Power pop never really goes out of style; there’s always a need for high-energy feel-good music based on falling in or out love. Perth, Australia-based The Stanleys are as good as anyone else in the genre and their nifty little four-cut EP is full of pop happiness. “Always” applies soaring guitars to the earthy process of meeting a new girl. “You’ll always be the way” croons the singer to the chorus and while there’s really no evidence things won’t change, at this stage who’s really looking for hard evidence? “What Are We Gonna Do” turns down the fuzz box and tackles the nearly adult question of “We’ve Fallen in love, now what do we do with it?” and tosses it over their shoulders. It’s not like things have gotten to the diapers and SUV stage, so there’s still time to dance the night away.
Dancing is the theme of track three, “Kid’s Gonna Rock.” Now the mood switches to “We’re gonna make it if we try,” and you sense a touch of reality is infiltrating the happiness. “Raise your fist with me” might sound like good times exuberance, but the obsessing is fading and now you’re looking for outside validation even though people say “such a cute couple!” Dark power chords open the final track “My World,” and the line “you tell a lie…” lurks here. I think maybe the dramatic arc is complete, the singer emotes “I won’t wait for yesterday” and there’s something about Facebook and Tweeting and rejection, and disarray isn’t far off.
The Stanleys have some strong songwriting skills, a great delivery and maybe just the warning soundtrack you need for a first date. Just don’t call the other party’s attention to the lyrics. No point in jinxing anything good.