“Up” is the fourth studio album from American rock band, Pop Evil. It was released on the 21st of August, and sees the band taking the next step in their career. Pop Evil are a band I have only heard of in passing over the years. Their presence is yet to be felt across the pond, but my favourite radio station have been playing them since the success of “Trenches”, and beyond.
This album takes more influence from earlier US rock, and uses less of the studio jiggery-pokery, which can be so guilty of taking away the impact. The producer for “Up” was none other than Adam Kasper, who has worked with Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Stripping away the nu-metal dregs, and getting back to the real sounds, these aforementioned bands can be picked out during individual songs. I also recognise Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith in some of the more radio friendly numbers. Songs like “In Disarray”, and “Take It All” are the best evidence of this. Think also Faith No More, and even a little bit of Whitesnake. It’s real, unadulterated American Rock, and I like it.
Leigh Kakaty’s vocals are so much deeper and more satisfying on this record. You can really tell how much they loved making this one, and the production is perfect for what they are trying to achieve. There is a drum sound in “Ghost of Muskegon”, which has been placed so that there is always something slightly heavy and meaty to come back to in the track. It’s the first one which slows down, but that percussion comes in, and I’m right back to tapping my feet, and waving my nail file over my head, as I sit by the window doing my own manicure. I just don’t see the point in paying for it.
The middle of the album slows down, but it’s all still solid. I’m seeing the more sensitive alternative music fans swaying along, but I’m not that much of a fan. It’s my personal taste. It’s only that if I listen to ballads, I have to be able to sing along, and that means soul and pop music to me. Judge me all you like, I don’t care, I have a great soul voice, so I’m the ultimate winner here.
The record ends with a sad, unresolved message. It fades out, and I’m left hoping there will be a banger of an opening track on the next album, to pick my spirits right back up. All in all, it’s a strong, all killer set of tracks, which work well together, and keep you invested throughout. You want to keep listening to the end.
Other stand out numbers for me are “Vendetta”, possibly the heaviest intro over all; mixing 80s and 90s metal with groove rock of the last fifteen years, and “Seattle Rain”, an obvious homage to grunge, and I can virtually feel the heat from my coffee cup under my palms as the change in seasons comes. Can I get in a time machine and go back twenty five years, please?
- “In Disarray”
- “Take It All”
- “Ghost of Muskegon”
- “If Only For Now”
- “Ways To Get High”
- “Dead in the Water”
- “Seattle Rain”
- “Til Kingdom Come”