Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reviews:: This Is Ivy League

I have to admit, when I saw the names Alex Suarez and Ryland Blackinton attached to a record that was sent our way, my mouse nudged towards the delete button. I'm a bitter old man, and I hate those cult success movies/bands that attract idiots, and knowing these two were involved with Snakes on a Plane and the craze that was Cobra Starships (they wrote the theme song they wrote for the movie), made me assume they weren't worth my time.

But, I am a big enough man to admit I was wrong. The duo formed another band - This Is Ivy League - and a collection of sophisticated pop songs oozing in panache. They put out the single way back in '06 that people fell in love with (London Bridges) and now, thanks to Twentyseven Records we finally get to digest a full length from the band. The good news, they live up to the potential of the single and cement themselves as a band to watch.

Much like label mate Pelle Carlberg, the words used to describe TIIL's songs fall short. They have shimmering harmonies, slick guitar work and punchy rhythm section that you crave from acts like Kings of Convenience or P, B & J. They add horns that will please any Belle and Sebastian fan and can drift into an acoustic ditty (Modern World) that would line up nicely following a Simon and Garfunk track on a muxtape (see how hip I made that?).

In fact, the Brooklyn writes songs that really sound like they should have come from a Swedish or UK band and the sounds usher in Spring perfectly. Like flowers starting to bloom or waking up to the warmth of the sun instead of the coldness of the night sky, this record infuses you with energy. I was trapped at work last night, recording training from 1AM-4AM and This Is Ivy League helped me keep my eyes awake.

This review might not seem inspired (I'm operating on very little sleep), but this record really is. I can't see how people won't fall in love with this band. I've added my favorite track from the LP - the bouncing bass of Celebration and the little Beatle-ish guitar work they add just grabs a hold of me.

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Posted at 4:27 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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