(USA) June 2015
Granted: this post is a full year late. I am somewhat embarrassed it took me so long to get hip to the GREAT second LP from Impo & The Tents. But I won't let that dampen my enthusiasm! Old news or not, it needs to be said that these Swedish sensations have made an album that every reader of this blog absolutely has to hear. I'm talking five-star punk/powerpop. Don't even bother to read the rest of this review. Just scroll down, click play, and enjoy! Peek After A Poke, released on Alien Snatch Records, can be added to the list of incredible power pop albums that came out in 2014.
Impo & The Tents are very much my kind of band. Mix one part '79 pop/punk (Dickies/Undertones/Pointed Sticks) with one part late '70s DIY power pop (Shivvers/Fast Cars/Speedies). Sprinkle in some bubblegum, British Invasion, and new wave pop. Shake it up, pour it out, and savor the sweet taste of punky power pop done right! The label's description of the album is "a rollercoaster ride with 12 firecrackin' soda cans while everyone is seated in spinning bananas". That is genius. Not in a million years could I state it better than that! I knew within the first 15 seconds that I was going to love this album. And over the course of a dozen immensely catchy tracks, my instincts were proven correct! With an average length of two minutes and four seconds, you don't have to wait around for any of these songs to get to the "good part". It's off to the races and straight to the hook! For the most part, the songs are fast and upbeat. From "Yesterday's Girls" to "Peek After A Poke" to "On A Saturday Night", this album is full of songs so infectious and fun that you might not stop smiling for a week. It's like a 24-minute sugar rush of melody. If Leonard Graves Phillips had fronted Josie Cotton's band in 1982, the result would have been a song like "Shutterbug". But this group also shows quite the knack for songs that cut deeper - as evidenced by the bittersweet jangle of "That She Knows" or the '60s inspired melancholy of "Quarter To Nine". Adding Peek After A Poke into the mix of amazing LPs from Los Pepes, The Cry!, Mother's Children, and The #1s, I have to declare 2014 to be the greatest year for punk/powerpop in 35 years. And you can be damn sure I won't sleep on any future releases from Impo & The Tents! (Josh Rutlegde)
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