Los Angeles-based quintet The 88 just released its sophomore album, Over and Over, and the world of kick ass power pop will never be the same. Okay, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but the band writes genuinely catchy tunes reminiscent of everyone from The Strawberries and Cheap Trick, to the Fab Four and The Jam, and in this day and age of hip hop flip flop and nu-metal thug-chug, that’s a good thing.
The 88 – Keith Slettedahl on vocals/guitar, Adam Merrin on piano, Brandon Jay on guitar, Carlos Torres on bass, and Anthony Zimmitti, drums – formed in early 2003 and have been tearing up clubs around the country ever since. The band became a staple on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, a clearinghouse for rising indie rock outfits, world music composers and underground acts hoping to cross over into the mainstream. Ultimately, 12 of the album’s 13 cuts made the spin list at NPR’s flagship station, opening the floodgates to movie and television offers such as segments on NBC’s Extra, ABC’s The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Fox’s The O.C. and the 2004 Ben Affleck flick Surviving Christmas. Lately, the band has been winning over the public via grassroots marketing, web promotion (www.the88.net and www.myspace.com/the88), merchandise and gigs a plenty. The group even posted three tracks on the site MySpace and scored over 20,000 requests for the single “Hide Another Mistake” in just of seven short days. Color us impressed.