Unless New Zealand pop-punks The Beths were already on your radar, it’s safe to say that their new album ‘Jump Rope Glazers‘ is the album you didn’t know you needed so bad.
Despite the self-consciousness, reflective and at times maudlin nature of the lyrics, the bands’ first record ‘Future Me Hates Me‘ made many people’s lists for the feel-good record of the summer of 2018 with its jagged indie-rock sweetened with bubblegum hooks, and they quickly found themselves on tour with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, the Breeders, and Pixies.
The new affair is a touch more effervescent than the debut, but the hooks remain abundant. They waste no time in flipping the bird to the depressing state of the world with the one-two punch of the energetic imposter syndrome anthem ‘I’m Not Getting Excited‘ and the cranky bubblegum of ‘Dying To Believe’. It’s like they want to send a message early on, and on ‘I’m Not Getting Excited‘ vocalist/guitarist Elizbeth Stokes’ honeyed voice soars over driving new wave power-pop with buzzy guitars and walloping drums. It’s like something off a Kim Wilde album and it’s a totally awesome song.
The pace slows slightly with the title track, which along ‘You are a Beam of Light‘ are the closest thing to downtempo balladry here. ‘Do You Want Me Now‘ a gorgeous pop gem that evokes the sweetness of Alvvays. These two tracks bookend the mid-tempo stadium pop of ‘Acrid‘ and are followed by ‘Out of Sight‘, a song that starts with a shimmering Bon Iver guitar before crashing into perfect pop territory with Stokes and her bandmates’ fine harmonies fitting the song like a glove. ‘Don’t Go Away‘ and ‘Mars, the God of War‘ again contain elements of both power pop and early new wave while ‘Just Shy of Sure‘ harkens back to C86 jangly indie-pop.
All in all, this is a very solid sophomore record.
Elizabeth Stokes – Guitar/Vocals
Jonathan Pearce – Guitar
Benjamin Sinclair – Bass
Tristan Deck – Drums