Powerpop records should only be released in the Summer. I’m not kidding. It’s an unequivocal, scientific fact* that the kind of jangly noise made by your typical powerpop beat combo is best appreciated between late May and early September. Or in the UK, that weekend in mid-August when the drizzle is slightly warmer than usual. Harmonies, big choruses and songs about unrequited love make way more sense in the sunshine. I blame the Beach Boys.
The Tearaways have got the timing just right. If you’re looking for something to play in the car on that road trip to the coast, then look no further. Backyard BBQ soundtrack? Ditto. Headphone listening on the beach? Do I need to tell you again? “DW Hofner, Martin Gibson, Ludwig Rickenbacker, Earle Hammond & Vox Fender, ESQ”, in spite of its lumpy title, is distilled, bottled sunshine. And it’s OK to apply it liberally.
So, who are the Tearaways? Powerpop royalty, that’s who. They’ve been shaking their Paul McCartney 1966 hairdos since 1981, picking up admirers like Tom Hanks and Rodney Bingenheimer on the way. Even Piers Morgan is a fan. I’m not sure how I feel about that. With all that history they should be damn good, right? They are. And so is this album.
These boys are music fans. Sorry - music nerds. “…Esquire” is littered with references to their fave raves – in fact, the opening track “Bash” is pretty much a list of cool pop-rock bands and albums. It doesn’t end there – scattered throughout the record are references, quotes and flourishes from stuff they like. It never fails to raise a smile.