I used these words upon seeing EZTV during their opening slot for The Dream Syndicate a few months ago: “I have seen the future of power pop and it’s EZTV”. I immediately drew comparisons with The Flamin’ Groovies, Marshall Crenshaw and Big Star – and I was right. This Brooklyn-based trio has a richness of scope; they glide from the more uptempo power-pop to the wonderfully Chris Bell-influenced textured dreamy-style naturally and with ease.
So it comes to pass that they have delivered on what I thought a recorded document would sound like by them – Calling Out, their debut album, has a dozen pieces of power pop gold, going from one end of the spectrum to the other. Crisp, clean production, ethereal vocals, melody and structure at every turn – this is a grand slam. The first cut is an indication of great things to come; “Bury Your Heart” with its acoustic guitar intertwined with a wonderfully chorus-ed/phased guitar and some slightly off-kilter riffs thrown in is a perfect beginning – catchy, memorable and from another time but in the now. “Pretty Torn Up” is a riff-happy, chiming piece of lower-voltage Buzzcocks-meets-Groovies and “The Light” could be a lost cousin from Radio City. In that same thread, “Hard To Believe” has a Westerberg-feel (at his melancholic and melodic best). “Soft Tension” reminds me of The Rain Parade’s gentle psychedelic swirl in so many wonderful ways; “Trampoline” is another exercise of pure, concise mid-to-late ’70’s power pop and “Long Way To Go” has that fine-tuned riff/rhythmic precision that makes this band special – their ability to work their influences (which are plenty).
You can argue till the cows come home that the phrase “power pop” is getting tossed around far too easily. Maybe. But NOT with EZTV. They are the next generation carrying on this vital tradition steeped in quality, careful and yet accessible songwriting. And if you have a problem with that, you do, indeed, have a problem. Because EZTV have delivered on as perfect a “complete” pop album as one could hope – and this is only their premiere. And every now and then, I’m happy to say I was right. EZTV are the band.
Calling Out is available now