Crash Kelly Penny Pills

Originality is obviously not the aim here on the debut album from Toronto’s Crash Kelly. Happily laying down their glam rock influences for all to see and hear, the record is full of chewy, gooey bubblegum melodies draped in cranked guitars and pseudo-emotional singing. Songwriter/front-man Sean Kelly even has the glam lyric writing process down pat: clever rhymes about girls, drinking and cigarettes that sound great on the surface but essentially mean nothing. I prefer the nods to T-Rex and Ziggy-era Bowie to the Aerosmith and Kiss homage simply because Kelly writes better vocal melodies than guitar parts, although he’s got a superb guitar tone. "11 Cigarettes” is the album’s best track; a Bowie-esque ballad with a big sing-a-long chorus that’s just on the right side of tasteful. The title track is a super-poppy tune dressed up in dirty guitars and even when the band is at their most rocking, Kelly’s melodies are bright and hooky. (Bhurr)