The 88 stays catchy

Courtesy the 88 photo by Eric Cwiertny

Courtesy the 88 photo by Eric Cwiertny

Since the release of their debut album in 2003, The 88 have yet to disappoint. With each album, the Los Angeles rock band dives into the pool of rock and brings pop with them to stay afloat.

The 88 consistently deliver catchy lyrical tracks that are infused with infectious and upbeat tempos. Having kept their feet firmly planted in the musical world, The 88 should dig even deeper with their self-titled album.

The trio, comprised of vocalist and guitarist Keith Slettedahl, pianist Adam Merrin, bassist Todd O’Keefe and drummer Anthony Zimmitti, created their album while touring worldwide with Ray Davies of The Kinks.

The 11-track EP features songs that embody the Californian laid back melodies once heard on “The OC,” but also contains the high-energy rhythms that resemble the rawness of live music.

The opening track “They Ought To See You Now,” which includes back-up vocals by Ray Davies, consists of pleasantly jarring rifts of the guitar and lively beats of the drums. At times, the song resembles the blues with the eclectic sounds of the guitar, and at other points the music of Broadway shows with theatrical leading vocals, accompanied by harmonized back up singing.

Tracks, such as “After Hours,” “Dead On The Water” and “Automatic Brain” harbor the similar aspects of the leading number. The 88 dexterously include over-the-top sounds of the guitar, base, piano and voice without overwhelming the listener, keeping the band at the forefront of the rock and pop world.

Nothing is more pleasant than a rock band singing a ballad. Reminiscent of the slowed paced tracks sung by the grunge bands of the 90s, “Takes It Away” adds the passionate love lyrics and folk flare to the 11-track EP, bringing the self-titled album full circle.

“The 88” by The 88

RATING: ¾ stars

Label: Rocket Science

Released: Sept. 28

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