This Detroit band’s been kicking around since the mid-90s, minting a string of albums that span mid-60s garage, bubblegum and California pop, 60s/70s/80s British Invasion, and moody modern fuzz rock, all written thick with catchy melodic hooks. In the same way that the Flamin’ Groovies expanded upon the sounds of the ‘60s, Outrageous Cherry expands on the same base with added waypoints that include the autumnal melancholy of Badfinger, Marmalade and The Association , the glam-cool space-age jokiness of Bowie, Jobriath, Sparks and Slade, revivalists like the Barracudas and Flying Color, and dashes of bubblegum’s bright highlights and psych’s production touches. Several of the tracks, such as “This Song Belongs to Everyone,” have the homebrew heart that was so prevalent on indie power-pop singles on the late 70s. Fans of Shoes, Stars in the Sky, Denny Ward, the Neighborhoods, Heats, Moberlys, Punts, Zippers and the entire Bomp Records catalog will be reminded of the first time you slapped their wax onto the turntable.
The band’s ninth full-length offers up superbly crafted slices of pop-rock that are ready for radio of an earlier time, an era lamented in the aptly titled “It’s Not Rock ‘n’ Roll (And I Don’t Like It).” College DJ’s all over the world must surely be lining this up as the third part of a triptych that opens with Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” and Rubinoos’ “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Dead.” Disappointment bred of a decade in the music business also threads through the lost-love song “This Song Belongs to Everyone,” and a general farewell to youth is painted as metaphorical dusk in “Feels Like Shadows.” The band stretches out to eight-minutes for the psychedelic guitar jam “Outsider,” and closes with a realization that fealty to the past may only retard one’s step into the future. There’s irony to be found in retro melodies accompanying lyrics like “you never bring me nothing new” or “your memories won’t make you wise / your memories are a thin disguise,” but with melodies as good as the originals, who really cares? [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]