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The Windbreakers | Time Machine (Paisley Pop)
Funny isn't it, that you can claim to be knowledgeable about a certain musical genre, and then an album comes along that not only blows your socks off but proves that - actually - you've heard nothin' yet. Take The Windbreakers, the Mississippi-based power pop duo of Bobby Sutliff and Tim Lee - who started out in 1982. I have to admit, they had passed me by and the loss was mine. Time Machine gathers together twenty years of jangly, percussive, spine-chilling power pop that deserves to stand alongside the very best of the genre - to my mind, Cheap Trick, the dBs, Greg Kihn etc. If you haven't heard of this wonderful band before, 'Time Machine' is a good enough place to start. It's choc-full of Roger McGuinn-style Rickenbacker-based songs like the singalong classic I'll Be There, with its wall of sound, Spectorish drums; New Red Shoes, with cascading piano and a niggly little guitar riff and Off And On, which is basically an A-to-Z of power pop. Apart from the odd drop in sound quality - inevitable, really when compiling from stuff recorded twenty years or so ago - the twenty tracks here are a fantastic insight into a band that will no doubt have passed many of us by on this side of the pond. Oh, and if you're still undecided about whether to invest your well-earned dosh in this little gem here's the decider - power pop god Mitch Easter plays on eleven songs and has been heavily involved in the production of many. That's it then. Great group, lousy name, who cares?