POP EVIL
"Up"

(eOne Music)

01. Footsteps
02. Core
03. In Disarray
04. Take it All
05. Ghost of Muskegon
06. If Only for Now
07. …
08. Ways to Get High
09. Lux
10. Vendetta
11. Dead in the Water
12. Seattle Rain
13. Til Kingdom Come

RATING: 7/10

Only in America: The mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan, George Hartwell, is a rocker. Hartwell recently appeared on Michigan television station Fox 17 during a news broadcast and declared August 21, 2015 "Pop Evil Day", this being the release date of the hard rock superstars' fifth album, "Up". You can't get better hype than that, folks.

Whether you love 'em like Hartwell does or you don't, POP EVIL are on a roll with their third album within a four-year block. As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot. The band does just that on "Up", an album that will rock the socks (and other clothes, no doubt) off their fans. For anyone else, well, "Up" is what it is, but a few pretty good cuts do emerge from the cookie-cutter AOR ditties that have vaulted POP EVIL into favor with mainstream American and worldwide audiences.

To the good, "Core", "In Disarray", "Vendetta" and "Lux" rock, particularly "In Disarray", which has a terrific set of riffs and a banging groove going for it, treading close to L.A. sleaze rawk minus the sleaze. "Lux" borders on cheesy in spots, but the choruses have an undeniable kick. It's predictable where "Vendetta" is heading after leading off with a thrashing intro, but at least Nick Fuelling, Dave Grahs and Matt DiRito dump out some sicko riffs on the verses.

Playing the "pop" element of their moniker like a royal flush ("flush" holding a different connotation with this band for some) on "Footsteps", "Take it All", "If Only for Now", "Ghost of Muskegon" plus the grunge-plugging (and kinda cool) "Ways to Get High", POP EVIL know exactly tickles their listeners' fancies. Leigh Kakaty is hardly above yapping his higher octaves and ring leading "ooh-whoo-ooh-wooh" chants from his band, while programming and drum machines elbow their way alongside Joshua "Chachi Riot" Marunde's energetic tom battering. It's fan-pleasing audile cotton candy.

Of course, "Up" is wont to push a ballad or two, those being reserved for the end of the album with the attractive "Seattle Rain" and the slightly edgier "Til Kingdom Come". As far as commercial rock albums go, "Up" is better than the average, even if the album's most average tracks are enough to part with. POP EVIL is well-entertaining for the audience they cater to and accordingly, they're tighter than an Ashley Stopper Knot.

Now if Yorkshire, England stages an "Asking Alexandria Day," then we've all had it.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).