Like a 1980s comedian I'm saying what everyone is thinking: Secret Powers emulates ELO. Okay, that isn't completely true. And, anyway, who gives a turkey who they emulate? The band's latest is one of the most huggable, touchable, squeezable collections of power pop gems since Lies and Fairy Tales. The kinds of gems that make me don my frock, skip to the river and lick lollipops with my special gal.
"Generation Ship" is a touchstone for those new to Secret Powers' secret powers, having all the typical ingredients of a sugary Secret Powers jam (nod-a-long verse, juicy Beatles-esque vocal harmonies, heaps of intriguing instrumental arrays, a delightfully abrupt chorus reminiscent of good vinyl skips, and lyrics about girls—said in a British accent). If this nimble arrangement doesn't make you wanna ride, Captain, ride on this mystery ship you best get to steppin', landlubber.
"Tarantula," is stripped down, straight-up melodic rocking, delivering an affecting Tom Petty-like intro and verse. However, the creamy, "Tra-la-la" chorus is all Secret Powers; it will stick in your ear like a wet cobweb.
Another name for the album might have been The Consequences of Cultivating Ear Worms. Every iPod-packing gardener knows ear worms can goad, but like Secret Powers they tend to grow on you.
Secret Powers plays a CD release party at the Top Hat Friday, Feb. 11, at 10 PM with Airstream Safari. $5.