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Although they threatened to establish themselves among the powerhouses of the power pop movement across a string of genuinely excellent 45s, the Flys ultimately emerged as disappointingly underachieving as every other band in that benighted bracket. Far from the coruscating catchiness of their best-known numbers ("Love and a Molotov Cocktail" and "Waikiki Beach Refugees," both available on their debut), Own buzzes with misguided energy, a succession of songs that seem exciting enough the first time you hear them, but never recapture that feeling again. It was a common problem within the genre. The guilt-by-association of the Buzzcocks notwithstanding, power pop -- like pop itself -- was a singles-driven medium. Drawn out across an entire LP, even the most hook-driven sound can swiftly start to pale and, only when one isolates the handful of tracks where the Flys do kick into gear does a very different vista unfurl. That the bulk of these appear among the bonus tracks -- best of all, the latter-day singles "We Are the Lucky Ones" and "What Will Mother Say" -- only reinforces the actual album's own failings, just as it echoes those of power pop as a whole. A Flys singles collection would be a wonder to behold. Like a lost latter-day Knack LP, Own is for completists only.

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