The Popdogs - Cool Cats For Pop Dogs (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
THE Popdogs are certainly worth barking about.
Comprised of singer and songwriter James Styring and guitarist Tim McKeating, the partnership has delivered a fun album that channels ’60s guitar pop with early indie Cast, with a little early REM and Stiff Little Fingers thrown in.
It’s a quick, slick, rollicking good listen that clocks in at just over half an hour and could do with being a good bit longer. But then the best things in life are often those that leave you wanting more.
McKeating’s guitar work is often cracking and even gets its own showcase on instrumental offering, Mild Mannered J, which unsurprisingly delivers one highlight.
But they’re equally good around the songs. Queen of the USA, for example, sounds like classic Cast and is dripping in melody and easy-going hooks. It’s a breeze of a track that deserves to become a summer anthem. You’ll be singing along with its “where have you been hiding” chorus.
Similarly, the giddy Kissin’ Alicia, which combines pile-driving riffs with sentiments that celebrate love and pop culture with lyrics like “I wanna go flying to Japan… we could dress up just like two aliens, I wanna go surfing in Sudan”.
Elsewhere, album opener Kelly’s On offers a sugar rush starting point that has the whiff of classic REM (even vocally), High Time channels Cast yet again and Last To New York sprints along in toe-tapping, effortlessly appealing fashion with another gem of a chorus (“don’t shake me, don’t wake me”).
Wake You Baby has another of the album’s great choruses, while eschewing glamourous good looks in favour of somebody more down to earth and real, and Dancin’ Again brings the album to a close with a summery sense of nostalgia.
Really, there’s heaps to enjoy. If every dog has its day, then this is The Popdogs’ moment. And long may it continue.
*Download picks: Kelly’s On, Last To New York, Wake You Baby, Mild Mannered J, Kissin’ Alicia, Queen of the USA