Who It Is: Pope – Fiction; Community Records / Funeral Sounds (Hey, that’s us!) (2015)
What It Sounds Like: Pavement, Rozwell Kid, ovlov
If Pope were a Clickhole article, their headline would read “Cool Rocker Kids Buy Fuzz Pedals And You Won’t Believe What Happens Next”. Their ear for fast paced melody mixed with inaudibly clear guitars creates a fun, lighthearted yet intriguing headspace on their debut record Fiction.
With no fear in head nodding, Pope show inklings towards many of their favorite records. “Laptop’s House” sounds like an early Dinosaur Jr. track while “Parties” has a bass line that feels very Pavement influenced but lyrically is a more mature take on Blink-182’s “The Party Song”. What sets Pope aside from the tons of bands simply emulating their favorites lies in what they do with the blueprints. Where many bands would take the blueprints of their favorites and try to write songs like them, Pope take a first glance at the blueprints, proceed to burn them and start writing songs from scratch based on what they remember.
In this dysfunctional process they create a record that is altogether nostalgic while all the while innovative. Their comfort in playing around with confusing dichotomy is evident in songs like “Will Taylor” and “Bug”; fluid rhythms, whispered vocals and melodic confidence allow Pope the space to be referential while, for lack of better term, groovy.
As a band that works best in the subtleties of clipping signals and relentless head pounding, a track like “Andy” shows Pope are no slaves to their influences. Melodically self-referential to the album’s lead-single “Let Down”, it serves as a lullaby to sew the album’s ends to nothing more than fiction. This record is a challenge of debating the real, the referential and the understanding of innovation as a result of prior people’s progression. And then being loud and fast as fuck in the process.
You Should Probably Listen To: “Let Down”, “Fast Eddy”, “Parties”
Overall Rating: 7.2/10