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Thursday 28 March 2024

Marc Valentine - Basement Sparks


When I reviewed last year's Future Obscura album, I mentioned how it was a rarity for British Power Pop artists to sound so American. You can read that review here. Valentine seems to have gone the whole hog with his deserved signing to Little Steven's Wicked Cool label.

This is great Power Pop and no song demonstrates that more than Skeleton Keys with its massive Butch Walker like riff. The song has everything that Power Pop requires including pace, a massive chorus and a killer solo. I'm convinced that it will be a future classic.

Have no doubt, this is a magnificent Power Pop album. The sort that many threaten but can't keep up the quality after the front loading ends. There are different strands of the genre, whether they be rocked up or built around killer chorus, big harmonies or solo vocals, everything works.

It works because of the lyrical adeptness and those catch all choruses. There are surprises. One is the balladic anthem that is Ballad Of Watt. The album doesn't come up for air, but this shows a different side to Valentine, part Pop Rock and even more UK 70s Glam Rock.

Repeat Offender is very UK New Wave and even as a cod reggae Police style guitar interruption. But it is the big chorus led guitar sounds that most will want and deserve. Eve Of Destraction adds the obligatory and big harmonies on another crackerjack of a song.

I Wanna Be Alone is more akin with the new breed of slightly noisier Power Pop, but largely this is a demonstration of how all encompassing the genre can be. Catchiness that rocks you and soon has you singing along. If anyone ever tells you that Power Pop has had its day, play them this and sit back revelling in your smugness.

You can buy the album everywhere. You can listen to the album here.


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