"Yes, I'm running as fast as I can / Toward a stunning and imperfect plan." The couplet appears midway through That's How We Burn, the fine Sub Pop debut by Jaill, and it encapsulates the Milwaukee quartet's tipsy but assured take on Plimsouls-meets-REM, early-'80s mid-fi pop. It's the sound of a band barreling forward, not quite fully formed but knowing its best days are yet to come. Powerhouse drummer Austin Dutmer is the stand-out here, singlehandedly dragging Vincent Kirchner's loose, jangly indie rock from out of his pot-smoke-filled bedroom into his living room for a drunken house party. Kirchner delivers his darkly self-effacing lyrics with an off-kilter, unpolished crooning that recalls Johnny Thunders — if Johnny were reared in the Midwest suburbs instead of the streets of Queens. After a breezy 31 minutes, That's How We Burn reveals itself as one of the more intriguing mixes of muscle and melody we've heard this year. Download: "Everyone's Hip."
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