Aloha Home Acres

Aloha Home Acres
Ohio indie rock quartet Aloha have been moving slowly toward accessibility for the greater part of a decade now, so it's no surprise that their first album in three years finds the band honing their song craft and focusing their arrangements in an effort to widen their fan base. As such, much of Home Acres is comprised of straightforward, rollicking pop tunes, but while Aloha are capable of the hookiness and the tick-tock rhythmic tightness of many of their indie rock peers, the band are at their best during Home Acres' moodier, slow-burning tracks. Contemplative opener "Building A Fire" is downright ominous, as tender guitar plucks fade in and out, seemingly hesitant to join the rhythmic churn of the song's thudding bass line. Album centrepiece "White Wind" is similarly ponderous, chugging along steadily thanks to a swirl of chiming guitars and a lilting melody courtesy of singer Tony Cavallario. Home Acres is a thoroughly likeable album — there's nothing to abhor about the upbeat surge of tracks like "Moonless March" and "Blackout" — but a band as musically brainy as Aloha sound better when they're thinking than when they're partying. (Polyvinyl)