Recording information: ARW Studios (12/2014).
Up until this album, Peach Kelli Pop was the solo project of White Wires drummer Allie Hanlon. She recorded the snappy, silly, punky pop sweets by herself, playing all the instruments and doing all the singing. It worked delightfully well on the first two PKP albums, but for her third she decided to branch out a little, roping in some friends (like Katy Goodman of La Sera) to help out, and getting former Dios member Joel Jerome to record it. The result is that Peach Kelli Pop III has a little more kick, better fidelity, and more of a live-band-playing-in-a-room feel than anything Hanlon has done yet. This boost in production values could have sucked the life out of her sound, making it feel pro and polished. Fortunately, nothing like that happens. There is more power and punch to the drums and guitars, along with some actual low end, but the innocent charm of Hanlon's songs remains intact, as does the scrappy, loose, and fun attitude that's been part of the project since the beginning. So it's more of a slight upgrade than a revamp, a subtle tweak that helps the songs hit a little harder and sink in a little deeper. That Hanlon wrote a few songs (the defiant feminist anthem "Big Man," the aching ballad "Please Come Home") about serious issues helps out in that regard too. Still, anyone looking for the usual batch of pop culture cute ("Sailor Moon," "Nude Beach") and frolicsome ("Bat Wings," "Princess Castle 1987") will not be disappointed at all. Neither will anyone who likes their pop a little punky and their punk very, very poppy. ~ Tim Sendra