November 12th, 2013 | Album reviews

Brian Brooks

Dream Boys
Art Fag

In my not-so-long life as a music fan, I’ve witnessed first-hand two ska revivals, two punk revivals, a hardcore revival, one very drawn-out folk revival, a glam revival, a glam metal revival, 2.5 surf rock revivals (the most recent one doesn’t fully count), an endless stream of garage revivals, a doom metal revival (not to be confused with the stoner metal revival), a thrash revival, and we might even be on the cusp of a power metal revival! That’s why I’m hesitant, as a member of the press, to announce some kind of “power pop revival” and throw these guys into it. Power pop itself was a revival of sorts in its heyday, an attempt in the 70s to get away from ZZ Top and Aerosmith riffs and enjoy some Byrds-y, Beatles-y harmonies and pretty minor chords in a way that somehow sounded good on the same bill as the Germs or the Dickies. There are moments to many of these songs that evoke the classic power pop of old, in particular the “Wow, is that not Big Star?!?” harmonies that introduce the album’s final song, “Dreams Are Froth.” These boys definitely share similar muses to the Pezbands and Pearl Harbors of old. But there are equally moments on this album that evoke Brit poppers like the Las or Stone Roses—“Through and Through” is a ballad that out-Cinnamons “Sally Cinnamon”—and others sound more like the Paisley Underground 80s revival than like anything 20/20 did. Maybe the real revival here is simply a return to pretty songs, lovingly crafted?
D.M. Collins