California's Adult Books are not trying to reinvent the wheel on their debut, Running from the Blows, out Friday via Lolipop Records, but they are trying to inject a great deal of enthusiasm into the indie-rock genre.
Opener "Casual Wrecks" marries a Joy Division-like sense of dark pop to a near-punk structure to pretty solid effect. If "In Front Of Myself" shows that the band owes a debt to U.K. acts from earlier generations, then the wonderful "Suburban Girlfriend" is all American indie rock of the very best sort. Immediately catchy, the cut is power pop for the 21st Century. Perfect!
Elsewhere, on the swirling Drums-like patterns of "Firewalking", Adult Books hit on something a bit peppy and still moody. O.M.D. vibes permeate this one and the band shows that they've mastered more than a three-chord approach. "Lobby Talks" ups the ante and delivers a punchy blast of energy, while the outstanding and chiming "Hours on Hands" blends a Smiths-like sense of a hook with a New Wave kick for fantastic results.
Adult Books have made an auspicious debut here and have sort of jumped up in the list of bands I need to watch this year. The only thing that could make them a better proposition is if their name is indeed a nod to the song of the same name by Los Angeles legends X. Even if it's not, the cuts on Running From The Blows, out Friday on Lolipop Records, make up a fine collection of meaty riffs and maximum indie. Dig it!
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