This debut release from Minneapolis quintet These Modern Socks can pull at your heart and wrap around your brain.
At its peak, the overachieving, eponymous debut of These Modern Socks endearingly balances heart and healthy experimentation, a la the Flaming Lips. This bundle of squelchy, fuzz-dipped pop boasts winsome appeal in spades, mainly through leadman Corey Palmer’s coy vocals. Like James Mercer with a twist of Beck, his melodies are crisp, buoyant, and playful. Album standouts “Monitor Progress” and “Parade Around” both delight with their pitch-perfect choruses (the former, mindful and caring; the latter, sweetly tuneful). But Palmer is not merely a mouth-piece. His industrious work on the sonics -- the free-form progression and the strange, though pop-savvy, textures -- supply the cerebral attraction. “That Will Never Change” is the most bewitching, especially with its mid-song inclusion of computerized, near Gregorian chanting effects. Misfires, like the cautious “Buster” and a straight cover of “Head Over Heels”, are present, but Socks’ winningly intimate and adventurous spirit remains magnetic.