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"Eyman Prison” is electric slide guitar heaven. It’s a tale of desperados and ne’r-do’wells in which the protagonist is “frowning while he’s drowning”. I love the audacity of their rhymes. Any band that rhymes “Mexico” with “dough” with such blatant aplomb gets my vote . Darn tootin’ it does. It’s a hooky number that does what the band wants it to.

ROLLO TIME- VICTIMS OF THE CROWN- SELF RELEASED- Sophomore effort by this Chicago (Downer’s Grove, actually) band led by the talents of Jon Raleigh who never met a Beatles song he didn’t like. The songs/tempos vary but most are mid-tempo and hooky with nods to the Fab Four as well as others more recent stuff (I hear some Pulp in there, I swear). “Sick and Tired” is my fave here but there’s plenty to like, really. www.rollotime.com

Downers Grove-based Rollo Time, brainchild of singer/songwriter Jon Raleigh, carry on a tradition of smart Chicago power-pop blueprinted by bands like Material Issue and Green. Rollo Time occasionally tosses in more interesting elements of harder-rocking, obscure Brit-pop bands like The Boo Radleys and Thurman on Victims Of The Crown, their sophomore effort, recorded at Chicago’s Gravity Studios. As true connoisseurs of this genre, the band sound better when they stay away from Raspberries-style sugary pop overdoses. Harder-edged tracks like “Travel The World,” and “On The Ground” show Rollo Time at their power-pop best.

It's Rollo Time again, as this Chicago-area band returns with the followup to their 2007 self-titled debut. Once again, they show a great facility for melding classic rock and power pop, and that's apparent right off the bat with "You Can Talk" and "Sick and Tired", a pair of tracks that will appeal to fans of bands like The Shazam and Superdrag. "Eyman Prison" tells the story of a frustrated prisoner (of a real Arizona prison) to a power pop beat, while the midtempo janglers "Madeline Says" and "I Can't Believe This Day" are also standouts.

When we hear the opening chords of “You Can Talk.” it’s clear that Rollo Time has changed from its debut. It’s a good single, with the right amount of rock bluster in the chorus. But there is less stylistic experimenting and more of a commercial rock sound here. The exception is “Eyman Prison,” a delightful standout with a 10cc like lyrical quality.

The hard guitar riffs make the pop compositions stand out in some cases, like in “Where Is Mine” with its odd backing sound effects. Another gem is the hook laden riffs and harmonies on “I Can’t Believe This Day.” Like a mix of Joey Sykes and Marillion with its shambling rock melodies, the eccentricities of the songs will keep you paying attention, but it loses steam by the albums end. However there is enough good music to make it worth repeat listens, so give it a try.

Rollo Time - self-titled CD

Fasten your seatbelts! This is a very cool 70's-influenced rocker that's a bit on the heavy side but melodic as heck!

Rollo Time - self-titled CD:

This labor of love by Jon Raleigh is a great album for fans of classic rock and roll. "Rollo Time" draws it's power pop influences from some great 70s bands, like Bad Company, Led Zepplin, Alice Cooper and proto-metal bands like Black Sabbath. The first song "Maintenance Free" is the poppiest of the bunch and resembles Matthew Sweet and The Shazam. After this the songs get a bit heavier with a strong rhythm section, which is powered their riffs to perfection. "Float down the River" uses this beat driven rhythm to plow the song into your ear, much like a Weezer tune. "Travel the World" is my favorite tune on the album, it has just the right amount of guitar crunch and harmonies with a great hook in the chorus. Is it any wonder that both Rollo Time and Cheap Trick are both from Illinois? The next tune "Don't" flirts with that proto-metal sound, and "Cut Me To the Quick" sounds like a lost track from the band, Free with a chorus that morphs into Todd Rundgren's Utopia. I love this melding of styles, and it's also a standout track with great guitar solo. Also notable is the very Zepplin-like ballad "Teach to Grow" with multi-tracking guitars weaving some magic here. Although the melody didn't thrill me, the lyrics impressed me in "Moth and Butterfly" the albums closer. For those who love meat-and-potatoes power pop, it's time for "Rollo Time"

Rollo Time - self-titled CD

You've put in a hard day at work. You've finished fixing dinner. You've put the kids to bed. Now, it's Rollo Time.

OK, apologies to the Miller Brewing Co. aside, any time is Rollo Time if you're a fan of classic power pop in the vein of Superdrag, The Shazam, Splitsville and various other bands whose name starts with "S" (even though they start with an "R"). Hailing from the rather depressingly-named Downers Grove, Illinois, the Rollos deliver the kind of disc that rewards power pop fans for waking up each day and asking "what's new and exciting out there?".

Opener "Maintenance Free" is a Superdrag-styled opener that throws in enough left-field touches (i.e., the break at the 2-minute mark with just the lead singer and piano) to make it something more than cookie-cutter stuff. Meanwhile, "Float Down The River" has such an infectious beat and melody that your foot will still be tapping 5 minutes after the song is over. "Travel The World" rocks out with a bit of Cheap Trick attitude, and "Don't", "Cut Me to the Quick" and "Only If You Wanna" make a fine trio of rockers. Closing out the disc on a quality note is the trippy "Moth & Butterfly", which is most definitely NOT a Heart cover.