Bigger Lovers Honey In the Hive

This power pop gem of a quartet from Philly strikes an equilibrium that every Alex Chilton wannabe dreams of: crisp, clean, sharp hooks and sweet melodies that counterbalance songs of lost love’s caustic bitterness eating away rough edges in the final product. All the elements are here to warrant comparisons to the Posies, the Zombies, Cheap Trick and yes, the big kahuna of power pop, Big Star. The Bigger Lovers didn’t forget the moments of mellow, pining sentimentality mixed with punchy guitar riffs. They didn’t forget the tambourines, the handclaps, the chimes, or (most importantly) the "woo hoos.” Nor did they forget the harmonised group choruses, the head-nodding simple diddies or the album closing lullaby. It’s all there in one form or another, at alternating intervals, and highlight "Ivy Grows” encapsulates almost all of those best moments. Yet like any band that wears its influences on its sleeve but avoids being derivative, Bigger Lovers have enough original tunes and charm so that you’ll never be mumbling, "Matthew Sweet rip off.” If power pop is building up a fresh wave for the new millennium, these guys will be surfing on its crest. (Yep Roc)