Too Much Saturn – Moving Forward Sideways (2013)

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A one-stop shop for all things hooky and melodic generally sums up the contents presented on this freakishly fantastic disc from Too Much Saturn, a band operating out of Chicago, Illinois.

Racing full steam ahead with choppy riffs, surging rhythms and Jerry Lee Lewis styled piano sketches, “Photogenic” is an A-list power popper, “Walter Cronkite” crunches and crinkles to a shuffling showcase of slightly distorted jangle, and the Monkees are saluted in honorable form on a heart-tugging version of “Daydream Believer” that features some real cool instrumental interplay.

Despite the sour lyrics voicing the woes of love unreturned, “Funny” rings and rolls to an impossibly plucky beat, and tracks like “All His Way” and “First Glance,“ also emphasis Too Much Saturn’s forte for spawning crisp and adventurous arrangements geared to keep the listener’s ears glued to the speakers.

A compatible condensation of conventional pop codes, roots rock reflections and new wave washes energize the intelligently written material on Moving Forward Sideways (www.toomuchsaturn.com), pointing towards a tightly sealed collection of songs begging to be heard time and time again.

Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Mark Hoffman, lead singer and keyboardist Chris Cerasoli, singer and guitarist Russ Spice, bassist and singer Guy Sheldon, and drummer Dave Franco, Too Much Saturn is a band where each member exists on the same page. Rich with inspired performances, marked by deftness and direction, Moving Forward Sideways firmly implies the group is spectacularly skilled in the fine art of pop rock.

A wide scope of influences, ranging from Shoes to Tom Petty to Counting Crows to Fountains of Wayne appear on Moving Forward Sideways, but Too Much Saturn has their own musical vocabulary that stands apart from such aspirations.

I can’t say the band has a lot of potential because their potential has already been realized. So whatever Too Much Saturn records from here on will simply be icing on the cake, and I just know they have gobs of gas left in their tank. Teeming with bright and lively tunes, Moving Forward Sideways is sure to win the affection of those partial to harmonious pop rock with an inventively organic twist.

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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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