Pleasure Center Pity in Jangle City LP
I write a lot about wanting bands to sound dirtier, meaner, like more clear reflections of a fucked-up world. But you know what? I’m full of contradictions, because I also grew up loving pop punk. If I hear a guitar band with solid hooks and heart-on-sleeve lyricism, I’ll usually perk up to see what they’re up to, at the very least. This St. Louis band caught me immediately, striking that same nerve TEENAGE FANCLUB and ASH used to when I was a kid. There’s plenty of jangle, just a kiss of fuzz, and thrumming melodic energy for days. The vocals carry the kind of unvarnished, disarming charm of Jon Brion back when he didn’t just write film scores. Songs like “Cool 2 Crash” capture summer DIY space magic, where everything feels so melancholic and fleeting all while energizing you at the same time. There are tasteful bridges and the band in general just bangs it out where it counts. Power pop often falls short on both signifying terms, but this group embodies the term beautifully. One can only hope they’ve got more golden songs in the song warehouse.