Power pop

A criminally underrated songwriter: Matthew Sweet’s Catspaw reviewed

Grade: A– The early 1990s were a lovely time for rock music: Beck, Sparklehorse, Sugar, Green on Red and Royal Trux. I wish I’d savoured it all more at the time, not realising that Damon and Noel would come along decked in Union Jacks and suffocate us with the precious (Damon) and the oafish (Noel). There was Matthew Sweet’s first album, too — Girlfriend; the missing link between Big Star and Neil Young. He is a criminally underrated songwriter, but then power pop has never found much traction over here since the fab four called it a day. Sweet is an engaging soul with a self-deprecation that occasionally teeters into

The last great purveyors of a vanishing art form: Green Day’s Fathers of All… reviewed

Grade: B+ It is an eternal mystery to me why Britain has never had much time for power pop, seeing as we gave this often charming genre to the world through the Beatles and, to a lesser extent, Badfinger. But we never really swung for it, post-Abbey Road. When power pop had its mild renaissance in late ’78, we looked away, bored, tugged by disco on the one hand and po-faced boring angular post-punk on the other. The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ — the epitome of power pop — got in the charts, sure. But there was no groundswell. In the USA it was different. Almost everything labelled punk that wasn’t