eMusic Review 0
Before the New Pornographers, Carl Newman helmed Zumpano, a band oddly but awesomely, in the tradition of the Dave Clark Five, named for its drummer. Zumpano were throwbacks, equally indebted to '70s power-pop crunch and attitude as they were to the indelible melodies of the Brill Building's heyday. They open Look What the Rookie Did, their debut album, with "The Party Rages On," which seems breezy and innocuous enough until Newman implores, "Sit your ass down!" The piano-driven "I Dig You" is pure heart-on-sleeve emotion, as lovely a love song there ever was. For good measure, the band also includes a reverent take of Jimmy Webb's "Rosecrans Boulevard." It was unfortunate timing that the album was released in 1995 in a post-grunge world that just wasn't ready to let go of its flannel shirts and ripped jeans. Zumpano was short-lived — the quartet would release just one more album — but Newman was clearly onto something good.