Pop Evil, a five-piece from Grand Rapids, Mich., was the one major exception to this humdrum, assembly-line approach. In-between songs, vocalist Leigh Kakaty took a moment to show off a recording contract — presumably, the one the band signed to Universal Republic. The major label arm issued their first studio album, Lipstick on the Mirror, in 2008, but its follow-up remained in limbo. Kakaty explained that their second record wasn’t out yet due to some dispute with Universal Republic
Fuck that shit,” he declared, dramatically tearing up the contract and flinging the scraps into the air.
Now, there is a possibility that Pop Evil regurgitated this display later, but at that moment, it was satisfying to witness something at ROTR that felt daring and off-the-script.
Less than two months later, their sophomore album, War of Angels, saw daylight via E1 Music. In contrast to that earlier act of rebelliousness, Pop Evil’s approach to writing plays it safe. Their mix of Hard Rock and Post Grunge focuses on fighting, women and moments of self-reflection that never really penetrate; if the act has yet to soundtrack WWE programming, Vince McMahon should hop on the phone this instant. Despite the band’s lack of original ideas, a hook here or there can be enjoyable in a popcorn flick sort of way.
At ROTR, Kakaty championed the power of Rock & Roll over “Justin Bieber bullshit,” so if that’s an attitude you’re looking to buy, Pop Evil are certainly selling.
POP EVIL plays Bogart's Saturday, Dec. 10 with guests PUDDLE OF MUD. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.