12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Off the Deep End reveals a good-time gang keeping the teen-beat bubblegum sound alive. Not that they’re a throwback to the Bay City Rollers, but the Fairfax, Virginia quartet’s catchy contemporary guitar-pop boasts heavily barbed hooks baited with sentiment sweeter than gummy worms. “Permanent Heartbreak” opens like an endearingly maudlin diary entry set to new wave- inspired power pop with a heavily auto-tuned singalong chorus. Although the title of “Suicide Sunday” hints at a heavy topic, the driving tune is actually an upbeat standout musing on loneliness and the kind of youthful ADD boredom compounded by not having a girlfriend to hang out with. Singer Andrew Goldstein’s breathy voice gets put to good use on “Stuttering,” a rocking insta-hit fueled by Cheap Trick-inspired melodies and the burning urgency of adolescent libido. The curiously titled “How I Met Your Mother” flirts with electro-pop, but of course no teenage album would be complete without a few swooning power ballads. The slow-dance friendly “She’s Finding Me Out” as well as the folkish “Can’t Take That Away” both deliver the goods.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Off the Deep End reveals a good-time gang keeping the teen-beat bubblegum sound alive. Not that they’re a throwback to the Bay City Rollers, but the Fairfax, Virginia quartet’s catchy contemporary guitar-pop boasts heavily barbed hooks baited with sentiment sweeter than gummy worms. “Permanent Heartbreak” opens like an endearingly maudlin diary entry set to new wave- inspired power pop with a heavily auto-tuned singalong chorus. Although the title of “Suicide Sunday” hints at a heavy topic, the driving tune is actually an upbeat standout musing on loneliness and the kind of youthful ADD boredom compounded by not having a girlfriend to hang out with. Singer Andrew Goldstein’s breathy voice gets put to good use on “Stuttering,” a rocking insta-hit fueled by Cheap Trick-inspired melodies and the burning urgency of adolescent libido. The curiously titled “How I Met Your Mother” flirts with electro-pop, but of course no teenage album would be complete without a few swooning power ballads. The slow-dance friendly “She’s Finding Me Out” as well as the folkish “Can’t Take That Away” both deliver the goods.

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