Atenzia build on their reputation as one of the finest labels for modern rock, with the addition of Baltimore trio Plunge to their roster. Lead singer, Mike Ruocco started the band when he was just twelve years old and although he holds the late Elvis Presley in high esteem, Plunge’s music fortunately remains uninfluenced by “The King”. In 2002 Ruocco joined SR71 as the bass player, keeping Plunge going. Indeed the two bands have toured together.
As expected the two bands are extremely similar, although if pressurised into a decision-based on SR71’s latest non-freely available and disappointing album-it would have to be said that Plunge have the upper hand, with better songs and a less formulaic approach that doesn’t rely on sub standard pop punk songs to hit the sweet spot. At times the trio are reminiscent of Enuff Z Nuff. ‘Understand’, an up-tempo pop rocker in the SR71 vein, and ‘Hope’ have both been lifted from the earlier ‘Understand’ e.p whilst the other 10 songs are new. Pick of the bunch are ‘Fall Into One’ a power pop anthem of the highest order, the pop jangle of ‘Scared’, and the rousing adult pop punk of ‘Ordinary Girl’. All songs offer a commercial edge without selling out to the latest popular fad, making ‘Hometown Hero’ the best release of its kind this year.