First Base – ‘Not That Bad’ (Drunken Sailor Records) Print
Written by Dom Daley   
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 04:00

First Base artworkPower poppin' delicious, First Base are right smack bang on the money with 'Not That Bad'. From the moment 'Crybaby' slams out of the speakers, this game is on and it hurtles through some awesome tunes full of great gang vocals guitar stabs, thumping basslines and smooth as milkshake guitar solos. 'Eastchester Avenue' is a fine follow up as it rattles along with that thumping bass puncturing the dreamy vocals as the drums crash bang and wallop.


Power pop is a fine line between getting it right and failing miserably.  You can mix in an amount of snot 'n' attitude, but too much or too little and it doesn't sound right; but, here, First Base can fumble away because they are on the money. 'Sandra' is familiar, like you've heard this before waaayyy back, but you know you haven't, such is the comfortable feeling the band put you in.  A chorus you can't help but sing along to as you imagine how hot this Sandra is – boy, she must be smokin'!


I love the floor tom thump of the Bolan boogie on 'Cookin' Up Trouble': the fact is that it's absolutely right and fitting to add some T Rex to proceedings. The understated solo, is excellent just like the riff.  I don't know what they are putting in the water in Canada, but man do those cats know how to pen power pop?  Toronto is the go-to place for this kinda rock ‘n’ roll, and they do it so well. The title track will put a smile on even the most miserable face - and then to follow it up with 'Busboy Job': that is like The Ramones never went away - just chewed more bubblegum and learnt to play a bit better.


Who writes a song called 'Ding Dang Dong'? Try keeping a straight face presenting that one to the rest of your band. Dang-a-ding-dong’ why aren’t there more goofy titled songs out there? Who gives a shit what it’s called… it rocks and rolls and makes perfect sense to me.  You wanted the slow love song? Well, move along, because you won't find it here, because this album flows nicely and to tag on a tearjerker would blow it; so, instead, First Base mix up some Beach Boys with some lighter sided Ramones and skip off into the sunset knowing they've just penned an album that's bursting with great songs wrapped up in a great sound, all put together with a great sympathetic production job - and have a bonafide winner on their hands.


Turn up your speakers have yourself a cold one and enjoy the music. I did.


‘Not That Bad’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.


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