ARTIST: Material Issue
TITLE: International Pop Overthrow
YEAR RELEASED: 1991
CHART ACTION: #86
SINGLES: Valerie Loves Me (#3 Modern), Diane (#6 Modern), Renee Remains the Same
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No
LINEUP: Jim Ellison, Ted Ansani, Mike Zelenko
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Chicago-area power poppers make a retro sounding record, and it sounds fresh in 1991.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Recorded in the studio the Shoes owned (in Zion, IL), Material Issue’s debut album mines the same fertile power-pop ground as their mentors, but with a little more modern sound. Still, the album sounded like it came from a couple decades past.
There are definite high points here. Every song named after a woman (and there are four of them) is a winner, especially “Diane”, which is infectious and hooky. Also, the title track has some nice moments, a fiercer guitar, a faux UK accent, and great harmonies.
While the sound is still enjoyable, the overall album has some tracks that just aren’t up to scratch, sounding like second-drafts or copies of their hits. Still, for the best songs, it’s a good one to have around to remind yourself of the joys of power pop.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The Shoes’ Jeff Murphy produced this.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Some B-sides have been appended.
GRADE: B+: The lesser tracks knock this down a couple of notches, but the best songs are fun and joyful.