The 88 / Over and Over / CD Review

Moontron Records

You know, it’s incredibly refreshing when a modern band can release an album that actually sounds classic? California based The 88 have managed to do just that with their sophomore release Over and Over. With a combination of Beatles like melodies and glam rock flashes, The 88 have created something that’ll stick with you for days and have you humming along after first listen.

Guitarist/vocalist Keith Slettedahl’s vocals fluctuate from sounding like Tom Petty, Marc Bolan and eerily like Jellyfish’s Andy Sturmer. All the while, it still sounds consistent and fits perfectly within the context of the music. In much the same way as Jellyfish, The 88 really benefit from a spot on production job. The bottom end is nice and punchy and the piano shines in the mix. The guitars alternately jangle and crunch in all the right places. Producer Ethan Allen did a hell of a job here.

The Jellyfish comparisons stem from tracks like “Nobody Cares” and “Jesus is Good,” both of which could have appeared on the album Spilt Milk. “Bowls” contains a chorus and ending soundscape that’s reminiscent of early Pink Floyd while “Head Cut Off” sounds like late Beatles. Pretty much, every song on this album is a standout. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often.

The thing that makes this band so interesting is the fact that they aren’t afraid to experiment. This album contains so many sounds that simply don’t exist on most modern rock albums. For a second album, it sounds as if The 88 has 10 under their belt. Sadly, that’s what is probably going to keep the band from getting huge. In a world where bands like Hawthorne Heights and Fallout Boy are all the rage, where does a band so different fit in?

Simply put, Over and Over is how pop music should sound.