Halfsour - Tuesday Night Live - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Halfsour - Tuesday Night Live

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:8.5 Release Date:2016-02-01

Halfsour’s debut album, Tuesday Night Live, is a strong collection of jangly punk-pop, lo-fi, and ragged harmonies, featuring engaging melodies, sharp guitar work, propulsive drums, and a compelling grab-bag of vocals from all three members. The Boston-based trio (Zoë, Matt, and Ian) writes intelligent and personal (if sarcasm-heavy lyrics), a particular sweet spot for me. One of my favorite examples is when Zoë displays her inner Liz Phair on 'I.K.' as she laments, “If only I could write…” before Matt unleashes a fuzz-drenched, noise-guitar solo.

'What You’re Waiting' is a great initial track, a sing-along number that had me daydreaming back to college radio of the 80s. How can you go wrong with a song called 'Pop Art Pop Tart', a song that has an X-meets-REM vibe (back when they both were both largely unknown)? “Employees Must Wash Hands” is another clever number (the album is loaded with ‘em) that sounds like early Talking Heads and the V.U. on speed. Throughout the cd, there is an effusive vibe of punk’s DIY empowerment, that feeling that you can do anything.

The band has been known to include a set of Guided by Voices material and acknowledge a strong GBV influence to keep things open-ended, a lesson they take to heart.  Only three of the thirteen songs are longer than three minutes, thus keeping things bouncing from one song to the next and keeping the listener pogoing along in sweaty glee.

“Tuesday Night Live” will have you wanting to hop in a time machine and go back to college, or go back to your teens and start a band. While that’s not possible, what you can do is buy this album, see the band live, get off your ass, and dig out your safety pins!   

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