I guess TPOH could've been North America's answer to the Hoodoo Gurus. I mean hey, they were catchy as heck and they rocked. Unfortunately,like those Aussies, they were also too smart and funny for the mainstream, but a little too mainstream for the edgy crowd,and those that remember their 15 minutes of mainstream fame back in the late fall of '88, probably think they were a novelty band.
Which is a shame, as the totally awesome "Love Junk" amply displays. It contains the closest thing the band ever had to a hit "I'm An Adult Now." With its half-sung, half-spoken lyrics, humorous outlook and over the top guitars, it comes off as something as a gag--sort of a thinking man's take on "Fight For Your Right To Party." Yet, behind it all are lyrics that ring increasingly true the older you get. For this aging rocker the song was great when I was 18, better when I was 28 and, I suspect, will be more meaningful yet when I turn 38 next year. The only downer about it is I can never find it at a Karaoke bar.
Its also a shame that few dug deeper than the one track, as several others, especially the power pop gem "She's So Young" are completely excellent. They're convincing on both the ballads and the harder stuff (especially lead track "Hard To Laugh") and the entire album features really sweet boy/girl harmonies. Todd Rundgren's production polishes things to a super-glossy sheen, but those production values have held upper better than a lot of other stuff from the era and the album still sounds quite fresh today.
Even if you don't listen to loud music anymore, its more than worth your time and money to get reacquainted with this one.