Before They Sold Out may sound like wishful thinking for an indie pop band from Chicago. But with fun.'s ascendancy, it seems like power pop has earned itself a revival.
And Common Shiner, with time, just may earn itself a place in fun.'s echelon. As I've stated elsewhere on the blog, pop music has its time and place, and I'm happy to share it with you when deserved.
Before They Sold Out is very much a debut album, but I see a lot of potential in it. The thing about this style of music is, the lyrics have to be tight. Otherwise, the songs just fade into supermarket music. The album starts off strong with "Sharks!", mostly for its imaginative use of the metaphor. The next several songs are a little tedious until we get to "Oh, The Optimist," a sleeper earworm. The thing's been stuck in my head for the last three days, even though I hadn't listened to the album for many days. "Social Mediasochist" also reaches Gaslight Anthem-levels of intensity and lyrical coherence.
Sometimes, Common Shiner is a little too clever for its own good (i.e., "The Cup Runneth Sober") Others, they reach but don't quite find the moment they're looking for. But this album is a good start, and I look forward to watching these gents improve their craft. I hope they get to the point where they can, indeed, sell out.
Common Shiner -- Bandcamp, Facebook, Free EP on Noisetrade