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Make It Pop

Giddy Motors
Make It Pop!
(Fat Cat)

I'll admit that I don't listen to as much of the rock music as I used to. Although there are the occasional albums that pop out of the woodwork, there's so much of it that just seems to lack the real fire within that I find myself being drawn to music that calls on more subtle sonics to make a point. Along come Giddy Motors, though, and smack me upside the head with their three-pronged attack. With little more than drums, bass, guitar and vocals, this UK trio has reduced me to screaming along with them and rocking their 35 minute debut album on repeat while alternately air-drumming and air-guitaring.

It's probably true that the group really isn't doing anything too different than a lot of bands out there, but they have a manic energy that's undeniable. The rhythm section of Manu Ros and Gordon Ashdown go from pummeling to swing on a dime and lead singer Gaverick De Vis is oen of the main weapons in the attack. I mentioned the word manic above, but a slight variation on that word that seems to fit the majority of his vocal styling is maniac.

"Magmatic" opens with De Vis screaming war-cries (off in the background) during the opening drum rolls before the band launches into a blistering attack that feels like they could go careening off the rails at any time. Strings sound like they're going to be broken and sprung, and the verses of the track rumble along before the absolutely insane choruses (including some crazy near-yodeling and herky-jerk percussion that hits perfectly). "Hit Car" follows things up with a slightly more funky swagger (including some great sax work by Nigel Buckner), but after a somewhat subdued opening, the track busts loose into a glorious cacophony of an ending.

The middle of the disc slows things down a bit, but they hardly go soft. "Cranium Crux" finds them working an almost spy-theme groove, and despite a couple slow builds, the group lets the track simply fester, creating a nice batch of tension after the opening onslaught. It's a wise move too, as the album comes back with one of the loudest and fastest tracks in "Sassy," rifling through things until slowing up and allowing De Vis to again belt out some over-the-top vocals.

Although the first 6 tracks of the 8 on the disc blow me away, the final two are somewhat odd in their inclusion. "Venus Medallist" is a quiet, acoustic track of measured beauty, sounding like it was pulled off a Rachel's album (no kidding), while "Whirled By Curses" comes back with an almost dirge-like pace, mixing a long spoken-word sample intro with one of the least-interesting musical pieces on the disc before blowing things out the backend with an almost math rock attack and added drum programming. It fits with the album well, but given the quiet track between it and the rest of the release, it feels more out-of-place than it should. In the end, Make It Pop! is still a solid debut, and despite the somewhat perplexing quiet track (perhaps they're just trying to prove they can do both sides), this album rocks like no other album I've heard in awhile. It's fierce and primal (with nice production by Steve Albini) and damn if it isn't fun as well.

Rating: 8