The NBT Review 66

Close To The Sun – Jody Porter (Engine Room Recordings)

Power Pop can sometimes sway past joyfully, inconsequential bursts of flavor, enhancing for a fragment of your time, the journey of your day. Or (like this collection) it can be so damn well crafted with hooks and fun and exuberant vitality that you make this your soundtrack for tomorrow and the day after and way beyond.

You know those scenes in movies where the radio next to a sleeping figure clicks on and we hear some early morning jock introduce a vibrant tune and as the hero wakes up the credits start to roll? Well these songs, by some gratifying law, should be  the FIRST choice for the movie maker.

These are not just cool alternative bubblegum slices though, there are real stories mixed into their construction, taking the observational skill of a Ray Davies and perhaps mixing it with the wry quirkiness of a Jonathan Richman. While inspired by an American take on a very Brit feel for the kinda three minute chart song it was thought they simply didn’t make anymore, nothing here feels forced nostalgic or cynical retro.

What elevates this is the sheer playfulness and subtle departures from the normal, the giddy mystical dabs and even hint of a very modern new wave sheen, where the Beatles album tracks seduced a Nuggets era band, in a garage full of kids and colours.

Like Mathew Sweet’s best work this is instantly likable, it’s the sort of song and album you want on your mp3 player right away, its an experience you don’t have to talk to your friends about, just play and dance  and they will get it.

Hear more

You can hear tracks from this release on the NBT Podcast going out on the 27th May 2010