Ok readers, this is a slightly annoying track by track review and I wrote it while listening to the album for the third or fourth time. It’s confusing, messy and despite the structural approach pretty unstructured.
When I listened to their opener „Try Pt.1 / Pt.2“, I thought of Noah and the Whale on Valium. Mainly, because of the vocals but also because I had no patience at all and wanted all the action in the world, which would only come after approximately 3 and a half minutes and then some.
Fortunately, the dog on the album cover and their bandname convinced me to give them another chance and I rolled my eyes and went on to listen further.
What an album.
It drives more into the Modest Mouse of the late 90s, garage-y direction with a sense for melodies that is stunning amidst all the raw and headless ruckus they create and that eventually makes their opener something of a great surprise.
We’re then off to the racing, titillating and really loud „American“ which is followed by a true anthem called „Bad Sound“ which also is a fantastic title for any anthem. This is what you want to have played when something big happens but you are on your own and can’t share it with anyone.
„Old Folks“ is the sobering-up song of the bunch and „Garden“ shows a real thought process in the tracklisting because it picks up from the previous, delicate tune and slowly leads us towards somewhat louder, messier grounds which result in „Witching Hour“ which has one of those really great scream-along moments that release some unspecified aggressions that work great in a car or during washing the dishes, like, when you just got Facebook timeline and can’t think of a funny way to present yourself via profile and cover pic.
Three songs to go, bear with me, it’s going to get even better.
Usually, my mind starts to travel by the time „Family Plot“ starts which is a good thing, in contrast to drifting off during conversations, the musically inspired drifting off is actually very good (I simply can’t ignore bad or boring music enough to drift off). „Search For“ goes back to the highly uplifting ways of somewhat fuzzier Nada Surf and again, these melodies are absolutely fantastic. And the last song – crucial on a good album – „July ’09’“ is for drifting off again but then getting out of it because it’s so good that you just have to look up and think “damn, this is really good!”
Seriously, I think I really want to go on a camping trip with my friends. Except without tents and nature and hotel rooms and wi-fi instead.
And bow and curtain and leave and wait a few seconds then go on stage once more to bow again. Well played, sirs, well played. Aaaand scene!