Daniel Romano's 'Super Pollen' EP Is a Low-Stakes Romp with High-Profile Collaborators
Published Apr 28, 2020Super Pollen, the latest in a string of releases from prolific Welland, ON, singer-songwriter Daniel Romano, is basically a musical collaboration between Romano, his brother Ian, and Fucked Up/Jade Hairpins members Mike Haliechuk and Jonah Falco. Given that pedigree, it's no surprise that this six-song offering is chock full of stompy rockers and turbo-charged punk frollicks collectively radiating a nostalgic, Canadian, riff-oriented vibe akin to Sloan, the Grapes of Wrath, or perhaps more low-profile flashes in the pan like Pluto, Rusty and the Super Friendz.
The title track opens with the hooky, straight-ahead rock feel with a progressive waltz time breakdown in the middle. The highlight track "Electricity's Allergic to You" hits you with medium tempo surf rock and a pinch of twang to keep things interesting. Meanwhile, the choruses add the hooks and harmonies to make each track memorable, and there are standout guitar solos on "Still Hate Cops" and "Natural Lover".
In the end, Super Pollen is a fun "what if" romp, with its primary weakness being that a good portion of the tracks give off a same-y vibe. With the uniqueness of the lineup of musicians Romano is working with, that may cause some listeners to come away from this disappointed. That being said, with the majority of tracks clocking in at under three minutes, this release serves as a nice, albeit all-too-brief distraction from the current isolated state we are all in. (Independent)