Grayowl Point gives a hoot about music and more specifically, our music. Read the full review here!
Sometimes you don’t need a big long press release to say what you’re all about. Visiting the Facebook page of Calgary’s Napalmpom will give you a lengthy bio explaining how awesome they are and all of that, but really, all you need to know about Napalmpom is they play high-energy, classics-indebted rock and roll. And that’s enough to make them fun.
From the opening notes of “Guided by Volume,” the opening track of The Unconditional Love of Napalmpom, it’s easy to see what this band is all about. A brief interlude of quickly-struck guitar notes eventually gives way to a full-on blast of rock and roll, complete with powerful and raw vocals from the fairly-recently-acquired lead vocalist PJ Lavergne. It’s exactly as the band calls it, “celebratory rock and roll.” Like if Japandroids went back in time and hooked up with AC/DC.
The band makes no secret of its influences either. “Get With Me” starts like it could be a lost rock song from the 70s before Lavergne comes in (along with some excellent vocal harmonies) and in fact name-checks AC/DC.
The main reason this band is worth a listen is because despite their adherence to an era of rock long past, they do so not with 100 per cent seriousness. Somehow, the band manages to make a six-plus-minute song called “Greg Ginn’s Sweater” which is literally about a sweater. There’s a long instrumental info along with some words in French before the main vocals finally come in, and they’re kind of funny.
This is followed immediately by “Runnin’ in the Red,” another high-octane rock song that seems to borrow Chad VanGaalen’s phrasing from “Flower Gardens.” And “Feint of Heart” brings in some brighter-sounding guitars.
The band breezes through another sprawling song with “Ashes Ashes,” this one a little more heavy on the instrumental jam, before ending with the highly self-referential “Napalmpom National Anthem.” Just as Cheap Trick opens their sets with “Hello There,” this is likely what this band uses to close, and it’s a hell of a firecracker.
So in short, Napalmpom rock, and that’s all you need to know.
Top Tracks: “Greg Ginn’s Sweater”; “Napalmpom National Anthem”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)