The songs are catchy and direct (and lyrically usually deal with hearts breaking). Opener “We Won’t Keep Secrets” is a perfect, simple pop song as is “Tied to a Stone.” The first single, “Long Drag” kicks it up a notch into nearly rock territory (a damn good rock song) while on “We Didn’t Run from Anyone’ has an almost country vibe to it as does the gorgeous “I Know It’s Over” (harmonica in da’ house).
The band took a chance, expanded and it paid off for them. At times I worry that this band is almost too anonymous for its own good. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they’re too damn good to be so unknown. In a perfect world these guys would be knocking out radio hits, one after another.
The album delivers ten nuggets carefully crafted to tug your heartstrings, remind you of joy, take you to the bring of melancholy and then bring you back with a big sigh and expectation for a bright tomorrow. There is classic twee pop, a few with a relaxed country feel ("We Didn't Run From Anyone" and "Thank God I Met You"), and a few that are more aggressive than is typical for this trio. The basic set-up up is fleshed out with occasional organ, harmonica, cello and even a glockenspiel (Does one need a license for a glockenspiel?). And the songs here bear that hallmark of good songwriting -- the ability to express raw emotions honestly without having to rely on excess drama. And with the assured musicianship, warm vocals and pop hooks, we can take everything Math and Physics Club is serving.
An excellent introduction to the record is "We're Not Lost", just under four minutes of delicious young heartache. If you are keeping lists of best indie pop songs of the year, you can write this one in on the list even before you press play.
One of the standout tracks is the previously released single, "Long Drag", on which the band shows a new dimension -- a narrator who is angry and willing to point out that his lover was the one who failed to work on the relationship. With staccato percussion and handclaps, it is a great song with a killer refrain that underscores the power of music to heal wounded hearts.
(when you motor away…)