The Producers
[Portrait NJR 37097]

If the term "power pop" hadn't lost aptness through abuse and overuse, the Producers assured, engaging first album might define the phrase.

The songs rock hard but serve well crafted, often indelible melodies; the lyrics are clever throwaways that beat some generally uplifting banality into mind and pulse. Like Zander/Nielsen, Twilley, Doug Fieger or the less self-conscious Nick Lowe, these boys have absorbed the whole history of Good Guy Rock and Roll into their collective bloodstream; and like progenitors B. Holly, the Everly Brothers, the Beatles and the Hollies, they can build a catchy tune, then dress it up employing unerring vocal "ooh-oohs", the correctly distorted guitar, and effective shifts in rhythm.

If bands are only as good as their drummers, this one is blessed with one tough player in Bryan Holmes, whose deftness, variety and power never flag in supporting musicians who play with the fortunate desperation of being a real BAND. When they returned here for a fine homecoming and encored with Beatles' songs, their energy and goodheartedness earned them the right to aspire to such heights.

This may not be the LP for those of us who think rock and roll is more than entertainment, yet it's a group of songs with the near narcotic power that demands to be played again and again.

- Paul Evans