Tuesday, August 4, 2009
CD of the Day, 8/4/09: The Shazam-Meteor
News like this doesn't get any better for a power pop fan. Not only is The Shazam back with a new disc, but it's the first new release on the Not Lame label in over two years (not counting the IPO comps which bear their imprint). Of course the wait has been longer for Shazam fans - Meteor is their first since 2002's Tomorrow the World. The Shazam is Power Pop with a capital "P" (or "PP"), and it's all here: crunchy guitars, power chords, hooky melodies, a touch of glam, and just enough attitude.
The disc opens with "So Awesome", which aside from serving as a two-word condensed version of this review, is the calling card to let you know that The Shazam is truly back. Frontman/Guitarist Hans Rotenberry (great name) pulls out all the rock-star moves on this killer track, and the sound behind the track can be traced all the way from T. Rex to Sloan. The midtempo "Don't Look Down" follows, a winner with its psychedelic flourishes and Beatlesque feel and "NFU" (which stands for "Not F----d Up - enough") rocks with the attitude its title implies. "Disco @ the Fairground" isn't quite what its title implies, but it's a refreshingly goofy glam number that recalls Queen in its mid-70s heyday.
"A Little Better" kicks off the midsection of the album, and its acoustic guitars and early 70s vibe make it sound like a lost classic rock tune from the bastard child of Led Zeppelin and The Move. "Always Tomorrow" features an easygoing melody in support of some rocking moves and recalls Big Star, and "Let it Fly" is the power pop equivalent of those quiet/loud tunes that the Pixies and Nirvana were well known for.
The final third of the disc sees them go in a Ramones-with-more-melody direction ("I Got the Bomb"), the glam rock theme for an imaginary superhero ("Latherman") and the double-entendre rock of "Time 4 Pie". All in all, it's the perfect return for a long-lost power pop staple and a long-lost power pop label. A definite year-end contender.
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Meteor [album] by The Shazam