Received Pronunciation

Received Pronunciation

If bands like Saturday Looks Good to Me or Belle and Sebastian make you feel all warm and fuzzy, Boston’s Pants Yell! might be the cream on your cocoa you’ve been looking for. To be more precise, perhaps their previous outing, Alison Statton, could be the one, since this follow-up seems steeped in a more bitter brew. Vocalist Andrew Churchman delivers lines like “Still sorry that you met me?” and “A headache never felt so good” with blunt directness, and even memories of Paris and declarations of love are drenched in self-doubt and dark sarcasm. The shiny horns of Alison Statton are no more, and here the guitars cut a little deeper, and the drums clatter with a little more menace. Yeah, there’s a hint of whininess to “Not Wrong,” and “Marble Staircase,” but the minor chord tones and sad little shimmy on the former and the barrage of cymbals and serrated guitar on the latter are surprisingly effective, laden as they are with melancholy hooks. “Someone Loves You” and “To Take” shows Churchman getting a little ticked off, working up a lather with glinting percussion and prickly guitars. It wouldn’t be wrong to cheer him on.

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