Photon Band Oh The Sweet, Sweet Changes

Although recorded quite recently in Philadelphia, this is classic mod pop with two feet lodged firmly in the past. It's no coincidence that guitarist/vocalist/front-man Art Difuria comes with an impressive pedigree in the world of '60s rock worship. His work as a member of both the Lilys, and Brother JT and Vibrolux seems to have honed his alignment to the worlds of bubble-gum psych and blistering garage rock, respectively. Defuria's also currently working toward a PhD in art history, which might explain his sincere reverence for yesterday's musical glories. On the Photon Band's sophomore album, each track comes packed full of great hooks that harken back to UK mod revivalists from the '80s, like the Jam, and '60s originators like the Kinks and the Who. An impeccable sense of style and high-energy delivery gives the band a foot up on many contemporary twee pop revivalists. You can't help but play "name that tune" as each new hook and vocal styling presents itself. Be it the sweet Zombies vocal on "Could It Be," the Jam ballad "Runaways," the Kinks-styled storytelling of "Disillusion" or flowery Donovan folk from "Saturn Returns Again," you can't help but marvel at the great taste this band has. Their admiration transcends mimicry, giving the Photon Band's homage its own eloquent voice. (Darla)