When most people hear the word pop they think of the latest karaoke singer to win American Idol. Most people, that is, besides Daryl Palumbo. Contemporary American pop is so tasteless and phony, says the 27-year-old frontman for New York quintet Head Automatica. Thats why no one in America wants to say theyre in a pop band. So many kids who start pop-punk bands insist theyre not pop. To them I say, You dont even know what pop is. Youve grown up with fucking Blink-182 forced down your throat. Whereas I want to be in a pop band.
To Palumbo, true pop music is the unbridled melodic craftsmanship and punk energy of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Squeeze, Nick Lowe and Rockpile, and Graham Parker and the RumourBritish smartypants who set off the power-pop mod revival in the late 70s with their highly literate and impassioned songwriting. That backbeat-influenced sound is the thematic touchstone for Head Automaticas new album Popagandaa flat out tour-de-force of big, thick singalongs, with in-your-ear guitars and superpunchy drums. But while the band tip their hat to their favorite music; they have also created something very modern. Popaganda is a product of its influences without being derivativea huge achievement at a time when it seems like every young band wants to sound like its heroes.