fri 23/02/2024

Album: McFly - Power to Play | reviews, news & interviews

Album: McFly - Power to Play

Album: McFly - Power to Play

Chart-topping British foursome turn the amps up to 11, returning to their rock'n'roll roots

Systematic, hydromatic, greased lightnin'

When McFly returned to our loudspeakers in the summer of 2020 with Young Dumb Thrills, the record marked their first in a decade.

The foursome, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Tom Fletcher, bassist/vocalist Dougie Poynter, guitarist/vocalist Danny Jones and drummer Harry Judd, had no qualmed about admitting the struggles that'd faced coming back together as a band (their lackluster 2010 release, Above The Noise, was very much the sound of a group hitting peak commercial heights with the overprocessed artwork and digital sounds to match).

But, whatever your preconceptions of a band like McFly, their musical accolades are undeniable, racking up seven UK No. 1 singles, five top-10 albums, six sold-out tours, and 10 million in record sales worldwide during their near-20-year career. And, whilst Young Dumb Thrills, was a huge step forward for the group (both in the physical reunion but also in the production), the output came across a little saccharine at times. Thankfully, after the last few years back out on the live circuit, Power To Play is a defiant return to their rock'n'roll roots.

Single “Where Did All The Guitars Go?” (somewhat ironically given their own forays into polished pop), questions the current landscape of bedroom beatmakers in favour of angry singalongs troubled teens can chant to in sweaty gig venues. Poynter’s pop-punk fuelled “I’m Fine” delivers on that front, as he contemplates the rest of his (band?) mates settling down. Better yet is the chaotic call of “Crash” with its stuttering dual guitars and an immense drum roll that thrusts us into the last chorus all in under two minutes.

Alongside the mighty riffs (see: absolute standout “Land of The Bees”, essentially their "Seven Seas of Rye" with May-esque magnitude on the fretboard), there are also some Genesis-inspired Eighties drums courtesy of Judd and Van Halen “Jump”-style parping keys on “Route 55”. The latter track, as the name might suggest, channels a lot of the best stonewashed double denim Dad Rock (perhaps not surprising giventhree quarters of the band are, in fact, dads themselves now) encouraging us all to get the roof down and the shades on.

Forget “Thunderstruck”. Pass me the flannel shirt and fire up Power To Play behind the wheel for a stadium-sized summer of fun.

Below: Watch the video for "God of Rock & Roll" by McFly

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