Superjaded

An Inch Below E

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Power pop has taken on many different forms over the years, but it has never gone out of style. Looking back on the history of rock, one realizes that power pop can be relevant to anything from British Invasion rock (the Beatles, the Kinks) and hard rock (Cheap Trick, Sweet) to punk (the Ramones, the Damned, the Dickies) and new wave (Blondie, the Knack). And in the alternative rock field, the basic power pop recipe -- pop melody and rockin' aggression -- has worked for everyone from No Doubt to Oasis to Elastica to Courtney Love and Hole (who gave themselves a power pop makeover on 1998's Celebrity Skin). Although Superjaded doesn't sound like any of those artists, the Seattle band offers additional proof that power pop has a place in alternative rock. An Inch Below E, Superjaded's debut album, has all of the angst of alternative rock and all of the melodic appeal of power pop. Produced by Jon Plum -- a producer/engineer who has worked with Blind Melon, Candlebox, and Hammerbox, among others -- this CD combines a strong appreciation for the Smashing Pumpkins with various Seattle influences. Angst-ridden tracks like "Shrimpin' With Jo," "Luv I," and "Bleeding Angel" aren't groundbreaking or terribly original, but they're easy to get into if you like hearing bright, shiny melodies combined with dirty guitars and dark, cynical lyrics. Admirers of alternative power pop will find An Inch Below E to be a decent effort even though it falls short of mind-blowing.