Anthemic Pop Wonder
Judging by their new sound, Anthemic Pop Wonder would like to pretend that their first album never happened. While their last effort was an exercise in what kind of songwriting and recording techniques to avoid, Party Tarts is a miraculous improvement • a solid foundation of simple guitar rock, although by no means is it a masterpiece. Like a top-heavy tree, it’s got the necessary components, but it just can’t stand up on its own. Unfortunately, this six-song EP doesn’t really reflect the band’s ambitious moniker, as it is neither pop nor anthemic. It is, for what it’s worth, a small bit of calculated rock n’ roll.
It sounds like Anthemic Pop Wonder was really trying its hardest to fit a rock n’ roll mold, right down to the solo-guitar intro, which five of the six tracks contain. The tunes are simultaneously endearing and bland, comprised in such a way that they’re good for a few listens but don’t contain much to hold on to. Choruses are frequently flubbed, evidenced by how the title track’s irritating clapping and chant of “we want the party tarts, party tarts, party tarts” does a remarkable job of ruining an otherwise-decent song. In fact, with its tumbling chorus and Dylan-meets-Counting-Crows vocals, the best song on the album, “Shots At Disbelief,” is marked by its complete non-resemblance to the rest of Party Tarts. Anthemic Pop Wonder has undoubtedly come a long way, but if their name is any indication, they’re still far too ambitious for their product.