TUESDAY, JANUARY 02, 2007 |
Thunderbirds are Now! have grown up since 2005's Justamustache, which combined frenzied guitars and keyboards with all the sugar-loaded hyperactivity of a kindergarten classroom on the day after Halloween. On Make History, the group tones down the craziness in favor of poppy, focused songwriting. Frontman Ryan Allen's voice is still nasal and high-pitched, and his songs haven't lost the kinetic energy that landed his band a spot on the Frenchkiss roster. The Thunderbirds are simply more focused now, with choruses and memorable melodies taking precedence over the musical freakouts that've dotted their past albums.
Danceable indie rock has become an extremely popular genre in recent years, and producer John Schmersal has taken obvious steps to keep Make History from sounding too streamlined. Lo-fi drums and the occasional botched harmony help the band maintain a safe distance from such slick (and similarly punctuated) contemporaries as Panic! At the Disco. Ultimately, Make History is the sound of a band finally finding its niche, having scaled back the frenetic sound of its adolescence for something mature, memorable, and much more worthy of making history.- Andrew Leahey