You never really want to be labelled as ‘the artists formerly known as The Morning Benders‘, do you? But POP ETC might be saddled with that introduction for some time to come, at least until they produce that one track worthy of being talked about more than their former name.
They do come bloody close on Souvenir though – Bad Break is an absolute rollick of an indie-pop jam, full of the big hooks and choruses a bad with capitalised ‘pop’ in their name should be responsible for. It’s a sentiment repeated in somewhat of a lesser form on Vice, but beyond that it’s a feat they find rather difficult to sustain across the breadth of this record.
The thing with POP ETC is that, apart from these few moments, it’s hard to pick them out from the genre’s crowd. I Wanted To Change The World But The World Changed Me has shades of past MGMT and more than a bit of Passion Pit by way of St Lucia, and Running In Circles wears its Living On a Prayer influence rather openly. By the end Souvenir is a more than acceptable record, but it seems like just one knock-off keepsake in a store still trying to get rid of its job lot.