Blue Sky Roadster

The Magnificent Seven Social Club

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The Magnificent Seven Social Club Review

by Charles Hodgkins

On this seven-song EP, Blue Sky Roadster doesn't shy away one bit from displaying its guitar-driven power pop influences on its collective sleeve. Perhaps there's a bit more wah-wah and overall crunch here than the McDonald brothers ever employed on any Redd Kross record -- or perhaps not -- but if imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then the Redd Krosses, Matthew Sweets, and Posies of the world probably executed a series of joyful back flips upon first hearing this, Blue Sky Roadster's 1997 debut. Vocalist/guitarist Todd Herfindal (formerly of the Thrill Pillows) is a capable songwriter, but his greatest strength is his supreme sense of vocal melody on undulating tracks such as "Can't Believe in You," the despondent rocker "Nowhere Town," and the wah-heavy "Strange Gray Eyes," a song whose ascending vocal line doesn't so much recall Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" as it defiantly reclaims it from classic rock radio. Awash in lap steel, the lilting, five-plus minute "Breaking" delineates The Magnificent Seven Social Club's distortion-happy guitar pop, gracefully separating the succinct pop statements it precedes and follows. Guitarist Clay Bell and drummer David Kostiner would depart the band following Magnificent Seven's release, with the latter turning up behind Creeper Lagoon's drum kit the following year.

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