My Anthem – Soda Cracker Jesus (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a sweet spot between pop and rock which eludes many who try to unlock its powers. It’s sort of like alchemy, the quest to turn rock into something more infectious and addictive or to imbue pop with more weight and drive. Most fail to get the sonically charged, chemical reaction just right, ending up with the sound of pop trying to hard to be something else or rock failing to embrace the sweet charms of the mainstream. Soda Cracker Jesus gets it just right.

My Anthem is the perfect balance of pop smarts and rock groove, a sort of power-pop kicker with psychedelic leanings. And such is its pedigree that iconic points of reference are easy to draw, from a beefed-up Beatles or punked out Kinks to those who took that sound forward, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope, XTC, Anton Barbeau and many more.

That’s not to say that this song comes across in any way plagiaristic or plundered, I’m just saying that you can have a fair stab at guessing the sort of records that you might find in SCJ’s record collection. And unlike most generic labels, power-pop is perfectly succinct in explaining what you will find once the needle hits the wax. Pop. Yes, you can hear that in the effortless groove and lush harmonies. Power. Of course, it has a relentless drive, clattering and cool backbeats and attitude. Energy meets euphoria in a two and half minute sonic workout.

Lyrically too, the song does some great things. Its message might be about the personal quest of the artist, of love, optimism and the future but after the year that we have all gone through, I’m sure that it is an anthem that we all might like to adopt. A real ray of sunshine and a quest for silver-linings and self-improvement and who couldn’t do with a bit of that in their life right now, right? Right!

Rock music is often too earnest and takes itself too seriously, pop music unusually too transient and throwaway. Put the two together and you have a winning formula and My Anthem is all the proof that you need.

If musically Soda Cracker Jesus, great name, by the way, is bringing up to date a style that we might already be familiar with, lyrically his eyes are fixed firmly on the future, a brighter, better one at that. You have to admire a world outlook like that.

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