Pop!

Pop!
Conductor: The Exploding Sex Kittens
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2009-01-28
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

Good luck reading the combination of the band’s name and album title without picturing a roomful of S&M-gear-clad baby tabbies spontaneously combusting, but don’t worry: The album’s less depressing, and much easier to clean up after. “King R. Rodrigo” finds the Kinks via Guided by Voices lo-fi, but contemplative “Day After Day” knocks the giddy tempo on its ass. “George,” an unapologetically goofy ode to the boring Beatle, picks up the pace but seems to exist solely as an excuse for sitar-infused surf-rock soloing. The surprisingly modern-ish “Butterfly Girl” rejuvenates the album at midpoint, and exemplary Nuggets rockers “Remember Max” and “Henry B.” (which paints the late Congressman Gonzalez as a populist folk hero who’ll “filibuster you until you call it quits”) return the Kittens to more comfortable territory before meandering electronics-infused meditation “Questioningly” calls off the dance party. But anyone left on the floor after the seven-minute track gets treated to the flower-child innocence of closer “Land of Peaches,” which, according to the liner notes, was the final song played inside of the much-mourned Taco Land. (Disclosure: Current staff writer Gilbert Garcia plays keyboards on “Peaches.”)

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