CONDORS, THE: Wait for It: CD

“The absence of boundaries is the enemy of art.” It’s an Orson Welles quote, and while I’m not sure what Orson thought of skinny tie power pop—I have a difficult time picturing the legendarily rotund thespian at a Knack concert circa ‘79 sipping a glass of Paul Mason, singing “Good Girls Don’t”—his theory fits that genre well. Give someone unlimited resources and they will likely return the favor by producing crap. Give them limitations, challenges, something to overcome, and things might click. Power pop’s boundaries are clearly marked: harmonies, hooks, and heartache. A lot of The Condors’ predecessors couldn’t handle the restrictions, falling victim to the “wee bit of killer, whole lotta filler” syndrome, putting out albums that felt like singles that overstayed their welcome; too many songs that didn’t function well within the confines. These days, there is no brass ring for a power pop band to snag, no commercial incentive to rush out a half-baked record, just the challenge of rearranging those power pop building blocks a dozen times over. The Condors, led by Pat DiPuccio, come up aces, especially on “Spare Time” (which had me searching the credits for a mention of Gary Frenay of Flashcubes fame). Wait for It is barebones and fashion-free (the roots rock camp could claim The Condors as easily as the power poppers) and it’s really, really good.

 –Mike Faloon (Rank Outsider, www.rankoutsiderrecords.com)