Jun 18, 2014

Music Review: Straight Arrows-Rising

     Almost every song on Straight Arrows' second album, 'Rising' has a solid foundation built from thumping bass and no-nonsense time-keeping. These are some of the most melodic songs outside of San Francisco acts or their fellow Aussies, Tame Impala. The tunes are immediately hooky, ready made for communal sing-alongs. 'Petrified' and 'Never Enough' stretch out and beckon us to follow their journeys. They're only two of three tracks that boast short-lived solos. 
     In a perfect world, 'Rising' would be a massive pop hit. I applaud the blue-collar workmanship here. 'Rising' is my favorite, non-relinquish-able pair of Chuck Taylors.

                                                                                                                             Verdict: 4 Bedpans

Jun 8, 2014

Music Review: Slushy-Pastime Gardens

     The squall is strong with this one. The duo of Chris Kramer and Brent Zmrhal understand pop. There's almost nothing dissonant or angular in Slushy's music, which is break from the norm of what Chicago bands typically offer. Some of what's here is so cheery, I feel like these dudes belong to that group of Cubs fans that Lee Elia once famously railed against; jobless, careless, happy to just be anywhere. 
     They make good use of overdubs with an extra guitar, tambourine, bit of organ occasionally throw into the mix. No bass to be heard here, however. Female vocals guest on only one track, 'Done with Fun'. For the album's closer, Slushy give us their take on Lou Reed's 'Heroin' with 'Reverberations'. Pastime Gardens is a welcome escape from whatever less-than-sunny-or-cheerful realities I may have to endure this summer.

                                                                                                                           Verdict: 3 Bedpans