Oval-Teen

Oval-Teen call themselves the ultimate mix-tape band because they specialise in short poppy songs that fit perfectly in those last couple of minutes at the end of each side when you absolutely have to squeeze in one last cool song. With a combination of Beach Boys-esque harmonies and both quiet and fuzzy guitars, they have a real knack for memorable melodies and that is their strongest attribute. They might not be as well known as Tullycraft, but they do pretty much the same thing except better. Yorkville, IL (named after their hometown) is probably the best way to catch up with this incredibly prolific band. It brings together songs from their early releases, compilations and deleted singles, with a few demos and unreleased songs thrown in for good measure. With a collection this large, volume can very often be its saving grace. With 55 songs, there simply has to be a few good ones, but curiously in the case of Yorkville, IL, there really are only a handful of weak songs and even those aren’t terrible by any means. Still, with more than two hours of music contained on two CDs, this isn’t the kind of album to enjoy in a single sitting. But there are plenty of fun pop songs here to stick on your next 50 mix-tapes. Keep in mind that only a mere 500 copies are being pressed, so don’t wait too long before picking up this gem.