The Gilligans – As Seen On TV (2012)

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A soothing instrumental opens the door to As Seen On TV, but what a tease that is. Such mellow sounds suddenly launch into a torrent of crunchy guitars and churning hooks, which pretty much sets the pace for the remainder of the tracks here on the latest and greatest album from the Gilligans.

Comprised of lead singer Dan McKenzie, lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Todd Borsch, bassist and cello player Rick Topolski and drummer Scott Pellican, the Illinois-based band proudly and loudly expose their love and affection for power pop music each and every stroke of the way on this 2012 Ear Theory Recordings release. Having learned their trade from the likes of the Who, Nazz, Shoes and Cheap Trick, the Gilligans successfully duplicate the drive, energy and vision brought forth by their ancestors.

Pronounced by a super catchy refrain, “She’s My Thing” zips and zooms to a rotating roundabout of raunchy riffs and rousing rhythms. Mixing the chunky two chord styling of the early Kinks with a dapper pop finish, “Weko Beach” radiates with sizzle and spunk, where “Too Many Pills” thumps and grinds to an intoxicating tenor.

Spurred by a rather fuzzy, moody atmosphere, “On TV” floats, glides, then soars with stirring moves, crowned by a showcase of psychedelic seasoned harmonies. The tooting tone of a cello gives the sweet and sugary “Hold You Tight” a touch of baroque sophistication, and “The Girl Has Got You Now” blinks and winks with innocent jubilance before staging a left turn and unleashing a parade of jittery breaks and lusty licks.

No matter what’s hot on the charts, there is always room for a good power pop song, and the Gilligans certainly have a stash of them. Resident authors Dan and Todd definitely have a feel for the type of tunes they enjoy performing so much. And that itself makes the band stand out among their peers.

The melodies are electrifying, the arrangements are arresting and the manner in which the Gilligans tackle their material quiver and quake with sincere enthusiasm. Right on timing, a sense of direction and hopelessly irresistible songs is the fuel that keeps the band running. Plastered top to bottom with radio-friendly fare, As Seen On TV portrays the Gilligans at their best and beyond.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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