Lunchbox “Lunchbox Loves You”
Oakland, California duo Tim Brown and Donna McKean are Lunchbox. The band is very much in the style of Apples in Stereo with its twee vocals and compact bubblegum melodies. Starting with “Everybody Knows” it sets up the sound with multi-layered harmonies and instrumentation, next “Tom, What’s Wrong” is like a teenage poem with its rhyming lyrics and minor chord shifts.
There is a punk spirit underneath each pop confection, “Will You Be True” with its fuzz guitar and distorted vocals shimmers along. The simple love songs also recall The Beach Boys with its innocent attitude and composition, a good example being “It Feels Good To Lose.” Each song is wonderfully realized without a hint of filler. Like hearing lost AM pop classics through an indie-rock lens, it really impressed me with its consistency and quality. Highly recommended.
Wild Party “Phantom Pop”
I was told by a long time reader to check out this band. This band is what “the music industry” calls “power pop.” In the mold of Maroon 5 and (dot)Fun, it is full of dance synth lines, upbeat drumming and the guitar parts are buried real deep. No doubt some younger folk will love this, as it leans more on the “pop” side of things. Songs here would fit effortlessly on any Top 40 radio station playlist alongside bands like One Direction. What makes it stand apart from the pop pablum are the bands finely crafted melodies.
Wild Party is a San Antonio, Texas band formed by lead singer Lincoln Kreifels and guitarist Lucas Hughes. “When I Get Older” is a great, catchy and irresistible single, that will have you humming the chorus long after its over. “Outright” is another fast paced, high beats-per-minute track. The entire album does make for a great aerobic workout, and no slow songs break up the pace. My favorites are “Violet” and “Chasin’ Honey” where the guitar actually takes the lead with a great message about following your muse. Some songs risk sounding too homogenous, but if you want radio ready (for 2014) this LP is highly recommended.