Boston’s Pants Yell! have been crafting charming bedroom pop for a few years now, but with Alison Statton they sound like they’ve come up in the world. Though their indie pop is still definitely on the twee side, they have stepped up the production a bit, and the improvement in sound makes the band sound all the more sure of themselves. Along with the improved recordings, the band features their rhythm section here more than on any previous releases. As a result, Alison Statton sees the band show their strength as something closer to a rock band. Songs like “A New City Life” feature bright drums full of presence, and they even pump some distortion into the lead guitar. “Reject, Reject” and “More Purple” show off their affinity for catchy, bubble-gum melodies, but the songs trump their predecessors because the band doesn’t sound like they’re navel-gazing the whole time. And while Marcie Ellis’ vocals are as shyly fey as ever, the amped-up sound of the band, with the drums and horns leading the way, could make this record their coming out party. The band has been writing smart, quick bursts of quiet pop for years. Now, with just a hint more volume behind, maybe more people will hear what they’ve been missing.
// Notes from the Road
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