We’re still waiting for the jury to come back on whether the band name, Music Band, is one of the worst in recent history or pure Meta brilliance. Regardless, the fact that Celebration, the Nashville trio’s third LP, is pure rock and roll bliss is beyond debate.
Across 10 tracks, the group flawlessly dips in and out of power pop, garage rock, New Wave and bar room jams and despite the disparate genres they lean into from track to track, they still manage to pull it off with a deep cohesiveness reminiscent of an era when a band recorded albums vs simply collecting enough singles to slap onto an LP.
Despite calling Nashville home, there is not a whiff of the Jack White/Black Keys “we only play on vintage instruments” nostalgia Blues to their music; nor do they rock signature hats and call themselves an Americana band simply because of geography. But those are about the only musical subgenres that don’t show up on this record. Music Band sticks to a solid pretension-free rock format that gives the occasional subtle nod to folks like Cheap Trick and Fountains Of Wayne. There is also enough fuzzy guitar riffs and sludginess on some of the tracks to remind you of garage rock, but it’s their knack for stuffing their songs with sharp hooks, melody and catchy choruses that tell you deep down they have a strong jones of pop music. Elsewhere, on songs like “Unknown Pleasure” and the stellar album closer “Over and Over” they throw in New Wave guitars and trippy backing vocals.
The band has come a long way since 2014’s Can I Live, a quirky, but overall decent debut. Over the course of two more albums, Music Band has grown more confident with their playing; Harry Kagan’s vocals have evolved immensely and lyrically they are in fresh new territory. With Celebration, Music Band has taken an impressive step forward…still not sold on the name though.