Jim Platt’s knack for power-pop hooks is evident early on his band’s new album, Moving Through the Ages. Jim Platt’s Rhythm Innovation is the sort of act that, from first glance or listen, doesn’t suggest anything grand. There aren’t any odd production tricks; it’s a guitar-driven power-pop album with a bouncy rhythm section, plain and simple. The drawing point is its straightforwardly melodic songwriting, which sticks in your head until the repetition becomes numbing. Platt is a songwriter with a natural talent for this melodic wizardry, which produces an effortless and breezy power-pop sound with a constant jangle. A self-taught musician, Platt lists The Beatles as his biggest influence, and you can tell that early Beatles releases – with their relatively raw pop-minded urgency – made a particular impact.
Album opener “Drama Queen” rides on a chugging bass and reverbed guitar licks, followed by a bridge featuring phased vocals clearly influenced by psychedelia. The chorus is perky and vibrant, full of the good vibes you’d expect from influences so steeped in ’60s pop. Platt’s vocals are somewhat wiry and timid, but they produce a nice melodic tone nonetheless — very similarly to Jellyfish’s Andy Sturmer. The Jellyfish comparison is spot-on in general. Their lovable blend of power-pop and psychedelia produced similar-sounding successes. “Cherry Blossom Girl” is another excellent effort — with no relation to the Air track of the same name. The guitar lines here are simpler during the verses, but the chorus sparkles with a youthful effervescence rare for even the best power-pop imitators. Platt’s songs pack a predictable structure, but it wouldn’t work any other way. You want certain spectacular moments of his songs to return and re-emerge. The wait for them to arrive is part of the wonderful journey that is Moving Through the Ages, a true power-pop hidden gem. I’m loving this.