Magnolias – Pop the Lock

January 01, 1970



The brash and boisterous ‘aughties reunion of Minneapolis’ magnificent
Magnolias was a pleasant surprise. But the huzzahs will grow louder once fans
hear Pop the Lock, the quartet’s
first studio record in over 15 years.


Time has taken no toll on the band’s skill –
singer/songwriter John Freeman, stalwart bassist Kyle Killorin and their new
cohorts still revel in the glory of punk-infused power pop, like Cheap Trick
without the patience for polish or the Buzzcocks without a British accent. The
Mags effortlessly blast out melodic bursts like “Top of the Charts” and
“Kissing the Ground You’re On” like 1985 turned into Groundhog Day, with all
the spit and spark of a band 20 years younger. The band has also taken a turn
for the grizzled, cranking the classic rock crunch on “Torture Yours” and the
old-fashioned tour ode “Back On the Road,” written and sung by lead guitarist
Mike Leonard. Of course, like his Twin Cities colleague Paul Westerberg,
Freeman has a sensitive side, beautifully displayed on the pleading “Until
You’re Here” and the jangling “At a Disadvantage.”


The Magnolias have always unfairly suffered by comparison to
their better-known peers. But Pop the
isn’t about recalling the glories of a past era – it’s about flying the
flag loud and proud.


the Charts,” “At a Disadvantage,” “Torture Yours” MICHAEL TOLAND

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