This is the third LP for Home Grown, and their first one on Drive-Thru Records. Drive-Thru has given the public really mixed blessings this year. I liked the Finch record, but I was bored to tears making my way through the Something Corporate disc. Also, with the whole Midtown dispute, it hasn’t really helped their reputation, or in fact anything at all. They however, sadly under hyped this record. For months upon months, they had nothing up on their website opening except the Finch e-card. Even about three months after it came out, it was still up. The Finch was a good cd, but the hype for it was absolutely ridiculous. Now however, they have the HG e-card up, but its only been up for a little over a week at most. Anyhow, enough about the Drive-Thru talk and back to this cd.
When I first put “Kings of Pop” into my player, I didn’t really know what to expect. With a cd called “Kings of Pop”, I got a bit nervous, but I was still wondering how it would turn out. Now, after listening to the disc about half a dozen times, I can say that I really like this cd. While it is far from flawless, the tight hooks and catchy songs really make it worthwhile. My only major complaint with the disc is that some songs have truly painful lyrics, which are nothing more than shallow ramblings. “I Love You Not” for example, is one of the stupidest songs I’ve heard in a long time. However, that is not true for the whole disc, as the majority of the songs do have good lyrics. Take “You’re Not Alone” (which along with “Give It Up”, was originally on the Drive Thru Comp. “Welcome To The Family”), the lyrics are surprisingly good and contain a lot of meaning. It’s really a mixed bag in that department, but as for the instruments, they sound tight and strong all the way through. The drumming is fast, and the guitar and bass sound crisp and clean and also deliver the best of what the album has to offer. The vocalist is a bit annoying at first, but it is easy to get used to him after a few listens. Also, “Kings Of Pop” suffers from the dreaded syndrome of most new pop/punk discs, overproduction. Songs like “Give It Up” and “You’re Not Alone” sound really plastic in their new versions, but with that out of the way, both of those are really great songs. Another small gripe is that more than half the songs start out with a distorted guitar intro. It’s not really that big of a deal, but for some reason it does seem a bit annoying.
My two favorites are the opener “Tomorrow”, which has a really catchy lead guitar riff and pre-chorus and “Cannot Stop The World”, which is full of hooks and has some of the best lyrics the disc offers. The rest of the disc really doesn’t disappoint as well, each song is tight and quick to get into, even the weaker ones. No songs are really that awful though, except maybe the aforementioned “I Love You Not”, which doesn’t even contain a catchy enough riff to save it. “Kiss Me, Diss Me”, “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” and “Second Best” are also a bit weak lyrically due to the aforesaid complaints about the shallow meanings of certain songs, but they have tight instrumentals, which keep them interesting enough to listen to.
So, in all, this is a very good cd. Even with its flaws, Home Grown have another strong LP to add to their belts, and it’s sure to please almost any pop/punk fan. Even with the name, “Kings of Pop”, it’s a really hard cd not to like.