"Hello, Hello"

(Prison Jazz Records 2005)A-Sides - Hello, Hello

Perhaps the suit wearing Philly retro rockers The A-Sides' took a drive to the Jersey shore before recording their first full length release, "Hello, Hello." The Beach Boys' influence over the album's poppy 60s songs is unmistakable as the quartet carefully blends vocal harmonies to match that of their muses. Regardless, The A-Sides are focused and put together for an extremely clean sound that is also instrumentally unforgiving, but that is not a problem on "Hello, Hello."

Foot stomping leads into the upbeat "Sidewalk Chalk" as it rides on the wave of a catchy melody while "Everybody Knows The Way" bounces as horns flare on the feel good tune. The haunting "Greetings" is light and stripped down, giving a much different feel from other tracks. The band focus on structure as "Sorry Cloud" builds up, driving and extending the song with gentle repetition. Late 60s style guitar riffs lead the quick moving "Jump Back Jack" as the band sashay to soft surf rhythms for "Umbrella" and simultaneously tip their hats to The Hollies. The piano plinking "I'll Come Back" builds up to a smooth melody for a memorable and well crafted song. The lightly psychedelic edged songs "Only Michelle," where the band highlights their vocal harmonies, and the spaced-out buzz of "Here Or There" keep in the album's unstated theme.

The A-Sides keep "Hello, Hello" focused and on the ball. While their sound remains clear in its jumble of influences that you can practically pick out, the band generally make it work. "Hello, Hello" is a welcome change in both style and sound.


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