The Humbugs On the Up Side

The Humbugs On the Up Side
The fourth instalment since 2009 from this Minneapolis-based quintet has every track packed with sing-alongs fit for high school parties, an incredibly hopeful, up-beat day or a sunny drive. It's fitting — the harmonies between married couple Adam and Kristin Marshall are candy-coated and sometimes harmlessly off-key but their lyrics are rooted in a sadder reality. From songs like the sombre yet catchy "Employee of the Month," which reflects on a dead-end job that comes after fallen aspirations (but does boast loopy melodies and an ascending guitar solo) to the slowed down "As Long As I Matter," a simultaneous questioning of purpose and love song, the album comes in handy as definitely something to lose oneself in between the cool rhythms of Matt Baccoli, Mike Senkovich and Tim Formanek. The pop chord progressions stand tall throughout the album, like the friend at that high school party that will always listen. (Oddvious)