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Pop Evil: Up

Moving on from Onyx.

The personnel changes may have stopped but Pop Evil continue to shove against their perceived boundaries as a band, not so much out of a sense of restless frustration but because they are genuinely curious about what might happen.

After the success of their previous album, Onyx, with its gloomy overtones it would have been easy for Pop Evil to serve up more of the same but instead they’ve opted for a more positive approach. It’s immediately obvious from the opening Footsteps that strides confidently above a pulsating groove.

There’s no shortage of metal riffs but the menace has been replaced by a swagger, most notably on Take It All. The attitude may have changed but the trademarks are still intact. There’s no shortage of boisterous anthems and a couple of cool ballads too although the glimpse of U2 on If Only For Now is one boundary they maybe shouldn’t cross.

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Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.