Shake Some Action!

Sunny Days Ahead

by Zach Schonfeld

7 August 2008


Shake Some Action! won’t garner many points for originality, but hey – that’s the thing about great power pop: creativity is almost secondary to catchiness. Case in point: “Your Valentine”, a mid-tempo tune halfway through the Seattle group’s sophomore effort, Sunny Days Ahead, could be a million bar bands, but the melody and jangly Rickenbackers are too timeless to dismiss. Not nearly whimsical or complex enough to ape a band like the New Pornographers, they seem content playing a sort of simplified – but damn catchy – Elvis Costello update on highlights “Looking for Someone” or “Walking Away”. On some tracks (“Get It Together”, “You Don’t Care”), the heavier guitar attack threatens to undermine the group’s pop sensibilities – a bit like on Apples in Stereos’ recent efforts – but the vocal harmonies still shine through. The saminess won’t last them a whole career, but Sunny Days Ahead is a fine enough teaser for now. As I said, that’s the thing about great power pop.

Sunny Days Ahead


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