Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reno Bo Is On His Own

The oddly named, Reno Bo is a singer songwriter from New York City who now resides in Nashville and might be recognizable as a former member of famed garage rockers Mooney Suzuki. After years of touring, recording, and living with a band, Bo decided it was time to have a go of it on his own so he started his own project. His first solo album, Happenings and Other Thingsestablishes Bo as more than just a former member in a formerly big garage rock band but a proper songwriter in his own right. Taking the power pop template, that his former band mastered, and giving it a bit of heart, Reno Bo sounds like the best cross between Matthew Sweet, Big Star, Teenage Fan Club and Elvis Costello to ever cross the air waves.

With huge harmonies, lazy riffs, and a heart the size of Texas, Happenings and Other Thingsis the prototypical power pop record in love. Reno Bo has truly done a great job at creating stuff that's not at all like his former band while establishing the fact that he can clearly write a successful pop tune on his own. Much of Happenings and Other Things is infectious and even at it's most lethargic, it still manages to find a way to stick with you. This is a breezy summery sort of record that embraces the tradition of AM rock and roll but brings it up to date with crisp production and a bit of oomph.

Happenings and Other Things is a oversized rock and roll record whose songs never stop harmonizing or emphasizing their melodic elements so much, that you can't help but want to join the band as a back up singer. For a first effort, Happenings and Other Thingsis awesome. Then again this should really come as no surprise because having played in the Mooney Suzuki and Albert Hammond Jr.'s band, the spirit of rock and roll is practically genetically coded into Reno Bo's DNA. From the twangy countrified rock of, "You Don't Know," to the jumpy melodicism of "Higher Tonight," Happenings and Other Things reveals Reno Bo to be an artist destined for great things.

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