Don’t be fooled by a name, Washington, DC quintet Mittenfields aren’t part of a twee pop revolution. Sure they play pop inspired indie rock, but the emphasis here should be on the word “rock”. There are some absolutely huge guitars happening, and there should be – there’s three of them! From where I sit the three axe attack really makes a difference and gives their new record “Optimists” (OUT TODAY!!!!!) more than a fighting chance.
As a point of reference I hear a lot of Okkervil River (particularly Will Sheff) in the Mittenfields sound – the voice, the phrasing, the pop sensibilities, and maybe Arcade Fire here and there. But what I love about this record is that I also hear an underlying current of late 70s power pop/arena rock ala Starz – I know it’s weird, but I swear I could hear these guys doing a bang up version of Cherry Baby!
We’ve Become Numbers is the first single from the record, and I must say with its pounding bass and drums and shimmering Peter Buck/Edge guitar work it’s a great driving song. Just in time for the nice weather – crank it up.