Remember we mentioned these fresh pop rockers from Chicago, Unicycle Loves You a few weeks ago? Well, their album comes out next week, and if you like Bishop Allen and The New Pornographers, or a diet version of Spoon, you should probably buy Unicycle Loves You (Highwheel Records) when it drops next week.
The tracks are all pretty upbeat, with some really ridiculously catchy hooks. "Kiki Bridges" especially is so catchy, we'd almost put a disclaimer on it. The guitar riff in the beginning is crisp and the melody well constructed... the "oh oh oh" part will be stuck in your head for days. And the tracks are almost varied to the point of uniqueness... the beginning of the album is very pop rock, and it seems to move into an electro-rock kind of feel with "Dollars + Cents" and "Highway Robbery," and then back again with "Yum Pla Muk." But if the only fault of the record is that it oscillates between two temperaments, we're ok with that. The songs are still solid.
There is kind of a built in quirkiness that resonates through the various orchestrations of the album, which is fitting, because it seems inherent from the band name as well. Tracks like "We Got Animals" and "Woman Bait For Manfish" have this aesthetic for sure, the latter utilizing a bunch of different brass instruments for fun riffing. It almost sounds like We're From Barcelona. Maybe "We're From Chicago?" Nah, Unicycles is a much better visual image for the sound of this record.
The album is at it's strongest when the band creates a great riff in the beginning of a track and runs with it, like on "Kiki Bridges" and "Under 18." We're still confused about the brief speaking parts on the latter, but whatever, if No Age can make fifty minutes of distortion and be hyped up, why can't these guys? Sometimes you just need some guitars, a drummer, some light synth keyboard, and a catchy melody to sing along to. Or clap. And these guys deliver. - joe puglisi