[sic] Magazine

Tony Molina – Dissed And Dismissed

Pop music is popular for many reasons, not least the passivity of a spoon-fed public. Good pop music is plentiful nevertheless. In the main it doesn’t challenge greatly though, conforming to expectations such as track length. Bite-sized nuggets are demanded by mainstream radio and average length used to be around 3 minutes. Now it seems to be about four. Amongst other projects, Bay Area mainstay Tony Molina makes pop music, but he’s upsetting this system because his debut album’s 12 tracks last just 12 minutes (you do the maths). His choruses, too, never repeat. There simply isn’t time.

Is Dissed And Dismissed therefore a gimmick or a purposeful sticking it to the man? Neither really. It’s just a breathless blast of free expression unfettered by demands to be anything but its fuzzy, riff-tastic self. A strong guitar hook decorates the scrappy slacking of “Nowhere To Go”. Cut with neat feedback, the mad decent “Walk Away” is more of the same ADD pop. Weezer would kill to get their hands on the extended edit of “Change My Ways”. The wistful “Can’t Believe” is overlain with the fun-time power chords of classic rock. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it “Nothing I Can Do” condenses like a sticky reduction of Wavves, Terry Malts and King Tuff gems. The spirit of The Ramones lives on all 92 seconds of the album’s longest track “Don’t Come Back”, its denim-clad riff scaling and heavy chug belying Molina’s hardcore background. And he even finds room for an acoustic cover of Guided By Voices’ kindred “Wondering Boy Poet”.

Make no mistake. Dissed and Dismissed is fully formed. That’s not to say some of it wouldn’t benefit from a little fleshing out, but the album as a whole doesn’t require it. These tracks as they stand have power in their brevity and genuine quality to boot. All the same, and despite each of them having a proper conclusion, it still does kinda feel like listening to a promising power-pop LP via one of those 30-second preview services. Whether he can address that on his forthcoming sophomore effort we’ll just have to see.

Best tracks: “Change My Ways” and “Walk Away”

~Originally released in 2013 on Melters, Dissed And Dismissed is re-released July 14th 2014 on Slumberland Records.~