Rock veteran Wes Hollywood has always had roots in late 70’s and 80’s power pop style. Mr. Hollywood has been a staple in independent music for more than a decade, first with The Wes Hollywood Show and later with solo efforts. His latest album Fantasy Arcade is an unapologetic triumph of hook infused melodic rock. The bouncy beat of “It’s Good to See You” is a great opener with its shiny, happy guitar riffs. You’ll hear touches of The Kinks, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick and The Records in the stunner “Alfie” with a series fantastic chord changes.
The very Davies-like break-up song “Baby We’re Through” is another winner, and the chiming riffs of “City Streets” explain the lost hangouts of childhood, paved over by new developments as Wes croons “goodbye to the corner shop, the record stores and vacant lot.” Its one of my favorite songs here. Each track is meticulously crafted, like the mid-tempo ballad, “Coming Along,” a personal account of his thoughts and the title track has shades of Oasis in its echoing rhythm and blistering chords. No filler and easily one of the best power pop albums this year. It comfortably gets a top ten nomination for my 2012 list.