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Pop Etc Records
Release Date: January 29, 2015
POP ETC are the band formerly known as The Morning Benders. Since 2008 they have toured with bands like Death Cab For Cutie, The Kooks, Broken Bells, Grizzly Bear, The Black Keys, and Ra Ra Riot. Souvenir is my first exposure to the band’s pure Pop goodness and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite records of the last few years.
Souvenir is an album full of melody driven Pop songs grounded by guitars and bolstered by. Every song oozes Pop goodness, the kind that when you crank it up you realize that these guys are spectacular musicians. There are so many intricacies but they never let it overpower the hook which makes their songs both memorable and exciting.
It’s hard to channel favorites here because you won’t find a stinker anywhere on this record. “I Wanted to Change the World” is one of my favorites, though. The stop and start guitar brilliantly plays with the soulful vocal as the rhythm section keeps it all moving along. When the chorus kicks in the synths fill everything out and elevate the song to anthem level. It’s got such a great feel that you’ll instantly fall in love with it!
“Beating My Head Against the Wall” nods more towards eighties New Wave than some of the other tunes do, but the band play it like they invented it and the strong guitars keep it from sounding like a completely retro tune. Of course, the album opener, “Please Don’t Forget Me” is right there at the top of the heap as well. It launches the album with big sing-along vocals and a hook that doesn’t let you go.
If you enjoy St. Lucia, CHVRCHES, Hydra Melody, or, if you are old enough to remember deep cuts by Hall & Oates and Duran Duran, then you will love POP ETC’s Souvenir. This is such a brilliant album. If you enjoy music at all, you should own this.
Reviewed by mark1340