Music Go Music, Expressions
The best punk rock reevaluation of ABBA since the days of Blondie
Music Go Music is the best punk rock reevaluation of ABBA since the days of Blondie. For their debut album, these scrappy California indie rockers strip adjectives like "overproduced" and "melodramatic" of their negative connotations with an exercise in maximalist pop: For Music Go Music, there's no melody that can't be fractured by three-part harmonies; no disco beat that can't be extended for nine windswept minutes, no riff that can't catch a ride on ELO's spaceship. A compilation of three intermittently-released 12-inches, Expressions recalls the most sequin-dappled, cocaine-addled, studio-polished music of the mid-'70s as seen through the eyes of eccentric visionaries — they either have bad memories of the decade, or just willfully mutate things to fit their glittery worldview. Opener "I Walk Alone" is like Donna Summer walking into a spaghetti western, a mix of throb and twang. The Swede-pop of "Reach Out" has a fateful battle with prog theatrics, heavy metal gallop, windmill guitars before diving headfirst into a cheeky bit of Queen-style white funk. Album highlight (and debut single) "Light of Love" is a "Waterloo"-styled chant-along that's equal parts bombastic, saccharine and trippy with its phased drums and talk of "the waters of strife." Once "Goodbye, Everybody" subverts Elton John piano ballads through '80s glam metal and '90s "Everybody Hurts"-style ballads, it's clear this is as glorious as anachronism gets.