Modern Skirts Gramahawk

Modern Skirts Gramahawk
Every band from Athens, GA have to contend with a music scene that has already seen an impressive number of artists make it, and that can't be particularly easy. But the Modern Skirts have more than held their own in their musically crowded city with two well-received albums, even benefiting from accompanying R.E.M. on their 2008 European tour. Album number three, Gramahawk, sees the band moving in a slightly different direction, not entirely rejecting the accessibility of their earlier albums, but creating songs that are going to take a few listens before revealing everything they have to offer. These are still pop songs, but they're slightly askew ― more like Dan Bejar's efforts on the New Pornographers' albums rather than Carl Newman's. The jarring contrast between the vocal harmonies and the heavily percussive arrangements doesn't always work though ― "DUI" is particularly exhausting. But when they dial it down just a notch, Gramahawk is an interesting, challenging album that should keep the Modern Skirts the talk of their town for a while longer. (Independent)