Dizzy Box Nine’s sophomore release, Pop Fantasy, takes the band one huge step closer to sharing their unique musical sound to the masses. They have been influenced by a variety of bands, such as MXPX, Blink 182, and the Refreshments, and this is apparent in their music. Pop Fantasy offers 13 killer tracks, presented with somewhat of a dry sounding mix to keep the edges hard-rocking. This is pure musical adrenaline! It competes readily with some of the best stuff out there! Singer-guitarist, and band creator, Randy Ludwig creates clever melodic gems that are intriguing, inspiring, and fun to listen to.
Full-length albums can get overlong, but not this one. The songs here are mostly short and sweet fast-tempo rockers. Things start off quickly with “Anytime, Anyplace”, which has a nice feel to it, and wins you over with this cool guitar riff that plays subtly underneath throughout the song. Another standout song is “Yesterday” which is a reminder to all of us that anything is possible. I can still hear the chorus, “Be Mine Tonight” chime in my head. There’s a nice motivational tune titled “Like A Star”, which makes you smile as you tap your toe in the process of “singing along” with the melody, as the lyrics suggest. You get the feeling you’re the star, and it’s probably one of the best tracks on the album. Another top track is “Forever in My Dreams,” which displays singer-guitarist Randy Ludwig putting in some of what is clearly his best work on the album. Another track worthy of mention is “Maybe” where Ludwig displays moments of lyrical genius. This song will make an impact.
Things continue with “Just Like Heaven”, a smoking hot cover of the Cure’s classic hit. It’s a version not unlike the original, and Ludwig’s voice, although sounding nothing like Robert Smith, works wonders in this song, and helps Dizzy Box Nine put their own superb musical signature on it. Then there’s a cool “Happy Birthday” song which lasts just a few seconds, before the pop-heavy anthem “What I Like About You”, which keeps the happiness and positivity on track. If only there were a handful of other bands like this on the west coast who could match their songwriting quality and edgy sound. But I guess that’s the cool thing about Dizzy Box Nine. There’s not a lot of bands like them around.
“Talk Dirty to Me” is a cover which I can totally imagine them playing live, as it’s a classic made for the stage and they did it well in the studio. But “Hello Baby” returns the album back to that unique sound only Dizzy Box Nine can bring, and it’s actually more contagious than their covers, but together these songs all seem to magically work together. “Rosie” is another fun song with a cool message about chasing your dreams, and features some sizzling guitar parts. These songs are massively contagious, including the complexity of the finale “I Won’t Let You Down,” which is the only track of any slow-paced status on this marvelous new release.