Pop Evil: Pop Evil
7.4Overall Score

Pop Evil, Pop Evil
Entertainment One

There aren’t enough rock bands aiming to play in stadiums in 2018. Everyone’s too cool for that kind of nonsense these days. It makes me soooooo cross.

Thank goodness, then, that the mouth-watering Pop Evil don’t worry about being all edgy and fringey. If any band were to leap at a chance of playing on the moon, it would definitely be them. You’ll know that already if you tuned into any of their previous three albums. Ambition may feel like a dirty word to some of our grumpier artists, but not to this American quintet.

Like Nickelback before them, the Michigan outfit know that music isn’t the only thing that counts. Hair is at least as important. Don’t agree? Just watch vocalist Leigh Kakaty throwing his fantastic mane about during the video for this record’s sumptuous opening track, Waking Lions. One look at him swirling those locks to and fro and you’ll come over all clammy.

Not that it’s all about the tresses. Sure, even watching Pop Evil with the sound down has me reaching for my inhaler, but it’s actually not just about looking good for the five-piece. Tracks like Art of War and Colors Bleed prove the point. Kakaty sings about facing the enemy, the rise of democracy and cash cows – it’s all very Rage Against The Machine.

And, sure, those more political songs might make it sound like the band need a long, relaxing holiday, but there are much, much less gloomy tracks to counter the seriousness. Be Legendary would have felt at home on the last Sleeping With Sirens record, while A Crime To Remember and When We Were Young could be One Republic numbers.

Weirdly, it hardly matters that one moment Pop Evil sound like nu-metallers One Minute Silence or Flyleaf and the next like a soppy Soundgarden; their songs are all tied together by the fact that Kakaty sounds like a huge, massive rockstar. Let’s hope someone lets him loose in a stadium soon.