steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The French Broads

"Tubes, Wood & Metal" CD


Genres: indie pop, power pop, rock n' roll

Apr 7 - 13 2003

If you're looking for some fun, straightforward rockin' and rollin' power pop, then chances are you'll dig the French Broads.  These guys know how to use a pop hook, and the melodies on Tubes, Wood & Metal are perfect evidence.

The songs on this album are all really well-done.  The vocals are delightfully pleasant, blending very well with the music.  The songs have a nice, loose sound with a carefree element that makes them perfect for cartrips and just being with friends.  There's also a great hint of a country influence that runs through the album, especially on tracks like "Steppin' out" and "Big Orange Paint," the latter of which is a fun rock n' roll tune that calls to mind comparisons to Joel Plaskett, particularly in the vocals.  "Deep South Trip," meanwhile, is a fucking infectious mid-90s styled track reminiscent of The Barenaked Ladies to some extent, but moreso that fun one-hit wonder "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something.  "Epic" is another infinitely infectious rock number, filled with power chords and love-focused lyrics.

"Spastoblather" and "Koto" are the album's two instrumental experiments.  They seem promising at first, but end up somehow affecting the album's rock n' roll flow.  The disc could have been improved by leaving these out, or perhaps placing them at the start and end of the album as a prelude and postlude.

Altogether, Tubes, Wood & Metal is definitely a worthwhile purchase for power pop fans.  Although it doesn't contain anything ground-breaking, it is a very catchy album that has enough pop hooks to keep anyone entertained for hours.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]