Shout Out Louds Work

Shout Out Louds Work
Along with the Broken West, the Shout Out Louds are the most overlooked band on the Merge roster. It isn't because they haven't been making good albums, because with two solid ones already under their belt, they should be getting more attention. Yet the Swedes haven't had that breakthrough moment, and that probably isn't going to change with their third full-length, Work. It doesn't stray too far from what they've done before: catchy pop songs that are heavily influenced by the Cure, circa late '80s, and their ilk, all chiming guitars and synths. While they've never been particularly loud, or did much in the way of shouting, this time around they are more subdued than ever. Even the more upbeat songs show a certain amount of restraint, as if they're holding back, meaning Work never soars. It needs to try harder to win some love. Despite that, this is another solid album that does play to the band's strengths. They are incredibly good at writing songs that build up slowly throughout their duration to a satisfying climax, and they use that trick several times to great effect, such as on "Walls" and "The Candle Burned Out." Naturally, there are a handful of songs that stand out, but there's very little to complain about and chances are the Shout Out Louds are just going to keep doing this kind of thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It would be great if more people listened though. (Merge)