Review: Pop Evil – UP

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I first encountered Pop Evil a year or so back when they were opening for Five Finger Death Punch. I had a chat to the band and saw them put on a decent opening performance for a band that they didn’t really gel with genre-wise. I gather they’re already doing pretty well in the US, and with the release of new album UP they hope to spread that success out to Europe.

On the strength of the fifteen tracks (thirteen plus two bonus) on here, they’re in with a good chance. Playing a fairly mainstream heavy rock sound, they add a little bit of keys here and there with a touch of the bouncy rhythm you may associate with more accessible punk or hardcore acts. And then there’s the acoustic stuff. And the use of atmospheric effects and breaks. There are a lot of influences at work here.

“In Disarray” is dark and driving with a G n’ R edge to the vocals in places, whereas “Footsteps” is just annoyingly catchy once it gets going. The bonus acoustic version work a treat, too. Fancy something with a bit of an electronic / goth overtone? Got it right here – “Ghost of Muskegon”, at least with the intro and bridge. Soppy ballad? Check – “Seattle Rain”.

“Vendetta” raises the tempo with a blasting intro before heading into a more angry Disturbed-esque verse structure and then drifting into a more traditional rock sound. “Til Kingdom Come” hits power ballad territory and ends the regular album before the two bonus tracks kick in. It’s a great listen, as well, with a good sense of atmosphere along with the maudlin guitar solo.

Pop Evil are a rock band, but beyond that they refuse to be pigeonholed. They’ve taken the best of so many sub-genres and mixed them together to produce a very strong album that just reeks of variety.

UP is out on August 21st.

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