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Alto Verde Get in the College-Rock Time Machine With “Paul Westerberg”

August 18, 2011

Alto Verde is the latest band fronted by longtime Baltimore rock fixture Andy Bopp, whose history includes Love Nut’s brief major label tenure in the ’90s as well as the long-running solo project Myracle Brah. Anchored by bassist Kris Heath, also of local powerpoppers Gary B. and the Notions, and drummer Nicholas Bertling, the band’s songs are like an astute study in the history of the jangly, nervous guitar pop that might be called indie-rock but is probably best evoked by its ’80s tag, college-rock.

Bopp acknowledges his influences both implicitly and overtly throughout Alto Verde’s debut album Paper Clips, due out August 30th with a release party at Frazier’s on the Avenue on the 27th. One of the album’s standouts, “Paul Westerberg,” is outright named after one of those influences, much the way Westerberg himself once wrote a song called “Alex Chilton.” But there may be an extra layer of meta in that the tumbling drums and smooth hooks of “Paul Westerberg” actually recall Big Star’s “Back Of A Car” more than any Replacements song. And it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the next song on the album is titled “Minneapolis.”

“Paul Westerberg” by EverydayElk

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