Pop Evil Show No Signs of Stopping With Their New Self-Titled Release
By Cameron Martinez
If there’s a list of bands out there that have written some of the more memorable rock anthems in the last couple of years, Pop Evil would certainly be near, if not at, the top. The band may be nearly 17 years old, but they show no signs of stopping as they grace our ears with their fifth studio release, ‘Pop Evil’. The band found critical success with their 2015 release, ‘UP’, so going into their new self-titled album, one can’t help but expect a high caliber record.
Since ‘UP’, the band has added to their lineup Hayley Cramer, a drummer from England, and don't let the fact that she’s a female fool you. She brings as much power and prowess on this record as any drummer before her. Leigh Kakaty, the band’s vocalist, stated in a recent interview, “..we wanted to remind people that we are a rock band, and we are influenced by metal … and making sure that our heavy sound was ready for the festivals that we play …” This desire is clearly evident from the very first face melting riffs thrown at us with the opening track, “Waking Lions,” riffs that could rival any band at the top of the metal charts.
If those opening riffs don't get your head banging in this song about standing up to your enemies and defying them, then you’ll clearly get moving during the second track, the anthemic “Colors Bleed,” which was recently released as a single for the band. This was a great choice for a single as the gritty vocals and pulsing bridge will be stuck in your head for days.
You could call some of the lyrics on Pop Evil politically charged as Kakaty sings about war and at other times they are just being inspirational as they tell us all to “Be Legendary”. The band excels at creating some great arena rock tunes and also utilizing electronic music elements to set the mood like in the slower track, “Nothing But Thieves” as they give us a tune reminiscent of the synth pop days, a refreshing track smack dab in the middle of the album.
It’s amazing how well the band is able to keep up with the modern rock times as well as keeping that classic rock feel that older fans will surely appreciate. “God’s Dam” sounds like a timeless classic that could have been written by any of the greats.
Kakaty’s statement about showing their fans how heavy the band can be holds true with this album, but expect all of the heaviness up front as the band ends on two grand ballads that will have crowds holding their lighters up in the air at live shows all across the country should they choose to bring out these new tracks. This is mainstream rock at its best with crushing riffs, huge drumming, groovy guitar solos, and powerful vocals all combined to demonstrate that Pop Evil is here to stay.
Listen to: “Waking Lions”, “God’s Dam”, “Rewind”