Cincinnati’s power pop stalwarts are set to re-release their classic Space Age Love Songs in a deluxe re-issue that should make old time fans swoon, while attracting a whole new crop of devotees. Originally recorded in 1997, the album is twenty years old and as powerful as ever. With a sound reminiscent of classic post-punk era rockers like Hüsker Dü, the album is highly infectious and a ton of fun.
If you, like me, didn’t grow up in Ohio, you may have missed out on this band until now. However, any fan of pop-oriented rock music shouldn’t keep depriving themselves. Their sound feels like it has distinct influences from bands like The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, and The Descendants, but with a distinct Cheap Trick feel, as well. Fans of the early emo scene – think Dag Nasty’s Wig Out at Denko’s – will find a lot here to like. Some comparisons could be drawn to the 90s surf-influenced punk band, The Queers, or the work of Billy Corgan, both with the Pumpkins and Zwan. There’s a distinct 90s feel to the music that automatically brings to mind bands like Catherine Wheel and even REM, as well.
Younger fans who like contemporary 90s influenced punk and post-punk acts like Modern Baseball, Car Seat Headrest, Praise, and Beach Slang are likely to find this album quite delectable, as well. In other words, you don’t have to be an aging scenester like me to enjoy this album.
The original 11 tracks are accompanied by 6 bonus tracks, all with great pop flavor and decidedly garage rock feel. From the shoe-gazey opening riff of “Chances Are” through the extremely unique guitar work of “Around”, the 11 track album is an offbeat and quirky 90s gem. What it lacks in polish, it makes up for in creativity and catchiness. Even when slow it down a bit, with tracks like “Realize”, the band’s sound remains an extremely contagious brand of fun. The 6 extra tracks pick up right where the first 11 leave off, with my personal favorite among them being “Rollercoaster” (track 13 on the re-issue).
Throughout a hodge-podge of comparisons and influences, one may be asking themselves what exactly they should expect. How can a band be equally comparable to Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, Ramones, Dag Nasty, and The Queers? That’s something you’ll need to hear for yourself. The deluxe re-issue release will hit shelves on February 16th. With a sound this catchy it’s not hard to believe they’ve shared the stage with the likes of the Violent Femmes, Joan Jett, Paul Weller, Guided By Voices, and Superchunk. Check out the track below and hear for yourself, then go pre-order yourself a copy of this great 90s post-punk gem.