With its stark, angular artwork, and a set of melodic, jagged tunes to match, Spouse’s latest rock-and-roll tactic appears to be to relocate the field a solid quarter century into the past, when nimble, un-ironic rock songs flitted neon around the hearts and legwarmers of true believers. Witness “Hangover Cure for Humanity”, which finds Spouse constant Jose Ayerve bleating Bonoesque over a lean, Reckoning-style backdrop, but even better than that. Or check “It = Love” which tugs in earnest at those heartstrings still connected to your love of unabashed pop. Relocation Tactics also features an army of Northeastern heroes, from Mark Schwaber and members of the Winterpills, to Erin McKeown and Peyton Pinkerton, who flesh out each song like consummate pros, from the moody “Long Live the Baystate” to the churning closer “Tonight”. Ecstatic and infectious.
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