Adult Books: Running from the Blows (Lollipop/Burger) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Adult Books

Running from the Blows

Lollipop/Burger

Mar 09, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


A refreshing bit of beach gloom, Adult Books cast a hazy shadow from Los Angeles' generally sunnier Burger and Lollipop records mecca. Perhaps it's a reflection of the contrast between Adult Books' New Wave sensibilities and their hometown scene, but the band can show a bit of a split personality, alternating between excellent post-punk and pretty-good garage rock. Luckily, the band's New Wave strengths usually win out.

As a result, if the title track plays like a Wavves B-side, it is preceded by the absolute after-dark gem "Nihilism for Beginners." This is the stuff that conjures celluloid dreams in the mind's eye after watching too many David Lynch moviesthe rhythm section chugs forward like an old convertible across a desert landscape, lead guitar side-winds its way across the sand, and a synth backdrop provides the earthen landscape or darkened sky flipped in photonegative.

Sometimes Jekyll and Hyde find common ground and work it out for a few minutes. "Suburban Girlfriend," for instance, creates nice balance between a bratty shout-along chorus and guitar breaks that split the difference between surf rock and The Cure. The lyrics here also reveal the band's occasionally sardonic take on its surroundings, along with Los Angeles' always-fashionable denizens ripe for perhaps too-easy picking on "Silver Lake Goths."

Elsewhere, "Lobby Talks" shows Adult Books in a different mode altogether. Melodically bouncy and catchy for the first half, this is probably the fire starter live. Then it abruptly stops halfway and re-emerges as a noisy free-for-all with amp feedback and stereo-panning guitar as wide as the band's varied influences. (www.adultbooksca.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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