Thursday, November 11, 2010

CD Review: Love Nut - Baltimucho!

Here’s more evidence that creating a power pop masterpiece is no guarantee of financial success. I reviewed this CD over 10 years ago for the Illinois Entertainer, and despite the widespread critical acclaim Baltimucho! received, Love Nut never did become famous.

If Love Nut had emerged in the mid-1960s, Baltimucho might have been released on the Apple label along with records by The Beatles and Badfinger. Nowadays, melodic pop has a tougher time finding a mass audience, but this Baltimore band’s sophomore effort should make an impact thanks to vocalist-guitarist Andy Bopp’s songwriting skills. Guitarist Max Mueller provides constant firepower, and the band’s harmony vocals add a finishing touch.

Produced by Ed Stasium (The Smithereens, The Ramones), Baltimucho offers a seemingly endless supply of industrial-strength melodies. The album kicks off with the frenetic energy of “Bob Pine,” but soon settles in for the gorgeous mid-tempo arrangement of “Love Found You.” From there, Love Nut travels effortlessly through classic pop material like “Everchanging World” and harder-edged tracks like “Essex Hair.” Mueller is particularly impressive on the crunching rock of “Stolen Picture” and the infectious “Man Or Machine?” Baltimucho also features the pretty ballad “If You Go Away,” while the winsome “Foolish Game” recalls The Posies.

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