Part of the undeniable beauty of pop music is its simplicity. You have a catchy melody, a steady bass line, and lyrics that are able to effortlessly sum up the human condition – like, say the tribulations of a broken heart or how great it feels to dance.

While The Beatles have been memorialized for every genre they have explored, they are arguably most revered for the early years when Paul McCartney was more concerned with twisting and shouting than with tripping acid in the grass. The people like pop. And I don’t think anyone can deny the power of the three-chord song. Portland-based rock ‘n’ roll troupe, Charts, have historically tapped into that plentiful market with their own brand of pre-flower-power that would make old school junkies swoon. Their brand new release, Break, certainly adheres to that same pop formula, however this effort has evolved with a crucial edge that keeps the young band entirely relevant.

The album, engineered by recording prodigy Jeff Bond and mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk, is an accomplished form of puppy-love surf rock. Chock full of catchy riffs and lucid melodies, tracks like “Fade Away,” and “Fake Vacation,” are nigh impossible to not get stuck in your head.  However, nothing quite pulls on the heartstrings like “How Did You Get So Mean,” which plays like an homage to the 1950’s pop ballads of high school proms.  Retaining lo-fi quality yet reforming and tightening their sound, Break is an exceptional pop effort both sonically and lyrically.

Catch Charts live at Holocene this Thursday night, as they celebrate the release of their new album, along with Souvenir Driver and Fog Father. Break will be available for purchase in CD and tape format.