Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Krinkles: 21st Century Masters?

KrinklesThe Krinkles
3: The Mordorloff Collection

By: Rinjo Njori

If the album cover from The Krinkles' latest album looks familiar it's because the cover is a pretty faithful recreation of the 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection, the most successful Canadian Greatest Hits series of all time. Regardless of the "wink and nod" art work The Krinkles are coming off their own self imposed hiatus. For the unitiated, the Chicago four piece has been around for roughly a decade and released two previous albums, Three Ringos and Revenge of The Krinkles.

The new album delivers a fairly even mix of "Power Pop Punk Rock". The anthemic "Today is The Day's" contains less sneer and scowl then your average pop punk. The feel good, positive lyrics work well with the music. Especially when you consider other songs like "Dirty Girl" that has the same energy with decidedly darker overtones. This might make it harder to separate the more humorous songs from the "serious" songs. "Best Friend" examines the concept of a platonic love song, ideal for the average guy's "bro-mance." Considering a few tracks here sound like Weezer, it wouldn't be unfair to call this River and Matt's theme song.

"Gimme Gimme" is another decent track that is reminiscent of San Francisco's The Rubinoos. "Listen to the Future" captures that late 90s alternative sound. The Krinkles hinted at that sound on their previous two releases but were never able to achieve it with great effect. The chorus reminds me of a few songs from one hit wonder's Fastball. If there is one song on this album that might catch on based on sheer talent it is "Friday Night". The vocals and music come into perfect harmony. The song plays up that same magic formula that bands like Plain White T's have honed and turned into surprising commercial appeal. "So... Goodbye" and "Outerspace" are worth the price of admission. In five plus minutes they capture all the signature sounds of early 80s power pop. Rising vocals, one memorable solo, and inspirational vocals. These songs are demos but are clearly the strongest of fifteen tracks which make up 3: The Mordorloff Collection.

Like every other band that spreads themselves too thin, there are a few tunes that clearly shouldn't have made the cut. Prime examples here are "Stay With Me", which represents the "token" underwhelming love song, and the Weezer-esque take on bad metal that is "Blinded by Love". When The Krinkles slow things down the mistakes add up. Luckily the strength of the majority of the album makes these "low lights" less noticeable.

It's doubtful that The Krinkles could or would indulge this reviewer and write more songs with Springfield-esque chorus' like "So.. Goodbye" or the dramatic lyrical overtones on "Outerspace". More likely they will and should stick to the anthemic pop punk that holds 3: The Mordorloff Collection together. A couple of more albums like this might rate The Krinkles their very own 21st Century Masters Series. That is if the Canadians agree.

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!