Little John

Derailer

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The huge success in the mid-1990s of bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day sent record labels scrambling for their own entries in the melodic punk sweepstakes. EMI's entry was Little John, and there's really no reason why their one album shouldn't have done better than it did. It opens with the absolutely glorious title track, a perfect amalgam of crunchy power chords and soaring, cathartic melody. On "Scared," they sound a bit like a younger, snottier version of Crowded House; "Evel Knievel" is almost as good in its headlong rush as "Derailer"; "Fell From the Sun" sounds like a pop-punk tribute to Icarus. Songwriter Seth Freeman's voice is nothing to write home about, but at least he doesn't sing with a fake British accent like Billie Joe Armstrong does. You'll find this one in the bargain bins, and when you do, snag it. It was a bargain at list price.

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