Losers & Kings

Losers & Kings

Downtown Fiction’s bright, uplifting brand of pop-rock is just this side of boy-band music, and that’s a tricky place to be. Vocalist Cameron Leahy has (yes) boyish appeal, and here he sings: “I can play my guitar/And I can break your heart/We can rock and roll.” But he doesn’t “wanna know what the hip kids know/Doesn’t wanna go where the cool kids go!” (He also notes: “I get drunk on herbal tea!”) There’s an influence of vintage power pop here, the kind born in the ‘60s and rebirthed in the late ‘80s with bands like Material Issue and The Plimsouls, but we’d be surprised if Downtown Fiction know that. The punchy “Don’t Count Me Out” lets slip with an early Police-ish guitar line, and “Cool Kids” seems to nod to The Four Seasons' ’60s hit “Sherry Baby” with a cooing, cameo backup vocal chorus. “Kiss My Friends” is an uproarious tune that at points hints at revved-up ska and nods to The Plimsouls' milieu with its catchy, swooping vocal parts. “No Generation” and “Big Mistakes” are some of the more rock treats on Losers and Kings, leaving no doubt they can, indeed, rock and roll.

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