The I Spies In the Night

Charging out of the gates with pristine pop rock intensity, the I Spies rarely let up on their breakneck pace. Hooks bristle from each song like a candy-coated porcupine. Rock’n’roll swagger shares space with adept harmonies and the playful call and response vocals of lead vocalist Johnny Kay and guitarist James Robertson. None of the members make attempts at unnecessary showiness — all the guitar leads and drum fills are placed with care to serve the greater good of the song. Occasionally the overuse of double-timed hi-hat beats threatens to pave over the rhythmic differences of the songs but there is usually enough variation to keep it interesting, and the melodies are always distinct enough to carry the song. "Up All Night” is an obvious cross-format hit I expect to be hearing plastered all over modern rock radio any day now. If you like your music peppier than a lake of Red Bull and catchier than the plague, set your sights on the I Spies. (Independent)