Philly-based alternative rockers The Districts
have returned with their third LP, Popular Manipulations.
The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Rob Grote, bassist Connor Jacobus, drummer Braden Lawrence, three friends from high school, and new guitarist Pat Cassidy. Since forming in 2009, the band has matured a lot as people and as musicians, and that is evident just by listening to Popular Manipulations
This album strays from the folksy sound that the band debuted with on their early EPs and first album, Telephone
. At first, Popular Manipulation
has a rather Killers
-esque vibe in terms of the chugging guitars and vocal processing. "If Before I Wake" and "Violet," the first two songs on the album, could easily fit into Hot Fuss
or Sam's Town
. But as the album progresses, it gets more and more Philly. The songs are muddy and angsty, with just a dash of shoegaze. It is exactly what I would expect to hear in the dark, cramped basement of a West Philadelphia row house. If I close my eyes, I can feel myself getting pushed into the corner of a coin-fed washer/dryer, while a drunk, sweaty college kid spills their stale PBR onto my shoes.
Catch The Districts on tour now through September.