[24 March 2008]
Following a line of underrated (but critically acclaimed) acts like The Go-Betweens and Crowded House is The Furious Seasons. Having toiled at their craft for decades in bands such as Pop Art and Smart Brown Handbag, Jeff and David Steinhart offer up some very smart, highbrow melodic pop beginning with the delectable tune “The Upside” and the equally tender “Put It Down”. The songs are very soft but draw one in without any hesitation, bringing to mind the likes of Michael Penn or The Connells to a lesser extent. The group slightly increases the tempo with “So Long Great City” with its murky guitar work and almost criminally sweet harmonies mindful of Canadian band The Odds (now back as The New Odds). It’s difficult to pick one gem, but standouts include the gentle, slow-building “Back to This Side” which glides along perfectly. At times the band brings an acoustic, folksy-leaning Elvis Costello to mind, particularly during “Backseat Driving”. But throughout it all, The Furious Seasons are adept at crafting timeless melodic pop such as “Suitable Love” and “A Big Chunk of Change”.