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The Wrong Words: The Wrong Words

Album Notes

Pop music is generally better when it's smart than when it's dumb, but there's a real danger when a band overthinks the nexus between melodic hooks and rock & roll energy, and one of the real pleasures of the Wrong Words' debut album is hearing an act that has the left brain/right brain balance worked out just right. Singer and guitarist Josh Miller, bassist Ajax Green, and drummer Layla Cooper sound like folks who have great record collections that they actually listen to and learn from, with plenty of classic '60s garage rock and pop, classic power pop, first wave punk rock, and some golden-era R&B for seasoning. All of these elements inform the songs on The Wrong Words, but the feel is natural, not forced, and the band plays with a tight precision that doesn't get in the way of the sheer sense of fun that bubbles under these performances. For all their obvious smarts, the Wrong Words never let their pop scholarship get in the way of their enthusiasm and simple love of the music, and between the chiming guitars, crash `n' bash rhythms, and eager harmonies, these folks aren't afraid to proclaim their joy from the first tune to the last. (They also understand that fun doesn't mean playing their music for laughs, and they make this stuff upbeat without descending into the sillies.) And the Wrong Words can write pop songs just as well as they can play them, and "Wrong Again," "Just the Right Place," and "Pay the Price" are compact gems that will go into heavy rotation in the Top 40 station of your mind after you give this a spin. Calling The Wrong Words an instant classic is certainly overstating the case, but with a debut so purely enjoyable and well crafted, this is one band that could very have one or two of those in their catalog if they play their cards right. ~ Mark Deming


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