11 Songs, 40 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

hyperbolium ,

Classic guitar rock with deep power-pop hooks

Reno Bo’s played sideman in Mooney Suzuki and Albert Hammond Jr’s backing band, and on his debut as a leader he shows himself quite the student of guitar rock and power pop. There’s an obvious influence of Big Star (especially the songs of founder Chris Bell), but what power-pop band with killer hooks doesn’t trace its roots to #1 Record? The meatiness of the guitar playing favors Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, and there’s an early ‘70s pop and rock vibe that dominates – the post-Beatles sounds of Badfinger, the heavier solo sides of Andy Kim, the latter-day echoes of the Posies and Velvet Crush, and the throwback guitar interludes of Oasis. The album’s first single, “There’s a Light,” is a terrific piece of pop-soul lifted high by a chorus that begs for sing-along. Bo’s original animated video for the song salutes the styles of Terry Gilliam, Shel Silverstein, Schoolhouse Rock and Yellow Submarine, and illustrates the song’s hopeful message with psychedelic collages and icons of flight. The harmonica and acoustic-gutiar folk-pop “Baby, You’re Not Feelin’ Me Tonight” plays like a page out of the Sloan & Barri’s songbook for the first iteration of the Grass Roots, and the guitars of “Sugar Suite Blues” bring to mind Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. The sincerity in Bo’s voice adds a glow to the falling-in-love lyric and Beatle-esque melody of “You Don’t Know,” and Byrdsian folk-rock is heard in the guitar and vocal of “Here Right Now.” Bo’s musical influences (like his artistic antecedents – check out the Sgt. Pepper-styled album cover) are readily familiar, but that familiarity breeds quick comfort and the musical hooks will lash you tight to these songs. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

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