Note: This review originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.
Five years have passed since The So So Glos released their self-titled debut, but judging from Blowout, they haven’t been too far away from their radios. The new release is filled with the revved-up arrangements and call-and-response vocals that almost guarantee commercial success these days. But while it’s tempting to lump The So So Glos in with the current crop of boy band punk, there are enough original touches to make Breakout worthwhile.
Singer-bassist Alex Levine is able convey genuine emotions, particularly on songs like the catchy “Diss Town” and the slower, ambitious “Dizzy.” “Lost Weekend” goes through some tempo changes propelled by Levine’s bass guitar, and “Xanax” has a fun new wave feel complete with playful backup vocals. Plus, it’s reassuring to see The So So Glos toss aside the rule book and vamp through the careening, 1960s flavored title track. More of that spirit will keep these guys on top of things.