New Orleans duo, Generationals, seem to have flown beneath the radar for quite some time, that is until Park the Van Records, home to Dr. Dog, decided to release their album Con Law. The record crosses various rivers of genre, yet always staying familiar in the listener’s ear. Here we have a complete album of pop celebration that will surely tide us over for the rest of the summer.
When “Nobody Could Change Your Mind” begins, the tinkering of electronic keyboard makes it seem like just any other neo-electroni-pop album, but then the horns kick in, stepping the album out of a purely cliche realm of music. Vocals here have a bit of an echo, which may give them a lo-fi title, but the band is nowhere near that mark.
“Angry Charlie” switches gears, and recalls the best moments of MGMT, although if you listen to this on repeat several times you will see that the usage of the organ and bounding percussion give it an entirely different light, moving the band beyond their peers. Yet, this group immediately allows for the staleness of such styles to veer in different directions. The half-hearted stomp of “Faces in the Dark” demonstrate that the band is far more than a one trick pony; they have a barrage of approaches in the writing of Con Law, allowing for the album to take on a more long-standing importance for fans.
By the time you meet the mid-section of this record, you start to wonder exactly why you hadn’t heard anything about this band up until this point in time. “”When they Fight, They Fight,” and “Our Time (2 Shine)” are both solid tracks that exemplify just how special a listening experience this will be. Both songs hold tightly to some really great hooks, while still paying homage to classic beach sounds. They might take a slight misstep from here with “Wildlife Sculpture,” as it’s one of the very few songs that doesn’t immediately make you want to press repeat on your player, whatever format.
Just as the album seems as if it will stay with electronic flourishes, “Exterior Street Date” sweeps in with ringing guitars. The vocals will take the key role for the majority of the song here, but the subtlety of the chorus somehow manages to stick inside your head. This duo is the key of under-spoken pop gems, accessible and discernible, only for those with careful ears. Following this comes “It Keeps You Up” with its bouncing piano work and vocals that appear to be sung by a mass group of fans, though it’s just one voice. Such care went into the patchwork of these songs that it’s no wonder you find yourself listening to them again and again. And such is the story of the album, you find yourself rushing back and forth to play that track over and over, wondering to yourself if it really was that good. The answer for the songs, and the album is yes!
Generationals play at Stubbs Indoors on August 6th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-angry-charlie.mp3]
Download: Generationals – Angry Charlie [MP3]