With his skin tight black jeans, leather biker jacket and Little Lord Fauntleroy jet black hairstyle, Brad Marino comes off one of the long lost Ramones on the cover of Extra Credit, his debut solo record.
And the look is a pretty apt, as his songs can clearly match the Ramones in terms of catchy earworms. But unlike the boys from Queens, Marino digs much deeper into the crates for influences and comes up with a near-perfect Power Pop record. There are snatches of punk rock attitude, some garage rock chords, but the overall vibe is so much catchier – think a caffeinated Big Star or Material Issue – big fat song-along choruses that stay with you long after you’ve turned off the music. As co-founder of The Connection, that garage rock influences are a given, but Marino let’s his pop instincts shine through on tracks like “Fit to Be Tied,” the infectious “Broken Record Baby” and the commendable Chuck Berry cover “Bye Bye Johnny.”
Impressively, Marino plays just about all of the instruments on Extra Credit. Even more impressive is the fact that he has managed to cram 15 songs onto the album and the momentum doesn’t fade until the last chord rings out on the final track.