Album: A Time and a Place
It begins with the moody plucked guitar ballad “Love Triangle” which deals with siamese twins and angsty crying of the noisy kind. Lead singer Damian Gilhooly sings with a Scottish brogue that soars above the guitar-bass-drums foundation. “Poison Apple” quickly follows with the lo-fi post-punk dissonance that was once a staple of 1980s new wave romantic bands. By the 3rd track “Stagecoach,” the band changes gear yet again singing about bus schedules in a 3/4 waltz alt-folk song complete with 3-voice harmonies and an a capella bridge section. The album title comes from the strangely anthemic powerpop ballad “The Saviour of Judas McDade,” also the longest song on the album, which segues from tender lovesong to screaming guitar showcase and back again. “Chinese Burn” is a quick, rocking tune quite like the more recent The Killers, The Vines, et. al. And track 11’s “In Her Day” intro is a bossanova beat that quickly becomes a spitting, tongue-twisting romp through a Scottish cowboy paradise.
The only thing that could detract from their music is their tendency to choose chords that don’t always match the melodies. But that’s a minor music theory issue that doesn’t spoil the overall enjoyment of their songs.
The rhythms and moods change as often as the song topics do, always displaying wit, charm and self-effacing humor. In all, Popup is part Franz Ferdinand, part Beatles, part Talking Heads, part cowboy, part minstrel — a fun pop/rock/folk band that showcases versatility and the refusal to take itself too seriously. Fun, yes. And soon to take the world by storm.
Their debut album A Time And A Place will be out in stores by April 2009, but they have it online for free download right now. Grab it while it’s free.
13 MP3s encoded at 192 kbps 44.1 kHz stereo.
Total running timne: 45:34