Suburban Kids With Biblical Names #3 [Minty Fresh]

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Rating: 6.75

The cover art gets a perfect ten. As for the music, it’s cheeky and clever, whimsical, and sports a consistent combination of electronic beats and habit-forming pop melodies. Swedish duo Peter Gunnarson and Johan Hedberg have created feel-good music in this album chock full of happy-go-lucky ditties transparently influenced by the likes of the Magnetic Fields. Their mission? To “turn all the dance floors into a burning inferno of ba-ba- ba”, says Labrador. If I must put this band in a category, I’ll go with what they claim on MySpace: “Hyphy/Tropical/Regional Mexican”. Also lifted off their MySpace page: “sounds like a long line of rocks or sand near the surface of the sea”.

“Loop Duplicate My Heart” resonates with recent releases from the Unicorns and Islands with their chipper lyricism and video gamey effects, as does the attitude of the album at large. Manly, low-pitch vocals abound, recalling the operetta style of David Byrne’s recent solo albums. Hand clapping, whistling and group choruses (“Seems To Be On My Mind”) add to the playful vibe.

A simple, hummable piano melody on “Trees And Squirrels” makes it an easy sell. We may be able to see right through to the bands that inspired this sound, but I prefer a band with transparent influences over a band that tries too hard to disguise them any day. The hybrid doo-wopish tunes are infectious and mildly mind numbing. Just when I think I like it, “Shitty Weekend” comes around and things get really annoying. The chorus: “take those silly shoes off, go back to summer camp/and don’t ever come back here you look like you live in a tent” And then just when I think I hate it, “Rent A Wreck” comes around, and I love it again. I guess it reminds me of home and my family road trips of yesteryear. And sitting around the campfire at summer camp (“Love Will”).

Did I mention the beat-boxing sample in “Little Boys In The Ghetto”? Unbelievably ballsy song composition there. I know of some neighborhoods where you could get jumped for playing that song on the street. This is another indie album that could easily double as a kids’ favorite car tape, and, although not quite ground breaking, it’s still a fun little jaunt.

-Lily Cutler

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