This is the bit in the essay where really lazy people would start with a definition of the term 'Power Pop'. Why should I break the habit of a lifetime? Wikipedia tells me that power pop is: -
"A long-standing musical genre that draws its inspiration from 1960's British and American pop music. Musically the style is characterised by strong melodies, crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements and prominent guitar riffs, with instrumental solos kept to a minimum, and blues elements largely downplayed."
Which is funny, because every time I think of the word power pop, it conjures up images of Tony Blackburn saving old women whilst wearing a garish red uniform with lemon piping. But what's all this got to do with Semion, the London-based power pop (there's that word again, I get £1 for every mention) quartet fronted by Gary Ford, a journeyman songwriter who refuses to believe that there isn't more to life than row-upon-row of desks in an open plan office, hence the title of the band's debut album, Help Me I Work In An Office.
Sonically, the album hums with all of the energy of a thousand Elvis Costellos, pumped full of sherbert and happy drugs. Semion have nice hair, though. Setting out their stall in style with the Buzzcocks-esque album opener 'Rum Runner', with Ford's lament at the walls 'closing in' backed by some of the perkiest punk pop this side of Fountains Of Teenage Weezer Club, ditto for the frankly stunning slice of fried gold that is 'Year Of The Monkee'. There is a rich vein of musicianship running through this album, and by that I don't mean that the band all have pony tails and Joe Satriani t-shirts; it's just refreshing to hear a band that don't care about wearing the right trousers and sounding like the Clash tribute band they saw down the Metro club last week. But why am I explaining myself to you? Good song writing is a quality that needs no justification, and Semion, quite simply, write great songs.
A clarion call to the sad and disenfranchised, tired of this workaday world, in a sane world, Semion shouldn't exist. But this world is far from sane, and that's why we need bands like them more than ever. Do the right thing.
Ben Goldrun - Culture Deluxe