Thursday, July 16, 2009

From Australia with love: Summer Cats

Australia's Summer Cats may currently be weathering whatever sort of winter they have Down Under, but their sunny full-length debut, Songs for Tuesdays, has arrived with perfect timing here in the States. The band's name is appropriate for their upbeat style, fitting somewhere between the spastic pop attitude of Los Campesinos and the noisy rock of bands like label mates Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The group's boy/girl harmonies and love of melodic hooks makes the 32 minutes of their debut a simple, direct, and - best of all - fun pop record as effortlessly entertaining as anything you're likely to hear this summer.

Songs like "Hey You, It's Me (Oh My)" and "Camel Cords" follow a recipe of raw guitars, driving keys, and pounding drums while main man Scott Stevens sings/shouts his way through the tunes with a sort of infectious exuberance that's quite winning. The 'mid-fi' sound walks the line between retro-pop accessibility and recent noise trends well, channeling the energy of classic garage pop and adding the band's own twist in the process. Most of the songs only last about two and a half minutes, with only the breezy "Wild Rice" crossing the three minute threshold, causing the 13 tracks to fly by quickly. The brevity is welcome given the sheer amount of musical sugar packed into each tune, and Songs for Tuesdays is enjoyably frantic without going overboard. Also, the band mixes up the tempo and song structures enough to keep things light and occasionally unexpected.

Download highlight "Hey You" and watch the quirky video for "Lonely Planet" below, and if that's not enough to convince you, check out Summer Cats on MySpace to hear more.

Hey You