Friday, September 25, 2015


Rating: RRR1/2
Label: Eone Music
Review by: Martien Koolen

Their previous album ONYX was a huge commercial success ( due to three consecutive #1 Rock radio singles) and their performances at Graspop and Pinkpop also convinced the European audience. So everybody was looking forward to their new, fourth album called Up. Pop Evil, hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a larger than life true rock and roll band that mixes the notorious showmanship of KISS and Motley Crue with the earnestness of grunge bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. In other words Pop Evil is a true modern rock band with a powerful indentity blended with mainstream American AOR flavors.

The album kicks off with the first single of Up, being Footsteps; and it is not a typical Pop Evil song, as it features computerised drum beats and a weird wall of sound. The follow up Core is much better, as it is filled with heavy guitar riffs and a great melody; this is the Pop Evil we like to hear! Other highlights on this very well produced album by Adam Kasper (o.a. Soundgarden, Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam) are: Vendetta (very fast, almost trashy with raw vocals), Dead In The Water (mainstream heavy rock with superb vocals by Leigh Kakaty) and the longest track Till Kingdom Come, an excellent powerballad with very cool and melodic guitar solos from Nick Fuelling. Up also features a couple of soundalike, too radiofriendly, catchy rock tunes like for example: In Disarray, Ways To Get High, Ghost Of Mushegon and Footsteps of course... But these are all great songs to listen to in your car at maximum volume and scream along to, until you are fed up with these "poppy" songs, with al; due respect, of course.

Sadly Up also contains two mediocre fillers, namely the instrumental 31 second clocking interlude ... , which is utterly pointless and the rather boring, predictable acoustic ballad Seattle Rain. But overall I really like the new album of Pop Evil, it is modern rock at its best and although it is a commercial rock album, it is transcendent purity. The special edition of Up features two bonus tracks, being an acoustic version of the first single Footsteps and My Confessions, again a very catchy pop/rock song which kinds of reminds me of Creed....

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