“Power pop” conjures up negative connotations amongst some music fans, perhaps because of the very nature of the word “pop” as opposed to “rock.” However, if you focus more on the power aspect and less on pop then things begin to look considerably more interesting. Combine that thought with the fact that the Beatles could arguably be considered the original power pop band, and it puts bands such as The Raskins in a very favorable light indeed.
The Raskins are identical twins Logan Raskin on vocals and Roger Raskin on guitar and vocals. The brothers also wrote, produced, engineered and mixed their debut album, simply titled The Raskins. The 12 track record is a collection of songs that are so well written and recorded that they are memorable from the first listen—every songwriter’s goal.
As with all good music of this genre, The Raskins is an album that is very much driven by vocals. Numerous tracks of vocal takes on each song have been layered into complex arrangements of harmonies and call and response vocals by the two brothers. Lost In The Dark and Stand Up are two examples of tunes that are so infectious and hook-laden that they are practically irresistible from the get-go.
Although the vocals are the centerpiece of the record, the instrumentation fits the mood of the songs. The guitar tones are a nice balance, falling roughly midpoint between clean and full on distortion (with the exception of Scream Out Loud and its heavy power chords). To anyone who might be put off by the melodic nature of this band, consider that the album rocks hard enough that Motley Crue chose the Raskins to be the opening act on their farewell tour, and Nikki Sixx features their songs on his radio program (you can read about that in the accompanying interview with Logan Raskin in this issue of Screamer).