Hooky pop-rock that borrows heavily from the '60s and '70s isn't the hottest thing going these days. But so what? When your sources are good (the Motorz's range from Mersey beat obscurities to Kiss, Queen, Cheap Trick and Nick Lowe) and your sense of fun is so straight-up that it borders on childlike innocence, the results are apt to very pleasant. And that's certainly the case with everything on the local foursome's two new CDs, All Day Long and All Night Long.
The former is so sweet at times that you begin worrying if fluffy sonic morsels about the many splendors of young love could somehow provoke diabetes. But this isn't just aural cotton candy. Chief songwriter and lead vocalist Kyle Motor has mastered the ins and outs of pop songcraft, and even at their most saccharine, the zesty, mostly mid-tempo tracks on Day always find their mark.
Predictably, things get a little harder on All Night Long. But not too hard. Acts like Kiss were never about real menace, and at their toughest, neither are the Motorz.
While Night's fist-pumping lead cut, "Can You Feel It Tonight," flirts with rebellion and alienation, in the end it's a disarmingly simple argument for the curative powers of rock 'n' roll. Not that Kyle Motor is a milquetoast; some of the characters that inhabit the second CD's songs drink beer by the case as they lament the punishing vagaries of love and life (see the piquant ode to heartache "Saturday Night"). Still, in the end, they're pretty much all softies. If their special someone comes back home or a song they hold dear comes on the radio, their worlds are complete.
Are these characters living fantasies? Sure. But thanks to Motor and his compatriots, they're some of the sweetest rock 'n' roll fantasies that have ever hit your iPod.