RSTB faves Uni Boys have been carving out a comfortable space within modern power pop over the past few years. For their latest, they bring fellow ‘70s pop scholars Brian and Michael D’Addario of The Lemon Twigs along for the ride. The pair give the new album a soft focus glow, a smoothness that was missing from their early works. Buy This Now!, as a result, is an album that feels like they’ve slipped out of time to snag an unsung classic direct from the bins of the early ‘80s. Still slicing an ounce or two off of the legacies of The Quick, Milk n’ Cookies, and The Speedies, the band’s prowess comes in emulating their predecessors’ balance of bravado and vulnerability, buffeting the punk bite with a pillow of pop that softens the blow.
The new record, with the D’Addarios behind the boards, digs further through the scratched rearview of the past, laying into no only the ’79/‘80 school of pine n’ pout, but back through the building blocks of some of those classics as well. There’s an overt nod to Beach Boys harmonies on opener “Let’s Watch A Movie,” and mid point “Two Years.’ Formative fuel from The Raspberries pushes the Boys towards a softer side, letting a love for Nicke Lowe’s lovelorn catalog slip into the mix as well. The album is far from copy and paste of the past, though. With those touchstones in mind, the band feels like they’d have easily turned up in the Yellow Pills ranks in their own right, ensconcing tales of broken hearts, bright lights, and late nights in the jukebox queue of the mind. It’s always nice to see band with such a fully-formed ideal get a bit of a boost from the outside, and on Buy This Now! The Twigs and The Boys seems to bring the best out of power pop’s enduring appeal.
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