Who knew? There must be something in the bouillabaisse! Tomy and the Cougars seem to be crazy for their old Nerves and Beat records, and it's very hard to go wrong with a starting point like that! They've got a new 7" out on Surfin' Ki Records - and it completely won me over in about 15 seconds! These lads mix up a 50/50 blend of classic skinny tie power pop and Exploding Hearts influenced punk, lacing it with their own unique style. I love that Tomy's vocals are distinctly French accented, and his less-than-perfect command of the English language makes the lyrics twice as cool. "Girls think that I'm a woman eater/But it's not the way I look that make me good" has to be my favorite couplet of the year. And hearing a line like "Heartbreakers gonna be heartbreaked/Because I'm not afraid of fear", I can't help thinking that that's the perfect summation of my personal philosophy on life.
No Way Out includes three songs, and they're all dandies. "I Want Go" is probably the hit, propelled by a melody you'll be whistling all day and Lully's hooky guitar leads. It falls somewhere between the Nerves and classic pop/punk bands like The Modernettes. That "Cause you really got to do that" line in the pre-chorus has been stuck in my head all week! The wistful "Swallow My Tears" steps up the Paul Collins worship in a major way, while the bouncy "Run Away" hits me right in my sweet spot - where '77 punk and power pop meet head-on. All in all, super great!
Kudos to F & L scoutmaster Greg Mongroll for this major find! This band used to be called Tomy & The Cougars With Heart, and the minor name change seems to herald a slight change in sound as well. The more pop direction seems to suit their talents, and of course it suits me just fine! Do they really have a rhythm section made up of guys named Fu and Fel? There's nothing about this band that isn't awesome!