves inspired, no frills pop. If this is your maiden voyage with The On and Ons, then… Welcome Aboard.