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Pop Evil - 'Up' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/22/e8/d0/pop-evil-up-15-1449955071.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 12, 2015    
 
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For the most part the material is excellent and though it takes longer to resonate I still feel the quality will endure.

I suppose I was a little late to the Pop Evil party. I missed 'Lipstick On The Mirror' when it was released in 2008 but when I heard a couple of songs (namely 'Monster You Made' and 'Boss's Daughter') from album number two ('War Of Angels' released in 2011), my attention was piqued.

2013's 'Onyx' received strong critical acclaim and I caught the band when they opened up for Five Finger Death Punch during their tour of the U.K. last year. Despite being accused of lacking originality, PE have secured a dedicated fan base and managed create a string of highly entertaining Modern Rock records. 'Up' sees the Michigan five-piece continue to entertain but initially I was surprised by the overall vibe of the songs.

For one thing there is certainly less attitude amongst the tracks on 'Up', compared to 'Onyx', almost as if principal song-writer (and lead singer) Leigh Kakaty is going through a reflective period in his life. In some ways the writing can be treated as more mature.

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'Footsteps' is a quality track but not as "in your face" as the album openers that have gone before. It is a "radio friendly" anthem that should generate a lot of exposure and I suppose that is why it has been selected as the first single. If anything the snot-nosed bravado of 'Core' and 'In Disarray' may have been better placed before.

The mature writing ethic is highlighted by the accomplished 'Ghost Of Muskegon'. The hook may be subtle but it still hits home immediately. 'Seattle Rain' is a simple but effective acoustic ballad but the impact is diminished by being sandwiched between the low-key 'Dead In The Water' and 'Til Kingdom Comes'. The album does tail off during the last two or three songs, the energy just seems to run out and the ideas lack purpose and direction.

August and September has contained several big releases for me and Pop Evil's 'Up' is definitely one of them. For the most part the material is excellent and though it takes longer to resonate I still feel the quality will endure.

Dave Bott

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