Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Haunted Continents love power-pop and the '50s and kaboom! an album

February 25, 2011

The Haunted Continents‘ debut album is The Loudest Year Ever. For a band with the word “Haunted” in the album title, they engage in a surprisingly small amount of creepiness or subtlety. This is a heart-on-sleeve guitar-rock album through and through. It’s not the type of album that’s trying to convince anyone to come over to the genre; it’s a love letter to the genre for people who already love it.

There’s ten songs that take up 31 minutes here, for roughly three minutes a song. The vocals are alternately brash and wounded (see opener “2nd Ave. Blues” for best example). There’s tons of ooo’s, whoa-ohs and doo-wop references (they love their ’50s). If Teenage Fanclub was the power-pop revival, The Haunted Continents is the revival of the revival.

The good-naturedly distorted first half of the album smacks strongly of the Bandwagonesque creators, while the back half is softer, like Jonathan Richman’s solo work or even the great Paul Simon (“Played Me Like a Drum”). The whole thing is an excellent summer album that’s hard to dislike. Table The Loudest Year Ever till you can roll down your windows comfortably, then rock out at will.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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