It's taken a little while, but the Twin Cities' family music scene is finally starting to catch up with its adult scene in terms of vibrancy. With Bunny Clogs, the Okee Dokee Brothers, the Sweet Colleens, and now The Bazillions, there's new musical life for Minnesota's under-10 set and their families. The Bazillions are the underaged alter ego of Minneapolis powerpop band The Humbugs and the Bazillions' debut Rock-N-Roll Recess is every bit as sunny as their nighttime band's name isn't. This is the most straightforward kids power pop album this side of ScribbleMonster.
Songs about macaroni and cheese ("Mac-n-cheese," natch), grammar ("Preposition"), not to mention both a good morning and goodbye song, songwriter Adam Marshall has given us janglier Fountains of Wayne (or, perhaps, Semisonic) wrapped up up in typical grade schooler concerns. Not every song is a winner (or should've ended at 1:45 instead of going on another couple minutes), but "Super Sonic Rocket Bike" and "Tommy Got In Trouble" are two great songs, worthy of great kid-popsters like Justin Roberts. "Career Day" and "It's A Mess" are also strong tracks.
The 30-minute album (plus karaoke versions of "Rocket Bike" and "Tommy") will appeal most to kids ages 5 through 9. You can listen to some songs at the band's Myspace page or samples at the album's CDBaby page. Rock-N-Roll Recess is a solid debut album -- if you're thinking that Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend wouldn't be the best album to play over and over to your kindergartener, this might fit the bill. Recommended.