Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thunder and Lightning - Kangaroo Court

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been totally obsessed with ARMS since I discovered them about two months ago. Since then I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Summer Skills and listening any band they told me to during the wait. So, when they posted an article about Goldstein's ex-bandmate, drummer Brent Katz of Harlem Shakes fame, was releasing a new album with new project Thunder and Lightning, I took immediate notice.

Kangaroo Court is a welcome debut from Thunder and Lightning, embellishing on the established musical credibility of drummers/singers (like Telekinesis, S. Carey, and J. Tillman) with a noteworthy quality: While featuring blustering drum parts also contains heavy doses of feel good piano pop. The album, from the beginning strains of "I Held Her Hand In Mine" to the dying ones of "Jupiter, Florida" is a non-stop ride of pure poppy goodness. But occasionally the album decides to take a break from its breakneck, hyperactive pace ("Hourglass Figure", "Worm Song", "Jupiter, Florida"). What separates Thunder and Lightning from other indie-pop groups is its inventiveness and unpredictability. Anytime the listener is in danger of becoming even the slightest bit complacent, Katz (who acts as chief songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire) changes gears. It's an album that effectively keeps the listener on their toes but lacking in pretension or overindulgence. It's smart, savvy pop with a flair for the dramatic.

You can listen to Thunder and Lightning's debut on their Bandcamp.It's available for download there on a pay-what-you-want basis.

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