Pleasantly diverting power pop...
So what’s a fresh faced, nostalgia-totin’ US power pop act like The Dives doing in a mag like Sentinel Daily?
It’s a good question, and I’m glad you’ve asked it. Y’see, The Dives – who are, indeed, a fresh-faced power pop outfit – are fronted by non other than Evan Stanley, son of the Godlike Paul, and therefore have to be of at least passing interest to all of us, right?
Well, whether you agree or not, we’re having a listen and, yes, it has to be said, Evan has definitely picked up his dad’s ear for a tune. Opening track Make it Like the Movies is the strongest track here, being a sort of My Sharona for the twenty first century. Chunky riffs and big choruses are the order of the day, these two lynchpins being backed up with some nifty – and, dare I say it, Gene Simmonsesque – bass playing from Sergio Ortega.
Second track Anticipation mines the new wave’s obsession with fifties rock n’roll – you could imagine leathered-up heartthrobs The Romantics recording this song – with pretty pleasing results, especially in the guitar solo, which comes straight outta the Elliot Easton playbook. The title track of this bijou pleasurette has a whiff of Joe Jackson and Squeeze in its lovelorn storytelling, whilst closing song Man, Oh Mandy bounces along as probably the weakest of the quartet on offer but is still pleasant enough nonetheless.
There’s a lot of this stuff about at the moment – much of it of a heavier bent, and thus probably designed to appeal more to people like us (Cats in Space and The Nightflight Orchestra spring to mind, as well as fellow Yanks Gene the Werewolf), but there’s a fair amount to like about The Dives nevertheless. It’s certainly worth thirteen minutes and ten seconds of your time, anyway – so why not give it a listen?
The Dives’ new EP, Everybody’s Talkin’ is out now on WHY! Recordings.