The Legal Matter's Debut Album Reviewed
Every couple of years The Apples In Stereo release a new album, and every couple of years I find myself back in the dark underbelly of power pop, a world of bands and sounds that take off from the Beatles via Big Star and ends up who knows where. At its worse, it gives melody and progressive pop a bad name, and its best it is The Legal Matters.
Don’t let the band name fool ya, Detiots own The Legal Matters sounds nothing like the Who, what it is is Chris Richards of Chris Richards & the Subtractions, Keith Klingensmith of the Phenomenal Cats, and Andy Reed of An American Underdog, playing gorgeous, catchy perfectly structured and highly melodic pop songs.
The harmonies, the tunes, the ringing guitars, the smart as a whip lyrics, and the brisk smart 35 minutes in length all add up to a glorious take on old fashioned pop sounds. The harmonies on “Before We Get It Right” send you through the roof, “The Rites Of Spring” are the sort of pop song that should be blaring from FM Radio stations for the next six months, “Stubborn” and raises up as one voice, and the guitars ring like Roger McGuinn.
The next song, “Stubborn” is the catchiest on the album as it works its way to a fabulous and compact guitar solo and the first four songs are as strong an opening for an album I’ve heard all year. It dips a little from there with “Mary Anne” a little quiet for my tastes, but it only takes a coupla tracks for the album to regaining its footing with “No More Sunny Days” , a melancholic downer to help you cry in your coffee. It less builds and more ululates to the last song on the album, the broken up “We Were Enemies” reaching to an extended Abbey Roadish coda. A thrilling end to a fine, fine piece of work.
The trio play together very well, it is all Byrdsy zoom lens and undertow harmonies, tugging the glorious melodies deep into your consciousness. A fine album, maybe not your Daddy’s power pop but all the better for it. Along with the Britannicas, this is the power pop album of the year.