By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
That I'd never heard of these sarcastic Melbourne kids before—on their MySpace page they classify themselves as "Trance/Trance/Trance," while nothing could be further from the truth—is a testament to indie rock's ever-constant overcrowding. The vibe here's extremely rayon and low-impact, as though they're actively funneling their Smiths/Zombies fandom through a dank, moldy haze that's inviting nonetheless.
I was totally ready for whichever svengali's been tasked with piecing Archuleta's debut together to appeal to the kid's base: all those 70-year-old grandmas who couldn't quite muster enough repeat votes to crown him American Idol last season. So given that, "Crush" comes as an age-appropriate surprise, a hunk of pop cheese that basically says, in a universal way: "Hey, girl, I kind of like you. Do you like me? Really? Can I hold your hand?"
Because this barnburner of a single is cut from steel-belted lung, Nickelback/Daughtry/Creed cloth, the likelihood that it'll ever be featured in a Motel 6 commercial are about nil. A shame, because together the American Idol winner and the lodging chain could satisfy each other's unique needs: Cook needs the light left on, among other things, while Motel 6 will leave the light on for, well, anyone who owns a TV set. Also, can you really imagine Tom Bodett reading cue cards in his calm, small-town-y drawl over Cook's surging vocal and an over-amped brick wall of rock guitars?
DANCES WITH WHITE GIRLS
"Everyone's Got to Make a Living"
You mean we're creeping up on the 20th anniversary of Kevin Costner's Civil War drama and someone's just now thought to flip its title this way? Get the fuck out of here. Also hilarious: The album this DJ's hawt mess appears on is titled New Crack Swing.
"Play the Part"
No doubt Fab Moretti misses active Strokes duty at least half as much as he misses Drew Barrymore's affection and company, but a selfish part of me hopes he'll keep playing with new pals Rodrigo Amarante and Binki Shapiro as Little Joy. The trio crafts florid, tropically scented tune hammocks that suggest the Strokes on a lengthy island vacay, with Amarante's resigned, wizened croak recalling Julian Casablancas's a bit more than Moretti's probably comfortable with.