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Power pop with a sheen

By The Material

Self-released: 2007

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This review first appeared in the Nov. 1, 2007 issue of the North County Times.

Built around the powerhouse vocals of Colleen D'Agostino (think Kelly Clarkson or Pat Benatar), the debut six-song EP from San Diego's The Material is a showcase of guitar-driven mainstream rock and power pop.

While it's D'Agostino's velvety yet strong singing that immediately stands out on this CD, without the twin guitars of Jon Moreaux and Roi Elam the CD wouldn't have nearly the muscle it possesses. The production by Brian Grider is slick – a bit too slick, perhaps. There's a sheen to everything, but given the strength of both the band's performance and their songs, a bit of grit would have been nice, too.

Still, the confident yet vulnerable singing of D'Agostino, the aggressive playing of the band and the hook-laden songs create a sound that is immediately accessible and fun – not so very far from the Cranberries.