Angular guitars and hollered vocals kick off this five track EP from this Los Angeles group, opening track Your Love/Not Enough has shades of Ok Go with its breathy, emotive lead vocals, indie-pop guitar riffs and a carefully constructed arrangment with an eye on toe-tapping and coolly-restrained dancing. Ready Or Not has a slinkier rhythm that seems to be more indebted to scruffy Brits like Arctic Monkeys, punctuated by sharp chords from guitarist/vocalist Joel Nass, it’s a little more arch and theatrical, with a nice spiralling keyboard aside from Amber Garvey that cues up a final plunge into the chorus.
The title track has an anthemic bent, the track building and then stopping short, it bares some resemblance to the poppiest moments of fellow Californians Phantom Planet, but it lacks their knack for a truly catchy chorus, and seems a little to eager to be a hand-clapping sing-a-long.
Substitute is a delightful cacophony, a bit messy in a pleasingly sleazy way, Nass slipping between a bark and a breathy murmur, it’s just a shame that the choruses swagger into two-step The Automatic territory, a bit of a dreary counterpoint to the scruffy verses. Final track It’d Be Fine awkwardly pitches Joel’s voice alongside Amber Garvey’s in a jaunty alt-country ballad, the keys and organ lines work well, giving things a nice sentimental streak, alongside Matthew Parsons and Mike Walker’s chirpy bass and drum lines respectively, with the track feeling like one of Rilo Kiley‘s more flippant efforts.
An okay EP from a sugary summery indie-pop group, currently lacking a chorus to really push them into the big time or a distinctive enough sound to give them left-field credibility, but a decent enough debut.