By John M. Borack
Many current young bands shun the term “power pop” and feign innocence when the British Invasion is mentioned as a possible musical touchstone, often preferring to instead describe their music as “indie,” “underground” or “garage rock.” The 20-something chaps in Locksley, however, embrace both power pop and the sounds of the ‘60s – they’ve been known to cover the Beatles on occasion – while infusing their infectious, guitar-driven rock with a slightly reckless, “let’s have some fun” feel. (Some aural comparisons include acts such as Rooney and OK Go, both of whom Locksley has toured with.)
Locksley benefits from having three swell songwriters: brothers Jesse and Jordan Laz and Kai Kennedy split the composing duties on their sophomore effort, the 36-minute “Be in Love.” Each of the dozen ditties is worthy of repeated spins and sure to set heads a-bobbing and toes a-tapping in short order – witness the single “Darling, It’s True,” which is powered by Sam Bair’s pounding drums and shouted background vocals on the irresistibly catchy chorus. Or try the rhythm guitar-led “Days of Youth,” which sounds slightly reminiscent of ‘80s hitmakers Big Country. Or perhaps the propulsive “21st Century” might be more your cuppa tea, with its rapid-fire verses gliding into another winner of a chorus. Best of all might be the almost ridiculously wide-eyed rocker “The Whip,” which features another melody that’ll stick around like an unwanted houseguest, a maddeningly perfect chorus that consists of the word “whoa” stretched out to ten syllables, a false ending and over the top lead vocal from Jordan Laz. Awesome.
If you’ve been jonesing for a dose of feel-good rock and roll by a band that respects rock’s history (there’s even a bit of a doo-wop influence on display here) while adding panache, power and fun to the formula, check out Locksley and “Be in Love.” (www.Locksley.com)
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