The Plus Ones

It's a Calling

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This Bay Area quartet is doomed to be lumped in with the punk-pop crowd, which is unfair. Where they really live is somewhere between power pop and plain old straight-ahead rock & roll. Featuring former members of both the Mr. T Experience and Pansy Division, the Plus Ones don't shy away from gloriously simplistic hooks ("All the Boys"), big old emo gestures ("It's Not You, It's Me"), or shameless retro-rockishness ("Nowhere to Go But Up"). There's a faint whiff of vintage Elvis Costello to "Lips That Never Will Touch Mine," and a somewhat stronger whiff of car-commercial classic rock to "Touring in the Fall." These are all compliments. The Plus Ones' debut album is one of the more impressive pop efforts of 2002.

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