Allegro Moderato is where the fun is. In an ocean of Sonic Youth carbon copies the latest record from Lockett Pundt of Deerhunter fame cuts through the crap and delivers some wonderful psychedelic post-punk pop. On the Tuesday morning commute to work after the Easter break, “Spooky Action at a Distance” had me smiling to myself and bouncing happily through the streets of Melbourne. No mean feat when it comes to this grumpy bastard.
If we’re looking for comparisons there are hints of The Jesus and Mary Chain and their shoegazing reverb guitar, but then there’s also a little bit of early Marcy Playground and similar late 90’s indie. Then you can go back to 80’s with The Chameleons as a reference point and there’s a melody that reminds me of “Alimony” by jangly pop band The Hummingbirds. Then go back to the 60’s for that 4/4 three chord jangle.
You might have got the impression that this record is a conglomeration of a whole lot of boppy sounds from the past. Well, it is, and as cheerful and enjoyable as it was first thing this morning, after five spins it’s all starting to get a bit too familiar by this evening.
There’s some really good variety of sounds between songs, but absolutely none within each. Drums tap out the same pattern from start to finish. The guitar lines repeat hook after hook as are the melodies and catchy choruses.
For many of us who lived through the 80’s and 90’s hearing a lot of this sound, we have moved on. Our fix is now supplied by sustainable sounds built on complexity, intensity, innovation and experimentation.
Lovers of this style will probably find the record a Godsend. Pundt knows all the buttons to press and does so without missing a beat. The balance of the mix is perfect, the performances great and it deserves plenty of radio play.