Frank Soda

Frank Soda & the Imps

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The attention that Frank Soda and the Imps received from their live release paid off in a record deal from Toronto label Quality. On the surface, it certainly seems like some of the band's prog tendencies were sanded off by the studio experience; in fact, some of the tracks lean more towards more generic hard rock ("Toxic Takeover" smells a little like Deep Purple), and even new wave (key tracks like "Take My Picture Please" and "High Times" have a cleaner, more upbeat quality that wouldn't have seemed out of place on an album by, oh, let's say The Knack). There's even the obligatory early-'80s genre exercise in "I'm in Business," which fuses a reggae riff to power pop and winds up sounding more than just a bit forced. While a lot of the dumb rock fun remains, there's something a bit hollow about a lot of the material here. For example, "Beginnings" starts out with some delicately-played classical guitar, but soon after, it degenerates into a plodding epic proto-hair metal number. Not even Soda himself seemed to be feeling the love anymore, because this was the only studio album that Frank Soda and the Imps recorded together; Soda went solo shortly afterwards. (Note: Though the label lists the album title as Frank Soda and the Imps, Frank himself refers to it as "Soda Pop" on his website, and it's easy enough to see why when you take a look at the cover graphic, showing Frank holding up a large pop can.)

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