Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Early Review Of The Awesome New Connections Album (And A Spin Of Their New Video Too!)

These dudes are great. Connections are here with their brand new long-player. Called Into Sixes, this slab of indie rock genius drops on August 19 via Anyway Records and I urge you to get it.

Throwing a curveball by having the record open with the decidedly gentle -- in spirit, at least -- "Ayliah", the boys in Connections are back to doing what they do best quickly after that -- check out "Cruise Control" below for evidence of what I'm talking about.

"Beat The Sky" roars by like a rocket but it's the following tune -- "Calm Down" -- that surprises. Sounding weirdly like Robert Pollard dismantling something off of side 2 of Reckoning, "Calm Down" shows a new aspect of this band. The cut, simple and direct, is one of the highlights of Into Sixes for me.

"Scanners" -- named after the exploding head flick from Cronenberg? -- is fuzzed out guitars and Sister-era Sonic Youth-isms. "Home By The Sea" is a slow-build grinder with the same title as a Genesis song, I think.

Out come the Dinosaur Jr. references for "You Won't Forget It" and its hard-charging riffs. The delightfully named "Minister of Ah Ah Ah" is Mott the Hoople channeled through early Smashing Pumpkins. Hooky, catchy, and with a big-big chorus, the cut is exhilarating.

There's early Superchunk on the speedy "Brothers and Sisters", and more melody on "Angie, but it's "Awesome Beach" that closes out Into Sixes in fine fashion. Part Neil Young, part Teenage Fanclub, part Paul Westerberg, "Awesome Beach" is wistful and gently romantic.

These Columbus cats in Connections are on the right path with this record (and their previous ones). This is solid, incredibly tuneful indie rock done without a lot of pretense. And that is something to be applauded. Back in the day, The Grifters hinted at music like this but Connections have beat those Sub Pop guys at their own game. This is lo fi enough to appeal to the Pitchfork.com types but also consistent, catchy, and unassuming enough to charm an old curmudgeon like me.

Connections are doing it right. So far, I've liked every single thing these prolific dudes have released and I urge you to get on the bandwagon and grab Into Sixes as soon as you can. It drops on August 19.

Follow Connections on their official Facebook page.

And you should also check out Anyway Records for details on their albums.

And play the new video for "Cruise Control" below.