I really like pleasant surprises. When I picked up a little four-track EP by an artist I know nothing about named James Younger, and the EP is self-titled, at that. I took a look at the young man on the CD cover. He had long-scraggly hair, was wearing a denim shirt, and had a beer t-shirt. So, my immediate response was that this was an alt-folk, or alt-country artist, something in that vein.
Believe me, that would have been a perfectly acceptable type of music to listen to. So, imagine my surprise when I put the disk in and heard some perfectly wonderful power pop. That’s right. This little EP is full of wonderful power chords, chiming guitars, excellent harmonies and nifty little songs about guitars and girls.
After doing a little bit of Internet research, I found out that James Younger is from Vancouver, a perfect west coast enclave from which to ring out this wonderful power pop of his. He was in a band called The Sun Wizards, and since that band is on hiatus, James has the time and inclination to regale us with this neat little EP. I do hope that the college rock crowd doesn’t overlook this nifty little disk. Some sunny power pop is just what I would like to see that audience pick up on and I hope they do.
Were I in the college air chair, I would give all of these tracks a spin at some point. But, the one that I think I would gravitate to the quickest would be the third track, Two of a Kind. It has a slight country tinge to it and just a hint of keyboards. It has the wonderful harmonies and chiming guitars that the rest of the disk has, but somehow that one just does it for me.
EPs in this country are sometimes a strange beast. Sometimes they just suffice enough for what the artist has to say at that point. Sometimes, they can lead to an artist being overlooked, as albums are still kind of the coin of the realm. This little four-track EP definitely left me ready for and wanting more. I loved being surprised at the wonderfully-crafted guitar pop on this disk and I hope that Younger reads this review and tries to step out with a complete album. I would certainly lover to hear what he has to say in a longer musical statement.