Travoltas - Endless Summer (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Endless Summer (2002)


This will probably go down as one of the unabashedly fun records I've heard this year. Holland's Travoltas have crafted some infectious and far too catchy power-pop that sounds refreshingly different from the seemingly endless hordes of pop-punk bands (you know, the one's marching across the face of the earth threatening to consume us all... those ones).

Green Day and Weezer's penchant for writing tight pop-songs is mirrored here. While that can be said about many pop-punk acts, the Travoltas benefit by also drawing from a far deeper pool of influence. From the "KKK Took My Baby Away" opening of "Liv Tyler" to the buzzsaw guitars of "Endless Summer," there's some serious Ramones worship going on. The best quality these two bands share however is their love of 60s pop. While the Ramones tapped the girl-groups, Travoltas have their sites focused on Brian Wilson. Beach Boys style vocal harmonies are all over the 10 tracks here. It gives the band a distinct sound and far more sonic depth then their contemporaries. The Travoltas are at their best when they slow the tempo down and experiment with their vocals (which happens at about midway through the record). With the trio of "I'm Sorry," "Norwegian Girl" and "Lori" the band meshes all their influences together into a sound that is uniquely their own. In particular, the vocal range in "Lori" is one of the albums best moments. The falsetto vocal highs are something we haven't heard much of since Matt Sharp's Rentals disappeared.

There's nothing prolific here, but that's part of the easygoing fun of it. "Endless Summer" is full of great hooks and surf-rock melodies. I'd love to hear the band expand on their Beach Boys infatuation, shoot for their own "Pet Sounds." In the meantime though, for all the pop-punk on this album it never invokes the demons of generic boredom or emo-posturing that plague the style. "Endless Summer" is catchy enough that you'll be spinning it over and over again... I know I am.