One of my favorite power pop artists, Greg Pope puts on his Monster Suit for Halloween. We mentioned before that he is making a film called Giant Monster Playset. This is the soundtrack album, and in typical Greg Pope fashion – its got a pile of great songs. The music follow the films narrative and like his last album Blue Ocean Sky, it has a fair amount of fuzzy guitar and pysche-pop pastiche. The faux Hendrix opener “Modern Plaything” gives way to a Soundgarden styled wall of dense guitars. A bit more impressive is the soft vocal of “Soulless Heart” that leads us to a strong hook in the chorus. And there’s more, “The Chance You Don’t Take” is another gem with guitar strum and double tracked vocal.
Some nice guitar work is part of the long intro on “Place On The Hill” and it’s comparable with The Who’s Tommy. The 70’s band Free is another point of reference on “The Last Time” as the slow march builds up to a satisfying crescendo. Some of the tracks are just wonderfully atmospheric like the instrumentals “There May Be Thousands” and “Monster Chase.” The crashing cymbals on “This Is Goodbye” makes this mid-tempo love song bounces along its warm melody a la Badfinger. The song “Your Love” feels more like Robert Pollard’s style, but the underwater vocals don’t quite fit here. Since it’s a soundtrack and not a singles collection there are less hooks than in previous works, but any Greg Pope album is a worthy investment and will satisfy your craving for crunchy guitar pop. Can’t wait for the film!