The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, February 13, 2009, Music

The Sour Notes

Received in Bitterness

In one year, Jared Boulanger's Sour Notes formed, released 2008's inspired The Meat of the Fruit EP, toured, recorded this first LP, and then went back into his home studio for more recording. We should all be so productive. The Austin via Houston quartet's Received in Bitterness isn't perfect – a better mix would help – but it's a celebration of Boulanger's boyish vocals, pop experimentalism, and a rhythm section that understands its role. Opener "Psychological Thriller" hits with a Secret Machines blast melting into tinkling keys, but xylophone/horn jam "Is It Happening?" is the band's trademark, a fully formed storyline highlighted by euphoric guitar flourishes. "Your Pretty Sphinx Voice" pulls French New Wave into the Digital Age, and the slow, moody "Double Negative" begs for lighters. The Sour Notes have taken classic songwriting and seasoned it with the innocence of being 16 again.


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