The Copyrights

Make Sound

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If you're in the mood for fun and simple power pop-punk, there's really no need to look any further than Carbondale, IL's the Copyrights. Just as their first two records proved, you don't need fancy studio tricks or even much variation on a few chords to make an irresistible album that's exploding with enthusiasm, smarts, and enough hooks to keep you moving and singing along for, well, at least 30 minutes. Make Sound is a summertime record, perfect for driving around with the windows down and dancing like an idiot. The sound of a cassette tape being popped in opens the record (and the tape nicely flips over after track seven), ushering in the Copyrights' brightest and poppiest set yet. Tracks like "Knee Deep" and "Thinking with the Lights On" are catchy blasts of energy, but this time it's in a way not quite so indebted to Ben Weasel and company. They've got their own sound. So sure, the album is a bit more pop than punk -- and the production is way cleaner -- but the same muscle and spirited restlessness power through these songs as always. "Kids of the Blackhole" is the anthem for anyone stuck in a small town, living paycheck to paycheck and loving it, while the singsongy chorus of "The Company" makes maliciousness sound like fun. There's a lot more thought going into these 14 straightforward tracks than one might initially think, yet the Copyrights never take themselves too seriously -- take the good-natured humor of "Planet Earth Nineteen-Ninety-Four," where "We made excuses to not like Green Day/But we wore the tape out anyway/What our friends don't know won't hurt them/Of course they were doing the same thing." And ultimately it's that natural mixture of fun and smarts that makes the guys so likable and their record stand out among their pop-punk peers. Good, good stuff.

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