Monday, November 29, 2010

The Gigolo Aunts - Minor Chords and Major Themes

The Gigolo Aunts

Minor Chords and Major Themes (1999):  The first track “C’mon, C’mon” comes roaring out of the gate as if they intentionally sat down and tried their hardest to come up with an exciting album opening track, which by this evidence I wholeheartedly believe more bands should do – it’s darn good, as anthemically worthy as anything by early Cheap Trick, which is as high as praise gets given out to bands in this genre called Power Pop. Which the Aunts most certainly self-consciously are – and there has never been in rock music a genre as self-conscious of its history as power-pop (dorks with guitars) – the very title of the opening track is shared by an unrelated Cheap Trick song, though it actually reminds me more of the opening track of In Color, “Hello There”. The next couple of songs are more balladic, reminding me somewhat of Badfinger, less exciting but more emotionally enriching. The fourth track, the hideously titled “Super Ultra Wicked Mega Love” on initial listen brought the distasteful whiff of Fountains of Wayne at their smarmiest, but I’ve eventually warmed to this “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” descendant that every power-pop feels compelled to write when they want to dip into social satire. And then the disc slips into a long slump of pleasing but not terribly memorable tunes, the professionally competent but unexceptional musicianship mirroring the competent but unmoving songwriting. Ah, the bane of power-pop – catchily melodic facelessness. ***

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