Think Like A Key 2021

Hits To Spare

Capturing the spirit of the Merseybeat, one-man band rides a retro vibe but comes too close to the edge.

Had there been zeitgeist chart, the era of innocence turning into experience before the Summer of Love would probably top it, and Glasgow multi-instrumentalist Joe Kane is well aware of such possibility. That’s why this veteran of multiple projects realized under various guises assumed a new one, The Poppermost, playing everything himself – and, of course, singing – in the style of his Liverpudlian heroes. He’s not a copycat, for sure; he’s a sucker for spirit and sound which he seizes delicately yet firmly.

The Poppermost’s debut offers a perfect, spot-on pastiche of the early ’60s power pop, feeling a tad off only when Kane’s tapping into The Fab Four’s template as the results approach reverent parody without being funny in THE RUTLES way. But even though “Egg And Chips” isn’t “Cheese And Onions” – if we’re talking cuisine here – this album’s opener is as tasty an appetizer, the piece’s guitar jangle and vocal packs, all crammed into crunchy rhythm-and-blues and given a catchy call-and-response, oozing sweet retro aroma, whereas the adolescent swagger of the character-centered “Laziest Fella In The Realm” and “Goodnight Georgia Peach” has the same gutsy tunefulness about it.

Still, while the punchy likes of handclaps-helped “Yes It’s True” and the vibes-spiced “Call To Me” are too Beatlesque for an aficionado’s delight, the soul-warming innocence filling the harmonica-smeared “Can’t Take That Away” and “One Of Those Gerrllss” seems irresistible, with the record’s title track riding a great groove and a mighty six-string wave, and “In & Out” pointing to a much more original material in the same vein. More so, the manner in which “What A Wonderful Love” transitions from tender acoustic lane to electric rapture within less than two minutes is truly wondrous.

Authentic to a t, “Hits To Spare” may not contain smashes per se, yet it’s infectious and, thus, fitting for our times of trouble.


August 26, 2021

Category(s): Reviews
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