"Stand by Me is, like, my favorite movie of all time," says Cliff Powell, The Huntingtons' rhythm guitarist, explaining the group's photo on the sleeve of their new CD, Fun and Games. "Stand by Me is very much the story of my own personal childhood. Four friends walking around doing stupid stuff, not having much money and wondering what's going to happen to them when they grow up."
That assessment works just as well to describe the Huntingtons' music. Virtually every song on Fun and Games is about young love, or the many ways that boy meets girl, loses girl and mends a broken heart, while learning that some things just aren't right with the world. The songs display an innocence missing in most modern pop, while keeping enough toungue-in-cheek humor to appeal to fashionably cynical hipsters.
Much of the Huntingtons' appeal also stems from their infectious punk-pop, a blend of catchy melodies played lightning fast with user-friendly sing-along choruses, reminiscent of the Ramones, Screeching Weasel and MxPx. In fact, Mass Giorgini, the producer of Fun and Games, is one of the architects of the modern punk-pop movement in the mainstream.
The Huntingtons' relationship with Giorgini began when, on a whim, the band called up directory assistance in Giorgini's hometown and secured his home phone number, Cliff says that, after an initial conversations, they mailed him a copy of their first album, Sweet Sixteen, and demos of new material to audition.
"He called me back about a week later and said, You guys are an extremely good band. I definitely want to work with you."
Having an experienced producer on board, Cliff says, helped the Huntingtons take their music to a level where it can be appreciated by a larger audience.