Pleasant Awkward as a Beehive

Do you remember a time in your life when Pavement seemed really off-the-wall? When Matador records was mature, and when relating to Cap’n Jazz came naturally? Pleasant do! Pleasant are a band who you could compare to any group within a certain canon. A less lounge-y Sea and Cake? Yeah! A post-espresso American Analog Set? Sure! A kookier Yo La Tengo? Maybe! And while I wouldn’t call them original, I would say that Pleasant might present a bit of a thrill to someone entrenched in quirky indie rock, or interested in hearkening back to the days when they were. This has all the main ingredients: the singer can’t quite sing, the drumming is sort of erratic, the guitarist plays note patterns rather than full chords, and every song sounds… well, pleasant, if not discombobulated. Other reviews have apparently likened Pleasant to the Talking Heads and the Clean, and while certainly these bands precede them, I hear a little too much Jade Tree in their sound to remove their immediate influences from the ’90s. Pleasant wave their flag high over the 12 tracks on this release, and though they may be trying a little too hard at times, if Clap Your Hands Say Yeah can make it I don't see why they shouldn’t. (Pox World Empire)