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The On and Ons : It’s The On and Ons Calling

★★★★

Is there anything better than a good power pop record? Yes, there probably is, but that’s beside the point. The fact is you can listen to an album like It’s The On and Ons Calling and realise that, whatever the mind numbingly boring, tedious and annoying crap that suffocates your day, a dose of sparkling power pop can take you to a different place where everything sparkles and shimmers.
 
The On and Ons has elements of the supergroup concept: Glenn Morris played with the latter-era Screaming Tribesmen, Clyde Bramley was the Hoodoo Gurus’ original bass player and Richard Lane cut his teeth with The Stems. And when the opening riff of All Over Heavenly (You’re My Everything) kicks in, you know this is a band that knows its Raspberries from its Orange Humble Band. Goodbye My Love is The Church via Big Star and Long Ride is that coastal ride you always wanted to take with The Someloves blaring on the radio.
 
Before Our Eyes is all bashful grins, teenage excitement and Dave Edmunds licks; Rockin’ With the Beat packs a punch the Trilobites would respect; and Don’t Tear Me Down nods in the direction of The Plimsouls and The Who’s The Kids Are AlrightTwo Things On My Mind is spiced with adolescent passion; Better Not Give Me Grief is awash with the attitude of Paul Collins (whom The On and Ons backed on a recent Australian tour); and Not A Friend in Sight is a testament to John Lennon’s observation that the saddest events can make the best pop songs. Stupid Girl is a tongue-in-cheek garage rocker in the best tradition; Hard to Say Goodbye is a fitting finale to an album that you hope never ends. 
 
BY PATRICK EMERY