If power pop is your thing, The Speedways are already on your radar. And with this, their third ‘proper’ album, I’m running out of superlatives fast. Put simply, since ‘Just Another Regular Summer’, they haven’t put a foot wrong. Quite how Matt and the boys come up with so many ear worms, I have no idea.

‘Dead From The Heart Down’, from the first heartbeat, will have you hooked. It’s like the first time I heard the debut album by The Jags, the attention to detail is fantastic, but it’s the tunes that stay with you. ‘Secret Secrets’ is the kind of song that I wish Johnny Marr would write, the guitars weaving between the sweet backing vocals.

‘Shoulda Known’ is one of my favourite songs this year, another that should be on the radio. Here comes the key change…classic. 1979 was an amazing year for pop music, and The Speedways, while not chained to the past, have absorbed the very best bits of the era to create essentially timeless pop songs. ‘A Drop In The Ocean’ starts with a Kinks ‘So Tired’ which wrongfoots you before the song proper begins. Another slice of romantic pop.

Thirteen songs and no need to fast forward. That doesn’t happen often, and guitarist Mauro has plenty of experience in this from his time in Jonny Cola And The A-Grades. From ‘Kiss Me Goodbye’ to ‘Strange Love’, you can just immerse yourself in perfectly crafted pop. It sounds effortless, but really isn’t.

‘Weekend 155’ is this album’s ‘This Is About A Girl…’, taking the band in a slightly different direction, which satisfies more with each listen. The title track gets a bit funky, which reminds me of some of Hanoi’s early tunes, a big compliment! It’s subtle but classy. ‘A Song Called Jayne…’ is the kind of riff you try to write, but never quite manage. Unless you’re Matt or Mauro.

‘Monday Was The Start Of The Stars’, with its conversation intro, and ‘Summer’s Over’ provide melancholy, bittersweet moments, with a hint of Jimmy Scott in there somewhere. Class.

I’d be very happy to have written only ‘Taken’ or ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’, and would retire. The Speedways have written an album chock full of ‘em. You think I’m exaggerating? Listen, then order. Treat your ears. Undoubtedly ‘Power Pop Album Of The Year’.

Buy Here / Beluga Records

Author: Martin Chamarette