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Album Review

Where is the G-spot where garage and power pop meet? That might be a question to ask Jersey City, NJ's well-named Bastards of Melody, who continue what they did on 2001's debut, Fun Machine, only with the engine purr more streamlined, like after a tune-up. Crisply recorded, these guys pile on singer/guitarist Paul Crane's hooks with vaguely '60s Kinks or '70s Cheap Trick choppy riffs, plenty of nicely chunky early Replacements charge, and some Sloan big-guitar pop. Sometimes they go for broke with straight-ahead, 4/4 thick guitar rock & roll, like on the opening "What's on Your Mind," "Ball & Chain," and "Way to Now"; sometimes they're more jangle pop, like "Cheat"; there's even one acoustic-only folk track (very Paul Westerberg!) for balance. It's all good. Warning: there's a tiny bubblegum pop tendency in the melodies, and they sometimes write lyrics like "When they wrote the book of love/They didn't mention you." But as long as the guitars keep ringing like they do from song to song, and drummer Jeff Prosetti keeps the fast stutter-fills coming, that's entirely acceptable and even kind of naïve-cute. Energetic and sweaty but still mannered, these Bastards could have worn matching suits with special-cut collars and rocked if they were from 1963. Or they'd be a big act in the '80s U.S. underground, touring with the young Soul Asylum. Highly enjoyable! ~ Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover, Rovi

Biography

Formed: New Jersey

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New Jersey's Bastards of Melody filters its jangly power pop through themes of soured romantic relationships and a good night on the town. The group features Paul Crane (lead vocals and guitar), guitarist Bill Zafiros, and bassist Patrick O'Keefe, and drummer Jeff Prosetti. When Crane came to Jersey City, NJ, back in 1993 and landed a day job at EMI Records in Manhattan, a career as a musician wasn't at the forefront of his thoughts. He was going through a divorce and adjusting culturally to the...
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Break Up, Bastards of Melody
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