Things are progressing nicely for jangle-pop foursome the Parties on the second full-length, Coast Garde. While the band’s charming 2008 debut, Can’t Come Down, suffered from the dreaded occasional sameness, the, uh, same, can’t be said for the new record, as it confidently explores ‘80s college rock jangle on opener “Let’s Call It Love”, spacey psychedelic flourishes on “Twenty-Four”, country twang on “Autumn Girl” and lush strings on “Annie”, all of which is filtered through the band’s pure-pop prism. Some of this change can be chalked up to band turnover. The Parties boast a new lead guitarist and drummer. However, regardless of who’s making the music, it’s a pleasure to hear the band tackle multi-part suites (is that some early Who we hear on “I’m Sorry”?), and bravely scuff up its sound on “Leavin’ the Lights On”, which invokes such unlikely sources as Ike Reilly and the horn section on the Rolling Stones’ “Rocks Off”. Admittedly, Coast Garde is a tad frontloaded, but this is the work of a band moving in the right direction. Keep an eye on this Party.
- Multiple Songs Label website