Hooligan Pop is a new one on me but I’ll take it when it sounds this raucous and bursting with energy. Of course, they hail from Canada most of the best purveyors of this style come from that part of the globe. If you’re wondering what the cut of their jib well, imagine some small dash of The Jam poured over a large slug of Buzzcocks then stir in a healthy amount of pop suss like say oh the small faces. And you’re on your way guv. Its sharp and to the point and has a tonne of melody in its eight songs.
‘Devices’ kicks things off with a cool raw riff and a backbeat this is like a majestic blend of Wilco Johnsons raw Tele wrestling with Wellers Rickenbacker but it’s all wrapped up in a bit of bovver like early Sparrer with the pop of the Undertones. Regardless it’s a great way to kick things off that’s for sure. Worry not pop pickers because ‘Straight Jacket’ is up next and like Houdini, it breaks free of its shackles easily and strikes a pose with a rollicking melody and we’re under no pretense as to what we’re listening to – this is indeed hooligan pop.
‘Permanent Fixture’ is busy making noises like prime time ‘Cocks and has a Shelly like melody but the magic really takes a grip on the great lick that falls from the guitar neck on ‘Hurtin’ Boys’ which is something special. you have those band stabs around that hypnotic lick and gang vocal chant of the title and you’re ready for a Saturday night down the footy like the 70’s never ever happened.
To be fair the standard is set early on and the fact that Tommy and the boys can maintain that til the end is a wonderful thing and they’ve nailed the production and style of this album. ‘So Happy’ is an apt title because I’m feeling perky from playing this at ear-splitting volumes as the outro riff shakes the floorboards I’m only stopped in my tracks that there is only one more punk rockin’ hack and slash as ‘Reggie Rocks’ takes this album home. With no soft focus or stylized edges smoothed over by big production Tommy has gone for edge and relying on the tunes to chicken dance this bad boy onto your turntable and take up residence.
‘Here come’ might well be a throwback with little finesse but it contains a bunch of well-crafted stompers that are packed with tunes and an attitude that it’ll dance to its own tune and won’t have its head turned by anybody because Tommy knows he rocks and I can tell you that now – we also know Tommy & his commies kick ass!