Artist: POP-ETC
Title: POP-ETC
Record Label: Rough Trade
Rating: 4.0

Pop music is something of an ambiguous genre these days, take Rihanna and Kings Of Leon for instance, these acts are classified as pop music due to the fact their music is popular not because they can be pigeonholed as making actual pop music. Formerly known as The Morning Benders, POP ETC are dispensing with a self titled third record that is so synthetic it would make a shop mannequin look life like. Even the band’s new moniker screams throwaway, the ETC might as well be a “meh” or “whatever” as this collection of songs are whimsical beyond belief. From the bands keyboard demo style electronics through to the cringe-worthy lyrics, the album almost presents itself like a comedy record a la Flight Of The Conchords but the laughter expressed is out of embarrassment rather than any humorous idiosyncrasies. When not chuckling out toe curling lyrics, the rest of the record acts like a non event as the electronics and auto-tuned vocals couldn’t be more beige.

Bizarrely the album sounds like it was constructed by The Party Posse (see The Simpsons episode #262 where Bart and friends are hoodwinked into being a boyband by a dastardly naval officer) as you can imagine Ralph Wiggum spouting this beauty on ‘Back To Your Heart’: “Let me take this straight from the top/we were making love and we couldn’t stop/ but it all went down so quick/you were afraid there was something you’d missed”. This sounds like a random declaration of a marathon sex session but coupled with erectile dysfunction! ‘Live It Up’ captures the band announcing that they are the kind of band to bang their groupies and then leave town. Then R.Y.B captures the band in a party mood while recognising the world is going to end soon with quips like “I came here to party/don’t bring me down/ I know the world is ending” and “Rock your body, yeah and get up”. With lyrics like that the apocalypse can’t come sooner.

Are POP ETC just being ironic with this album? Who knows and frankly who cares. Pop music should sound so much better.

Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams

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