Real Estate Days

Real Estate Days
A recent cover story in Fader declared that New Jersey's Real Estate exist somewhere "between the worlds of jam bands and indie rock." That's enough to put some off their dinner, let alone the group's second album, but there's truth in the statement. While the trio of Alex Bleeker, Martin Courtney and Matthew Mondanile don't have camper vans stalking them on tour (yet) or tie-dye merch (again, yet), these guys really do love to launch into a good jam. But where they've managed to keep their indie rock following and possibly alienate the Jambands.com forum is in their reluctance to stretch beyond the four-minutes-or-less pop song format. Much like their 2009 self-titled debut, Days features only one track that can be classified as an "extended jam," and at nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, "All the Same" is forgiven because it closes the album. That they're a Jersey band and not Cali transplants is still the most bewildering thing about Real Estate though. The sparkling guitar lines in the elegiac "Out of Tune" and tranquil instrumental "Kinder Blumen" give the sense that they were recorded on a sandy beach while the band basked in the sun. Aside from the cleaner production, thanks to the Kevin S. McMahon (the Walkmen, Titus Andronicus) at Marcata, Real Estate haven't quite grown leaps and bounds from their first album. However, Days is more proof that what these guys make is both effortless and timeless, which never fails to be sweet on the ear. (Domino)