Not quite indie rock, but not quite the commercially packaged goop coming out repeatedly, Desario find a happy medium on the urgent, up-tempo “Nautical Ways” that sounds like some strange collage between Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend and the Replacements. Meanwhile, “Late Sedan” isn’t the car driving tune you’d think would come from a California band but is rather a murky, mediocre track led by John Conley’s pipes. And “As I Recall” is a simple dance-rock number that falls way short. Fortunately, there’s much more hit than miss on the album as the pumping “Cane Cola” is a sugary gem a la the Connells or Teenage Fanclub. But throughout the album, Desario succeeds in sculpting their own niche sound of sweet pop as “Fine Time” lives up to its title. And highlights? Well, the Byrdsian-meets-Petty jangle emanating from the heady, psychedelic laced “Mouth Closed” is the gem, with the sweet, quasi-galloping style of “Houston” an extremely close second.
// Notes from the Road
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