Highlights: Look For Lust, 05 11 07, Suitcase, Older Women, Call Me Up
The best moment on Standard Fare’s second album has got to be the ecstatic chanting that follows the line “I don’t know what we are doing, but it feels good” in the chorus of "05 11 07". That bit is such a brilliant slice of bubblegum pop perfection it will doubtlessly separate snobs from real music lovers.
At the very least, Out Of Sight, Out Of Town is extremely well-written. But I'm afraid that ‘well-written’ won’t do it justice. No, the truth is, together with Howl Of The Lonely Crowd and maybe a few others, this is one of the best indie guitar albums of 2011. Just one jangly/twee/c-86 gem after another, and with a seemingly endless supply of guitar and vocal hooks to boot. The 12 concise, heady songs don’t overstay their welcome, and are uniformly charming and infectious. “Call Me Up”, for instance, with its juicy guitars and breathtaking choruses, is bound to swoon you into a dance or two. The 2 quieter tracks are almost as good, and bring some diversity that is so badly needed on a record like this.
If you are not expecting any grand statements or intellectual indulgencies, you’ll get a major kick out of these Pastels-styled pleasures. You see, they are not trying to be anything. There’s nothing artsy about Standard Fare. This stuff is clever and well-executed, yes, but they know their limitations. Out Of Sight, Out Of Town is just great intelligent pop full of irresistible youthful optimism and summary vibes. In the bleak midwinter, that should be good enough.