Vegas With Randolph has been a bright spot on the power pop landscape since their debut, now they ramp up the talent on Rings Around The Sun. Getting help from a star-studded group of musicians like David Myhr, Brandon Schott, and Andy Reed to name a few, its likely that this is the best VWR album to date. Starting with “You Set The World On Fire,” John Ratts and Eric Kern burn through its high energy tribute to modern scientists. Then it pushes the guitars to “11” with “Salt Water Taffy,” a catchy single that reminds me of Myracle Brah with its smooth harmonies.
And the band has lots of fun too, notable is “Cool Things” a hummable garage sale list (“boombox, CD Stand, Cup from 7-11”) sung with an excitement that compares well with Bowling For Soup. The pace moderates a bit with “Empathia,” another great short story set to music, however my favorite track here is “Everybody Wants An Atom Bomb.” It’s an over-the-top melody with a killer riff that drips of chauvinistic patriotism and fireworks. More light fun is on “Snow Day” and the grand finale “Rings Around The Sun” is more than satisfying. The additional single “Drops of Gold” and bonus track “Cool Change” are great, but maybe belong on different LP. You get a packed 15 tracks and all without any filler. Highly recommended.