Los Pepes The Happiness Program LP

With some power pop, it’s hard to dig deep and really dial in that critical ear. But dig I must, even when part of me just wants to say that like 90% of the genre this album is “fine.” These Londoners probably have the right record collections among them, with touchstones spanning from the ’50s R&B-indebted stabbing piano of the opening track to the more contemporary nod to GENTLEMAN JESSE on “Anecdotes.” Even when the band loosens the collar a bit with crashing guitars on a cut like “Keep Me Alive,” it sounds like they’re still on the leash. It just doesn’t punch through like I want in a good, modern rock’n’roll band. But that’s not to say there’s anything glaringly bad on this full-length. It’s just…fine.