Power pop, by its nature, is a regressive genre, and Hot Robots is no different. The only thing that's in doubt is exactly which decade the band has so gleefully embraced. Built to Tilt, the Robots' full-length debut, re-creates every hook ever beaten to death by Cheap Trick, the Plimsouls and latter-day Guided by Voices — that is, some of the genre's greatest practitioners of the '70s, '80s and '90s. And therein lies the disc's beauty: True to the soul of power pop and unconcerned with anything else, Tilt speaks its own language, kisses its own cousins and gives its own secret handshake. Call it one-dimensional or even derivative; those who love power pop's big riffs, sweet harmonies and rock action will simply shrug and call it the real thing.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.