Yellow Pills Volume 4 - Various Artists

Label:Big Deal Records (America)
Highlights:Playing With Jack (The Plimsouls)
Circles (Chris Von Sneidern)
You Mighta Made The Sun (Dan Markell)
My Home Is Not A House (Jason Falkner)
Show You (DM3)

Rating: 8/10

Yellow Pills is a world famous series of power pop compilations that are compiled by Jordan Oakes, who also runs a fanzine of the same name. Volume 4 is a good mixture of new up-and-coming bands, forgotten obscurities as well as some more famous bands. Although this is a power pop compilation, there is a lot of variety as well, with the bands cover all aspects of ‘pop music’, which makes for more interesting listening.

Perhaps the most famous band on this compilation is the Plimsouls, whose Playing With Jack is classic power pop played with raw abandon. Not only is it one of the better songs on this album but is also one of the most rocking. Circles by Chris Von Sneidern perfectly mixes Who/Big Star guitars and Beatlesque harmonies to be another highlight of this compilation. Joe, Marc’s Brother insanely upbeat She’s Gonna Be My Girl will have you singing along in no time while David Grahame’s I Love You Better could be accused of being a Ben Folds Five ripoff, with its rollicking piano and sing along feel, if only it hadn’t been recorded back in 1981. The Nines’s I Would Never would be another pop masterpiece with its pleading vocal and Beach Boy harmonies if only the recording and mix was better and less muddy. John McMullin’s lilting The Thought Of Your Name is simply beautiful as is Dan Markell’s You Mighta Made The Sun with its Lazy Sunday feel. Jason Falkner’s previously unreleased My Home Is Not A House sounds not at all like an outtake and another strong cut by one of power pops leading artists. Finally, DM3, fuse sparkling guitars and sweet harmonies in Show You.

Yellow Pills Volume 4 maintains the high quality set by previous volumes. As Jordan Oakes says in the liner notes ‘I can define one thing about pop: I know it when I hear it - and love it when I hear it again’ and no doubt you’ll be listening to this compilation over and over again. I know at least I will.

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