Proving the notion that it always takes a few years before Britain’s musical trends become big in the States, The Rentals are back with a sophomore effort that plays like the latest in the line of American Britpop albums, a genre that’s been largely dead in the U.K. since late 1995-early 1996. Matt Sharp spent the time between 1995’s Return of the Rentals and the new record bumming around Europe and getting chummy with former Britpop stars.
Something of a travelogue and roving party with his new Euro-mates, Seven More Minutes sports a lengthy set of anthemic, poppy, sing-along rock, complete with guest appearances from folks like Damon Albarn (Blur), Miki Berenyi (Lush), Donna Matthews (Elastica), and Tim Wheeler (Ash). Sharp’s got an almost-brand-spanking-new band this time around, but the cheery, Moog-drenched new wave crossbred with Buzzcockian brash pop is still in fine form. There’s the all-out synthesizer fest of “The Cruise,” the Devo-esque “Insomnia,” and the nod to Oasis on “Hello, Hello”—a bit ironic since Oasis is always accused of ripping off other artists. All in all, Seven More Minutes proves Sharp has grown far beyond the confines of his former Weezer life.