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Ephemera for the Future

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Album Review

When you say the nebulous term "power-pop," this is the smooth but energetic kind every person favors. You know, the original archetype, the Revolver/Beatles kind in text (the opening "If I Could Only Get Out of This Chair" grabs McCartney's famous "Taxman" bassline like Trolleyvox is sitting in a comfy chair) and the ringing, big, hollow-body Rickenbacker-Byrds kind in sonic approach, only sounding completely '90s, not museum-vintage. Like any old genre being synthesized, bands run the risk of sounding dated and overmatched when they take on moldy gods, but not when informed by such ringing production (whoever Adam Lasus is, he's fantastic) and such lively playing. This is not the work of teens in a garage, but it's also not too polished and dainty, even on the quieter comedowns such as "Don't Turn Me On." Nor is it too unkempt and disorderly. It's that space in between, really well-played and expertly composed and arranged (by band mastermind and superb guitarist Andrew Chalfen), with first-rate modern sound. The unpretentious, cagey vocals from budding star Beth Filla don't hurt either, and let's hope they can get knockout drummer Ken Buono to join full-time. A real keeper. (P.O. Box 271, Haddonfield, NJ 08033;


Formed: Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The early history of the Trolleyvox began when the multitalented guitar pop maven Andrew Chalfen (Wishniaks, Gimme, Joey Sweeney) recorded demos in 1993-95 with guitarist-vocalist Dave Gray (Idlewilds, Vegas Nerve) and engineer Adam Lasus (Helium, Madder Rose). Then Beth Filla answered a 1996 "vocalist wanted" ad that Chalfen had placed in a local Philadelphia paper. Chalfen suspected she was a witch because she smelled of burned wood and spices from a pagan ceremony, but she impressed him with her...
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Ephemera for the Future, The Trolleyvox
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