Pop wasn’t always an ugly word. Pop did not take on the connotations of a media spectacle fueled by tabloids until the 80′s . Mtv is mainly to blame for this. Its no coincidence the network no longer plays music, because they weren’t about the music to begin with. The Como Brothers might bring plenty of modern elements to the table but they are all about the music.
It’s not until you have watched the musical land scape change behind them a few songs in that you get a feeling for what these guys are about. If your first impression of them is Stevie Wonder funk strut of the album’s opener your first thought would be for a couple of baby faced white boys from New York this is pretty legit, despite the slight pop tinge to the vocals . Then “Numbed” might make you think these guys are the sort of indie rock band that would open for Kings of Leon., with the only thing tying these two songs together being the fact that these two have great ears for blending melody.
By the third song which offers a more mainstream approach similar to Jason Mraz on “Only Me” it’s clear the vocals don’t find themselves trying on different hats but have a singular unique voice that gives a personable narrative on awkward dating in the big city. Up beat as any theme song to quirky teen sitcoms, not has more substance than your typical bubble gum pop due to the refined songwriting.
They have the ability to transport you to a Summer day in Central Park circa 1975 with the sax heavy” Straight Face” to a camp fire in the California desert in the 60′s with the folky “Hang My Head” and then into a seedier New York club full of the regrets and dark circles under the eyes in the shadowy groove of “Late Nights” . After this journey its hard to believe these are the same to guys who four songs ago brought you a frolicking teen anthem.
The closest to dipping their toes into blue eyed soul comes on the up beat “Hey Kristen”. Having gotten their start playing in a Beatles Tribute band it’s no surprise the Lennon & McCartney influences surfaces on ” Chasing Ambiance”. There is even a sprinkle of Harrison on the guitar playing while they retain indie rock indifference in the relaxed vocal cadence. They continue to also return to the blues slur of New York grown pop. “Make a Move” opens with some doo-wop and then goes skipping into the bustle of the Big Apple. The strummed guitar patten is pretty typical for Jason Mraz style pop but these guys blend a very blue collar vibe to it.
They seedier funk groove on “Broken” carries an indie slant a band like Minus the Bear might employ in the casual approach to the melody. The western twang of re-verbed out guitar opens “Honestly” leads into a more sweeping chorus. The song feels a little like ” Little Wing” by Hendrix, though the sweeping dynamics might be in the vein of say Travis or Coldplay. The album exits with a more funk tinged groove though it lies in the same neighbor as the their more Minus the Bear influenced rock moments. So if you need to be taken back to a time when pop was guilt free but with a modern twist keep an eye out for “Baby Steps” which drops in early October.