Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alligators - "Piggy & Cups"

Alligators perform perfectly classy indie pop. Their debut album, Piggy & Cups was recorded at Jason McGerr’s (Death Cab For Cutie) studio, Two Sticks Audio. Mixing the tight beautiful vocal melodies of the Beach Boys and interesting arrangements and grandeur of Radiohead, Washington’s Alligators have crafted a record as innovative and creative as it is infectious. Piggy & Cups is out now on Applehouse Records.

Lead-off track and first single, “Where Does It Hide?” starts off summery and sweet before darker, caterwauling vocals and frantic guitars break in and then transitions to end with 80’s synth and a pulsating beat. The walking bass line and shuffling beat lay the perfect foundation for the gorgeous vocal melodies that highlight the slight country twang of “Mama Stop”. Standout track, “Original Fear” has a prog-rock feel in the noodling guitars, soaring falsetto vocals and the complex arrangement, sounding like the Shins covering Rush. “If You Want To” plays out like a charming, throwback ballad with punchy piano and more beautiful vocal melodies and great guitar/keyboard interplay. And “Conqueror” slows the pace and showcases the fact that these guys can flat out sing, sounding like Crosby, Stills & Nash or even their Northwest contemporaries, Fleet Foxes.

Style-wise, Alligators are all over the map but it is done with passion and precision and not pastiche, making for a very engaging listen.


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