by Chris Familton
The LA quartet return with their sophomore album that finds them throwing more influences into the mix while still maintaining their highly melodic indie rock sound. Strapped feels like a step up for a band that specialized in efficient garage rock dispatches and even though they have softened their rawer edges they have compensated by dialing in more expansive textures and song structures making Strapped more laid-back and less frenetic than their debut.
Opener Saratoga recalls the vocal melodies of The Stone Roses, highlighting some new variations in Matt Lamkin’s vocal style while saxophone is another great addition that features on half of the album’s twelve tracks. The result sounds like a collision between The Smiths and The Stooges’ Steve Mackay. Elsewhere, dreamy synths take the lead on Tallboy and they head into tropical guitar pop territory on the crisp and smooth Bobby Brown. Thankfully though they have kept their diversification in check and wisely included enough bristling three minute post-Strokes guitar songs to satiate fans of the first album making this a highly enjoyable snapshot of The Soft Pack, past and present.
this review was first published on FasterLouder