THe BAcksliders

You're Welcome (Self-released)

Led by Kim Pendleton, former singer for Vibrolux (who actually cut a decent album for Polygram in 2001), the typographically challenged BAcksliders wish to pay homage to all the right retro new wave standard-bearers: folks like Elvis Costello, Blondie and The Cars. But, in actuality, the cheeky pop-rock found on the band's sophomore effort, You're Welcome, is more in line with lesser acts from the same time period: second-level stalwarts such as Missing Persons, Berlin and The Motels.

Such comparisons are not meant to detract from THe BAcksliders' poignant recollection of late-'70s kitsch. Pendleton belts out songs such as "Under the Moonlight" and "Fat Girls" with a boisterous aplomb reminiscent of both Patty Donahue (The Waitresses) and Katrina Leskanich (Katrina and the Waves) while guitarist Chris Bonner handles the songwriting duties and plays a plethora of instruments.

Expertly produced by Jeff Halbert, You're Welcome is full of infectious tunes played well with just a hint of soul—although without a lot of innovation. But, then again, not every listener is looking for the complexity of King Crimson. If you appreciate punchy pop-rock played with humor and skill, music that gets better with each beer, you could do much worse than this effort from THe BAcksliders.

 
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