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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Alva Star - 2001 Alligators In The Lobby
Alva Star - 2001 Alligators In The Lobby

John Hermanson - vocals, guitars, mellotron
Darren Jackson - guitars, backing vocals
Brian Roessler - bass
Peter Anderson - drums

The title may be slightly mystifying, but Alva Star's mixture of irresistible pop hooks and rythymic, driving rock n' roll proves that great, addictive and memorable music is anything but rocket science. Frontman Hermanson is already known in indie circles for the underground success of his former acoustic band Storyhill, and the ten tunes of pure rock-pop brilliance in evidence on 'Alligators In The Lobby' further confirms his reputation as a top-notch songsmith.

The Songs
The seductive melody line and slightly retro feel of opener 'Adore' set the tone of the album in spectacular fashion, with the breezy verse and guitar-led romp of the chorus complementing Hermanson's intelligent lyrics superbly. Thankfully, it's a familiar occurrence throughout the whole album. Alva Star has already scooped Best New Band at the 2001 Minnesota Music Academy Awards and with tunes like 'Falling' and 'Unhappily Yours' it's really no surprise. The huge hooks of both songs draw you in effortlessly and more importantly, mean that the repeat button is never far away. With its opening acoustic strums and melancholic theme, 'Alva Star' the song recalls material like 'High and Dry' from 'The Bends' era Radiohead, but it's clear that Alva Star the band has a distinct sound all of it's own as well as a lyric depth and richness rarely found in all but the most talented songwriters. This change of pace continues on closing track 'Girlfriend', which shines with a naked electric guitar and Hermanson's curiously unique voice. But the two highlights are the mid-paced melodic onslaught of 'Beautiful' - which lives up it's name with a gorgeous chorus line and some great guitar work from Darren Roberts - and the raucous power of the poppy 'Thing For Me', a song that is positively drowned in amplified emotion.

In Summary
Quite simply, with Alva Star's 'Alligators In The Lobby', the simple, traditional quartet of drums, guitar, bass and vocals never sounded so good. There can be no finer praise than that.


Track Listing:
01 Adore
02 Falling
03 Unhappily Yours
04 Thing For Me
05 Beautiful
06 74
07 Victorian
08 Revelation
09 Alva Star
10 Girlfriend

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