CD Review: Caddy “Electric Hero”

From out of Norway comes Tomas Dahl, the one-man “band” dubbed Caddy. Having played in powerpop bands including The Yum Yums and Wonderfools, Dahl describes the music of Caddy as “Paul Stanley and Bryan Adams writing songs together…in Brian Wilson’s house”. Caddy boasts “brilliant pop sense, beautiful harmonies, and choruses as catchy as Chlamydia”. So I slipped on a condom and started listening.

Dahl takes the label “one man band” quite literally – he wrote all the songs, played all the instruments, produced the album, and even did all of the harmonies himself. So either he’s an overachieving control freak or simply has no friends – whatever the case may be, it doesn’t alter the fact that Caddy’s debut contains some of the best powerpop and rock I’ve heard of late. These fourteen tracks radiate pop rock goodness and were written as if each one were going to be a single, and Dahl gets to take all of the credit.

The first four tracks are stupendous and – quite unbelievably – top one another as they progress. With endless crunchy riffs and hooks sharper than cactus spines, these songs will have you at hello. “Hanging On To Nothing” is a rousing Cheap Trick meets Kiss opener, leading into the more radio-friendly sound of the title track. “Turn Up The Radio” shifts up into a decidedly more rocking gear, flaunting the diversity of Dahl’s talent. Despite the grittier verses, the track easily slides into a sugary sweet chorus and then back again. Fuzzy guitar greets us at the start of “Keep On Waiting” – but you’re not waiting long until another shimmering melody hits you in the face. Caddy brings the sunshine back again with “Dumb Angel”, complete with handclaps and Beach Boys styled harmonies in the coda. If the Partridge Family jammed with Collective Soul, something like “The Perfect Alibi” might be the result – one of my favorite choruses on the record. The closest thing to a ballad you’ll hear on this record is the closer, “Long Way Home”, another harmony-laden highlight that ends the album with finesse.

Caddy is hands down one of the best releases of 2011 – not a loser in the bunch. I look forward to listening to this one over and over, Chlamydia be damned!

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14

Caddy on MySpace.