Saturday, September 5, 2009

Review: Chris Richards and the Subtractions "Sad Sounds of the Summer"

Power pop fans in the audience may already be familiar with Detroit's Chris Richards, but now he's added the Subtractions for the 2009 release "Sad Sounds of the Summer" (Gangplank Records). Don't let the album title fool you - there is nothing sad about this upbeat melodic rock. On the contrary, it is a perfect summertime soundtrack, containing radiant and sunny tunes guaranteed to brighten your day.

Chris Richards has a little Scot Sax thing going on with his vocals, and the abundant harmonies round out his sound in the most ear-pleasing way imaginable. There are strong hints of 80s pop rock coming through in the guitar tones, calling to mind some of the best guitar-driven acts of that era (e.g. The Outfield, Jimmy Davis & Junction). The ten tracks on this record are full of solid hooks, infectious riffs, and meticulous harmonies. Every song is respectable, but some of the stronger ones that appeal to me the most include "I Can't Quit Her", "Consolation", and "I Do Declare".

The harmonies and song structures are strongly reminiscent of The Rembrandts, but fans of The Meadows, Material Issue, and Matthew Sweet will also find plenty on this disc to savor. Definitely not a CD fans of power pop will want to miss this year!

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8

Chris Richards and the Subtractions on MySpace. Official site. Get it.

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