The 88 is a Los Angeles-based pop rock group consisting of Keith Slettedahl (vocals & guitar), Adam Merrin (piano), Anthony Zimmitti (drums), and Todd O’Keefe (bass). They’ve been making music since their formation in 2002, landing song after song in hit television shows like The OC, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and One Tree Hill…to name a few. You may have also seen (or played) their song “Sons And Daughters” in the game, Rock Band 2. The 88 has recorded numerous independent albums and had a major label release in 2008 entitled, “Not Only…But Also”. If you missed it, you have to get it – one of the best modern rock and pop records of the year.
The 88 is back with a new 5-track EP called “No One Here”. Slettedahl sums up the main thing that makes me such a fan of The 88: “In the end, the thing that ties all of our songs together is the melodies…everything we do has that unifying element.” Things begin with “Think You Broke My Heart”, a signature The 88 cut applying British Invasion melodies to modern rock styles. “If Anyone Should Call” is a similar highlight with one of the most infectious and memorable choruses on the EP. Things slow down with a pair of delicate ballads, namely “I’ve Got A Name” and the piano-driven title track. The EP ends on an upbeat note with the sweeping song, “Not That Bad” – not that bad, indeed, thanks to the uplifting melodies and an earnest vocal from Slettedahl.
“No One Here” is short, but leaves a lasting impression. If you are looking for great modern rock that has not lost classic pop sensibility, it is due time you check out The 88. I’d especially recommend them for fans of American Hi-Fi, Augustana, or All-American Rejects. In addition to grabbing the EP, you should try to catch The 88 on the road through May with Ray Davies (The Kinks).