10 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike their debut EP, Australia, this debut LP by New Mendicants doesn’t start with a burst of pop goodness and then downshift into a mellow, mostly acoustic comfy chair for the remainder. The glistening power pop one might expect from Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) is all over the LP. Joined by drummer Mike Belisky of The Sadies, the trio sound like the convergence of so many highlights of ‘90s indie rock; it’s almost an embarrassment of riches. There is jangle; there are melody and harmonies to swoon for; there are vocals (mostly Pernice’s) ringing clearly with melancholy, humor, and sweetness. Pianos, congos, and marimbas are woven into the power pop mix with playful but meticulous care. “Sarasota” opens with a winsome Pernice Brothers vibe, while “Shouting Match” has Teenage Fanclub guitar energy and a robust shout-along chorus. “A Very Sorry Christmas” and “If Only You Knew Her” are evocative of the great Nick Lowe, one of the few influences here besides the band members themselves. “By the Time It Gets Dark” is a cover of a tune by the great Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Unlike their debut EP, Australia, this debut LP by New Mendicants doesn’t start with a burst of pop goodness and then downshift into a mellow, mostly acoustic comfy chair for the remainder. The glistening power pop one might expect from Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) is all over the LP. Joined by drummer Mike Belisky of The Sadies, the trio sound like the convergence of so many highlights of ‘90s indie rock; it’s almost an embarrassment of riches. There is jangle; there are melody and harmonies to swoon for; there are vocals (mostly Pernice’s) ringing clearly with melancholy, humor, and sweetness. Pianos, congos, and marimbas are woven into the power pop mix with playful but meticulous care. “Sarasota” opens with a winsome Pernice Brothers vibe, while “Shouting Match” has Teenage Fanclub guitar energy and a robust shout-along chorus. “A Very Sorry Christmas” and “If Only You Knew Her” are evocative of the great Nick Lowe, one of the few influences here besides the band members themselves. “By the Time It Gets Dark” is a cover of a tune by the great Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention.

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