The second album by this Orlando born outfit that recently transplanted out to California , their addiction to the sunshine is very apparent in this music even though it carries a guitar sound is much more rock n roll than what I think of as indie-rock . These guys go back to a more 90′s alt rock feel not unlike the slacker aesthetic of Pavement, but with stronger hooks and more playful melodies like Weezer. There is a 50′s rock n roll feel but unlike the Drums, much more propelled by the punk influence in the way the snare hits.
The guitar lines take a more angular direction at the beginning to ” Weird Shapes’ but they conform back into the power pop formula. Not heavy there are tourette like bursts of screams out from odd corners of the songs from time to time. Their style is normally to upbeat for my personal taste until we get to the more introspective “I Was Wrong” lyrically they slightly downtrodden, but no where near the sardonic downtrodden of the Smiths which I consider uplifting, but having grown up in the 90′s I can fully appreciate where this is coming from as I was not quite as jaded by life then and could take this sort of thing on sunny days.
The songs stay in the pop range of three minute mark, they are written in a very concise fashion making full use of all three minutes to include a variety of sounds and harmonies. The guitar playing on this album is its strength with the vocal melodies coming in close behind it. The vocals of founder John Paul Pitts isn’t the greatest sing but works with what he has and uses the layering to fill the songs out from there. “Blair Witch” does find the vocals occupying a better space during the verses.
“Needles and Pins” sees the band step away from the formula establish on the rest of the album for this strummed ballad, the drummer really shines working around the solo section. They take another darker turn on “Slow Six” the chord ring out in a way that gives Pitts time to expound on their melodies, the slower b section gives the guitar a chance to shimmer over things before they reach an unexpected crescendo and drop back down, so in places like this I can hear the Pixies influence. For what this is and the fine tuning of the song writing this album can’t be denied I’m never this upbeat of a mood but I can recognize the talent invested in it.