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Bend to the Breaks

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Album Review

It seems like the early 21st century is loaded with alt-rock acts that sound like new wave acts circa the late '70s and early '80s. But in most cases that's probably a coincidence, as the groups in question were merely influenced by third-generation new wavers — who have no bloody idea who the heck Joe Jackson is. But then there are Five O'Clock Heroes, who specialize in a style known as "jerk pop" (due to their fondness for slashing, "Roxanne"-esque guitar lines) and draw from a musical vocabulary that is unmistakably straight from Look Sharp! and This Year's Model on their 2007 debut, Bend to the Breaks. Listening to such ditties as "Time on My Hands" and "Good Lovers," it's mighty hard not to think how swell these uptempo numbers would have sounded as part of the soundtrack to Fast Times at Ridgemont High or The Last American Virgin. Sticky sweet power pop (which is entirely keyboard-less) never goes out of style — especially when it's loaded with hooks — and Five O'Clock Heroes sure can craft a instantly memorable pop gem, as Bend to the Breaks is loaded with 'em. [This edition includes four bonus tracks, including videos for "Head Games" and "Skin Deep."]

Bend to the Breaks, Five O'Clock Heroes
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