Hop On Pop
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Hop On Pop

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Chicago's Hop on Pop happily attacks the indie pop and rock hat rack for As Drawn by Ethan, Age 2. Happily because they realize sounding a bit like Pavement or Belle and Sebastian never hurt anyone. But happily, too, because lead guy Todd Leiter-Weintraub and his tidy crew sound genuinely joyous on this, their Spade Kitty debut. "If It's Important to You" begins with laconic Malkmus detachment, but it soon unfolds into a pop origami monster of bright orange high notes and chunky grey distortion. Just as unpretentiously, "Cary's Here" twists the chiming guitars and giddy descending piano familiar to anyone who ever bought a natty thrift store sweater into a ditty fit for a king -- or, in this case, a happy little baby. "And your eyes must be open/'Cause you start to cry...It's alright now/Daddy's here." Aw. Leiter-Weintraub shows a flair for this sort of unaffected lyrical picture painting throughout Ethan -- even if he's only using the primary colors, the results are clear-eyed and expressive. Hop on Pop's instrumentation takes some delightful detours, too. A harpsichord effect livens up "Don't Speak," while the acoustic "False Start" is led along by the loopy lope of a dobro. "Suckers" opts for a boisterous Big Star feel, while the late-album entry "For My Friends" surges forth for a sucker-worthy boisterous Big Star feel. As Drawn by Ethan, Age 2 ends with the electrified rocker "Block Block," its feedback finale putting a rousing exclamation point on a record content to earnestly be of a piece, instead of out ahead. And with summer coming on, there's nothing wrong with that.
-Johnny Loftus, AllMusic Guides - AllMusic.com


Honest, playful and sometimes lackadaisical, frequently energetic lo-fi indie-pop fills the debut release from Chicago based band Hop On Pop. Led by singer/songwriter Todd Leiter-Weintraub, their humble tunes are completely lacking in pretense, and quite likeable for it. This record is reminiscent at times of the mildly quirky Monochrome Set in its breezy, jangly cadence, as in "And To Think...". Or perhaps Big Star at their most sparse, with the lazy "I Do". Hints of early, exuberant English pop groups seem to influence many other tunes while exposing an everyman's confessional sense of lyricism. Rockers like "Suckers" and "I Got It Back" reflect Leiter-Weintraub's days playing loud 'n' fast punk in bands like Chew Toy and Cash Cow. Hop On Pop As Drawn By Ethan, Age 2 was mixed and mastered by Veteran Mark Schwarz (Neko Case, Chamber Strings, Freakwater). Nearly power-pop, not quite retro-pop, approaching indie-pop, there's no pigeonhole for these guys. They are simply Hop On Pop.
-Miles of Music.com - Miles Of Music


Hop On Pop is a Chicago based quartet organized by songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Todd Lieter-Weintraub to flesh out the sound he'd developed on a demo he'd titled Lo-fi Is Better Than No-Fi At All. With the help of drummer David Kling, bassist Tim Ferguson (The Me Decade) and multi-instrumentalist and Spade Kitty top cat Matt Walters, Leiter-Weintraub found the elements needed to show fidelity to his musical vision, while adding fidelity to his musical performance.
The result is a 13 song whirlwind of varied pop styles that is held together by the essential joy that lies at the core of all great pop music. While Leiter-Weintraub has a tendency to compose vocal parts that challenge his vocal range, the net effect is to add a DIY quality to an otherwise professionally polished effort, an effect that suggests that you could do this too, which is half the fun.
And most of all, it's all fun. Start to finish, it's pure pop pleasure, and another gold star on the Spade Kitty report card.
-Shaun Dale, Cosmik Debris webzine - Cosmik Debris


These guys are genreless, a refreshing thing to find in a world where everything has to be put in a box of some sort. The songs aren't pretty... you wouldn't take them home to meet your Mum. In fact most of Hop On Pop's songs have fallen down the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. But fuck they're good.
-Frank Boner, www.bonemachine.net - Bone Machine


Bouyant indie pop/rock that?s willing to zig AND zag.
-Parasol Records.com
- Parasol Records


Wow...such a great band name, hard to believe no one thought of it before. Hop On Pop is the project driven by the songwriting skills of Todd Leiter-Weintraub. Joining Todd on these recordings is David Kling and various other artists/musicians. The humorously-titled Chicken On A Bicycle kicks off with the slightly goofy "Here"...an instantly addictive tune that sounds not unlike My Dad Is Dead in some ways. Many of the tunes on this album are pure pop but there are some acoustic solo tracks as well. Leiter-Weintraub proves himself to be an excellent songwriter. When he's "on" he comes up with songs that are remarkably appealing and intelligent. Ten tracks including "Here," "Tortured Artist" (a really cool standout cut), "I'm Pathetic," and "Happy Days." This came very close to being a top pick this month. We'd be willing to bet that the world will be hearing some even more amazing stuff from this peculiar little band in the very near future.

Link:
http://www.babysue.com/2010-Feb-LMNOP-Reviews.html#anchor21011
- BabySue/LMNOP


Discography

DISCOGRAPHY:
2004: As Drawn By Ethan, Age 2 (SK019)
2010: Chicken On a Bicycle (SK027)

SONGS:
"Cary's Here"
"Ashes On the Water"
"Here"
"I'm Pathetic"
"Come On, Let's Go"
"For My Friends"

(all available for streaming and download at:
http://iacmusic.com/hoponpop)

Photos

Bio

Hop On Pop is Todd Leiter-Weintraub, a songwriter who is too restless to keep himself chained to a single genre.

The project's first album, As Drawn By Ethan, Age 2, was recorded as a genuine full-band affair and was released in April, 2004 on Spade Kitty Records to positive reviews, but relatively modest sales.

The band splintered in August, 2007, leaving leader/songwriter Leiter-Weintraub alone, to pursue a more fluid format for the next Hop On Pop album.

Todd convinced HoP drummer/percussionist/multi-instrumentalist David Kling to help him out in this new venture. With Kling on-board, he picked up friends, musicians and acquaintances, nerds, and various insects wherever he found them to record a new set of songs for the anxiously awaited follow-up.
Being that the lineup changed from song to song (and that Todd's listening habits range from apples to submarines) the songlist for this new venture is even more stylistically diverse than the debut. It delves more-deeply into Todd's love of traditional American music, as well as into punk, klezmer, and electronic pop.
The new album, Chicken on a Bicycle was completed in late, 2009 and is being released February 16, 2010 on Spade Kitty Records.