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Smash Palace

Best of '99-'06

(Zip Records; US: 8 Aug 2006; UK: 22 May 2006)

This compilation from power pop band Smash Palace is littered with above average arrangements, bouncy beats, and infectious hooks. The harmonies of DyAnne DiSalvo and co-lead singer Stephen Butler and Brian Butler are grand for “Thinking About Her” and “Death of Me”, both bringing to mind Crowded House in their heyday. Meanwhile “Steal Her Thunder” has a slightly bluesy aura to it, but still well within the power pop realm. The quartet, rounded out by bassist Phil Rizzo, also shine on the murky, surf guitar-tinged “Dime Store Lies” that brings to mind the Rembrandts. This is also heard later on in the comfy “I’ll Be There”. Nothing here seems to come off as stale, especially the happy-go-lucky and somewhat roots rock pizzazz of “Juliet to Me”, which smacks a bit of Tom Petty circa Southern Accents.  There are several highlights, especially the Kinks-esque “Sooner or Later”, the slower, ambling “Blue Eyes”, and the Beatles-leaning “Give You My Word”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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