Power pop is still alive, well and thoroughly hooky in Northwestern Illinois, as the Gilligans demonstrate on their second full-length release, My Name Is Willy. Leading off with the energetic rocker " "I Wanna Wear Your Sunshine," My Name Is Willy serves up ten short and sweet tunes about girls and good times, and if there isn't much that's strikingly original in their formula, there's no doubt that the Gilligans seriously love classic guitar-based pop and they play it with affection, skill and high spirits. "She's a Boomerang" is one of the better lyrical metaphors for a gal who can't make up her mind, "I Want to Be Your Loving Man" adds some vintage R&B moves to the mix, "In a Flash" is a clever throwback to British glam of the '70s, and the psychedelic guitar figures in "Fireflies in a Jar" are exciting and well-rendered. Lead guitarist Todd Borsch's eclectic approach makes him the star of the show, but David Krieger and Scott Pellican are a tight and powerful rhythm section who lend him rock-solid support, and Dan McKenzie is a tuneful vocalist with a welcome touch of swagger. In the classic style, My Name Is Willy runs a scant 33 minutes from start to finish, but the Gilligans make the most of every moment, and anyone who still digs crunchy, hooky guitars from the Midwest should find some room for this album in between spins of your aging Raspberries LPs. Points added for the absence of both islands and guys named Willy in these songs.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming