Album: Gen Pop - PPM66


Category: Rock


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Reviewed by: Harris Escalante

Gen Pop is a group originating from Olympia Washington. Their first full length PPM66 is a volatile concoction of greasy lo-fi punk. Production is raw and scrappy, with unpredictable energy that oozes out of each track. Just like what it’s album cover depicts, this record is composed of stitched up bits and baubles from random garages and workshops, cobbled up together with duct tape and sparked by brief yet elaborate bouts of inspiration. Imagine the effort of combing through endless craigslist pages for the quirkiest materials you can get and using it for a project. Imagine finding knick-knacks that don’t usually end up together, but with keen ingenuity and resourcefulness you happen to make it work. The result is a wild roller-coaster of groovy rock n’ roll, power pop and experimental noise with the anything-goes approach of indie punk.

The LP opens with “Bell Book Candle” that sounds like the Rolling Stones drenched with waves of dripping distortion. It’s grooves are full of swagger and fervor, starting with a tight danceable bassline and ending with a cacophony of sounds bolted together from a jagged scrapyard. “Bright Light People” channels melodic punk with acid-induced guitars and harsh spitting vocals dueling over the foreground. 

After these initial tracks, you may think you’ve figured out the band by now, but they can just as easily throw a wrench into your expectations. “Plastic Comb” starts as a slow burning guitar drawl — thick as an oil spill, and pits it against a jittery chorus with delirious falsetto harmonies to top off the mix. “Jilted and Blitzed” sounds exactly what the title suggests. It evokes images of a mad scientist drip feeding liquid mercury into a jar of neon paint, with guitars phasing in and out of each other, not quite following the drums but not quite getting lost either. A hollow industrial backdrop adds a hypnotic effect. An effective picture of psychedelic simplicity.

PPM66 has a lot of great variety, a sign of the band’s versatility and willingness to experiment. “Personal Fantasy” is a punchy hardcore explosion with a short fuse. “Concrete” is a rock n’ roll hybrid that hearkens back to the early days of punk. “Easy” channels the nervous energy of post-punk. “Me Alive” takes inspiration from 80’s new wave with its liberal use of synth embellishments while dabbling in stylistic prog-rock with its vocals. Gen Pop is experimenting with style, and they’re doing it with unadulterated fun.

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