Office seem to fall somewhere between The Cure, U2, and The B52s, which puts them in a league with The Editors and The Killers. Good company to keep. Especially since they’re a lot more like the latter: Solid arena rock with an emphasis on fun. And speaking of company, album track “Company Calls” is a
solid single, featuring anthemic soaring guitars and grand keyboard swells, a nice hook, and big, rock-and-roll-hootchie-coo vocals. The rest of “A Night At The Ritz” is equally infectious. “Q&A” is a fun, bouncy ditty that makes you want to smile and whistle at the same time. On the whole, lead singer/writer Scott Masson tends towards staccato guitar and vocal lines that alternates between singing and speaking (but never rapping) and use slight effect, much like many of the new wavers the band is clearly influenced by. But unlike the ‘80s styles, Mr. Masson uses different effects on each song so you get a little Flock of Seagulls here, a little Blow Monkeys there, a tad of Yaz over here . . . And he’s able to do this without making the album sound like a hodge podge. A collection of singles, yes, because almost every cut is strong, but not a disconnected mess. And he doesn’t break my cardinal rule of pop: Songs should be 4 or 5 minutes, tops. Pop is not pretentious.
The sole weak track, “Paralized (sp.) Prince” veers too close to ELO and Queen, what with its extreme falsetto hook and emphasis on trebly keyboard lines. It is the most derivative and least interesting cut on the record—a single dog among otherwise great pop N roll. And it should not discourage you from purchasing this very fine debut.
Coming in September from Scratchie/New Line Records, with my highest recommendation.