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Shout Out Louds: Work, in "Nothing Not New"

Artist: Shout Out Louds

Title: Work
Release date: February 23
Label: Merge

The album's title and no-nonsense cover art and design belie the breezy indie pop contained inside. Mind you, it's not the wimpy and boring indie pop in the vein of, say, Vampire Weekend. The band's crystaline sound may seem fragile, but there's some real musical muscle laid down by Shout Out Loud's excellent rhythm section.

The singer sounds a bit like Robert Smith and mid-'80s-era The Cure is an obvious starting point for Shout Out Louds, but without the dressed-in-black melodramatics. To me, SOL sounds like a bit what like I imagine the excellent new band Surfer Blood may resemble after they grow up and get a few more records under their belt. 

Work loses some steam midway through because the songs start to sound a lot a like, but the record doesn't wear out its welcome. And during my second listen, I realized that despite the delicate pop going on throughout Work, it's actually a great guitar record. If you're into that sort of thing.

Best song: "Walls," which sounds a bit like Wilco's "Shot in the Arm."
Rotation: Medium-heavy
Deja Vu: Swedish rockers who want to turn their back on ABBA but will never really shake ABBA's pervasive influence.
I'd rather listen to: Yo La Tengo's May I Sing With Me
Grade: B

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