Ah, Philadelphia, city of brotherly love! And you might come to love this little power pop five piece — it’s clean, bouncy, and the sort of low wattage music that you can drop into the player as you drive all the way from Philly to Pittsburgh.
2nd Grade come out strong on Easy Listening with a quick pop workout, “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” It’s not like that earlier operation from the ’70s, but it’s quick, fun, and ends with a little bit of hum, a sign that poor wiring can actually make you a better rocker. Three vocalists feature in this five-piece band, so everyone gets a turn on the mic from either Catherine Dwyer, Peter Gill, or Dave Settles. Another exciting track is “Teen Age Overpopulation.” It offers the curmudgeonly advice, “we should never have given them smartphones.” That’s a fact I can get behind, and it’s indicative of the playful writing that fills this project.
This band is a sold mix of clever lyrics, hummable pop tunes, and surprisingly good songwriting. I can’t cover all of the 16 tracks here, but each is filled with snarky lyrics and good time story telling. Tune this in and apply attention to the words — they are as much fun as you can have with headphones on.