Back in the summer of1997, one couldn’t walk out of their house without hearing someone humming, blaring, or damning to Hell that juicy nugget of pop rock that was Hanson’s “MMMBop”. Depending on your age and gender, you either understood the hooky genius of the song or you were just in love with the boys dreamy locks of hair and gentle Oklahoma-bred smiles. For a moment in time, Isaac, Taylor, and Zac could do no wrong in the eyes of teen girls the world over.
Smug folks dismissed “MMMBop” as pop fluff of the illest repute, forgetting the fact that it was written by three musically-educated teen boys who worshipped artists like the Beatles and Chuck Berry. Insipid as it was at turns, it was also expertly crafted. In a year that gave us the Spice Girls, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”, and the Backstreet Boys, it’s strange that actual instrumentation was shunned. A few more singles were culled from their Middle Of Nowhere LP over the rest of the year, and the brothers released the requisite Christmas album just in time to cash in on the hype surrounding them.
The brothers laid low for a few years and came back in 2000 with This Time Around which saw the band leaning farther towards big stadium rock than short bursts of bubblegum. By this time most of their young fan base was probably getting tongue rings and waiting outside the Limp Bizkit tour bus for Fred Durst. Anyone paying attention would have heard razor-sharp pop rock created by musically-educated guys in an unfortunate situation that was out of their hands. It’s not their fault that the rest of the world was wearing backwards hats and repping Faith No More.
In 2004, the band released Underneath followed in 2007 by The Walk. Both albums featured the band pushing into harder blues-rock territory, sometimes coming off like a junior version of the Black Crowes. Both albums garnered decent reviews and success in spite of little marketing, which stands as a testament to the band’s lingering grassroots fanbase. A new album was finished this summer, with an aim for a rollout at next year’s South By Southwest in Austin. The band played a showcase at the festival in 2008 and were seen around town at shows as disparate as Blue Cheer and Fastball. In honor of tomorrow night’s Hanson gig at the House Of Blues, Rocks Off has gathered a group of videos featuring bands with brothers in their ranks. And yes, we do realize that the Jackson 5 and Kings Of Leon are also made up of brothers, but after this year we wish they would both disappear for awhile. Problem partly solved we guess. Too soon?