Happy waves

I went to college in the late 80s, and our student-run radio station already had a show dedicated to the pop music of the early 80s--in particular, the new wave and punk-influenced stuff from Britain. We couldn't recognize how prescient we were. Peppy pop music with clean lines will always have an appeal, especially at times when it is out of favor.

Mostly Sunny

As it has been since, well, about 1990 or so. Even power pop revivalists like Matthew Sweet cluttered up their surroundings with distortion and tangents and such. Honestly, sometimes it's the right thing to get back to basics. Y'know, like George Best. Or Ocean Rain. Flowertruck adds a light reverby sheen to the style, but these Sydney folks keep things simple.

And by alternating energetic ravers with more introspective fare, Flowertruck gives its debut full-length some heft. Which is a good thing, because the melodies here are often so slight that they threaten to evaporate.

That ephemeral feel lends buoyancy, and it is something of a counterpoint to its obvious influences, who were anything but. I suppose wags might call this Cure lite, which would be unfair. But Flowertruck does seem relentlessly cheerful much of the time, which is charming but can also be a curse.

I don't mind the cheerfulness. There are enough shadows to bring some balance, and the sheer ebullience of these songs is simply lovely. Haters gonna hate, but anyone who hates this might well be a psychopath. Joy conquers all.

Jon Worley

return to A&A home page