Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Parties -- Can't Come Down (2008)

The Parties -- Can’t Come Down (Rainbow Quartz)

This California quartet has its sound down. This is Jangle Pop 101 with a minor in harmony vocals. The first name that comes to mind when hearing The Parties is The Byrds. This is followed by great harmony groups such as The Hollies and The Searchers. While I don’t think the harmonies here rise to that standard, they are pretty good.

The band has enough personality, reflected both in the playing and the compositions, to make this a fine listen. This is demonstrated on “Breaking Hearts”, which brings the jangle to a fevered pitch. In a manner similar to The Last, The Parties play this dramatic tune with a great deal of intensity (especially in the lead vocal), which makes the hooks hit that much harder.

Speaking of hitting hard, “Radio” is a spirited number with a strong guitar riff propelling the proceedings. This song actually has two strong hooks, one in the bridge to the chorus, and then the chorus itself, which relies on riding a rhythm guitar and call-and-response vocals. This song also illustrates the superb production on the record. Chris Dunn and the band should take a bow, as they guys take stereo separation seriously, in a way that allows every instrument to get its due.

The second half of the record is stronger than the more-than-fine first, on the strength of songs like “Waterfall” (which comes close to the great lost Hollies song bliss of the like minded band The Resonars), the pretty folk rocking “Gotta Get Out”, and the Grip Weed-ish (Grip Weedy?) “Damned By the Sunshine”.

Again, let me reiterate how well recorded this is. Of course, if the songs weren’t so good, that wouldn’t matter much, I suppose.

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