If what Pants Yell! singer Andrew Churchman has said in interviews is true, Received Pronunciation will be the last record for the band, then the release provides a fitting end for one of the great under-the-radar pop bands of the last decade. The band’s career — like its albums, like its songs — will feel short, but not even a hint of disappointment can be found throughout. The new album finds Pants Yell! further honing its gentle-but-steady pop into tight, super-catchy tunes. Pants Yell! has always had a bedroom-pop feel, but on recent albums, the band has built up its songs into a hushed-but-bracing kind of power-pop. Alison Statton employed horn sections and thicker beds of sound, but this album goes a simpler route while still earning a quiet strength.
“Got to Stop” has tangled strings of guitar that split so Churchman can wonder, heartworn, “Does that asshole ever tell you that he still thinks about Megan?” “Someone Loves You” is a warm bed of jangling chords that launches into the loudest guitar freak-out you’ll ever hear from these understated Bostonians. “Marble Staircase” sounds like some off-kilter brand of surf rock and leads us to “To Take”, the final track on what could be the final album from these guys. It contains all the bands charms — hushed, gripping verses; a tight sing-along chorus; and intricate-but-immediate hooks — and whips them into another rock frenzy. If this is its last hurrah, Pants Yell! makes the most of it, leaving at the height of its powers. Here’s hoping it is not.