Keygrip by Keygrip (Review)

Solid pop songs that can be driving and punchy, but also atmospheric and jangly.

I feel like a bit of a schmuck because I lost the info that Keygrip included with this recording. So I’m reviewing this CD without benefit of any knowledge of the band. Normally, I like to be able read a little bit about the band in order to get a better handle on their music. But that doesn’t seem to be a problem with Keygrip, as their sound is simple enough to grasp. And I mean that in a good way.

It seems obvious that these guys listen to a lot of Sugar, because both bands exhibit the same abilities for crafting solid pop songs that can be driving and punchy, but also atmospheric and jangly. The album starts off with the rollicking “Superhero,” which practically launches out of your speakers with guitars set on “super fuzzy.” “Lie and Bleed” alternates between mellower parts complete with flutes and drifting guitar notes and sections that are more aggressive and building. “Wishful Thinking” adds some effects and electronics into the mix, especially on the vocals and percussion, which seems a little out of place compared to the outright pop leanings of the earlier tracks.

The one thing that I often noticed with Sugar, and I notice it with Keygrip as well, is that all of the songs start to sound the same. The same guitar sounds, the same vocal phrasings and styles seem to pop up at least once on each track. But if you’re looking for solid powerpop, you don’t want to mess with the formula too much and I think Keygrip realizes this.