Feel The Noise - Paul Collins (Alive Natural Sound)
Who knows if there was a pitch to the label? If there was, it probably went something like this: Find a gap in powerpop troubadour Paul Collins’ crazy schedule, put him in the studio with garage production king Jim Diamond and the house band for Detroit’s Ghetto Recorders, give them a cases of beer and let the music flow.
Collins (The Beat, the Nerves, The Breakaways) writes perfect rocking’ guitar pop like hipsters steal oxygen. It’s in his DNA; he has equals but there’s nobody better. A good proportion of these songs would be mainstream hits in a more enlightened and less disposable time.
Three minutes of your time is all each of these songs need. Some of them need less but that’s only because they’re shorter. Give them a play and they’ll be working their way into that part of the brain that demands you hit the replay button in less time that it takes to type The King Of Power Pop.
The title track leads the album and frankly it pales by comparison with what follows. Collins’ reverb-laden voice calls the band to arms. It sounds like a half-finished glam anthem without the football terrace chorus but it’s forgotten by the time you’re halfway through the one that follows. “Only Girl” is a concise, taught little pop rocker that goes right to the heart of the matter: Hooks. It’s right up there with Collins’ best and underlines why he deserves to be a household name.
And so it goes. There’s the massively catchy “All Eyes To See”, the Buddy Holly-esque “Baby I’m in Love With You”, the bouncy “Don’t Know How To Treat A Lady” and the imploring but vibrant “Little Suzy”. The title track, replete with references to listening to sounds on an old radio (where have we heard that before?), lands smack-bang in the middle of the dropzone as well.
The mood switches to introspection on the aching “A Girl Like You”, cunningly placed in the middle of the record, while closer “Walk Away” showcases Collins’ ability to nail a timeless ballad. There’s also a storming cover of “Reach Out I’ll Be There” - an altogether appropriate choice considering the city in which the album was recorded.
Producer Diamond (bass) and drummer David Shettler (SSM, Scott Morgan and Andre Williams) are the ideal engine room with Eddie Baranek (The Sights) chipping in with guitar on three tracks and Nikki Corvette guesting on vocals on another.
Is there a reason you’re not clicking on the link below and ordering this sucker?