Tuesday 27 February 2018

Album Review: POP EVIL – Pop Evil

Pop Evil - Pop Evil

01. Waking Lions
02. Colors Bleed
03. Ex Machina
04. Art Of War
05. Be Legendary
06. Nothing But Thieves
07. A Crime To Remember
08. God's Dam
09. When We Were Young
10. Birds Of Prey
11. Rewind

This self-titled release is Pop Evil's fifth studio album. I haven't paid them much attention in the past to be honest. I heard a couple of their tracks and they sounded like one of those middle-of-the-road post-Grunge, Nickelback style bands that America seems so fond of. Don't get me wrong, there are some great artists in that genre, but the generic dross generally outweighs the killer material. What I'd heard from Pop Evil before didn't exactly make my ears prick up, so I had them down as being an act I could happily live without in my life. Having said that, Pop Evil do seem to be getting considerably more popular, so I thought I'd give this new record a listen, and see if I'd been a little unfair in my previous judgment.

Based on this new record, they're actually very good. Yes, they are in that 'Saliva meets 3 Doors Down' bracket, but they do have some really catchy songs, and are pretty heavy in places. 

Strangely enough, the first two singles, which incidentally are the first two tracks on the album, aren't as strong or as catchy as some of the other material here. Having said that, opener Waking Lions is certainly an earworm, and mixes their aggressive metal side with an anthemic chorus, setting the scene for the rest of the record. 

Ex Machina is a great track with a huge soaring chorus supported by heavy grooving riffs that'd have made them superstars 15 years ago in the heyday of Nu Metal. Art of War is like Grunge mixed with Rap-Metal, with plenty of bounce factor to entertain a live audience, and some melodic vocals thrown in to add a nice contrast. Be Legendary teeters into overly commercial Nickelback territory, with its chorus that you could imagine being used on sports and energy drink adverts. It's not a bad song at all, and I'd be surprised if it's not the next single for the aforementioned reasons. 

Other highlights for me include the RnB tinged A Crime To Remember and the catchy Birds Of Prey, which sounds a bit like early Foo Fighters.

Pop Evil is a very commercial, radio friendly album, but ultimately its very listenable, laden with hooks and instantly memorable choruses. Personally, I'd have liked a few more heavy, faster tracks, but that's just a minor gripe. Overall, I think existing fans will be pleased, and I'm sure they'll pick up thousands more if they get the mainstream airplay that similar bands in this genre have had.


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