There was a time when the ability to write a catchy song was pretty much all you needed to guarantee a bit of the old chart success. The cult of the producer was then still in vogue and the Chinns and Chapmans of this world took songs to bands and made them stars. Glorious days indeed but now only the power pop genre can even attempt to relight that candle.
So, do Games have the necessary box of matches? Let’s look at the evidence. For a start, “Listen” seems to have been designed to spin round at no less than, and no more than, 45 rpm and “Put Down That Gun” liberally re-appropriates that Lennon McCartney thang and then gives it a ticket to ride the subway.
The Games then reach for the gasoline and put the flame under “Why Can’t We Go Back” and cook up a sonic stew seasoned as much by power pop maestros the Maypops as it is by the distilled commercialism of the aforementioned Chinn and Chapman. “Impossible” is similarly buy-it-now and duly dares you not to like it. Of course, we are talking an American band so Games just have to show their mastery of that old chestnut the rock ballad with “When The Time” doing, and getting, the honours.
Whilst this band is pretty much what you expect of Hozac these days, it is nonetheless a fact that Games have released an album of songs that people – and I mean the great unwashed out there – might actually like. You just can’t, and indeed shouldn’t argue with the plethora of hooks and choruses that infest this album.
The sound quality of the vinyl (translucent gold on the first pressing) was something of a disappointment being low on impact and high on scratchy murkiness. Still, it is nice to look at whilst it spins round on your turntable.