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Kings of Pop

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Album Review

Home Grown's snarky sense of humor has arrived intact, unharmed by the band's long car ride from major-label craziness to the comfy environs of the Drive-Thru fortress. If the jokey presumption of the title, Kings of Pop, doesn't grab you, maybe the title-in-bling cover art will. No? What about the well-placed comma of "I Love You, Not," a raucous and bratty anthem that begins with the coolest, muddiest guitar tone to ever appear on a sugar punk-pop release like this. "We've been dating for a week/And now you're asking me if I love you," the boys gripe. "Why don't you just build a bridge/So you get over it and me, girl/We're friends with benefits." It's the kind of peppy, punky anthem that's written in a thousand pukey practice spaces daily. Luckily, Home Grown has the fundamentals and the intangibles, making "I Love You, Not" and Kings of Pop totally two-dimensional, yet completely undeniable punk-pop contenders. The rousing "I'll Never Fall in Love" offers a half-serious look at the same lovey-dovey issue. "Second Best" imagines a series of cartoony mishaps for the significant others separating Home Grown's exes from their arms — it also messes around with half-time chorus bridges to ensure maximum pogo punch. Aw, thanks fellas. The band's clearest mission statement might be found in the triumphant power chording of album opener "Tomorrow." "Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and figure out where to begin...But I'm pretty sure I'll be sleeping in." It's the slacker lifestyle, happily and poppily perpetuated by a bunch of guys who never want to grow up.


Formed: 1993 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Pop-punkers Home Grown formed in 1993 in Orange County, CA. Comprising singer/bassist Adam Lohrbach, singer/guitarist John "John E. Trash" Tran, guitarist Ian Cone, and drummer Bob Herco, the group debuted in 1995 with "Mean Street," a track on the Liberation Records compilation Punk Sucks; the label then issued Home Grown's full-length debut, That's Business, later that same year. The EP Wusappaning?! followed in 1996, after which the group signed to the major label Outpost to release 1998's Act...
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Kings of Pop, Home Grown
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