The Tell Alls

Feeding Frenzy

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Drummer/vocalist Ken Buono isn't an international mega-superstar or a huge name in the music world; it's safe to say that he would be able to wander all over the streets of Barcelona or Paris by himself without needing a bodyguard and without being hounded incessantly by countless autograph seekers. But in Philadelphia indie rock circles, Buono has his share of admirers. Those who follow the Philly rock scene closely know that Buono's long résumé includes such local bands as Flight of Mavis, Buzz Zeemer, Dragstrip Courage, Trolleyvox and Grand. And a name that he can be proud to add to that list is the Tell Alls, whose debut album, Feeding Frenzy, illustrates Buono's strong power pop instincts. Buono produced this 2004/2005 recording with Adam Lasus, known for his work with Juliana Hatfield, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Helium; Lasus helped the album sound good, but ultimately, there is no question that Feeding Frenzy is very much Buono's baby. In addition to playing drums and providing the lead vocals, he wrote all of the material, and much of that material underscores the fact that quality power pop, thankfully, is something that never goes away. Over the years, power pop has been a part of everything from the '60s British Invasion (the Beatles) to pop-metal (Cheap Trick, Sweet, Quiet Riot) to new wave (Blondie, the Knack, the Go-Go's) to alternative pop/rock (No Doubt, Letters to Cleo, Eve's Plum, Oasis, Hope 7). Buono approaches power pop from a jangly indie pop perspective, bringing plenty of infectiousness to rockers like "Can't Forget" and "Start a Commotion" as well as something more reflective such as the Tom Petty-ish "Through a Veil." Feeding Frenzy could have been a bit more consistent; many of the tracks are excellent, while a few miss the mark. But most of the time, Feeding Frenzy reminds us that Buono is a valuable part of the Philadelphia indie rock scene.

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