The Everyothers

Thursday, March 11; Creepy Crawl

Mar 10, 2004 at 4:00 am
Power pop is hardly a paradigm-shattering excursion into musical terra incognita. A catchy melody, a big guitar riff, a number of chords you can count on one hand and that all-important but indefinable attitude: This is the stuff of which power-pop classics are made. But the canon is so big and varied -- taking in the mighty power-chord echoes of the Who, the sweet Buddy Hollyisms of Marshall Crenshaw, the lush epics of the Raspberries and much more besides -- that the simple power-pop template can travel in almost any direction. Aficionados of the form like to play spot-the-influence, breaking down new bands into constituent ingredients drawn from power pop's rich four-decade history.

Take a look at the Everyothers' record collections, and chances are you'll see all the standard power-pop touchstones: Big Star, Cheap Trick, the Beatles. But the strongest drug in their rock & roll speedball is the driving glam of early '70s David Bowie, when guitarist Mick Ronson injected some high-octane fuel into Bowie's spaceship. As a teenager in Detroit, drummer John Melville was actually in a band that recorded a demo with Ronson. The other Everyothers must have had similar epiphanies, because the band has a striking talent for erstwhile Ziggy Stardust outtakes. The guitar sound drips with glam sheen and rock filth; the tunes pulse along from one dramatic peak to the next; and Owen McCarthy's vocals channel the angst-ridden but robotic tone of Bowie at his best. Derivative or not, it all sounds brilliant. Why don't more bands sound like this?