[7 July 2008]
First things first. The Takeover UK aren’t British, they’re from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Everything else about the band and their first EP is straightforward and honest, though. In their bio, the band explains how they meld classic pop and punk influences in a way that honestly and refreshingly takes elements from both without sounding like the adolescent noise that is often labeled pop-punk. Instead, they approximate the garage rock sounds of a band like the Strokes, except with better harmonies, more danceable beats and vocals up in the mix.
The best of these five songs are the final two: “Oh You’re Nothing” and “Don’t Wait Up”. The first takes a Julian Casablancas-esque melody and weds it to British-invasion backbeats and chord progressions; the second could be the song of the summer with a little luck. Featuring an assist from a couple of children made to sound like a backing choir, “Don’t Wait Up” just beams, standing out as the most upbeat tune on an album full of them.
The band’s strident, youthful energy goes a long way; right now, their songwriting chops aren’t developed enough to make every second of the album completely original or interesting. But, every second is a blast. When the melodies and production catch up to their enthusiasm, it might be hard to stop the Takeover UK from taking over the UK or anywhere else they set their sights on.