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coverpic flag US - North Carolina - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05

The SpongeTones
Number 9
Loaded Goat Records

When I first glanced at the (rather horrible, I think) cover of this platter I was sort of skeptical towards what music might come out of the speakers when putting the disc on. Middle-aged rock is mostly a sad and sorry listen. The SpongeTones and their Number 9 proved me wrong. Not that I hit the ceiling or was totally knocked over, but their music, described rather accurately as 60s British invasion rock holding 'innocent charms', which is quite to the point. A certain charm. Because even though power pop bands mostly hasn't been the peak of fashion for the last couple of decades it's for sure got charms. When done properly. At least I am falling for it. Again and again. Like brief minor crushes.

Old-timers The SpongeTones have been together for 25 years and yet Number 9 is only their 6th album proper. Guitarists Jamie Hoover and Patrick Walters, bassist Steve Stoeckel and drummer Rob Thorne make the four-piece, with the first three being the songwriters. They may now look more like men's clothing shop managers/clerks or someting like that but they still can put up some decent power pop beat rock. Owing a lot to the mentioned Brit wave of the 1960s they're not all too Beatlesque. But of course they are pretty rubber-souled as well as being tanned by a lot other bands from that era. Plus quality pop bands from 70s/80s; a piece such as "Bring It All Over" is to me quite XTCish

All together 13 songs, and many of them being, if not goodies and gems, catchy pop songs to be proud of putting out. Such as opening track "Anyway Town", "Cruel and Unusual Punishment", "Future Perfect", "Homonym Girl" (they're singing a lot about girls, or rather 'guls'). Number 9 is a charming listen, and it somehow makes me think that I - sometimes - might need to adjust my tendency to prejudge matters.

Copyright © 2005 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

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