Jessica Fletchers Less Sophistication

Sixties psychedelia, she wrote. Yes, apparently Angela Lansbury’s famous character made its way across the Atlantic and into these sunny Norwegians hearts and, goddammit, these Jessica Fletchers take the cake for hand-clapping, reverb flinging fun. Fittingly released on new-bands-but-old-sounds label Rainbow Quartz, Less Sophistication does find its inspiration in the harmony driven, melodic side of the ’60s, but tempered with an ear for catchy modern pop too. Things get memorable real quick with "Magic Bar” stomping out a frantic beat, very reminiscent of Soundtrack of Our Lives, and some of the best "la la la’s” this side of power pop. Of course, if you want to get really retro, look to "Get Connected,” whose harmonies and chorus seem to be ripped out of tunes of the late ’50s and early ’60s. The title track even sees a little garage rock thrown in for good measure, due to the fuzzy guitar solos and pounding drums, but it’s best to ignore the flute. While the mood never really changes, the upbeat music, by nature, is very catchy. The appearance of Cato Salsa Experience’s Christian Engfelt guarantees that for a head bobbing, foot shuffling throwback you can’t go wrong here. Mystery solved? Just maybe. (Rainbow Quartz)