Remember how The OC made a Transatlanticism-era Death Cab the biggest band on the planet for a little bit? And then remember how all your friends swooned over how Garden State was "quirky and deep" and had a soundtrack that featured 20 or so songs from The Shins? Ah, the good ol' days of indie nerd pop.
Well, just when you thought nerd rock was like, sooo 2005, a group of guys out of Delaware (I know, right?) have crept in under the radar with a full length album fully capable of restoring book-rock back to its former glory. The Spinto Band (no idea what a spinto is) are slated to release their full length coup d'etat, Moonwink (Park the Van Records), on October 7th, offering up a formula of bright and intelligent song craft with a nice, shiny dose of tongue in cheek optimism.
The Wilmington based sextet somehow pull off the incredible feat of being BOTH poppy and legitimate by a) not being overly self deprecating (as far as I can tell), and b) being good enough to listen to without feeling embarrassed by how good it makes you feel. It's kind of like listening to Asia to be funny, except secretly you really like them and you'd be red in the face if your friends ever found out the truth. The Spinto Band are kind of like that, except you know, actually good. (sidebar: whenever an indie band has 6 or more members, you just KNOW there's going to be a few songs with some bell action going on. That'd actually be a pretty awesome gig-- professional bell player in a mildly successful indie-rock band).
Anyway, Moonkwink sounds like sunshine, puppy dogs, and meeting the girl of your dreams in the French literature section of Barnes and Noble. In other words, it's a pretty good time. "Later On" sets the framework for the rest of the album as it's heavily written in the key of FUN. Lead vocalist Nick Krill pulls off the musing, shrill voiced, indie frontman thing well enough, but it's how the band cohesively executes tappity, major key cheer underneath him that takes this album up a couple notches. "Summer Groff" is a track that would find a happy home on Zack Braff's next soundtrack, while "Needlepoints" sounds like a riff-y Smiths song had Morrissey been raised in a happy home. "Pumpkins and Paisley" is ALMOST on the brink of being a bit too annoyingly upbeat, but it pulls itself together after a Sesame Street-ish intro that'll have you holding down your iPod's right double triangles for a good 10 seconds.
Other than that, Moonwink is a solidly poppy offering from these guys. If you need a break from all the electro, ambient, Icelandic, experimentalism running rampant in the music world, give these guys a listen. You'll probably have to Google what a spinto is, but it'll make the sun shine a tiny bit little brighter for 34 minutes and 37 seconds, and there's absolutely nothing embarrassing about some sunshine. - chris gayomali