Sometimes you want to get hoochied out, slurp up a beer bong, and shake your thang like a 99 cent chicken wang (patience please – poetic slang is not my fo-tay). In other words, sometimes you just want to PAR-TAY, and what makes that party hop? Music!
But the Chicago based band with a myriad of CD's under their punk/pop belt, Smoking Popes, has other ideas. After all, their new offering is entitled “The Party's Over,” unashamedly admitting their thirty-two minute record is more of a melodious requiem than a rock fire of drunken energy. No two songs are the same – it's a sampler platter of depression, chilling in the fridge the entire joyous night, unwrapped and served to those lingering alone in the aftermath. Those who didn't go home with anyone.
The album starts with `Seven Lonely Days', a rock-country jig sans slide guitar and fiddle, we might hear at a square dance. From there, the Popes move away from songs influenced by The Blasters, and hit the pop-rock mainstream with `Valentine', a PG-rated rockin' ode to a February lover. And then comes the title track, `The Party's Over', showing why at Tower records the only place popes are smoked is in the punk section.
On tracks like `Bewitched', Josh Caterer croons in his light, Kermit the Frog influenced voice, in an almost bluesy love ballad. The throaty renditions continue on `Stormy Weather', and `Farther Along', an unintentional tribute to Waylon Jennings (is this a bad thing? You must be joking…).
Never annoying, Caterer molds melodies at once both pleasing and heart wrenching. It's sadness, it's sincerity, it's Smoking Popes.
*”The Party's Over” will be released in stores on March 25th
fireman [at] unearthed [dot] com