Hop Along - Painted Shut
Frances Quinlan sounds like Kim Deal's little sister, sharing the same vocal rasp that will have you making comparisons with The Breeders, and while lazy shorthand, it's not entirely unwarranted. Painted Shut is Hop Along's second LP proper and it cements the Philadelphians' capacity for charming US indie that channels both Deal's yearning melodics with honey-tinged shafts of Americana.
Sharing a musical zipcode with everyone from Best Coast to Waxahatchee means it would be easy to fall into whatever the US equivalent of landfill indie is; there is, truth told, a lot of this about. So while the choppy guitars of 'Buddy In The Parade' don't particularly surprise, they're duvet warm and mattress comfy. What elevates Painted Shut above the norm are the clever arrangements, whether it's the appearance of a harp on 'Happy To See Me' or Joe Reinhart's J. Mascis fantasy guitar solo on 'Texas Funeral', the moments that suggest Quinlan and her bandmates are not content to just ride the wave. If you need convincing check out 'Waitress', where Mark Quinlan's busy drum patterns drive his sister into delivering all her minimum-wage frustrations into three-and-a-half lung-busting minutes. Want a tip? Pony up for Hop Along - this a surefire winner.