The John-Pauls

Forget to Remember to Forget (Aagoo)

Texas Platters

Cerebral, cleverly crafted, Forget to Remember to Forget is told from the point of view of male/female narrators who can't turn off their brains to the tiny terrors of everyday life. Repeatedly mesmeric, the local quintet's guitar-driven warmth recalls Nineties slowcore icons Bedhead in mellowed aesthetic, and the Feelies and Yo La Tengo's enduring indie rock romanticism. Phillip Niemeyer and Mikila Zaorski trade vocal duties from song to song, making TJP's debut long-player play out like real-time conversation, the former's bratty, deadpan delivery contrasting Zaorski's wispy, aching voice. "Let's Burn Down Westlake" imagines doing just that with 50-cent lighters and a restrained recklessness, while closer "I Am a Songbird" veers off into garage lo-fi. Thinly veiled frustration pulses in album standout "The House-Husband Stomp," a hopeful piano overlaid on the anchor of Chronicle Listings Editor Mark Fagan's steady, sweeping guitar line. On "Backwards Disaster," Zaorski sings, "Two drinks, political discussions/ Eight drinks more, and he's hitting on her cousin's wife," her gentle voice painting the tragic comedy of dysfunctional domesticities in pastel, rosy hues. That's a thread worth unraveling on Forget to Remember to Forget.

****

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