Eternal Summers, Prisoner EP

Eternal Summers, Prisoner EP

With their most recent EP, Prisoner, quirky post-shoegazers Eternal Summers ride a fine, fine line, and right when it’d be all too easy to fall off completely and go one way or the other, they yank the handlebars back in the opposite direction. On the one hand, there’s the sweet, head-nodding jangle, while on the other there’s a rougher-edged vibe, one that’s more streetwise and less twee, more liable to stab you than make out.

Take “Cog,” which sounds like it came bouncing and scraping off some long-forgotten Rough Trade comp, complete with an almost-British accent to the vocals. The band’s sound is like The Raincoats covering one of those bajillion Darla or Sarah Records bands, melding the latter’s pop sweetness to the former’s post-punk twitch.

“Prisoner” goes one better, incorporating a surfy tone in its driving, sunshiny sound while singer Nicole Yun alternately threatens and pleads in her high-pitched croon. For all its sweetness, though, there’s a lurking darkness that’s only halfway spelled out in the title and lyrics; it’s bright and pretty, but there’s still something wrong, nevertheless. Along similar lines, “Child’s Mind” is haunting and appropriately childlike, again with the dark side peeking through — there’s an interesting bitterness to the lyrics, especially with the repeated, insistent “What do you do-oo-oo? / What do you do-oo-oo?”

The band finishes up on a quieter note with “Pure Affection,” which is surprisingly gentle and fragile, with low-key vocals and a slow-moving bass melody. It makes me think of Silver Scooter, at least ’til close to the end, when it amps up and swerves into “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)” territory. By the end, you can’t help but close your eyes and nod along as the tides pull you out to sea.

(Feature photo by Brian Hamelman.)

[Eternal Summers is playing 3/13/12 at Fitzgerald’s, along with Coathangers, Black Flamingo, & Infinite Jets.]
(Kanine Records -- 204 Powers Street, Brooklyn, NY. 11211;; Forest Family Records --; Eternal Summers --; Eternal Summers (Facebook) --; Eternal Summers (Myspace) --
BUY ME: Insound

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, March 13th, 2012. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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