First things first - try to get past the rather cheesy makeshift album sleeve to your right that my buddy Oxy slapped together. In all sincerity and actuality, this is a work that should not be gauged by it's cover. As for the band in question, late last spring I introduced you to a demo tape from a gaggle of reformed metalheads out of Regina, SK called Mrs. Svenson. I provided a few juicy details, such as how I heard that a proper full length was said to have been released in 1995, but little did I know at the time that wasn't quite the case. I soon came to find out that Mrs. Svenson recorded a handful of albums during their tenure, but besides this tape, precious little saw the light of day. Fortunately for us, one of our readers who happened to be part of Sevenson's coveted inner circle had access to some of this material, including finished versions of songs from the aforementioned demo and then some, that were to have comprised their debut album, Flood. Technically, Flood was first made available to the world at large on these very pages on January 11th. Even better, there was a whole 'nother album tracked in 1997 that I was given clearance to post. Enter: Rocktopussy.
If Flood was borderline punk-pop, Rocktopussy nibbled loosely at the fringes of power pop. As a whole, this record suggests what an intermingling of the Gin Blossoms and Crush-era Doughboys would culminate in. As mentioned in previous Mrs. Svenson, the vocals (belonging to Jarrod Kurlock, carrying over from the Flood lineup) often smack of Doughboys/All Systems Go mouthpiece John Kastner. Despite it's debaucheristic title, Rocktopussy is lean, clean...but not particularly mean. There's still plenty of crunchy riffs but it all goes down a little easier than the rawer bent of Flood. Kurlock's soaring, melodic leads ensure "The Natural," "Diamond Ring," and "The Sleep," earn their rightful spot in the Svenson time capsule. As "bonus tracks" of sorts, this collection winds down with an excellent (and comparatively unruly) rehearsal cut, "Pennies," that really should have been banged into shape as a contender for a full fledged album track. And BTW, the live Phil Collins cover is immensely ill advised. A big, huge thanks and round of applause goes out to Oxy for hooking me up with everything I'm able to present you with in this entry.
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