Vine House mainman Mark Stancato understands power pop in a way few can match. Loaded with everything that made Cheap Trick, the Sweet, and Knack so attractive, his band delivers fundamental driving songs simple in their change-ups but powerful in effect, and isn't that, after all, what makes even AC/DC so compelling? The very first cut grabs the listener by the throat. With its fuzzed guitar, vocal harmonies, and poetic frustrations, Killer on the Road, drives the beat through the wall and never lets up. Its successor, the title cut "Young Regret", backs off the adrenalin but remains insistent, bedded in flashing chords and the accompanying slightly snotty, a bit whiny, a little pissed, but classically pop vocal lines we all expect and love. Listening to Vine House makes one recall why Dwight Twilley and so many earlier pop attempts were dismaying…or, for that matter, why Jules Shear never quite cut it like he should have: too little gristle and sinew.
Well, Stancato's pumped up for the task and understands what the Beatles knew well: complicated music is all very well, but people have to have something they can trip easily out to as well, something providing back-off from the stress of daily life while simultaneously reflecting it. Not an easy trick to manage, but the guy makes the perplexing task seem effortless, always the mark of a master. Trust me, the ability to carry off an entire disc of top-notch music of this caliber is near-impossible. The Sweet's Desolation Boulevard slew charts with its finesse, as did The Knack's debut, and Vine House has aced the feat as well, sliding some Kinks in while doing so. Hell, even Jan & Dean (I swear to God, listen to Rosalie and tell me you don't hear those 60s pop icons sneaking in the back door). The crap that passes for pop on the radio is so repellent that this band's main problem will be how to overcome the automatic reaction naturally occurring when one utters that single syllable "pop" without having to carefuly explain where everything went wrong.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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