The only bad thing you can say about Material Issue is that the band can make you feel awfully old. Anybody who survived a ’70s Ramones-Undertones fixation will feel a second adolescence coming on after hearing International Pop Overthrow.
This record is power pop at its peak, precisely the sort of stuff that was kicking some disco booty a dozen years ago. What it lacks in chords it more than makes up for in hooks.
Each tune on the Chicago trio’s debut album has an irresistible little riff guaranteed to be sung again and again in showers all across this country. To keep from turning into the Knack, however, Material Issue makes sure those riffs are cleverly roughed up with its garage-band approach to playing. Anything goes as long as the songs are over within three minutes. (Mercury)