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The Parties

Can't Come Down

(Rainbow Quartz; US: 14 Oct 2008; UK: 27 Oct 2008)

It’s a minor case of bait and switch from Bay Area quartet the Parties on their latest for Rainbow Quartz, Can’t Come Down. I mean, c’mon, look at the album cover, the fonts, the band name—these Parties always end with the cops showing up, right? Eh, not so much (at least on record), but they are a solid jangly power pop band who show more than a flicker of promise on Can’t Come Down. Guitarist Sarah Mehlfeld clearly attended the Peter Buck School of Lead Guitar as she chimes her way through the likes of “Breaking Hearts” and “Radio”, though she does allow herself a few modest guitar solos, and the band on the whole channels fellow retro guitar-pop revivalists like Outrageous Cherry and the Red Button, especially on the psych-poppy opener “Love for Sale”. A creeping sameness from track-to-track keeps Can’t Come Down from truly blasting off (a point unintentionally conceded on “The Parties”: “The parties always seem to blend”) but the extra flourishes—the fuzzed-out “Waterfall”; pedal steel on album-closer “Much Better”—hint at even greater things.

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