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SONG SCRUTINY — ‘INTO THE SUN’

Parlor Mob 2011.jpg

On its debut album, And You Were a Crow (2008), the New Jersey shore-bred quintet The Parlor Mob put a fresh coat of paint on 1970s-style hard rock.

With a new bassist in the fold, The Parlor Mob is back — and still flashing its retro swagger — with “Into the Sun,” which will be included on the band’s second album, Dogs, due Oct. 11 on Roadrunner Records. The song is scheduled to go to radio on July 25, but it can be downloaded now from the band’s Facebook page.

Lyrics: At a low volume, it’s a bit difficult to understand what singer Mark Melicia is so fired up about, but this is a song that’s meant to be played loud — and not just to get a grasp on the words. About 13 seconds into the tune, Melicia opens with the line “All my life I’ve been chasing something,” and he later sings about “no retreats and no regrets,” insists “there ain’t no turning back” and proclaims in the chorus “our day is gonna come.” A bit clichéd, yes, but everything is delivered with the right amount of passion (and melody). In a video trailer for “Into the Sun,” PM guitarist Paul Ritchie offers this summation of the lyrics: “I would have to assume it’s about the last year and a half of our lives.”

Music/arrangement: A shade longer than three minutes, “Into the Sun” is one big fuzz-guitar orgy from start to finish, anchored by a steady, sturdy riff that opens the song and reappears after the first and last chorus. And right at the point where one might expect a guitar solo, there’s a cool 30-second chord/riff break that features a slight tempo change and has Melicia cutting loose with a long, rock-god wail taken from Robert Plant‘s Led Zeppelin playbook.

Production: Matt Radosevich, whose credits include 30 Seconds to Mars and Taking Back Sunday, doesn’t really try to fix what ain’t broke: Anyone who is familiar with The Parlor Mob’s first album should recognize right away that the same band is behind this song. Radosevich also mixed “Into the Sun,” and the choice to not push Melicia’s vocals too high works in providing an element of mystery.

The verdict: Crank it — literally and figuratively. “Into the Sun” is a ballsy rocker that sounds best with the volume turned up to 11, and the song gets better with repeated listens. Here’s hoping the remaining commercial rock stations in America are not scared to play something like this.

— By Chris M. Junior