Pedals (Playing in Traffic)
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Aug. 8, 2014
SpeakPedals (Playing in Traffic)
Speak's 2011 debut showcased 10-foot-tall anthems that swirled with synth hooks and big ideas. The local foursome's follow-up, Pedals, further proves their penchant for the grandiose, delivering a sonic blowout as large as it is entrancing. "Mystery Lights" and "Gates" lead off like the dance-floor apocalypse, leaving a big impression before lapsing into a pleasant blur of pulsing, sad-kid shuffle beats. Deeper in, the nuances of Pedals emerge in "Modern Art," which deconstructs an Eighties, joie-de-vivre chorus and pieces it back together over a drum snap. "Be Reasonable, Diane" explores a different part of the same decade, drawing from the infectious-but-controlled camp of Tears for Fears that will bounce around in your head long after the song fades. On Pedals, Speak is dreaming – and delivering – big.