The Rockwells

The Rockwells

The Rockwells

Tear It Down

Migrant Records

The great Knoxville power-pop band Superdrag has supposedly called it a day. But fortunately for us, there appears to be something in the water of that Tennessee town, as this quartet offers up a similar sensibility on their latest EP, Tear It Down.

Of course, it helps that Superdrag producer Don Coffee Jr. is along for the ride (he recorded and mixed the EP). Drummer Trace Bateman even steals the drum break from Superdrag’s “Baby Goes to 11” on the album’s opener, “Breakout.” The rest of The Rockwells add a touch of psychedelia and an off-kilter approach. “Lonesome No More” is a punchier track with kinda dorky vocals.

Songs like “Theme From Miss Signal” are imperfect, but in a winningly earnest way. The Rockwells don’t sound fully formed yet, and they haven’t acquired the jaded or cocky stance of a lot of rock bands. Brothers Jonathan and Fred Kelly supply the gang harmony vocals on “Lou Says,” which sounds like something from The Beatles’ mid-’60s period. And the yearning acoustic ballad “Letter To Maria” is a nice set closer. The only misstep here is “Another Country Song,” a sing-songy dud that wears out its welcome with substandard vocals.

Still, those missing the sweet and crunchy sound of Superdrag could do a lot worse than picking up this EP by some like-minded fellow Knoxvillians.

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