Recording information: Right Heel Music, Colorado Springs, CO.
On their second full-length album, Eros & the Eschaton expand from the duo of Kate Perdoni and Adam Hawkins to a five-piece band, resulting in a fuller sound and an expanded scope. You can still call them dream pop or shoegaze if you must, but that's only a small part of it. The group dip into overcharged, bendy guitar tones and blissfully hazy reverb, but they place at least as much focus on pop hooks and emotional lyrics as on cool sonics. The band sound positively exuberant on songs like the anthemic opener "OMG I Am," which builds up to a racing beat and twinkling, chiming tones. One of the album's highlights, "Helicopter," starts out calm and reserved before exploding into a rich chorus, eventually hitting a soaring guitar solo. It basically resembles Yo La Tengo's epic "Blue Line Swinger" condensed into a four-minute pop song, and it's grand. The group don't just do slower, sprawling tunes; they frequently delight in uptempo, joyous noise pop. On "Rxx," Perdoni spits out lyrics about being born in the wrong era and getting lost on the way to Canada, revealing a wittiness worthy of Courtney Barnett. Playful ditty "Bop Shoo Bop" indulges in the group's fondness for doo wop. Delicate acoustic instrumentation on songs such as "Long Shot" point to the group's rootsy side, but there are enough bubbling synthesizers to prevent anyone from mistaking them for a country or folk band. While it's inevitable that some of the group's guitar textures and androgynous vocal harmonies will prompt comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, they come a lot closer to emulating the melodies of Loveless rather than the instrumentation, and "Cry" ends up sounding closer to 2013 comeback effort m b v than the group's vintage material. Weight of the Matter is an eclectic, resolutely positive album that embraces the world with hope and optimism. ~ Paul Simpson