Crunchy Frog - 2003 - 38 mins

The resurrection of pop music may be closer than you think. Hordes of manufactured Huns led by Louis Walsh in the role of Attila have sacked the citadel of genuine pop music in the last few years, debasing its currency and almost destroying it in the process.

Salvation, strangely, has been coming from Scandinavia. The region that brought us ABBA, possibly the greatest pure pop band ever, has seen The Cardigans and The Hives reinvigorate this dying form in radically different ways.

Junior Senior are the latest in this wave of quixotic bands. Marrying pop to a delightfully twisted sensibility, they are not as slick as the Cardigans, or as raw and raucous as the Hives.

Instead they have opted for a camp eclecticism. The sound is deliriously varied, a strummed harp appears in the mix on the chugging 'Go Junior, Go Senior' and 80s computer riffs are scattered through an album that is more guitar heavy than the single would indicate.

Top ten hit 'Move Your Feet' takes a retro-disco chorus straight from the Philadelphia soul factory and attaches it to the catch'n'response sound early hip-hop. It's a classic summer party track, just a month or two early.

Their garage rock affectations are blatant on 'Chicks & Dicks', with both Junior (hetero) and Senior (homo) extolling the virtues of their particular sexual preferences - "Chicks think I'm hot, I think they're not", snarls Senior as they pound their way through immaculate rockabilly-influenced punk-pop.

Easy listening icons Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra might feature in the lyrics of 'White Trash' but the Ramones reference makes a lot more musical sense, this is ultra-lean three-chord pogo at its best.

There are a few too many ingredients in Junior Senior's musical stew, and the over-the-top production occasionally hides weak material. But the bonus live version of 'Move Your Feet' shows that Junior Senior are more than just a studio project.

If you want an album that you can listen to with your poptastic little sister, then you'd do a lot worse than Junior Senior. It's d-d-damn good.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Go Junior, Go Senior - Rhythm Bandits - Move Your Feet - Chicks and Dicks - Shake Your Coconuts - Boy Meets Girl - C'mon - Good Girl, Bad Boy - Shake Me Baby - Dynamite - White Trash - Coconuts - Move Your Feet (Live)