The Sour Notes
Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., April 15, 2011
The Sour NotesLast Looks
The Sour Notes could be the indie equivalent of the Little Engine That Could. Over the past two years, the local pop outfit has issued a relentless array of full-length releases and singles, each slowly but surely gaining momentum behind frontman Jared Boulanger's cinematic lyricism and Shinsian sensibilities. Fourth LP Last Looks is a grand pop album that manages to expand in all directions at once. Like 2009's Received in Bitterness, guitarist Chris Page lends serious edge to heavy, sinister opener "Nothing's More Contagious Than Evil" and chaser "Hot Pink Flares," which closes with a slow, Phil Spector-influenced swoon behind keyboardist Kelly DeWitt's crystalline vocals. The Wall of Sound treatment continues in the buoyant flourish of "Big Dreams," which, like most of Last Looks, gets embellished with horns and strings courtesy of Mother Falcon. Side two plays out impressively as a minisuite, "More Contour" building instrumentally to the Pinkerton-esque title track. It's proof the Sour Notes keep moving up the proverbial mountain.