Anyway, I liked Miss Chain & The Broken Heels as power pop up-and-comers. But they’ve come a long way over the years, and I like ‘em even better now. You can still hear a touch of a classic ‘70s power pop influence in their sound, but it’s mixed in with all kinds of other good stuff like ‘60s girl group pop, ‘60s ‘beat and garage, French pop, soul-pop, paisley pop, and ‘80s twee. Lead singer Astrid “Miss Chain” Dante has really come into her own as an artist, and debut album On a Bittersweet Ride is an aptly named delight. It’s got enough punch and pep to keep the fan base satisfied, but all in all this is a record that sounds like nothing else out there. Miss Chain has a lovely voice (imagine an Italian Frida Lyngstad), and she imbues these 12 songs with a captivating array of emotions. By turns heartbroken, gloomy, happy, despairing, and lovestruck, the many moods of Miss Chain give a unique tone to lively pop songs, sunny garage jams, and pretty ballads. In the manner of some of the great girl group vocalists, Miss Chain can lift your spirits with an upbeat song and absolutely break your heart with a sad one. But even with so much ‘60s flavor to it, On a Bittersweet Ride comes off very contemporary. You can hear all the nods to the sounds of yesteryear, but this is truly a band and an album for today. It’s not about who Miss Chain & Broken Heels sound like, because they sound like themselves. Thanks to distinctive, endearing vocals; phenomenal guitar work from Disaster Silva; and flat-out great songs like “Flamingo” and “Rollercoaster”, this has the makings of an album that will itself be imitated in the very near future. And if I’m tardy in just now touting a recording that was released five months ago, I’ll say in my defense that this is the perfect “summertime album”. Buy it, get in the car, turn it up, drive, and enjoy life. This is as pop as pop gets.