No matter who you ask, indie rock has a definite sound. No, it’s not what bands like Death Cab For Cutie are, because they’re on major labels and that’s their cross to bear for signing to a conglomerate. Most indie rock is wedged somewhere between jangly guitars and melodious tones where the band fires on all cylinders like a rocket fueled car towards a place where they’ll always be warmed by the touch of a smaller label system. But with all of that, some bands seem to understand where their sweet spot lies within those confines, and a band who’s known that for a while is Young Mammals. On their new album Lost in Lima, they take their jangled tunes and at times, dark melodies and turn them into another golden child of independent music.
The opener take a bit of time to get going, yet the way “Want You” is structured definitely showcases a band who knows who they are. Where there was a time when this band wouldn’t have kept things so straightforward, here they don’t crowd your ears with tones, but rather they get to the punch and deliver a sound they’ve been heading towards for years. The skill within the chorus and the bridge alone is indie rock at its best. While they touch on post-punk with songs like “Cusco,” “See My Name” and “Close to You” with ease, it’s the upbeat songs that really stick to your insides.
“King of Clovers” has this snappy and punchy delivery that teeters between classic indie rock and college rock. “Heavy Air” reminds you of that curtailed sound that made Pixies so influential, yet it also clears its own path. And “Lost in Lima” seems to have all that the band brings to the table on this album in one well arranged piece. The laid back vocal style, the jangled electric Fenders and tons of melody; it’s a definite shining point of the dulcet album. But with all of that said, the largest standout here is definitely the track, “Into View.” The opening notes alone give you all that you want from classic indie rock. It’s almost like if Superchunk and Pavement crafted a sound together on this one track. The vocals sound like they’re coming from below the chords, the vigorousness that exists between the bass and the drums should be taught to younger bands and the guitars are crisp without sounding fraudulent. If time is the enemy of many bands, then no one told Young Mammals as Lost in Lima proves some bands get better with time.
Lost in Lima is available to stream on all streaming sites and it can be purchased digitally in all online music stores or physically directly from Wallflower Records. Young Mammals are set to appear in Austin, TX at Hotel Vegas on July 13.
Image Credits: Photo by Max Fields.