Pop Evil are my favorite band, so writing this review is a labor of love! They’ve been around for over 10 years and I’ve been a fan since the beginning. Admittedly, I’m a “groupie”. The new self-titled album is their fifth studio effort; recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles behind the brilliant production of Kato Khandwa. It’s the first album with new drummer, Hayley Kramer, who gives the album a monstrous wallup; while the remainder of the band stays intact. There’s been lots of tabloid commotion referencing the new album, because of its rawness and urgency to “Rage Against The Machine” and “Nine Inch Nails”…Admittedly, this was a thoughtful direction to reveal a deeper pathos from Pop Evil’s traditional forte.
Pop Evil produces lots of elevated textures derived from prog. rock, psychedelia and metal by employing catchy beats; including some pretty wicked- tricksy time signatures. Some of the more obvious metallic “signifiers” have been dialed up too. Nevertheless, it would be short-sided to describe them as anything than just another metal band! Rocking for ten rears surely proves their legitimacy. Pop Evil are not for the timid rocker… After seeing their sold out performance at the world famous, Roxy Theater they proved they can romp like nobody’s fuckin’ business!!!.
The infusion of politics into American rock and roll has revitalized the music scene. So many rock and roll bands are becoming increasingly active by releasing music that supports the cause du jour. Once referred to as counter-culture it tis’ now the “je ne sais quoi”. There’s a corrupt regime in power, endless wars thousands of miles away and uncontrollable internal violence wracking our country. Ideals of the past has allowed music to become the kaleidoscopic for idealism. With current political climate the musical door is swinging wide open for Pop Evil.
The new album starts with “Waking Lions” (which became the #1 song played at rock radio!!)… so if you are expecting Pop Evil to be a rock band that’s lost in its shadow you are sadly mistaken!
Album Art Courtesy of Mike Cortada
Their music can be described as an aural fix for the common man.The lyrics reflect the inner turmoil of singer-song writer- Leigh Kakaty. His vision ruminates the rife of our nation in the track, “Art of War” … His words play easier for vengeance rather than for glory; or perhaps its resolve? Pop Evil are a rock band by the people and for the people. Forged in a cauldron of radical politics and gritty musical influences. Kakaty has become one of the defining spokesman for young rockers. Rock stars can fade into the sunset while rock heroes keep the flame going eternally! He’s all about reaching for greatness from within and overcoming the fodder of being on society’s fringe.
My favorite song is “When We Were Young”, perhaps it’s because the song follows a familiar sound for Pop Evil fans; but the message is for today. Kakaty just might be rock and roll’s shaman when he describes a dichotomous world between good and evil. Or perhaps its Pop vs. Evil?
Great rock bands have had their “breakthrough” albums… Rush had “Moving Pictures”.. Metallica had the“Black” album… and Queensryche had “Empire” and Pop Evil has now released theirs.
They are on tour and we will have another show in So. CA.. If you love your rock and roll than this is a band you can’t miss…
Pop Evil tour dates: http://popevil.com/tour-dates/