While The Raspberries and Big Star are almost always the first bands namechecked in any discussion about Power Pop, there were a slew of remarkably brilliant U.S. bands throughout the early-, mid-1980s who picked up that flag and carried it on for a while before getting drowned out by synth pop and hair metal on the radio. Groups like The Plimsouls, The Romantics and Dramarama created some remarkably addictive songs throughout the decade. In an alternate universe, The Real Impossibles would be as well known now as their peers.
The LA band, formed in 1983 got some local radio airplay for their 5-song EP as well as some love in Europe while being ignored by virtually every market in the U.S. Thankfully, the folks at Rum Bar Records are rectifying this slight with the aptly-titled It’s About Time, a 13-track LP that captures a lot of music, including plenty of never-released songs by the underrated band.
The album kicks off with “Burned,” one of the strongest tracks by the group followed by a solid cover of Neil Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry,” (a move that was braver in the early ‘80s than it would be nowadays, but nonetheless enjoyable). “Here and Now,” which originally debuted on that early- ‘80s EP, is simply fantastic; as impressive as any Pop Punk song released that decade (It sounds slightly tinny, but that is easily overlooked once the chorus kicks in). Songs like “With a Girl” (produced by The Plimsoul’s Peter Case) and “Is It Love” are almost as equally impressive.
The only downside to this record is the realization that this is likely most, if not all, of the band’s music leaving a void just many are starting to discover them.
The Real Impossibles – It’s About Time/13 tracks/Rum Bar Records/2020