Junk Culture

Summer Friends

by Matthew Fiander

10 April 2011

 
cover art

Junk Culture

Summer Friends

(Illegal Art)
US: 1 Feb 2011
UK: Import

For all its samples and layers, Summer Friends takes a relatively stripped down approach. These schizo-electro-pop songs rest, as many do, on a beat and keyboards, and sometimes the mix works. The sunburst of the title track is unassuming and sweetly hazy, but it’s singer Deepak Mantena’s raspy, rangy vocals that steal the show. The cooler tones of “Weird Teenage Vibes” show that he can tone his vocal dramatics down for sweet melodies. All in all, Mantena’s voice is the big draw on this EP, particularly because the music—though cleverly patched together—never quite asserts itself. Perhaps it’s too of the moment, sounding like other current bands (i.e., Animal Collective) who don’t really have their foot in musical history. The results are sometimes exciting and catchy—try not dancing to EP closer “Blissed Out”—but rarely resonant. Mantera’s approach is compelling, and Junk Culture could very well yield some great music down the road. His sound just might need to lay down some roots and tap into a more distant past to get there.

Summer Friends

Rating:

Topics: junk culture
//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media

//Blogs

Treasuring Memories of Paul McCartney on 'One on One' Tour

// Notes from the Road

"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.

READ the article