I think people have finally gotten used to the yearly back-to-school lamentations about just how old or nonexistent college freshmen were when Kurt Cobain died, so here's a new one: The Format's Interventions + Lullabies, the erstwhile Great Arizonan Hopes' infamously under-supported major-label album, turned 10 years old Monday.
Surprise: You are becoming an old person. Less surprising: This is still a really, really good album.
I'm not an Arizona native, so I was a Dog Problems guy -- I knew them and eventually drove across Missouri (don't recommend it) to see them (would recommend it) as The Band with All the Label Problems. Hearing them as a band that hadn't yet had the kind of experiences that led to "The Compromise" was nearly as jarring an experience for me as hearing Nate Ruess in a Super Bowl commercial years later.
Because of all that out-of-town baggage, I'll never really be able to understand The Format as up-and-comers, as local boys made good, etc. But songs like "Career Day" -- a surprisingly good predictor of fun.'s eventual sound -- and "Let's Make This Moment a Crime" don't need a built-in narrative to be compelling.
Not only has Interventions + Lullabies been out for 10 years, it's been more than five years since The Format broke up. It's probably time to accept that fun. exists and is pretty good. But a decade is as good a time as any to appreciate just how well their first full album of anxious, cartoonishly fun pop music has stood up.
After the jump: Even more Format videos, with even more big Nate Ruess hair.