Pop Co-Op – Factory Settings (4 out of 5)
Your ears only need to do a sound check of the influences that the band calls out for themselves when asked what was in their record selection growing up and you will know instantly the joie-de-vie inherent in this intoxicating North Eastern Band. Among others, the key contributors to their musical DNA would be The Beatles, Squeeze, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Rockpile, and Elvis Costello, just to name a few. The vibe is mostly Power Pop with a healthy dose of Americana and Psychedelic dustings dropped in just to make things even more interesting. On this, their sophomore effort, the band offers a more mature set of songs with more concise songwriting courtesy of Steve Stoeckel and Bruce Gordon. With shining examples including “Catching Light” and “Underworld” demonstrating the band’s Power Prop proficiency. They also cut a mean rug on the ballad front, case in point “Sleeve,” a solo Mccartney era-inspired stunner.
There is nothing not to like on this record with “The Price of Admission” complete with preamble cowbell, the Chuck Berry inspired “Won’t Be Me,” and “Requiescat”, a song that could have been a single on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, as clear genre-diverse winners.