Saturday 7 December 2019

Indie veterans show no signs of fading away




The New Jersey trio have been at the forefront of the US alternative rock landscape for the best part of 30 years and their quality control has remained high and consistent.

Yet, the Ira Kaplin-led outfit haven't quite received their due: their back catalogue deserves far wider acclaim that it currently enjoys.

Fade – their first album in four years – offers further proof of their songwriting smarts. It's a seemingly effortless exercise in blissed-out atmospherics, fuzzy alt.pop and straight-up indie rock.

The subtly layered Cornelia and Jane is elevated above the ordinary thanks to the judicious introduction of brass, Paddle Forward is the sort of delightfully catchy, undeniably clever skewed pop song that the US college radio scene was built on and the opener, Ohm, captures the band's ability to weave texture and atmosphere from a limited palate of instruments.

Three decades on and Kaplin et al have retained much of the sense of fun that got them noticed in the first place and that's especially apparent on the doo wop-contours of Well You Better.

A triumph – yet again.

Key tracks Ohm; Cornelia and Jane

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